Click on a question, and the answer will then display.

Account management (1)

I would like a printed or PDF invoice for my purchase, please

  1. Log in to your account, here.
  2. After logging in, you will see a list of your orders.
  3. Click on the “Print” button next to the relevant order.

How to print an invoice

Add-ons (4)

Tell me more about the “Search and replace site location in the database” option

Quick link: Go to the UpdraftPlus shop to find the Migrator add-on, or UpdraftPlus Premium.

If you have the “Migrator” add-on (or UpdraftPlus Premium, which includes all add-ons), then when you restore a site, you will be given the option to “Search and replace site location in the database”:

Migrating a database

Migrating a database

What does this option do? If selected, then after restoring your database, it will then perform a search-and-replace operation upon it. It will first look up the address that the site was living at (i.e. the site whose database you are restoring). Then, it will replace all instances of that location in the database with your site’s new address.

This is a vital step if you are migrating a site from one location (URL) to another. For example, if you are moving a site from your development location – e.g. http://localhost/testsite to your live location – e.g. http://example.com – then after copying all the files and database, you then need to search/replace the database to reflect the new location. If you do not, then your site, though sitting at the “new” location, will contain lots of references to the “old” one. This can cause confusion and bugs. Most professional WordPress developers use the tried-and-tested “searchandreplacedb2.php” script to accomplish this task. UpdraftPlus includes the same code as its own search-and-replace engine to give you the same reliability.

So, in summary, here is how to migrate/clone a site from one location where WordPress is installed to another:

  1. Make sure that the new site (destination) has UpdraftPlus and the “Migrator” add-on installed (either stand-alone, or via UpdraftPlus Premium). (You can get these products from our shop, here).
  2. Create a backup on the original (old) site.
  3. Import the backup into the new site, by dragging and dropping: Uploading backups
  4. After the upload has finished, use the “Restore” button on the new site to begin a “restoration” using the backup set that you just uploaded. Make sure that you tick the “search and replace” button when doing so. That’s all!

You can see a fuller walk-through, with many more screenshots, here.

 

Can I use UpdraftPlus to migrate a site to a different address?

This is a common need for site developers – or anyone wanting to maintain two copies of a site (e.g. when moving web hosting).

The answer is “yes” – you just need the “Migrator” add-on from our shop; or “UpdraftPlus Premium” which includes every add-on.

With that installed, just take a look at our migration guide.

What is the most secure way to set up Rackspace Cloud Files?

Rackspace Cloud Files allows you to set up users that have access to only one container in your Cloud Files account – and to nothing else. This is the most secure configuration. It means that admin users on your WordPress site, even if they can copy the Rackspace access details from the UpdraftPlus configuration, can do nothing more with them than access the UpdraftPlus backups.

The easiest way to set up Rackspace Cloud Files in this way is using the “Rackspace Cloud Files enhanced” add-on from our shop.

I want to lock the UpdraftPlus settings so that other site admins cannot access them

In UpdraftPlus Premium, this is done in the “Debugging / Expert Tools” tab:

Debugging / expert tab

And scroll down the page a bit…

Lock settings

Don’t forget to remember your password! If you forget it, then there’s an FAQ for how to get back in., assuming that you have write access to the WordPress installation (files or database). This lock feature isn’t meant to provide unbreakable security, but to be a convenience feature to prevent mishaps and casual nosiness. If someone has an unrestricted administrator-level WordPress login, then ultimately there are ways to do anything to the site: that’s the point of an administrator login.

Locking the UpdraftPlus settings page

Advanced usage (7)

Can I run backups from the shell?

If you have shell access, then running a backup from the command-line has one big advantage over running it via your website: you shouldn’t get time-outs, so the backup will not need to automatically resume, but can run through in one go.

Furthermore, from the shell you can view the progress more easily in real-time. You can also run these as cron jobs.

To kick off a backup from the shell, run a PHP file in the directory of your WordPress installation that looks like this:

<?php

define('UPDRAFTPLUS_CONSOLELOG', true);
require_once('wp-load.php');
do_action('updraft_backup_all');

?>

If you don’t want to watch the lines being logged running past, then you can miss out the “define” line.

If you wish or want to resume an already-started job, then instead of the do_action line above, use this one – but change the 12-digit hex code to the code for your job (which you can easily spot in the log file of a started job, or from the filenames in your wp-content/updraft directory):

do_action('updraft_backup_resume', 'fbb7e2919e0c', 1);

Note that on a WordPress multi-site install, you may first need to install the patch from this ticket, in order to overcome a current WordPress bug in 3.7: http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/14913 (or if you are on 3.6 or 3.7, get an already-patched version of the relevant WordPress file from: http://updraftplus.com/forums/support-forum-group1/paid-support-forum-forum2/problem-whit-uploads-dir-thread33.1/#postid-232).

Will UpdraftPlus leave large temporary files behind like (some other backup plugin)?

The short answer is that UpdraftPlus cleans up (removes) all temporary files that are more than 24 hours old, so you should not need to do so manually. If you spot any temporary files that are taking up a lot of space, then they will be less than 24 hours old, and disappear by themselves later on.  More information on how UpdraftPlus temporarily uses disk space is available in this FAQ.

Tell me more about the “Search and replace site location in the database” option

Quick link: Go to the UpdraftPlus shop to find the Migrator add-on, or UpdraftPlus Premium.

If you have the “Migrator” add-on (or UpdraftPlus Premium, which includes all add-ons), then when you restore a site, you will be given the option to “Search and replace site location in the database”:

Migrating a database

Migrating a database

What does this option do? If selected, then after restoring your database, it will then perform a search-and-replace operation upon it. It will first look up the address that the site was living at (i.e. the site whose database you are restoring). Then, it will replace all instances of that location in the database with your site’s new address.

This is a vital step if you are migrating a site from one location (URL) to another. For example, if you are moving a site from your development location – e.g. http://localhost/testsite to your live location – e.g. http://example.com – then after copying all the files and database, you then need to search/replace the database to reflect the new location. If you do not, then your site, though sitting at the “new” location, will contain lots of references to the “old” one. This can cause confusion and bugs. Most professional WordPress developers use the tried-and-tested “searchandreplacedb2.php” script to accomplish this task. UpdraftPlus includes the same code as its own search-and-replace engine to give you the same reliability.

So, in summary, here is how to migrate/clone a site from one location where WordPress is installed to another:

  1. Make sure that the new site (destination) has UpdraftPlus and the “Migrator” add-on installed (either stand-alone, or via UpdraftPlus Premium). (You can get these products from our shop, here).
  2. Create a backup on the original (old) site.
  3. Import the backup into the new site, by dragging and dropping: Uploading backups
  4. After the upload has finished, use the “Restore” button on the new site to begin a “restoration” using the backup set that you just uploaded. Make sure that you tick the “search and replace” button when doing so. That’s all!

You can see a fuller walk-through, with many more screenshots, here.

 

How do I update my install to the development version?

If you’ve been asked to update to the development version (e.g. to test out a new feature, or fix – or if you’re just curious and like being at the cutting edge), then here’s how to do it.

Note that this only applies to users of the “free” edition of UpdraftPlus – the development version does not contain any add-ons. You cannot use any add-ons if you are running the development version (unless we specifically send you them).

All your settings will be remembered – you won’t need to re-create them.

1. De-install your existing install of UpdraftPlus

Go to the “Installed Plugins” page on your WordPress dashboard.

developer

Follow the link to “Deactivate”.

Deactivate Plugin

Then scroll back to find the same place again, and this time click “Delete”. Confirm your choice.

Delete Plugin

Delete plugin

2. Download the development version

Just download the zip file from this link to your computer.

3. Install the development version into WordPress

Go to WordPress’s plugin installer, and install the new version (i.e. upload the zip file you just downloaded in the previous step).

Add New Plugin

 

Uploading a plugin

 Activate it, and you’re done!

How do I stop an in-progress backup?

If you want to stop an already-running backup, then the final way is to restart the web service on your server. However, you may not have that access, or need something less forceful.

Because PHP can run in many different ways, there is no one way to stop a PHP script, like any part of WordPress, from running. However, UpdraftPlus runs via WordPress’s scheduler. If your backup is taking a long time, then it is likely to be needing several ‘runs’ to complete. UpdraftPlus takes care of all that internally. It re-schedules new attempts to continue the backup job automatically.

If you want to de-schedule the next run of a backup job, then you can do this:

1. Follow the “Show expert settings” link

Show expert settings

2. Follow the “delete schedule” link for the relevant job

Delete job

That’s all. Note that this won’t stop the current run of a backup job if it is already running; it will prevent further attempts to continue the same backup job after the current run runs out of time. (When that happens again will vary according to your web hosting setup).

What is the most secure way to set up Rackspace Cloud Files?

Rackspace Cloud Files allows you to set up users that have access to only one container in your Cloud Files account – and to nothing else. This is the most secure configuration. It means that admin users on your WordPress site, even if they can copy the Rackspace access details from the UpdraftPlus configuration, can do nothing more with them than access the UpdraftPlus backups.

The easiest way to set up Rackspace Cloud Files in this way is using the “Rackspace Cloud Files enhanced” add-on from our shop.

I have locked the UpdraftPlus settings page, and forgotten the password – how do I unlock it?

Are you faced with this lock screen, and forgot the unlock password?

Locking the UpdraftPlus settings page

The best thing to do is contact whoever set the lock password, and ask them!

If that is you, and you have lost the password completely, then please read on…

If you have access to the site’s wp-config.php file, then simply add this and then reload the settings page:

define('UPDRAFTPLUS_NOADMINLOCK', true);

Otherwise, if you cannot do that, then you will need to find the password in the WordPress database; for this, you will need to either have:

  1. The ability to install plugins – install and activate the SQL Executioner plugin
  2. Another way of editing your database (e.g. phpMyAdmin in your web hosting control panel)

If you find the below steps too technical, then you can always purchase a one-time support incident from our shop.

If you installed the “SQL Executioner” plugin, then you can access it in the Tools -> SQL Executioner menu.

SQL ExecutionerYou now need to search in your database for the unlock password. The following query will work in SQL Executioner on a WordPress single site installation:

SELECT * FROM $options WHERE option_name = 'updraft_adminlocking';

On a WordPress multisite (i.e. network) installation with UpdraftPlus Premium or the UpdraftPlus multisite add-on, you will need to use this query instead:

SELECT * FROM $sitemeta WHERE option_name = 'updraftplus_options';

If you are not using SQL Executioner, but instead phpMyAdmin or some other SQL tool, then you will need to replace $ with the table prefix from your WordPress site – so, instead of $options, you’ll have something like wp_options (and something like wp_sitemeta instead of $sitemeta). (The tool should show you the names of all the tables, from which you can spot the correct table name; if not, then use the SQL command “SHOW TABLES;”).

When you have successfully run the correct command, then the output should include the text password in it. On a single site, it should be obvious; on a multi-site, search in the output for the text updraft_adminlocking … and very shortly afterwards (a few characters later), you should be able to see the password. (Don’t directly edit it in your SQL editor unless you understand the format of PHP serialized arrays – otherwise you may lose some or all of your UpdraftPlus options).

If you wish to reset your password again afterwards, then you can do so in the “Debugging / Expert Tools” tab of your UpdraftPlus settings page in the WordPress dashboard.

Amazon S3 (3)

In the administration section, it shows my (Amazon, FTP, etc.) passwords – without using stars. Is this safe?

When you enter a password and it is starred, in fact this only prevents “shoulder-surfers” (people looking over your shoulder) from seeing the password. It provides no extra protection from other users who can sit at the keyboard, or access the same WordPress admin panel.

Three quick, different ways that people who have access to the settings page can access stored passwords are: 1) Press “View Source” in their web browser, and read it out of there. 2) Download a backup of the site’s database and read it out of there. 3) Install an extension in their web browser to un-star all passwords (e.g. this one).

