The release of the next version of UpdraftPlus (1.9.4) is on the way.

The main new features of this release are:

  • Re-written back-end for Google Drive; this uses Google’s newest API (the old one is likely to be dropped in 12 months time), uses less code, allows users (Premium) to select any folder they wish to use by name, uses less memory and requires fewer permissions! See this link for more. You should not need to update any of your existing settings.
  • New Bitcasa storage back-end (Premium) – Bitcasa is a new kid on the block in the cloud storage world. They offer up to 20Gb of free storage space. Read more.
  • New OpenStack Swift storage back-end. OpenStack is a multi-vendor cloud solution, for public and private clouds. This feature is available in both UpdraftPlus Premium and free. Read more.
  • The ability to restore backups created by the popular BackWPUp backup plugin (Premium) – all formats (tar, tar.gz, tar.bz2 and zip). The existing ability to restore backups created by Simple Backups has been extended – now all backup formats (i.e. tar, tar.gz and tar.bz2 as well as the existing zip) are supported. Read more.
  • New Czech translation (thanks to Martin Křížek) – the Russian, Swedish, Dutch and Portuguese translations have also been updated.

This release also restores support for WordPress 3.2, which was unintentionally dropped in UpdraftPlus 1.9.0 (already-existing scheduled backups would have continued running, but the settings page did not allow new ones to be set up). WordPress 3.2 is a bit of an antique, but there are still people using it, and sometimes they employ you to work on their sites and you want to first take a backup.

There is also a number of tweaks for convenience and speed (e.g. Dropbox uploads now run 25% faster), and some minor bug-fixes. The full changelog is here (it may take a few hours after this post appears to update itself).

You may have noticed that WordPress 3.9 was released a few days ago… the existing UpdraftPlus release was already compatible with this. However – we always recommend updating to the latest version; it’s our latest and greatest!

Not tried out UpdraftPlus Premium yet? Learn more about the great deal you can get, here…

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

As you’ve probably noticed, WordPress 3.9 is now out there…

As previously mentioned, the current release of UpdraftPlus (1.9) is fully compatible with WordPress 3.9. Because WordPress 3.9 brings in a new under-the-hood database engine, the Restore and Migrate functions in previous version of UpdraftPlus are not compatible with WordPress 3.9. (The Backup function is). So, if you need to restore your website on WordPress 3.9, then you should first update to UpdraftPlus 1.9 or later.

Having said that, we always recommend updating to the latest version of UpdraftPlus for everyone. It’s always the best UpdraftPlus we know of!

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

The next version of UpdraftPlus (Premium) will be able to restore backups created by the plugin “BackWPup”. BackWPup itself has no capability for restoring the backups that it creates. So, you need some expert skills in order to be able to recreate a WordPress site from its backups. And, even if you have those expert skills, you might want UD to take the inconvenience out for you – so that there’s no need to remember if you’ve done all the steps, or missed a key one out.

This feature is currently working in our testing version. It can handle all the archive formats that BackWPup uses (zips, tar balls, gzip and bzip2-compressed tarballs).

Restoring a BackWPup backup

If you need to restore a backup created by a backup plugin that UpdraftPlus doesn’t yet support, then do let us know, and we can see what we can do. Additions to UD’s capabilities for deploying ‘foreign’ backups will largely be driven by customer demand.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

You’ve probably heard now about the catastrophic “Heartbleed” issue with one of the world’s most popular SSL toolkits, OpenSSL. If not, then we can wait here whilst you read up on it!

In response, much of the Internet has been updating its SSL software and settings.

It appears that Dropbox have done this, and that they are now using SSL settings which are incompatible with some people’s webservers. Those webservers appear to be very out of date (i.e. not updated for some years).

If your Dropbox backups have started failing, then check your log file (use the link near the top of the UpdraftPlus settings page). If you can find messages like this…

Dropbox chunked upload exception: error:0D0890A1:asn1 encoding routines:ASN1_verify:unknown message digest algorithm

Dropbox error: error:0D0890A1:asn1 encoding routines:ASN1_verify:unknown message digest algorithm

… then you need to give the operator of your webserver a shout, and get them to update OpenSSL so that it is compatible with Dropbox again. Update: As an alternative work-around, you can go into the “expert” settings for UpdraftPlus, and turn off verification of SSL certificates. But do be sure to read the text with that option, so that you understand its implications, and are able to make an informed decision about the step you are taking.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus).

By popular demand, the next release of UpdraftPlus Premium will have a backend for the Bitcasa cloud storage platform (which comes with between 5Gb and 20Gb of free storage)…

Bitcasa

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

We’re presently well advanced with work on a new Google Drive back-end for UpdraftPlus (both free and premium).

Why is this needed? Firstly, our old one uses an API which Google are planning to deprecate in just over 12 months time. So, it needs doing before then.

