We’ve got limited information, but we do know that right now, Bitcasa are in the process of rolling out major server updates.

We are seeing random errors and other odd behaviour across a range of sites, which, from several hours of testing and debugging, we are sure are entirely at their end. We deduce that this must be linked to their roll-out.

As a result, if you are seeing unexpected behaviour on your Bitcasa-based backups right now, then there doesn’t seem to be much to do (apart from mention it on the Bitcasa forums, if you haven’t already) – we assume they’re working on these issues. Having spent some hours on these issues already, we’re as frustrated as you are!

David Anderson (lead developer, founder, UpdraftPlus)

One little feature which we’ve added to our development version of UpdraftPlus is a new option for excluding directories from the backup.

UpdraftPlus already has the facility to configure items to exclude from the backup (in its settings page). But, sometimes a developer may wish to mark a directory to always be excluded every time his code is used, and may not even have access to the settings page.

The new feature causes any directory which contains a file called “.donotbackup” (without the quotes) to not be backed up – it will be skipped. Hopefully some users will find it useful!

David Anderson (lead developer, founder, UpdraftPlus)

UpdraftPlus 1.9.17 is in process of being released, and should appear in your WordPress updates dashboard soon.

This release mainly focuses upon small fixes and tweaks, plus updated translations (thanks once again to our team of translators). The main new feature is the ability to restore a backup created by WordPress Backup to Dropbox. Internally, various bits of work have been done to prepare the way for incremental backups – but that feature is not yet ready for release.

As ever, this release is a recommended update for everyone – and as ever, we remind Premium users to not update this (or any other Premium plugin) whilst it is inactive.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

At the end of last week, UpdraftPlus passed over one million downloads from wordpress.org, making it (according to plugintable.com) the 51st WordPress plugin of any kind ever to do so. It also means that UpdraftPlus is the most-downloaded backup plugin in the first six months of 2014.

We passed the “real” one million mark some weeks ago, if downloads from updraftplus.com are included. But reaching this mark on wordpress.org downloads alone is very nice.

And, we’re still innovating hard… incremental backups are our current focus, and we now have a release target of August. Thanks for your support, and please keep spreading the word: UpdraftPlus is where the action is taking place in WordPress backups. If you’ve not yet taken a look at our flagship product, UpdraftPlus Premium, then please do so!

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

“WordPress Backup To Dropbox” has been a very popular WordPress backup plugin, and there are many users with backups created by this plugin.

Like many other backup solutions, it has no facility to restore from a backup – this task has to be done manually, by someone with sufficiently expert skills. And in our opinion, like other backup solutions, it is obsolete: UpdraftPlus can do not only what it does, but many more things besides – but what do you do if you have legacy backups that you still want to use?

Good news: the next release of UpdraftPlus Premium has the capability to restore backups created by this plugin. All you need to do is to download the backup as a zip from the Dropbox website, possibly rename the zip so that it has “wpb2d” in the filename (so that UpdraftPlus can recognise it), and then drag/drop it into UpdraftPlus. From there, you can use it as if it was a backup created by UpdraftPlus itself – whether to restore it into a website that lives at the same location as before, or to migrate it into a new website in a new location.

WordPress Backup to Dropbox WordPress Backup To Dropbox

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

The latest UpdraftPlus release – 1.9.15 – should be making its way to your WordPress updates dashboard in the next 48 hours.

Development for this release has mostly concentrated on a list of small tweaks for usability and convenience. The most visible changes are:

  • A gentle redesign of the UpdraftPlus dashboard
  • As part of the Migrator add-on (and hence as part of UpdraftPlus Premium), a new manual search/replace tool (an expert tool intended for power-users – the automatic search/replace that takes place when migrating a site to a new location is unaffected).
  • New Tagalog translation (thanks to Kristen Macasero)
  • Users on web hosting providers who disable the default WordPress scheduler (e.g. Heart Internet) can now use “Backup Now” without needing to tweak their wp-config.php.

The full changelog is here: http://updraftplus.com/changelog/. As ever, we recommend that all users update; and as ever, we remind users of all commercial WordPress plugins only to update their premium plugins (whether UpdraftPlus or anything else) whilst they are activated.

Not yet checked out UpdraftPlus Premium, our flagship product that comes with 12 months of support? Please do take a look!

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

UpdraftPlus has lots of clever internals for re-working your database, when you are cloning a site from one location to another.

Sometimes, though, it’s handy to have a tool to arbitrarily search/replace your database, outside of when you’re migrating your site from one place to another.

The next release of UpdraftPlus will include a tool for doing this. It’s not something you’re likely to need often – and not for the faint-hearted, as one false move and you can destroy your database. (So, first you should take a backup!). But, for people who know what to do with it, it’ll be there.

Search / replace

All UpdraftPlus Premium users will receive this new feature, as well as all users who have purchased the Migrator add-on as a stand-alone add-on.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

For the next release of UpdraftPlus, we are bringing in a gentle redesign.

One aim that we’ve long had for UpdraftPlus has been to combine both maximum ease of use, with all settings on one page, without losing any features. We’ve been pleased to have a lot of feedback commenting on our success in this.

However, we still do get comments from newcomers to WordPress who think that things could be made even simpler. This feedback is useful – after you get used to unnecessary complexity, you stop noticing it. So, we took another good look at the UpdraftPlus settings page.

As a result, for the next release, we’re introducing some simple, obvious tabs.

As one advantage of this, the initial page that you see after installing UpdraftPlus is very simple: the familiar three big buttons for the three main operations, and the status console on your current backup state:

  UpdraftPlus redesign

As currently, pressing either the “Restore” button or following the “1 set(s) available” link will show you the existing backups, and allow you to download or restore them. But, unlike currently, this is in a separate tab – nothing will slide out. We think this is a more elegant solution, without clutter:

Downloading and restoring

 

Your settings are now moved to their own tab; which has the bonus of providing more width, especially for those scheduling settings which can get rather wide if you choose “Weekly”:

 

Redesign - settings

 

We’ve also moved all the debugging and expert tools into their own tab, so that they won’t provide any clutter or distraction at all until you need them.

How things were in the beginning…

If we go back many years to the original Updraft plugin, then you can see that many things have been so changed that they are unrecognisable. But some other features are quite familiar. Comparing this screenshot with the first screenshot above, you can see how some of the elements have evolved.

The original Updraft settings page

It’s evolution, not revolution – and we hope, one that will be appreciated by expert and novice users alike.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

We have just updated our article on the most secure possible Amazon S3 setup, to reflect improvements that Amazon have made to their S3 service.

Amazon now allow you to set up a bucket with both versioning (keeping of old files, even if they are overwritten or deleted), and lifecycle rules (automatic removal of files after a certain date).

This means that you can set up an Amazon S3 bucket that UpdraftPlus has permission to write to, but not delete from – and instead have Amazon S3 handle the deletion of old backups for you. This means that if an attacker gains access to your Amazon S3 keys for that particular bucket, then they cannot remove your backup data – and you don’t have to manually remove your old data either; the best of all worlds.

For more information on these Amazon S3 features, please take a look at the Amazon developers guides, here and here. (The best place to get help on Amazon S3 features in general is in the Amazon AWS forums, here).

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

UpdraftPlus is a trade mark of Simba Hosting Limited (www.simbahosting.co.uk), UK registered company number: 8570611

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