If you do not trust your users to do bad things with your passwords, then you should not make them admins on your WordPress site. Starring out the password only protects against people who are a) malicious enough to misuse your password, but b) too technically incompetent to do any of the above. Do you really want such people to have admin-level access to your website?

A much better solution, if you have multiple admins on the WordPress site, is to set up a new set of access credentials for the backup storage for each website you are backing up (i.e. a unique FTP login/set of S3 credentials, etc.). For Amazon S3, read this article.

Displaying the passwords makes trouble-shooting one step more awkward, so we chose to not star them out. However, if you really really want to star them out, then do this:

  1. Using FTP (or equivalent) access to your web hosting space, create (if it does not already exist) a folder called mu-plugins in the content directory of your WordPress install (which is usually called wp-content – i.e. the new directory will be wp-content/mu-plugins).
  2. In that folder, create a new file called ud-star-passwords.php (or anything else ending in .php) with the following content:
<?php
add_filter('updraftplus_admin_secret_field_type', 'updraftplus_admin_secret_field_type');
function updraftplus_admin_secret_field_type($type) { return 'password'; }

That’s it!

What settings should I use for Amazon S3, and how should I configure my Amazon S3 account?

This answer assumes that you have already created your Amazon S3 account, and have made a note of your S3 access key and secret key. If not, then go here: http://aws.amazon.com/s3/.

When you enter your Amazon S3 details in the UpdraftPlus setup, the only thing that some people find non-obvious is what to enter into the “S3 location:” field. All you have to enter is the name of the bucket that you wish to use. (If this bucket does not yet exist, then that is also fine – it will be created for you).

Amazon S3 setup

Amazon S3 setup

The other question that sometimes arises is, “what permissions do I need to set on the Amazon S3 bucket (in the Amazon S3 console)?”

Firstly, if you are using your master S3 access and secret keys, then these have permission to do anything upon any bucket in your account. So you will not need to adjust any permissions to make these work. If you are not an advanced user, and do not wish to read about the most secure possible configurations, then you can stop reading now.

If, however, you have set up a different user with its own access and secret keys (which can be done using the Amazon AWS console’s “IAM” service), then you will need to make sure that that user has enough permissions.

Finding the Identity and Access Management (IAM) console in Amazon AWS

Finding the Identity and Access Management (IAM) console in Amazon AWS

Exactly what user policy is right for your use-case depends upon what that use-case is. However, if you have a user “myuser” and a bucket called “mybucket”, then the following policy is sufficient to give that user all the permissions that UpdraftPlus requires to access that bucket, and only that bucket:

{
  "Statement": [
    {
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Action": [
        "s3:ListBucket",
        "s3:GetBucketLocation",
        "s3:ListBucketMultipartUploads"
      ],
      "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::mybucket",
      "Condition": {}
    },
    {
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Action": [
        "s3:AbortMultipartUpload",
        "s3:DeleteObject",
        "s3:DeleteObjectVersion",
        "s3:GetObject",
        "s3:GetObjectAcl",
        "s3:GetObjectVersion",
        "s3:GetObjectVersionAcl",
        "s3:PutObject",
        "s3:PutObjectAcl",
        "s3:PutObjectAclVersion"
      ],
      "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::mybucket/*",
      "Condition": {}
    },
    {
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Action": "s3:ListAllMyBuckets",
      "Resource": "*",
      "Condition": {}
    }
  ]
}

What is the most secure possible setup?

Since UpdraftPlus needs to store an S3 API key and secret to upload your backups to S3, there is a potential point of weakness. If a hacker breaks into your site, then he can steal that API key + secret, and use it to access your backups. Ideally, the hacker should not be able to delete or change your backups – you want to know that backups taken before hackers break-in are “clean” and can be deployed without fear.

To accomplish this with an Amazon S3 setup, implement these recommendations. They involve more complexity, but given the securest possible setup:

  1. Do not use your “master” API key + secret (which can access all your S3 data). Instead, set up a separate IAM user (which will thus have its own API key and secret). (Note – this is an IAM policy, not a bucket policy. You will need to switch back and forth in the Amazon AWS console between S3 to IAM a few times during these steps.) Switch service
  2. Set up a bucket from the Amazon S3 console (https://console.aws.amazon.com/s3/) for your UpdraftPlus backups, and only for these.Create bucket Create bucket
  3. In the AWS console, bring up the bucket’s properties (either right-click on the bucket and choose “Properties” from the menu, or left-click and use the “Properties” button). Enable versioning. What is versioning? It means that if an attacker gains access to your bucket, and over-writes your backups (e.g. with a new, hacked version), then the previous versions still remain accessible. They are not deleted.Bucket properties Enable versioning
  4. Set up a policy for that IAM user, as above, but without the two delete permissions. i.e. Without these two lines:
            "s3:DeleteObject",
            "s3:DeleteObjectVersion",
  5. Finally, since UpdraftPlus cannot now delete historic backups, you will need to manage this another way (the “retain this many” setting in UD will take no effect). The easiest way to do this is to use S3′s built-in “life-cycle” feature, in the bucket properties (i.e. as in 3. above).

S3 lifecycle

S3 lifecycle rule

That’s it. What is the total effect of those changes? It means that UpdraftPlus is configured with Amazon S3 access credentials that can only write to the defined bucket, and no others. It cannot delete any existing backups. Its ability to write, however, still means that it can overwrite existing backups, which is effectively a way of deleting them, as well as tampering with them. Therefore, we add versioning in order to make sure that over-writing does not destroy existing backups.

The final part of this is that, 1) if restoring, you should retrieve your backup sets directly from the Amazon S3 console rather than from the UpdraftPlus dashboard’s built-in method 2) if you press the “Test S3 Settings” button, then it will create a test file, and report that it failed to be able to delete it. This is now expected, so do not worry about it.

 

 

 

 

 

How can I use Amazon S3′s reduced redundancy storage?

To use S3′s Reduced Redudancy Storage (RRS) (read more about it here), you need UpdraftPlus Premium, or the stand-alone the “S3 Enhanced” add-on.

This feature is included in UpdraftPlus 1.8.9 and later (not yet released at the time of writing – January 2014).

S3 Reduced Redundancy Storage

Backing up (19)

Some of my files have uploaded into my cloud storage, but not others

UpdraftPlus features a resumption feature – if you wait 5 minutes and visit a page on your site, then it should re-try not-yet-uploaded files. So, don’t assume that backing up has failed if a few minutes pass without any apparent progress. Be prepared to wait an hour and then check again.

You can also look for the log file (you can find it in wp-content/updraft, if you are using FTP). Before asking for support, you can improve your chances of a speedy answer if you can make sure that you: 1) Have started a backup, and then waited at least an hour (because UpdraftPlus will keep trying) 2) Have tried to find the log file of the failed backup.

My scheduled backups do nothing, or “Backup Now” stops mid-way

This indicates a problem with the scheduler within your WordPress installation. (“Backup Now”  starts the backup without the scheduler, but uses the scheduler to schedule resumption of the job in case it needs more than the amount of time that the webserver allows in one go). As such, it will affect any scheduled backup plugin that you try – as well as various other tasks that WordPress and other plugins schedule internally.

Note that this article is about problems where (in the case of a scheduled backup) literally nothing happens (other than the message indicating that a backup was scheduled). In the case of a “Backup Now” backup, it is the case where the backup starts, but after stopping never starts going again. (You can tell this by reading your log file and seeing if the last lines begin with (0) or if there are any with other numbers. (Leave it for 10 minutes with nothing happening before checking this, as resumptions do not occur until a few minutes later)).

Note also that if pressing “Backup Now” works completely, but your scheduled backups do nothing, then you probably still have this problem – in the latest versions of UpdraftPlus, UpdraftPlus has various tricks to help things along as long as the UpdraftPlus settings page is open in your web browser (which is the case when you press “Backup Now”).

To see if it really is your scheduler that’s the problem, then look under the section “One more thing…” at the bottom of this page.

Now, what can cause this problem?

1. Maintenance mode?

Firstly: is your website in maintenance mode? This disables scheduled tasks of all kinds – so turn it off first.

2. No visitors?

WordPress’s scheduler relies on the site having visitors. No visitors means that WordPress doesn’t run, and therefore can’t hand over to the scheduled task. If your site is in development, and you schedule a backup run for a time when all the developers are asleep, then that may be the cause for the scheduled task not running. (Read more here).

3. Is your scheduler explicitly disabled?

Perhaps your site has WordPress’s scheduler disabled in the configuration. UpdraftPlus versions 1.6.61 and later will alert you of this; to check manually, look for a line like this in your wp-config.php file (which is found in the root directory of your WordPress install), and remove it (or change true to false, making sure there are no quote marks around false):

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

In this case, the disabling may be something your web hosting company did intentionally, so be aware that they may re-disable it. Or, it may be something that you did intentionally, and you may have set another means of calling WordPress’s scheduler system, perhaps via your web hosting company’s control panel. In that case, the message about DISABLE_WP_CRON is to be expected – but note that it is then your responsibility to make sure that the scheduler is called frequently enough to process all the jobs scheduled on your site. No backups, even those scheduled with “Backup Now” will run until the time that you have set the scheduler system to be called.

Also – note that it’s possible for DISABLE_WP_CRON to be set in a file other than wp-config.php; wp-config.php is simply the most likely (99%) place. If you have a warning about DISABLE_WP_CRON, but it is not found in wp-config.php, then it will be somewhere else – you will need to hunt for it.

4. Loopback connections are disabled?

Some web hosting providers (one big one: Heart Internet) purposefully (though for no good reason) disable the “loop-back” connects that allows WordPress to run its scheduler. In such a case, you can try this use WordPress’s alternative scheduling system – instructions here. The instructions amount to one thing: add a line anywhere in the middle of your wp-config.php file as follows (don’t add it too late in the file, or it will take no effect):

define('ALTERNATE_WP_CRON', true);

5. Try using a cron job

If your web hosting company gives you “shell” access and you can set up cron jobs, and if you are confident/skilled enough to use that, then that’s a great solution. Jobs run that way won’t face any time-out issues imposed by the webserver. Read more about running via the shell here.

6. Is your entire website password-protected?

Another cause is if your entire website is password-protected at the HTTP level (e.g. via a .htaccess file). This also prevents WordPress’s scheduler from working. You should configure your webserver to allow “loop-back” connections (i.e. connections to self), otherwise you WordPress scheduler and everything that depends upon it will be broken. If you are using Apache and .htaccess, then adding these two lines to the access control section of your .htaccess should work – after replacing a.b.c.d with your website’s IP address):

Allow from a.b.c.d
Satisfy Any

Please note: The above suggestion is just a suggestion. .htaccess configuration is a very big subject. UpdraftPlus neither “supports” nor “doesn’t support” different .htaccess configurations, because .htaccess files operate at quite a different level to WordPress plugins. If you enter the correct instructions in your .htaccess file to permit access, then UpdraftPlus will work. But if you are not sure of the correct instructions for your particular server, then you need to consult with either your web-hosting company or your local .htaccess guru.

7. Still no good?

If the scheduler’s brokenness remains and is not caused by one of the above reasons, then the problem is almost certainly with your web hosting provider. If the alternative scheduler also fails, then you need to either contact your web hosting company for support (ask them if loopback connections work, and if not, if they can enable them); or failing that find a different web hosting company. If they confirm that loopback connections are disabled and say that it is necessary for security, then this is nonsense. (A website connecting to itself can do nothing more or less than anything else connecting to the website can). In such a case, you will need to find a new hosting company in order to use any scheduled task (including UpdraftPlus) within WordPress (if you want UK-based hosting, then you could consider Simba Hosting – excellent WordPress support, a 1-click installer, and will give you a 20% discount if you mention this article at sign-up time).

One more thing…

Try a “debug” backup. These bypass the scheduler, by running immediately within the browser. (On larger sites, they are likely to be incomplete, because your web browser may time out before it can finish). To do this, i) open up the expert settings at the bottom of your UpdraftPlus page and ii) Scroll down and press the “Debug Full Backup” button:

Expert settings

Debug Full Backup

Now, see if a backup begins (you can verify this by reloading the settings page after a time and looking at the “Last log message” display, or looking for new backups, or looking in your wp-content/updraft directory for new log files).