Secondly, the Google Drive backend has fallen behind our others, both in terms of code quality and capability. Google Drive is the only remote storage option in the current release of UpdraftPlus which cannot re-scan remote storage to discover pre-existing remote backups (e.g. ones created by another site which you’re trying to clone).

Our new backend is now mostly complete, and just needs a lot of testing. It will add the following features:

  • Use of Google’s current Drive API, for compatibility beyond 20th April 2015
  • Ability to re-scan remote storage
  • Chunked downloading of large backups (so you can download infinitely large backups and resume where you left off if progress is interrupted)
  • Ability to choose, by name, any folder in your Google Drive for backup (Premium – new installs of the free version will back up to a fixed folder called “UpdraftPlus”; existing installs of the free version which have a raw numeric ID typed in will continue to work).
  • Requires a shorter list of permissions
  • UpdraftPlus settings page will show the name of the owner of the Google Drive account you are connected to (when managing many sites, it’s easy to forget!)

It should be fully compatible with the existing backend – i.e. nobody will need to update or change their settings. All this is achieved with 20% less code than our existing Google Drive backend.

Possibly it will also be compatible with web-servers with the PHP Curl module (which is much less than 1%, but every little counts). We’ve not determined this yet.

David Anderson (lead developer, founder, UpdraftPlus)

 

Note: Since this post was published, iThemes have done the right thing and fixed their plugin. It now gives an opportunity for other backup plugins to hook in – but you’ll need to get the next release of UpdraftPlus for these hooks to be used, so you should still overlook the warning mentioned below until then.

The popular WordPress plugin “Better WP Security” was recently bought out by a large WordPress company (iThemes) who make another backup solution for WordPress. Better WP Security has had over a million downloads.

As one of the changes in their new release since this buy-out, this plugin will now tell you “Your site is performing scheduled database backups but is not backing up files. Consider purchasing or scheduling (vendor’s product) to protect your investment.”

This warning is bogus. Having read the code, it means only one thing: that you haven’t purchased their backup product.

It does not mean what it says. It makes no effort to check whether an alternative backup solution is installed or configured. If theirs is not installed, then it tells the user that no backups are taking place – no explanation, no disclaimer.

This is disappointing. I do not think anyone should be trying to sell their product based on displaying untrue or incomplete information to users about the reliability of their backups, or telling them that they do not exist. At the very least, a disclaimer should be shown “Note: We only checked for the existence of our own backup product. If you have another, then you can ignore this message.”

If you use “Better WP Security”, then please look out for this warning – it does not mean what it says. There’s no need to be alarmed by it, or to raise a support request to check that your backups are really working!

We’ve reached out to the plugin developers via their forum, and hopefully they’ll respond positively.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus).

Thanks to the efforts of Martin Křížek, UpdraftPlus is now fully translated into the Czech language.

If you need it right away, then just de-install and then re-install UpdraftPlus (current version), and you’ll then have it. Otherwise, you’ll get it in the next official release.

UpdraftPlus is now 90% or more translated into seven languages, and 50% or more translated into 13 languages. Is it in your language yet? Want to help speakers of your native language use UpdraftPlus in their mother-tongue? Drop us a line at contact at updraftplus.com.

David Anderson (founder, lead developer, UpdraftPlus)

OpenStack (www.openstack.org) is about “Open source software for building private and public clouds.” Instead of paying Amazon to use their cloud computing system, you can build your own. (So, this is more of a high-level developer interest than a casual user one!) Rackspace are probably the largest provider to be building their cloud on top of OpenStack technology; Red Hat and Ubuntu (vendors of the two biggest Linux distributions) are also big backers. HP are just one example of a well-known brand building their public cloud on OpenStack.

UpdraftPlus is, from today, the first WordPress backup plugin to support OpenStack’s storage module (Swift). Thanks to an investment from German storage provider Internet4You, the development version of UpdraftPlus has a fully-functional OpenStack storage module. It has all the features that other UpdraftPlus storage modules include: chunked and resumable uploading (so that backups can reach remote storage, regardless of the resources and low timeouts offered by your web hosting provider) and downloading, the ability to re-scan your remote storage to import backup sets made in another WordPress install, and the ability to test your connection before launching a backup. Both encrypted and non-encrypted connections are supported, and UpdraftPlus’s existing expert options for managing SSL connections are supported.

Swift storage option

Choosing OpenStack for your storage option

OpenStack options

 OpenStack configuration

If you can’t wait for the next official UpdraftPlus release, then you can test it out today in our development version (without any paid addons).

David Anderson (founder, leader developer, UpdraftPlus)

 

UpdraftPlus 1.9.0 has been released for free users. See yesterday’s blog post for the full details.

The full changelog is here: http://updraftplus.com/changelog/

The update will start to become available for paid users in around 48 hours time.

We always recommend updating; but this release is especially important if you ever want to restore a backup on the forthcoming (i.e. not yet released) WordPress 3.9, which has a new internal database layer.

David Anderson (lead developer, founder, UpdraftPlus)

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

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