If no backup begins then you have a different problem – the useful information for you in this article stops here.

If the debug backup does work, then your WordPress scheduler is indeed broken – go back to the top of this page to see what the cause is.

Anything essential to know?

After you have set up UpdraftPlus, you must check that your backups are taking place successfully. WordPress is a complex piece of software that runs in many situations. Don’t wait until you need your backups before you find out that they never worked in the first place. Remember, there’s no special warranty (exactly as with all WordPress software – UpdraftPlus is no exception).

Where in Dropbox are my files stored?

UpdraftPlus uses what Dropbox calls an “app folder”. This means that UpdraftPlus only has access to its own files – not any other part of your Dropbox.

App folders are all stored in the top-level folder called “apps”, with their own name. In the case of UpdraftPlus, your files are in “apps/UpdraftPlus”. Dropbox does not allow us to access anything outside of there.

If you purchase the “Dropbox folders” add-on, then you can store your backups inside sub-folders of that directory, e.g. one site in “apps/UpdraftPlus/mysite”, another in “apps/UpdraftPlus/anotherone”, etc.

If you cannot yet see your backup in your Dropbox folder, then you should go to the Dropbox website, and look directly in your Dropbox in there. If you have been viewing your Dropbox on your PC/Mac, then it may not yet be synchronised (it takes time for new data in your Dropbox to get synchronised to the folder on your PC/Mac – the Dropbox website has the “official” contents). Please do check this before you conclude that your backup hasn’t worked!

Can I run backups from the shell?

If you have shell access, then running a backup from the command-line has one big advantage over running it via your website: you shouldn’t get time-outs, so the backup will not need to automatically resume, but can run through in one go.

Furthermore, from the shell you can view the progress more easily in real-time. You can also run these as cron jobs.

To kick off a backup from the shell, run a PHP file in the directory of your WordPress installation that looks like this:

<?php

define('UPDRAFTPLUS_CONSOLELOG', true);
require_once('wp-load.php');
do_action('updraft_backup_all');

?>

If you don’t want to watch the lines being logged running past, then you can miss out the “define” line.

If you wish or want to resume an already-started job, then instead of the do_action line above, use this one – but change the 12-digit hex code to the code for your job (which you can easily spot in the log file of a started job, or from the filenames in your wp-content/updraft directory):

do_action('updraft_backup_resume', 'fbb7e2919e0c', 1);

Note that on a WordPress multi-site install, you may first need to install the patch from this ticket, in order to overcome a current WordPress bug in 3.7: http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/14913 (or if you are on 3.6 or 3.7, get an already-patched version of the relevant WordPress file from: http://updraftplus.com/forums/support-forum-group1/paid-support-forum-forum2/problem-whit-uploads-dir-thread33.1/#postid-232).

What format are backups made in? Is it nasty and proprietary?

UpdraftPlus backs up your files into ordinary zip files (the same format that WordPress and its plugins and themes directories use). The database is backed up into an ordinary SQL (text) file.

Therefore you can use UpdraftPlus to restore backups, but do not have to. You do not even need WordPress installed. You can just unzip the zip files, and use your web hosting company’s control panel to import the SQL into your database.

See here for instructions.

We are committed, as a fundamental of UpdraftPlus’s design, to retain this situation. UpdraftPlus backups will always be something that you can restore with standard tools. There will be no proprietary lock-in.

I get SSL certificate errors when backing up and/or restoring

SSL is a technology used to help you make sure that a) you really are communicating with the people you thought you were (authentication) and b) your communications with them cannot be eaves-dropped by others along the way (encryption).

SSL uses entities called “certificates” to enable these functions. These certificates have time limits upon them (so that if a bad guy manages to steal one, then it has a limited use).

For this to all work, it relies upon the right certificates existing in the right places. In particular, you need to be able to access a store of certificates up-to-date.

UpdraftPlus manages this by including certificates internally. However, if something goes wrong then you may see errors when UpdraftPlus tries to connect to cloud storage (e.g. Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, Dropbox, Google Drive).

It is also possible that these errors mean that somebody really is trying to intercept and decode your communications. That’s what SSL errors are for – to alert you that something is wrong.

One step that you can take safely is to open UpdraftPlus’s “expert options” (at the bottom of the UpdraftPlus settings) and activate the option for UpdraftPlus to use your web hosting company’s certificate store (instead of its own). Then try again. If the backup now succeeds, then you should inform us so that we can trace the problem.

If that fails, then you can also try the option to not verify the identity of remote sites. This means that you are turning off authentication. This lowers your security. It should only be done if you are comfortable with the risks (e.g. you are sure that the communications really are with Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc.).

Finally, you can also turn off SSL entirely, using another expert option. Note that this only works for certain transport methods (including Amazon S3 and FTP (for those who have the FTPS extension activate)). Some cloud storage providers (including Dropbox) require SSL, so your only solution with them is to fix your installation.

 

SSL expert options

Expert options for SSL

How much free disk space do I need to create a backup?

This question is only interesting or relevant if a) you do not have an “unlimited” hosting plan and b) you are already using more than (approximately) 25% of your web hosting plan’s web space.

The very short answer is, theoretically, up to two-thirds (i.e. twice as much free space available as is already used). This answer is not something unique to UpdraftPlus, but is the case for backup plugins generally, if they are based on WordPress on a modern web hosting platform.

Here is a longer explanation to help you evaluate your particular case and give more technical details:

If you are dispatching your backups to the cloud (e.g. Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, Rackspace, FTP, WebDAV), then some space is still needed within your web hosting account to create the backup, before it is then sent off to the cloud.

Backups are created as zip archives, which are compressed. So it’s not possible to predict exactly how much will be needed (because some resources can be compressed more than others). It will never be more than your existing usage. The larger your site is, the more likely it is that most of your space is used by already-compressed resources (e.g. graphics, videos, audio), and the closer the amounts for “needed space for backup” to “spaced used by your website” will be. For small sites, with few uploaded resources, the ratios will be much less – since much of your usage will be for WordPress itself, which isn’t normally backed up (since you can get another one from wordpress.org), and which even if you are backing it up is mostly easy to compress.

However, there is another factor involved. UpdraftPlus, being written in the PHP programming language (as is WordPress itself), uses PHP’s facilities for creating zip files. When creating a zip file, PHP can internally create a temporary zip file, which can be as large as the resulting zip itself. As a result, it’s mathematically possible, if you back up everything, to need at least two-thirds / 67% free space in your web hosting account in order to produce a backup. (One third is used by your site; another third is used temporarily by PHP in producing the zip file that UpdraftPlus requests of it; and another third is used by the zip file itself).

If your web hosting setup lacks resources, then it is furthermore possible for some of these temporary files to be left behind. If your web hosting server, in order to manage resources, kills off the PHP process before it finishes, then the temporary file will remain until is cleared up manually by UpdraftPlus, once the archive is completely created, or if that happens then usually 12 hours later. This can really boost the amount of disk space you need for things to complete successfully, especially if it happens multiple times. If you have a resource-limited web hosting provider, plus a small disk space allowance, then that’s an unpleasant combination. Unfortunately the PHP engine does not advise its users (in this case, UpdraftPlus) as to where it put its temporary files, so UpdraftPlus just has to do its best to clear up what it can find, after the event.

If you are not dispatching your backups to the cloud (why not? Are you expecting any hackers to be so kind as to not touch your backups, or your hosting company never to go bust or have an accident?), or if you are leaving backups behind on the server (i.e. if you changed the Expert Option for this), then you will of course need further resources, for each backup set that remains on the server.

My backup is not working; I have read the log file, and UpdraftPlus attempts to add files to the backup but the backup size never increases

This is symptomatic of your web hosting account being full. i.e. Your have reached the disk space usage limit on your web hosting package.

See also this FAQ for more information about disk space usage within UpdraftPlus.

I am having trouble backing up, and my web hosting company uses the LiteSpeed webserver

LiteSpeed appears to have problems with all WordPress scheduled tasks that last more than a very short time – including all backup plugins. Adding this in an early position in the .htaccess file in your WordPress root folder may fix the problem:

RewriteRule .* - [E=noabort:1]

Adding the above line will make the LiteSpeed warning on UpdraftPlus’s settings page go away – this does not mean that the problem is definitely fixed; you will only know that via testing. If the above does not help, then you can try this: use WordPress’s alternative scheduling system – instructions here. The instructions amount to one thing: add a line to your wp-config.php file as follows:

define('ALTERNATE_WP_CRON', true);

If that does not help you, then you’ll need the help of your web hosting company to see why WordPress’s scheduler isn’t working on their setup, or is terminating it prematurely. Or failing that, you’ll need a different web hosting company. This problem is a generic one affecting all backup plugins on WordPress that run via the scheduler (which is all of them, as far as we know).

Will you support Windows Live OneDrive (f.k.a. SkyDrive)?

No. Microsoft forbid the use of OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive) by backup utilities – see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh826521 (“Here are some examples of nonconforming apps: Apps that automatically back up files or folders to OneDrive.”).

Secondly, OneDrive’s current API limits file uploads to a maximum of 100Mb. A significant number of WordPress sites will contain single files larger than this, and hence backups to OneDrive would fail. Part of our development strategy with UpdraftPlus is to ensure as far as possible that all features work in every combination – we don’t want to see some features that work sometimes, and we don’t want customers to have to ask questions about when this or that feature will or won’t work.

How much resources does UpdraftPlus need?

Firstly, note that UpdraftPlus does not run any code on the front end of your site. (This can be verified by reading the source code). It checks, whenever loaded, that it is being called on the back-end – and hands back control immediately if not.

By its nature as a backup plugin, UpdraftPlus has to do this:

  • Read every file resource on your website
  • Read every row in every table in your database
  • Run all the accumulated data through a zip-file compressor
  • Write out the results to disk

As such, UpdraftPlus will use plenty of I/O (input/output) resources and CPU. You can’t create a backup without doing those things.

If your website is small – e.g. just made up of some blog posts, and reasonably-sized images, then all this may not amount to much. If, on the other hand, you’ve uploaded lots of large resources (e.g. videos, audio files, or huge images) or if your site is very big and popular (e.g. has vast numbers of comments), then it may amount to more. The impact of the above will be greater if your webserver and database server are on the same physical machine.

UpdraftPlus is designed to only run a single process at a time – i.e. no parallelisation. So, it can only use one CPU core at a time, and there can only ever be one UpdraftPlus process that is reading from disk or writing to disk at once. It will also be subject to any limits you (or your web hosting company) configure via the PHP or operating system configuration. As such, UD’s design means that it uses as low resources at a time as is possible.

Via only running a single process at once, UpdraftPlus is doing all it can from where it sits to limit its own resource usage. There really is no other “internal” solution that can work across the huge variety of hosting and server setups that exist. If you have particular requirements for your server, then you need to configure them at the server level.

If you are the one configuring/running the server, then you should also spend some time on tuning your server, particularly the database – a lot can be done here.

So, what can be done to limit resource usage if I don’t have access to configure the web server?

  1. Configure the timing of your backup to run overnightvia the “Fix Backup Time” add-on, if you don’t already have it. In the “small hours” of the morning, servers are usually very lightly loaded, with lots of spare resources.
  2. Make sure that your webserver really is adequate for the task. Experience has shown us that there are plenty of people who are”penny-wise, pound-foolish”. Bargain-basement web hosting that saves you a few dollars a month almost always comes with a trade-off. That trade-off is that resources are very tight. If your site is big or busy enough that backing it up requires significant resources, then it’s probably also having enough visitors that the bargain-basement web hosting is cutting performance enough to chase away some of those visitors.It’s worth noting here that a low-end VPS, despite the pricing, is likely to have less resources available than typical shared web hosting. (By “typical web hosting”, we’re not talking about the folks who are selling the ridiculously under-priced deals where resources are cut to the absolute bone, e.g. one.com). This is because on a low-end VPS, you get one CPU – which is shared between your operating system, web server + PHP engine, and the database server. If you’ve got a backup process which is read/writing your whole website, and you’re wanting to run the operating system and serve up web pages at the same time, then that means that each of those tasks is going to be getting swapped in and out from the CPU, because they can’t all use it at once. On a shared web host, there are usually many CPUs (up to 32), and you are time-sharing them – so as long as all websites aren’t all having their backups at the same time, then there should be enough resources to go around. Some web hosts have stricter systems which will limit your CPU and disk I/O usage even if there’s plenty of overall CPU power available on the system, though. They vary.
  3. Alternatively, if you have sufficient access and expertise, then you can run the backup job from the shell, and use your system’s “nice” and/or “ionice” commands to limit resources whilst it runs. (Those commands are on Linux, Mac and other UNIX-like systems – on Windows there will be a different solution).
  4. Check that you don’t have any plugins that create enormous, mostly useless, database tables (e.g. some statistics plugins that record a new row in the database for every single visitor).
  5. If you store a lot of files, then go into the ‘Expert settings’ section of the UpdraftPlus page, and reduce the default setting for how much data is stored in each zip file. e.g. Reduce it from the default of 800Mb down to 100Mb. This will mean that UpdraftPlus spends less time in manipulating large zip files – which can use a lot of resources and be quite time-consuming, especially on slower servers.
  6. If you have a collection of large, unchanging files (e.g. historic audio/video), then you could take a one-time backup of these, store them somewhere safe and then after that exclude them from the UpdraftPlus backup using the exclusion options in UpdraftPlus. That will then save the time/resource usage that zipping them up into the UpdraftPlus backup would have taken.

My web hosting company says that I can’t store backups on my site, but can store them remotely. Can UpdraftPlus handle this?

Yes. UpdraftPlus has various options for remote storage – e.g. Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive, FTP, etc. Naturally, it has to actually create the zip file(s) to be stored remotely before it can then send them to the remote storage and then delete them from your site after sending them. There will be a short time gap in which the backup exists on your site before it is dispatched and deleted. This should be fine with all web hosts that say that they allow you to create backups and store them remotely – because there’s no other way of doing it. It should be especially fine if you use UpdraftPlus’s feature (in Premium or via the Fix Time add-on) to run the backup in the small hours when the web server will only be lightly loaded. If they don’t like it being done that way, then they are basically forbidding you to make a zip-file-based backup. Time to find a web hosting company that’s not selling crippled hosting.

How do I stop an in-progress backup?

If you want to stop an already-running backup, then the final way is to restart the web service on your server. However, you may not have that access, or need something less forceful.

Because PHP can run in many different ways, there is no one way to stop a PHP script, like any part of WordPress, from running. However, UpdraftPlus runs via WordPress’s scheduler. If your backup is taking a long time, then it is likely to be needing several ‘runs’ to complete. UpdraftPlus takes care of all that internally. It re-schedules new attempts to continue the backup job automatically.

If you want to de-schedule the next run of a backup job, then you can do this:

1. Follow the “Show expert settings” link

Show expert settings

2. Follow the “delete schedule” link for the relevant job

Delete job

That’s all. Note that this won’t stop the current run of a backup job if it is already running; it will prevent further attempts to continue the same backup job after the current run runs out of time. (When that happens again will vary according to your web hosting setup).

My FTP stopped working when I upgraded to UpdraftPlus Premium

If you could successfully backup by FTP with UpdraftPlus Free, but it stopped working when you upgraded to UpdraftPlus Premium, then this article is for you.

The cause of this issue is that UpdraftPlus Free only supports unencrypted FTP. UpdraftPlus Premium supports encrypted FTP, and will try to use it by default.

Unfortunately, some FTP servers indicate that they support encrypted FTP, but don’t. Usually the problem is firewalling – the firewall ports to allow encrypted FTP are not open. So when UpdraftPlus tries to connect, it times out.

One solution is to ask the operator of the FTP server to either: a) Make encrypted FTP possible (open up the firewall ports) or b) Configure the FTP server to not advertise itself as offering encrypted FTP (since it doesn’t work – though, you may wish to confirm this first e.g. by using a desktop FTP client)

Alternatively, you can force UpdraftPlus to drop back to non-encrypted FTP as follows:

1) Click on the “Show expert settings” link towards the bottom of the UpdraftPlus settings page:

Expert Options

Expert Options

2) Check the “Disable SSL entirely” option.

After doing so, press the “Save Changes” button.

Disable SSL

Disable SSL

That’s all!

Why am I getting warnings about my site not having enough visitors?

Short-cut: If you are developing a new website and see this warning, then simply keep the UpdraftPlus settings page open whilst you back up. You don’t need to read any of the rest!

UpdraftPlus is a WordPress plugin; as such, it relies on WordPress running and handing it the opportunity to do something.

Thus if WordPress does not run, then neither can UpdraftPlus. So, if your website has zero visitors between midnight and 5am, and if your backup is scheduled to run just after midnight, then it won’t actually get to run until a visitor turns up at 5 am.

There is usually no danger of this becoming a problem, because even very unpopular websites tend to get visited by several search engines as long as those search engines are aware of them.

However, if enough of the following factors are present, then your backup may not be able to complete:

  • Your website is not known by search engines
  • Your website has almost no other visitors (e.g. is under development, and only the developer visits it, during office hours)
  • Your webserver only allows code to run for a short time
  • Your website is larger, and is being uploaded to a cloud backup service
  • You schedule backups to run very frequently (e.g. every 4 hours) so that multiple backup jobs may be competing for resources

Another way that this can happen is if your WordPress scheduler has been disabled (you’d usually know if this is so and understand the rest of this paragraph), and you”re instead running the scheduler via an automated task you’ve set up to call wp-cron.php directly. If you only call wp-cron.php once an hour, then this is like just having one visitor per hour as far as WordPress’s scheduler is concerned.

Note: If you were sent to this page by a warning from your copy of UpdraftPlus, then this does not mean for sure that your backups are definitely failing because of this problem – it just means that UpdraftPlus has detected a lack of visitors. It may be that there are still enough. The warning is advisory of a potential problem.

This issue is not a novelty of UpdraftPlus; it is the case for every WordPress backup plugin with scheduled backups.

What are the solutions? Any of these should help:

  • If you’re a developer, or your site was only just launched, then don’t set your backup time to 1 a.m. until after you launch the site and have some visitors and your site is known by search engines.
  • Your web hosting company’s control panel may have the facility to set up automated tasks – you could set up a task to visit the site every 10 minutes. This has no impact on performance. If you want to look at this option, you should ask your web hosting company for help – we can’t provide specific guidance.
  • Sign up with a facility like https://www.pingdom.com/free/ or http://www.easycron.com/tutorials/how-to-set-up-cron-job-for-updraftplus to get some more automated visits to your website.
  • If you’re just developing the site and need a backup *now*, then just keep the UpdraftPlus settings page open – it will make silent visits to the site’s front page in the background every few minutes (UpdraftPlus 1.7.15 and later).
  • Load up the site’s front page and hit “reload” every 5 minutes until the backup has completed.

Do I need to back up WordPress core?

UpdraftPlus Premium has the option to back up WordPress core, and any other files that have been stored by hand in the WordPress root directory. Should you use this option?

Normally, backup of WordPress core is unnecessary, since you can always download a new copy from wordpress.org (and most web hosting companies provide a 1-click WordPress installer to make it even easier). Also, if you suspect that your site has been hacked, it is better to download a fresh copy. This spares the worry or work of comparing your backup with a clean copy of WordPress core.

However, the backup is also harmless, so if you are not sure if you should be backing it up, then you lose nothing by doing so. Here are the situations in which you will want to back up WordPress core and any extra files stored in its directory:

  • No need to go to wordpress.org to get a new copy of WordPress.
  • If you have made modifications to WordPress core (which is not recommended – you should use plugins instead; but perhaps you had some unusual need), then this will back them up. (You will know if you have done this).
  • If you have added new files into WordPress, but outside of the normal upload mechanisms, then this will back them up.  (You will know if you have done this – it refers to files that are not in a standard WordPress directory (e.g. the ‘wp-content/uploads’ folder), and not uploaded through the WordPress dashboard (e.g. you added an extra directory /mystuff in the root of the site via  FTP).
  • If you also store other resources or even separate sub-sites in the same folder as WordPress, then this will include them in your back up. (e.g. If you added another PHP-based application that was not WordPress, and you want to be able to back this up too).
  • Backup up your wp-config.php file so that you do not need to re-enter your database settings and other customisations upon restoring

What is the most secure way to set up Rackspace Cloud Files?

Rackspace Cloud Files allows you to set up users that have access to only one container in your Cloud Files account – and to nothing else. This is the most secure configuration. It means that admin users on your WordPress site, even if they can copy the Rackspace access details from the UpdraftPlus configuration, can do nothing more with them than access the UpdraftPlus backups.

The easiest way to set up Rackspace Cloud Files in this way is using the “Rackspace Cloud Files enhanced” add-on from our shop.

Why does my scheduled backup not run at precisely the time scheduled?

Short answer: it will, if your site has enough visitors. If not, then it may take place later.

For a longer answer, read the information contained in the answer to this related FAQ, which explains some of the workings of WordPress’s scheduling system. (The information is relevant even if you are not seeing the exact message that that FAQ is about).

Can I make a backup directly to my PC/Mac?

To make a backup and download it to your PC, you can do this in two steps:

1) Press the “Backup Now” button on the UpdraftPlus dashboard

2) When the backup has completed, click on the “Existing Backups” tab, and download the backup from there.

Sometimes customers ask if it is possible to skip step 2) – i.e. can UpdraftPlus automatically send the backup to your PC/Mac?

This is possible, but only if you set up software on your PC to automatically synchronise a remote cloud storage service with your PC/Mac. e.g. Send your backup to Dropbox, and use the Dropbox application on your PC to automatically sync your Dropbox with your PC/Mac. Or send your backup to Google Drive, and use the Google Drive application on your PC/Mac to automatically download what’s in your Google Drive.

It’s not possible for a website (such as your WordPress website, of which UpdraftPlus is a part) to automatically send backups to your computer directly – there is no general-purpose technology which exists to achieve this. Therefore, it’s necessary to use some sort of particular helper application, like in the previous paragraph.

Configuration (3)

In the administration section, it shows my (Amazon, FTP, etc.) passwords – without using stars. Is this safe?

When you enter a password and it is starred, in fact this only prevents “shoulder-surfers” (people looking over your shoulder) from seeing the password. It provides no extra protection from other users who can sit at the keyboard, or access the same WordPress admin panel.

Three quick, different ways that people who have access to the settings page can access stored passwords are: 1) Press “View Source” in their web browser, and read it out of there. 2) Download a backup of the site’s database and read it out of there. 3) Install an extension in their web browser to un-star all passwords (e.g. this one).

If you do not trust your users to do bad things with your passwords, then you should not make them admins on your WordPress site. Starring out the password only protects against people who are a) malicious enough to misuse your password, but b) too technically incompetent to do any of the above. Do you really want such people to have admin-level access to your website?

A much better solution, if you have multiple admins on the WordPress site, is to set up a new set of access credentials for the backup storage for each website you are backing up (i.e. a unique FTP login/set of S3 credentials, etc.). For Amazon S3, read this article.

Displaying the passwords makes trouble-shooting one step more awkward, so we chose to not star them out. However, if you really really want to star them out, then do this:

  1. Using FTP (or equivalent) access to your web hosting space, create (if it does not already exist) a folder called mu-plugins in the content directory of your WordPress install (which is usually called wp-content – i.e. the new directory will be wp-content/mu-plugins).
  2. In that folder, create a new file called ud-star-passwords.php (or anything else ending in .php) with the following content:
<?php
add_filter('updraftplus_admin_secret_field_type', 'updraftplus_admin_secret_field_type');
function updraftplus_admin_secret_field_type($type) { return 'password'; }

That’s it!

I want to change or re-authenticate my Dropbox account – how do I do this?

In the “Dropbox” section of the UpdraftPlus settings page (in your WordPress dashboard), there is a “re-authenticate” link. Use this whenever you wish to re-authenticate your Dropbox account (e.g. if you made a change to your Dropbox account that makes this necessary), or to change to an entirely different Dropbox account:

Re-authenticate with Dropbox

I want to lock the UpdraftPlus settings so that other site admins cannot access them

In UpdraftPlus Premium, this is done in the “Debugging / Expert Tools” tab:

Debugging / expert tab

And scroll down the page a bit…

Lock settings

Don’t forget to remember your password! If you forget it, then there’s an FAQ for how to get back in., assuming that you have write access to the WordPress installation (files or database). This lock feature isn’t meant to provide unbreakable security, but to be a convenience feature to prevent mishaps and casual nosiness. If someone has an unrestricted administrator-level WordPress login, then ultimately there are ways to do anything to the site: that’s the point of an administrator login.

Locking the UpdraftPlus settings page

Dropbox (4)

Where in Dropbox are my files stored?

UpdraftPlus uses what Dropbox calls an “app folder”. This means that UpdraftPlus only has access to its own files – not any other part of your Dropbox.

App folders are all stored in the top-level folder called “apps”, with their own name. In the case of UpdraftPlus, your files are in “apps/UpdraftPlus”. Dropbox does not allow us to access anything outside of there.

If you purchase the “Dropbox folders” add-on, then you can store your backups inside sub-folders of that directory, e.g. one site in “apps/UpdraftPlus/mysite”, another in “apps/UpdraftPlus/anotherone”, etc.

If you cannot yet see your backup in your Dropbox folder, then you should go to the Dropbox website, and look directly in your Dropbox in there. If you have been viewing your Dropbox on your PC/Mac, then it may not yet be synchronised (it takes time for new data in your Dropbox to get synchronised to the folder on your PC/Mac – the Dropbox website has the “official” contents). Please do check this before you conclude that your backup hasn’t worked!

UpdraftPlus says that a backup to Dropbox completed, but I don’t yet see it in my Dropbox

Are you looking on the Dropbox folder on your computer, and not yet seeing your backup?

This almost certainly means that the Dropbox folder on your computer is not yet synced with your Dropbox account. This can take a while, especially if your backup is big. Instead of waiting for your computer to sync with Dropbox, just go and view your Dropbox directly – go to www.dropbox.com, and view it there (look in Apps/UpdraftPlus).

I want to change or re-authenticate my Dropbox account – how do I do this?

In the “Dropbox” section of the UpdraftPlus settings page (in your WordPress dashboard), there is a “re-authenticate” link. Use this whenever you wish to re-authenticate your Dropbox account (e.g. if you made a change to your Dropbox account that makes this necessary), or to change to an entirely different Dropbox account:

Re-authenticate with Dropbox

How to I unlink UpdraftPlus from my Dropbox?

If you still have access to the WordPress site you want to unlink, then simply 1) log in and go to the UpdraftPlus settings page and 2) go to the ‘Expert / Debugging’ tab, and press the “Wipe Settings” button at the bottom of the page.

But what if a WordPress site is backing up to your Dropbox, but you no longer have access to that WordPress site, then how can you stop that WordPress site from backing up to your Dropbox?

In Dropbox terminology, this is called “unlinking”.

There’s a good article on WikiHow with screenshots showing the simple steps to do this, here. You want to use “Method 1 of 2: Unlinking Directly from Dropbox”.

The bad news is that after unlinking in that way, you’ll need to go to all your current WordPress sites, and use the link in the Dropbox configuration for UpdraftPlus to re-authorize them again. Dropbox only allows you to unlink everything (so that you then have to re-link the ones you wanted to keep) – they don’t have a facility to unlike only some sites…

FTP (6)

In the administration section, it shows my (Amazon, FTP, etc.) passwords – without using stars. Is this safe?

When you enter a password and it is starred, in fact this only prevents “shoulder-surfers” (people looking over your shoulder) from seeing the password. It provides no extra protection from other users who can sit at the keyboard, or access the same WordPress admin panel.

Three quick, different ways that people who have access to the settings page can access stored passwords are: 1) Press “View Source” in their web browser, and read it out of there. 2) Download a backup of the site’s database and read it out of there. 3) Install an extension in their web browser to un-star all passwords (e.g. this one).

If you do not trust your users to do bad things with your passwords, then you should not make them admins on your WordPress site. Starring out the password only protects against people who are a) malicious enough to misuse your password, but b) too technically incompetent to do any of the above. Do you really want such people to have admin-level access to your website?

A much better solution, if you have multiple admins on the WordPress site, is to set up a new set of access credentials for the backup storage for each website you are backing up (i.e. a unique FTP login/set of S3 credentials, etc.). For Amazon S3, read this article.

Displaying the passwords makes trouble-shooting one step more awkward, so we chose to not star them out. However, if you really really want to star them out, then do this:

  1. Using FTP (or equivalent) access to your web hosting space, create (if it does not already exist) a folder called mu-plugins in the content directory of your WordPress install (which is usually called wp-content – i.e. the new directory will be wp-content/mu-plugins).
  2. In that folder, create a new file called ud-star-passwords.php (or anything else ending in .php) with the following content:
<?php
add_filter('updraftplus_admin_secret_field_type', 'updraftplus_admin_secret_field_type');
function updraftplus_admin_secret_field_type($type) { return 'password'; }

That’s it!

What encryption methods are supported for FTP/SFTP?

Without the SFTP/FTPS add-on, UpdraftPlus supports plain, unencrypted FTP. However, if you are backing up business or other sensitive data, then you may wish to use have your communications with your FTP/SFTP server encrypted.

FTP and SFTP are different protocols, but often confused. SFTP is an always-encrypted protocol, so there’s nothing more to say about that – if you have the add-on, then you have SFTP, which is always encrypted.

With encrypted FTP, both kinds of encryption – i.e. both implicit and explicit encryption – are supported.

“Explicit” encryption happens when you connect to an FTP server without encryption, and then immediately request to upgrade your connection to an encrypted one (the requestor “explicitly” request it). This is the most common kind of FTP encryption. UpdraftPlus’s SFTP/FTPS add-on will attempt this kind of encryption by default.

“Implicit” encryption is when you connect to an FTP server on a port which requires an immediate SSL negotiation – i.e. no non-encrypted communication can take place (encryption is “implicit” in the use of that port). Such FTP servers run on port 990. To use this form of encryption, simply add “:990″ to the server name in UpdraftPlus’s configuration:

SFTP - implicit encryption

SFTP – implicit encryption

My FTP stopped working when I upgraded to UpdraftPlus Premium

If you could successfully backup by FTP with UpdraftPlus Free, but it stopped working when you upgraded to UpdraftPlus Premium, then this article is for you.

The cause of this issue is that UpdraftPlus Free only supports unencrypted FTP. UpdraftPlus Premium supports encrypted FTP, and will try to use it by default.

Unfortunately, some FTP servers indicate that they support encrypted FTP, but don’t. Usually the problem is firewalling – the firewall ports to allow encrypted FTP are not open. So when UpdraftPlus tries to connect, it times out.

One solution is to ask the operator of the FTP server to either: a) Make encrypted FTP possible (open up the firewall ports) or b) Configure the FTP server to not advertise itself as offering encrypted FTP (since it doesn’t work – though, you may wish to confirm this first e.g. by using a desktop FTP client)

Alternatively, you can force UpdraftPlus to drop back to non-encrypted FTP as follows:

1) Click on the “Show expert settings” link towards the bottom of the UpdraftPlus settings page:

Expert Options

Expert Options

2) Check the “Disable SSL entirely” option.

After doing so, press the “Save Changes” button.

Disable SSL

Disable SSL

That’s all!

My remote storage method is FTP, but I cannot see my backups on my FTP server

Here’s a check-list to help you…

1. Has your backup finished?

If you visit your UpdraftPlus settings page (refresh it if it’s already open, just to be sure), then does it show the backup as having finished?

2. Did you save your settings before starting the backup?

Sometimes users either forget to save their settings before they start the backup… or they change the settings after the backup job began and hope that the backup job will pick up the new settings. That doesn’t work: backup jobs use the settings that were active at the time that the backup began; so, you need to set the FTP settings and save them before you start the backup.

3. Does your FTP software cache directory listings?

Some FTP clients will show you the same directory listing as it last saw – they will only update the listing for files uploaded through the FTP client itself. Close your FTP client and open it again, and press the button for refreshing the directory listing view.

4. Have you ever tested your FTP settings?

If you press the “Test FTP Settings” on the UpdraftPlus settings page, then does it work? If not, then you will need to respond to any error message it gives you when you try it.

If the attempt to connect fails, but the same settings work in an FTP program on your PC, then most probably your web hosting company has a firewall that blocks outgoing FTP connections from your website – you should ask them to open up the port to allow connections for your backup.

5. Does your backup report give any clues?

If you configured UpdraftPlus to email you a backup report, then does it have any useful information in it? Is it showing any warnings or errors? (If not, then you can also read the backup log file if you’re confident enough to read log files… do a search in it for “FTP” to find the right part of the log).If you did not configure UpdraftPlus to email you a report, then try that.

If all that fails, and you’re a paying customer, then please feel free to file a support request… please remember to attach your backup log file (the “Download latest log file” link at the top of the UpdraftPlus settings page should access it; if not, then find it in the section that opens when you press the big “Restore” button).

My FTP/SFTP credentials are not working – what shall I do?

1. Read the error message, and try Google!

Our experience is that often people are simply afraid of error messages – and often the reason is staring them in the face. Don’t be put off by an error message; read it, and if you can’t guess what it is telling you, then try Googling it. There are very few problems in the world of WordPress that nobody has had before.

2. Double-check you have the right credentials

Firstly, the obvious one: have you tried the credentials in another FTP program, to check that they are correct? If not, then this is the first thing to check. In this case, you are likely to be getting an error about wrong credentials.

3. Double-check you entered those credentials correctly

Secondly, another obvious one: double-check you have entered the credentials correctly in UpdraftPlus. For the FTP server name (a.k.a. host name), it should simply be a host name with nothing added, e.g. “ftp.example.com”.

4. Does your FTP server require encryption, and you’re not using Premium?

Thirdly, perhaps your FTP server requires encryption, but you are using the free version of UpdraftPlus? If your FTP server requires an encrypted connection (i.e. forbids non-encrypted connections), then you will need to use UpdraftPlus Premium, which includes the encrypted FTP add-on. The same holds if you are using SFTP (which is actually a different protocol than FTP, despite the similar name).

5. Is the FTP server deliberately blocking your webserver’s IP address?

Fourthly, is it possible that the FTP/SFTP server has an access control list, which limits logins to certain IP addresses only? You’d be likely to know about this – but we all forget from time to time! Similarly, is it possible that your FTP server blocks login attempts after you’ve got the password wrong too many times? Or possibly, it has limits on how many users can login at once – and those limits have been temporarily reached?

6. Firewalling

Fifthly (and, most cases of this problem are this one), if you have got this far, then your problem will almost certainly be with firewalling on outgoing traffic from the webserver. i.e. The webserver is configured to only allow outgoing traffic that the server owner (i.e. the web hosting company, usually) has specifically configured to allow. In this case, you will need to ask for support from the people whose server it is.

One variation on this problem (firewalling) is that the firewall is theoretically open, but partially broken. You may find that if you go into the “expert” settings (at the bottom of the UpdraftPlus settings page) and turn off SSL (encryption), then you get better success. (This suggestion does not apply to the free version of UpdraftPlus, which does not support encrypted FTP at all; and does not apply to SFTP, as that is always encrypted).

Another variation on this problem is simply that some ultra-low cost web hosting companies disallow websites to use FTP entirely… because their business model is based on making sure you use very small amounts of resources… and backups that want to copy your entire site don’t fit into this model. If you suspect your web host might be of this kind, then it’s also worth confirming that with them.

One obvious pointed to a firewalling issue (though this need not always happen) is that there’s a significant delay before the error message is given. This indicates that the network traffic is simply being dropped. (Some firewalls immediately send back “that traffic didn’t get through!” replies, but others do not).

Why am I being asked for FTP details upon restoration/migration or plugin updates?

On some WordPress setups, you might see something like this when you try to restore your backup, or when you try to update UpdraftPlus:

FTP Connection Details

This happens if (and only if) WordPress does not have sufficient file permissions to write to the directories which it needs to write to. (To be more accurate, the PHP engine that WordPress is running on top of does not have these permissions). When this happens, WordPress has another trick up its sleeve: it asks you for FTP details. With those FTP details, it writes the files another way: by sending them over FTP to the webspace.

Hence, the key points are:

  • This is a WordPress feature, not an UpdraftPlus quirk
  • It happens if the file permissions do not allow WordPress to write files directly
  • It does not indicate a problem as such
  • The FTP details to enter are those for the web hosting space (i.e. the web hosting space that the WordPress install you are working on is installed in)
  • If you do not know your FTP details, then you will need to ask your web hosting company (we certainly do not know them!)

General and pre-sales questions (18)

Is UpdraftPlus reliable?

UpdraftPlus has had over 875,000 downloads, and been tested by users on a very wide variety of WordPress installations. It ranks in the top 0.5% of most-installed plugins at rankwp.com. No software is perfect, but if you’re looking for reliability, then UpdraftPlus is in the top rank. The original “Updraft” plugin began backing up WordPress installations in February 2010. There’s a lot of experience and testing behind today’s UpdraftPlus.

Remember, though, that every WordPress install is different. You should always test your backup system after deploying it. UpdraftPlus, like all WordPress software, comes with no warranty. UpdraftPlus will do everything it can to help, and we have never yet come across someone whose backups were insufficient to recreate their site – but don’t let this make you skip taking sensible precautions!

What is the largest site that UpdraftPlus can back up?

UpdraftPlus’s architecture imposes no limits upon the size of backups. As long as your server has the disk space available to create a backup, and as long as your web hosting company does not apply any other artificial limits (e.g. does not give you enough outgoing bandwidth to allow your backups to reach their destination in the cloud), then UpdraftPlus can back up anything. It is known to be successfully backing up websites of up to 12 gigabytes (12,288 megabytes), and we’re not aware of any website that won’t back up because of being too big.

If I make a purchase, how long am I entitled to updates for?

For one year after purchase. After that, you will be able to renew – at approx. 40% of the original purchase price (see here for the current rates).

A one-year policy is standard in the WordPress plugins market, and allows us to have a sustainable business so that you can rely on UpdraftPlus for years to come. Note that our main rivals charge updates at 100% of original purchase price!

Note: If you purchased UpdraftPlus before we brought in the “one-year” policy, on the old “life-time” deal (before 11 a.m. GMT 05/Aug-2013), then that deal will be honoured. A promise is a promise!

How can I purchase improvements for UpdraftPlus?

The base UpdraftPlus plugin is free, and fully functional (it is not “crippleware” that ham-strings you unless you pay). If you want extra features, then you have two choices. Firstly, you can buy “UpdraftPlus Premium”, which includes all of our add-ons, plus upgrades and support for one year. Alternatively, if you prefer to buy “a la carte”, then individual features are available to purchase separately. Whichever you choose, you can get it all conveniently and easily in our shop.

Note: If you purchased UpdraftPlus before we brought in the “one-year” policy, on the old “life-time” deal (before 11 a.m. GMT 05/Aug-2013), then that deal will be honoured. A promise is a promise!

How many sites can I install UpdraftPlus on?

The free edition of UpdraftPlus can be installed anywhere and everywhere you like.

When you purchase UpdraftPlus Premium (our version with all extra features, upgrades and 1-year support), then you can choose whether you want a 2-site, 10-site or unlimited site licence. These can be installed on the number of sites indicated!

When you purchase add-ons individually, they are purchased for one site.

The above entitlements are used to grant access to support and access to your UpdraftPlus.Com account for downloading software and obtaining upgrades. UpdraftPlus itself is under the GNU GPL, the same licence as WordPress itself, which grants you many and various further rights.

What exactly does UpdraftPlus back up?

Essentially, everything – it backups up your database and all WordPress content – which means your uploads, plugins, themes, and additional files created by plugins. The free version does not backup up WordPress itself, since you can always obtain this again from WordPress.Org. UpdraftPlus Premium has an option to include this too, for convenience – plus any files anywhere else on your server (i.e. non-WordPress) that you want to back up for good measure, too.

Is UpdraftPlus WordPress Network (a.k.a. Multisite) compatible?

Yes. If you have a WordPress Multisite install (and you’ll know if you do – it’s fiddly to set up), then you need our multisite add-on, and then you are ready to go. If a backup plugin has not been particular written for WordPress Network usage, then it will be insecure – it will allow every blog admin on the network to backup and restore the entire network – including changing code and settings (e.g. passwords, or changing plugins) along the way.

What are UpdraftPlus’s limits?

If you deploy Google Drive, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, FTP or Dropbox as your cloud backup method, then in theory UpdraftPlus has no limits. At whatever point your web hosting provider cuts UpdraftPlus off, it can resume again later. With FTP, it needs to be able at least to upload one whole batch (plugins, themes, uploads or “others”) of files in one run. With email backups, you will likely find that your email provider limits the size allowed for incoming emails.

What format are backups made in? Is it nasty and proprietary?

UpdraftPlus backs up your files into ordinary zip files (the same format that WordPress and its plugins and themes directories use). The database is backed up into an ordinary SQL (text) file.

Therefore you can use UpdraftPlus to restore backups, but do not have to. You do not even need WordPress installed. You can just unzip the zip files, and use your web hosting company’s control panel to import the SQL into your database.

See here for instructions.

We are committed, as a fundamental of UpdraftPlus’s design, to retain this situation. UpdraftPlus backups will always be something that you can restore with standard tools. There will be no proprietary lock-in.

Can I use UpdraftPlus to migrate a site to a different address?

This is a common need for site developers – or anyone wanting to maintain two copies of a site (e.g. when moving web hosting).

The answer is “yes” – you just need the “Migrator” add-on from our shop; or “UpdraftPlus Premium” which includes every add-on.

With that installed, just take a look at our migration guide.

What is your refund/cancellation policy?

Software: We give refunds, at our discretion (i.e. no automatic right), based upon the particular circumstances of your case. In practice, we only rarely refuse a refund that is requested, provided that we are given proper opportunity to verify sufficient information about any faults which you believe you have found. These must in all circumstances be requested within 7 days of purchase, which should be sufficient time for anyone to ascertain that their purchase works.

Legalese: There are no automatic refunds for digitally-deliverable/non-tangible goods. This is standard practice in these industries, because such goods cannot be returned (unlike physical goods). It is your responsibility to read the product descriptions, verify that it meets your needs (i.e. it provides a workable backup solution for you) and is suitable for your product environment (e.g. that your web hosting company does not ban backups). Please do not treat a purchase as trial-ware – we don’t want to push increased costs onto our genuine customers.

For separately-purchased support services (i.e. not those bundled with software), for which you purchase support for a specific issue, if your support need turns out to be caused by an UpdraftPlus defect, then we will refund you 100% of your purchase price for the support purchase.

No refunds are available for unused support purchases, or for any part of the price of a bundled software+support package (for refund purposes, those are treated as 100% software packages).

These restrictions do not affect your consumer rights. For example, if UpdraftPlus’s product description states that it has a feature which in fact it does not have, then you can invoke your consumer rights.

Finally, we reserve the right to, without notice or refund, terminate any ongoing services (including support agreements or update feeds) to customers who abuse our facilities or staff.

How much resources does UpdraftPlus need?

Firstly, note that UpdraftPlus does not run any code on the front end of your site. (This can be verified by reading the source code). It checks, whenever loaded, that it is being called on the back-end – and hands back control immediately if not.

By its nature as a backup plugin, UpdraftPlus has to do this:

  • Read every file resource on your website
  • Read every row in every table in your database
  • Run all the accumulated data through a zip-file compressor
  • Write out the results to disk

As such, UpdraftPlus will use plenty of I/O (input/output) resources and CPU. You can’t create a backup without doing those things.

If your website is small – e.g. just made up of some blog posts, and reasonably-sized images, then all this may not amount to much. If, on the other hand, you’ve uploaded lots of large resources (e.g. videos, audio files, or huge images) or if your site is very big and popular (e.g. has vast numbers of comments), then it may amount to more. The impact of the above will be greater if your webserver and database server are on the same physical machine.

UpdraftPlus is designed to only run a single process at a time – i.e. no parallelisation. So, it can only use one CPU core at a time, and there can only ever be one UpdraftPlus process that is reading from disk or writing to disk at once. It will also be subject to any limits you (or your web hosting company) configure via the PHP or operating system configuration. As such, UD’s design means that it uses as low resources at a time as is possible.

Via only running a single process at once, UpdraftPlus is doing all it can from where it sits to limit its own resource usage. There really is no other “internal” solution that can work across the huge variety of hosting and server setups that exist. If you have particular requirements for your server, then you need to configure them at the server level.

If you are the one configuring/running the server, then you should also spend some time on tuning your server, particularly the database – a lot can be done here.

So, what can be done to limit resource usage if I don’t have access to configure the web server?

  1. Configure the timing of your backup to run overnightvia the “Fix Backup Time” add-on, if you don’t already have it. In the “small hours” of the morning, servers are usually very lightly loaded, with lots of spare resources.
  2. Make sure that your webserver really is adequate for the task. Experience has shown us that there are plenty of people who are”penny-wise, pound-foolish”. Bargain-basement web hosting that saves you a few dollars a month almost always comes with a trade-off. That trade-off is that resources are very tight. If your site is big or busy enough that backing it up requires significant resources, then it’s probably also having enough visitors that the bargain-basement web hosting is cutting performance enough to chase away some of those visitors.It’s worth noting here that a low-end VPS, despite the pricing, is likely to have less resources available than typical shared web hosting. (By “typical web hosting”, we’re not talking about the folks who are selling the ridiculously under-priced deals where resources are cut to the absolute bone, e.g. one.com). This is because on a low-end VPS, you get one CPU – which is shared between your operating system, web server + PHP engine, and the database server. If you’ve got a backup process which is read/writing your whole website, and you’re wanting to run the operating system and serve up web pages at the same time, then that means that each of those tasks is going to be getting swapped in and out from the CPU, because they can’t all use it at once. On a shared web host, there are usually many CPUs (up to 32), and you are time-sharing them – so as long as all websites aren’t all having their backups at the same time, then there should be enough resources to go around. Some web hosts have stricter systems which will limit your CPU and disk I/O usage even if there’s plenty of overall CPU power available on the system, though. They vary.
  3. Alternatively, if you have sufficient access and expertise, then you can run the backup job from the shell, and use your system’s “nice” and/or “ionice” commands to limit resources whilst it runs. (Those commands are on Linux, Mac and other UNIX-like systems – on Windows there will be a different solution).
  4. Check that you don’t have any plugins that create enormous, mostly useless, database tables (e.g. some statistics plugins that record a new row in the database for every single visitor).
  5. If you store a lot of files, then go into the ‘Expert settings’ section of the UpdraftPlus page, and reduce the default setting for how much data is stored in each zip file. e.g. Reduce it from the default of 800Mb down to 100Mb. This will mean that UpdraftPlus spends less time in manipulating large zip files – which can use a lot of resources and be quite time-consuming, especially on slower servers.
  6. If you have a collection of large, unchanging files (e.g. historic audio/video), then you could take a one-time backup of these, store them somewhere safe and then after that exclude them from the UpdraftPlus backup using the exclusion options in UpdraftPlus. That will then save the time/resource usage that zipping them up into the UpdraftPlus backup would have taken.

My web hosting company says that I can’t store backups on my site, but can store them remotely. Can UpdraftPlus handle this?

Yes. UpdraftPlus has various options for remote storage – e.g. Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive, FTP, etc. Naturally, it has to actually create the zip file(s) to be stored remotely before it can then send them to the remote storage and then delete them from your site after sending them. There will be a short time gap in which the backup exists on your site before it is dispatched and deleted. This should be fine with all web hosts that say that they allow you to create backups and store them remotely – because there’s no other way of doing it. It should be especially fine if you use UpdraftPlus’s feature (in Premium or via the Fix Time add-on) to run the backup in the small hours when the web server will only be lightly loaded. If they don’t like it being done that way, then they are basically forbidding you to make a zip-file-based backup. Time to find a web hosting company that’s not selling crippled hosting.

What are the discounts for renewing access to updates/support after a year?

Good ones! See here.

Or, if you’re looking for discounts for upgrades, then see here.

Are there coupons available for discounted upgrades?

Yes! What level of discount you can get depends upon how long ago you purchased. Here’s the full list of codes:

Upgrading from a purchase of UpdraftPlus Premium Personal (2 licenses):

  • If upgrading within 2 weeks, then use this coupon to get 100% of your purchase price back: frompersonalquick
  • If upgrading within 12 weeks, then this coupon gets you $50 off: frompersonal
  • If upgrading within 26 weeks, then this coupon gets you $30 off: frompersonal2

Upgrading from a purchase of UpdraftPlus Premium Business (10 licenses):

  • If upgrading within 2 weeks, then use this coupon to get 100% of your purchase price back: frombusinessquick
  • If upgrading within 12 weeks, then this coupon gets you $75 off: frombusiness
  • If upgrading within 26 weeks, then this coupon gets you $40 off: frombusiness2

Upgrading from a purchase of Migrator to UpdraftPlus Premium:

  • If upgrading within 2 weeks, then use this coupon to get 100% of your purchase price back: upgrade30

If you’re looking for how to get a discounted renewal, then go here.

By the way… if you use the WooCommerce e-commerce system for WordPress, and want to offer coupon codes like this, then it’s called “WooCommerce Past Purchase Coupons” (we built it!).

Can UpdraftPlus be used to migrate a WooCommerce site?

Yes!

WooCommerce is a well-behaved WordPress plugin that stores its database information in the WordPress database, and stores any uploaded files in the WordPress media library. As such, it does not present any special issues or challenges when migrating.

By the way – updraftplus.com itself uses WooCommerce; we’ve even developed a few WooCommerce plugins of our own, which you can see here.

Google Drive (6)

What does the error “Error: redirect_uri_mismatch” mean?

It means that you wrongly copied across the URL shown in your admin console to Google Drive at the relevant step. Please return to the relevant step of the instructions and try again.

I can no longer download or restore from a Google Drive backup

Google recently (first half of 2013) changed their permissions setup. Specifically, the permission which UpdraftPlus was using to download backups (and thence to restore them) no longer enables it to do so.

To fix this, you need to:

1) Update to UpdraftPlus version 1.6.1 or later.

2) Click on the link to “Authenticate with Google”, down in the “Google Drive” settings section.

Authenticate with Google

Authenticate with Google

You will then be able to re-authenticate with Google, gaining the new permissions needed to download your backup files within UpdraftPlus.

Granting permission to UpdraftPlus to use Google Drive

Granting permission to UpdraftPlus to use Google Drive

 

What does the Google Drive error “invalid_client : no application name” mean?

If you see this error when you are authenticating with Google, then it means that when you created your Google API project, you omitted to give it a name.

Google didn’t use to mind about this. But now (April 2014 – we’re not sure when they started), they do.

To solve it, log in to your Google API console, and edit your API application there, and give it both a name and an email address in the “Consent Screen” settings (APIs & auth -> Consent Screen). These are not used for anything other than showing you them back when you authorize.

For screenshots, see the step “Set up a product name and email address” of the Google Drive setup instructions.

What does the error message “Google Drive … Access Not Configured” mean?

Do your backups not reach Google Drive, and are you shown a message like the following? (Either in your dashboard, report, or in your log file):

Google Drive: failed to obtain name of parent folder: Error calling GET https://www.googleapis.com/drive/v2/about: (403) Access Not Configured. Please use Google Developers Console to activate the API for your project.

This message means that when you set up your Google Drive access, you missed out step 2 of the setup instructions, “Activate the Drive API”. i.e. You did not configure the Drive API to be enabled in your Google account.

Enable it, and all should be well. Check the Google Drive setup instructions to see some screenshots and more information.

I have several sites all backing up to the same Google Drive, but sometimes they have authentication failures

The solution is that every separate WordPress installation will need to use its own unique Google API project.

Note: this doesn’t mean a unique Google account – it means a separate project within your Google account’s API console. (See the Google Drive setup guide to refresh your memory on this, if it’s unfamiliar).

This isn’t officially documented by Google anywhere – as far as we know (the documentation is voluminous, and distributed across many places). The only thing you would know from the official guides is that each WordPress install needs a unique client ID. However, several users have found that when they use the same project for several sites, then Google Drive randomly sends back access errors. This probably means that there’s a glitch some inside Google’s own code. But, whatever the reason, it’s not something that can be addressed from this end – you will need to use separate projects in order to work around it.

Installation and de-installation (5)

How do I install UpdraftPlus?

If you want to get UpdraftPlus Premium, or buy add-ons to enhance your free edition, then go to our shop.

If you have already purchased, and want the installation instructions, then go here.

What are the requirements to run UpdraftPlus? Is (something) supported?

WordPress 3.2 and later are officially supported. We have not tried on earlier versions. We know that before 3.0 is definitely broken.

Other than that, we try to support everything that WordPress itself supports – whether Windows, Linux, BSD or something else, all PHP versions supported by WordPress 3.2, etc.

There are no special requirements beyond this. i.e. No special requirements for running on Windows, etc.

Does UpdraftPlus delete all its settings when it is de-installed?

No. Some users also de-install and re-install and don’t want to have to re-enter their settings. If you want to remove all UpdraftPlus’s settings, then there’s a button down in the ‘expert settings’ section. (This section is at the bottom of your settings page in UpdraftPlus up to 1.9.13, and in the ‘expert/debugging tools’ tab on later versions).

I am not running the most recent version of UpdraftPlus. Should I upgrade?

If you have any support requests then you should update first, to see if your problem has already been fixed. Otherwise, you don’t need to fix what is not broken.

Licensing and legal questions (3)

How many sites can I install UpdraftPlus on?

The free edition of UpdraftPlus can be installed anywhere and everywhere you like.

When you purchase UpdraftPlus Premium (our version with all extra features, upgrades and 1-year support), then you can choose whether you want a 2-site, 10-site or unlimited site licence. These can be installed on the number of sites indicated!

When you purchase add-ons individually, they are purchased for one site.

The above entitlements are used to grant access to support and access to your UpdraftPlus.Com account for downloading software and obtaining upgrades. UpdraftPlus itself is under the GNU GPL, the same licence as WordPress itself, which grants you many and various further rights.

What licence does UpdraftPlus use?

The same licence as WordPress itself, the GNU GPL.

Are there coupons available for discounted upgrades?

Yes! What level of discount you can get depends upon how long ago you purchased. Here’s the full list of codes:

Upgrading from a purchase of UpdraftPlus Premium Personal (2 licenses):

  • If upgrading within 2 weeks, then use this coupon to get 100% of your purchase price back: frompersonalquick
  • If upgrading within 12 weeks, then this coupon gets you $50 off: frompersonal
  • If upgrading within 26 weeks, then this coupon gets you $30 off: frompersonal2

Upgrading from a purchase of UpdraftPlus Premium Business (10 licenses):

  • If upgrading within 2 weeks, then use this coupon to get 100% of your purchase price back: frombusinessquick
  • If upgrading within 12 weeks, then this coupon gets you $75 off: frombusiness
  • If upgrading within 26 weeks, then this coupon gets you $40 off: frombusiness2

Upgrading from a purchase of Migrator to UpdraftPlus Premium:

  • If upgrading within 2 weeks, then use this coupon to get 100% of your purchase price back: upgrade30

If you’re looking for how to get a discounted renewal, then go here.

By the way… if you use the WooCommerce e-commerce system for WordPress, and want to offer coupon codes like this, then it’s called “WooCommerce Past Purchase Coupons” (we built it!).

Migration (8)

Tell me more about the “Search and replace site location in the database” option

Quick link: Go to the UpdraftPlus shop to find the Migrator add-on, or UpdraftPlus Premium.

If you have the “Migrator” add-on (or UpdraftPlus Premium, which includes all add-ons), then when you restore a site, you will be given the option to “Search and replace site location in the database”:

Migrating a database

Migrating a database

What does this option do? If selected, then after restoring your database, it will then perform a search-and-replace operation upon it. It will first look up the address that the site was living at (i.e. the site whose database you are restoring). Then, it will replace all instances of that location in the database with your site’s new address.

This is a vital step if you are migrating a site from one location (URL) to another. For example, if you are moving a site from your development location – e.g. http://localhost/testsite to your live location – e.g. http://example.com – then after copying all the files and database, you then need to search/replace the database to reflect the new location. If you do not, then your site, though sitting at the “new” location, will contain lots of references to the “old” one. This can cause confusion and bugs. Most professional WordPress developers use the tried-and-tested “searchandreplacedb2.php” script to accomplish this task. UpdraftPlus includes the same code as its own search-and-replace engine to give you the same reliability.

So, in summary, here is how to migrate/clone a site from one location where WordPress is installed to another:

  1. Make sure that the new site (destination) has UpdraftPlus and the “Migrator” add-on installed (either stand-alone, or via UpdraftPlus Premium). (You can get these products from our shop, here).
  2. Create a backup on the original (old) site.
  3. Import the backup into the new site, by dragging and dropping: Uploading backups
  4. After the upload has finished, use the “Restore” button on the new site to begin a “restoration” using the backup set that you just uploaded. Make sure that you tick the “search and replace” button when doing so. That’s all!

You can see a fuller walk-through, with many more screenshots, here.

 

How do I migrate to a new site location?

This question is about cloning or migrating your site to a different URL, using UpdraftPlus’s “migrator” feature (which is part of UpdraftPlus Premium). It is not about restoring your site into the same webspace it was in before. Migrating is especially useful if you want to clone a site for testing, or move to new hosting and test before you make the new version live, and many other similar scenarios.

In the example below, we are migrating into a completely empty WordPress site. However, you can migrate into an existing site – for example, if you are updating a development/test version of your website with a new upload. If you’re doing that, then you’ll be able to skip a few of the steps below.

We also assume that you have created a backup of your old site, and have got the backup files at hand. Got that? Then let’s go! (Note: backups created by the free edition of UpdraftPlus, with no add-ons, are sufficient for the task – there’s no need to create a fresh backup if you already have one from the free edition).

By the way – before you begin, try to turn off any proxies that are between you and your site, such as Cloudflare, GoDaddy’s “Preview DNS” proxy, or Opera Turbo/Road mode. These can all get in the way. Also, cacheing and minifying plugins are a common cause of migration problems (whatever method you use). Disable all of those before you create your backup – or alternatively, just be ready to turn them off if the migration stumbles.

1. Starting with an empty WordPress install which we’ve just made:

Starting with an empty WordPress install

Starting with an empty WordPress install

Here’s the front end of the site – just what you always see on a fresh WordPress install (the screenshot is from WordPress 3.5 – new WordPress versions since then have new, different looking default themes):

An empty WordPress install

An empty WordPress install

Note: If you are using a WordPress Network/Multisite install (you’ll know if you do – the setup instructions are not easy), then  you’ll need to first set up the second site as a network – this is not done for you. The Migrator is designed to migrate between equivalent sites (i.e. normal install to normal install, or network to network), but not from one type to another.

2. Install/Activate UpdraftPlus and the Migrator

The next step is to install and activate UpdraftPlus, of course. If you don’t remember how to do that, then go here.

You’ll also want to install UpdraftPlus Premium, or the stand-alone “Migrator” add-on (depending on which you bought) – instructions for that are hereNote: Here we’re talking about installing into the “new” site – i.e. the one that you’re migrating “into”.

Install UpdraftPlus

Install UpdraftPlus

3. Upload your backup files into UpdraftPlus

Next you’ll need to upload your backup files into UpdraftPlus. To do this, go to the settings page, click on “Restore” and then click on “upload backups files”.

Begin to upload your backup files

Begin to upload your backup files

Then, you can drag-and-drop your backup files in:

Drag and drop your backup files in

Drag and drop your backup files in

You should then see them each upload (how long this step takes does not depend upon the Migrator itself, but upon how large your backups are, and the speed of your Internet connection):

Uploading your backup set

Uploading your backup set

Alternatively, you can manually copy (e.g. via FTP) your backup files into the directory wp-content/updraft in the WordPress install, and click on “Rescan folder for new backup sets”.

4. Press “Restore”

When the upload has finished, you will be able to press the “Restore” button for the backup set which you just uploaded:

A new backup set is available

5. Select all the components to restore, and press “Restore”

If you are restoring from nothing, then you will want to check all the boxes, to restore every part of your site. Then press “Restore”.

Important: Since this is a migration, you will want to also check the “Search and replace site location in the database” option. This option is what will instruct UpdraftPlus to fix everything in your database for your new location (URL). (If you forget to do so, then it is not fatal – here are the instructions to recover).

Selecting the components to restore

Selecting the components to restore

Are you curious as to why UpdraftPlus does not ask you to type in any old or new site URLs for the search & replace? That’s easy – it already knows the new site URL (because it knows what site you’re visiting the dashboard for), and it can get the old site URL out of your database backup.

6. Watch the restoration succeed!

UpdraftPlus will then run the restoration and migration. You can watch the progress:

Restoration in progress

Restoration in progress

After restoring the database, it will then go through it to perform the search-and-replace of your old and new site URLs:

Database migration progress

Database migration progress

At the bottom of the screen, hopefully you’ll get the “Restore successful!” message, and the option to return to the main UpdraftPlus page:

All successful!

All successful!

If you do return to the WordPress dashboard, then don’t be surprised if you have to log in again – having replaced your site database (including the users), WordPress will need you to re-identify yourself, using valid login details from the imported database (i.e. the site that the backups are from):

Logging in again

Logging in again

Success!

Now, we visit the front end of the site, and it’s all migrated – what a beautiful website!

Everything is migrated!

Everything is migrated!

Didn’t work?

If something went wrong, then don’t panic – it may be easy to fix. Even if it’s not, then there’s still nothing to worry about – the UpdraftPlus backup files are just standard zip and SQL files which can be used to restore your site another way. However, before you give up, do try looking in your web server’s error logs, and turn on WP_DEBUG in wp-config.php. Also, cacheing and minifying plugins are a common cause of migration failures – so disable any of those and see if that helps (either through the dashboard, or via renaming their directories inside wp-content/plugins).

Migrations not working first time is not a sign of something hugely wrong. WordPress is a big, complex beast. Nothing can be perfect. If you find out a way that we can make a failed migration work for you, then please just let us know.

See also:

Can I use UpdraftPlus to migrate a site to a different address?

This is a common need for site developers – or anyone wanting to maintain two copies of a site (e.g. when moving web hosting).

The answer is “yes” – you just need the “Migrator” add-on from our shop; or “UpdraftPlus Premium” which includes every add-on.

With that installed, just take a look at our migration guide.

I am trying to upload my database backup from a Mac so that I can restore/migrate from it, but it is greyed-out

Some versions of Mac OS appear to show the database file (ending in db.gz) as greyed-out when you try to upload it from the file selector. (This is apparently because the Mac doesn’t know what a db.gz file is).

If this happens to you, then open the Mac’s directory browser application, and drag-and-drop the file instead. If that doesn’t work, then drag-and-drop it more slowly!

When I migrated my site, I did not search/replace the database; what can I do now?

This article is about “migrating” a site – that means, cloning it at a different location (URL). It does not apply to “restoring” a site – when the site’s location stays the same.

In step 5 of the migration instructions, there is an important checkbox to tick. This performs the search/replace on the database, so that all the location references are updated.

Selecting components to restore

If this checkbox is not ticked, then you will not even be able to log in to your new website; WordPress will keep sending you back to the old one.

But, do not worry! It is easily fixable. Just do this:

1. Open up your wp-config.php file in an editor

Connect via FTP to your website (or whatever other method your web hosting company gives you to access the files stored in your webspace). Find the file in the root of your WordPress install called “wp-config.php”, and open it up to edit.

Add these two lines anywhere near another line beginning with ‘define’, but change http://example.com to match the address of your new website:

define('WP_SITEURL', 'http://example.com');
define('WP_HOME', WP_SITEURL);

Then save the newly edited wp-config.php file back to your webspace.

2. Log in to the WordPress admin dashboard

Visit your site’s /wp-admin page (e.g. http://example.com/wp-admin) and now you should be able to log in.

If the whole site has now crashed and you can’t even visit the admin page, then you must have introduced a typing mistake in step 1 – go back and try again!

3. Perform the database migration again

Perform the database migration again, and make sure that the box is ticked. There is no need (and it will only waste time) to re-migrate the plugins, themes, uploads, etc. Keep the browser window in which the operation takes place open, in case anything goes wrong – then you will want to copy and paste the contents so that they can be analysed.

After migrating my site, my front page works, but all other pages give a 404 error

First of all: this is not bad. Even though your front page is only one page, if it migrated correctly, then you’re 99% there.

If your front page works, but others give 404, then there’s only one thing missing: a piece of configuration in your webserver. In particular, it’s the configuration for permalinks – the configuration to send access to pretty URLs like www.example.com/about-us/ into WordPress’s actual files on-disk.

Because this is part of the webserver configuration, it’s one level above WordPress, and not under WordPress’s direct control. Therefore, it sometimes needs a small piece of manual intervention from you to get working.

How can I know what webserver my hosting company is using?

It may tell you on your 404 error page. If not, then go to your UpdraftPlus settings page (remember that you’ll need to use the login details from the site you migrated – login details are part of what’s migrated), and click on the ‘Show expert settings’ link at the bottom of the page. Then scroll down, and underneath the heading ‘Debug Information And Expert Options’ there should be a line ‘Web server’.

Failing that, you can ask your web hosting company – they’ll know!

Apache and IIS

The vast majority of webservers are Apache. Apache handles this via .htaccess files (a file called .htaccess in the root directory of your WordPress install), and WordPress can almost always set these up automatically. WordPress also can usually set the configuration file for Microsoft IIS webservers (a file called web.config). If it is not happening automatically for you, then firstly visit the Settings -> Permalinks page in your WordPress dashboard, and press the button to save settings. When you do this, WordPress will make a second attempt to set up the file. This probably will not work, if it did not work the first time. But you can try anyway. If it does not work, and you have Apache or IIS, then you should check the file permissions in the root folder of your WordPress install. Does WordPress (or to be more particular, the PHP engine that WordPress runs on) have permission to create files in that directory?

Finally, on Apache, if you are running your own server, then you should also check that you have the module mod_rewrite enabled. WordPress relies on this. (If you are using web hosting, then it is extremely unlikely to not be enabled already). Depending on how you have installed Apache, mod_rewrite might be called rewrite_module, or something similar.

Other webservers

If your webserver is not Apache or IIS (e.g. is one of the others – nginx, Zeus, lighttpd, LiteSpeed, or some other product), then you are likely to need to do something manually to set up the permalinks. Here are some links that may help; if they don’t, they just try Googling – e.g. Google for something like ‘WordPress permalinks lighttpd’.

What does the error message “PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT(-10)” mean?

Examples: “PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT(-10): Invalid archive structure”; “PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10) : Unable to find End of Central Dir Record signature”

This is a message that it is possible to see during a restoration or migration operation. If it occurs, then it will be when UpdraftPlus is unpacking one of the zip files from your backup. (To be more precise, it is when UpdraftPlus asks WordPress to unzip the zip file, using WordPress’s built-in unzipping functions).

Its meaning is that the zip file was corrupt, and could not be unzipped.

All the times when we have seen this message, the situation was the same: the backup zip itself was fine (don’t panic!), but the corruption occurred when the user uploaded it into their “destination” WordPress site. i.e. The upload was not successful; the uploaded file is not the same as your original backup zip. Either that, or the user attempted to begin the restoration before the upload operation had completed.

The solution, therefore, is to upload the zip again. If the drag-and-drop uploading widget in the UpdraftPlus dashboard was used previously, then an alternative method is to use FTP to directly place your zips into the wp-content/updraft folder on your website; and then when the upload is complete, pressing the “Rescan local folder for new backup sets” link, as shown below. Then try your restore/migration again.

Link to press for rescanning files

Link to press for rescanning files

 

Multisite (2)

I am restoring a pre-WordPress-3.5 multisite into a 3.5-or-later multisite – what happened to my blogs.dir?

Before WordPress 3.5, a new WordPress Network (i.e. Multisite) install used to keep media uploads (images, etc.) in the uploads directory (for the “main” site on the network, site ID 1), and in a separate directory (called blogs.dir by default) for other sites. By default, blogs.dir was found at wp-content/blogs.dir, and UpdraftPlus’s multisite add-on would back it up separately.

From WordPress 3.5 onwards, a newly set up (i.e. not upgraded) multisite would instead put all blogs’ uploads in the uploads directory (wp-content/uploads, by default). This is more consistent, and leads to fewer backup zips.

However, this presents a small issue if you have a backup from a pre-3.5-era multisite, and wish to restore it into a 3.5-or-later multisite. You have a backup of blogs.dir – but your new site has no such location.

This issue does not arise if you have only upgraded your pre-3.5-era multisite to 3.5 or later – in that case, WordPress will run it in a compatibility mode, and keep the blogs.dir setup). Furthermore, this issue is not relevant if you are restoring a database from a pre-3.5.-era multisite, because doing this will trigger WordPress’s compatibility handling.

What to do? You can do this:

  • Unzip your blogs.dir backup zip (i.e. the one that UpdraftPlus created). It will contain subdirectories for each site on the network, like blogs.dir/2, blogs.dir/3, etc.
  • Also unzip your uploads backup zip. This will contain a subdirectory, “uploads”.
  • Create a subdirectory “sites” inside it the “uploads” subdirectory (i.e. “uploads/sites”).
  • Move the contents of the blogs.dir directory into uploads/sites (so now you will have “uploads/sites/1″, “uploads/sites/2″, etc.).
  • Zip up the uploads directory again, so that you have a zip file with one subdirectory in the top level (“uploads”).
  • You can then use the new uploads zip to import your site uploads.

Alternatively, just perform the restoration, and then copy over the contents manually from your blogs.dir backup zip into wp-content/uploads/sites on your new site.

You can do the same procedure  in reverse if wanting to transfer content from a post-3.5-era setup into a pre-3.5 multisite.

Payment questions (2)

I attempt a card payment which failed, but there appears to be a $1 charge left over

Our card processor tells us this:

When someone attempts to store their card to be charged later, we send over a request to their issuing bank for either a $0 or a $1 authorization (different banks permit different amounts) to verify that the card is issued and the bank will allow it to be authorized. Regardless of whether or not the authorization is declined, we reverse our authorization request immediately. However, even if the bank declines the authorization, some people may still see an authorization for $1 on their credit card statement. The important thing to remember is that this is not a charge, and it will disappear from their statement; depending on the bank, it will be removed from their statement in anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks. It’s also important to note that just because the bank approved a $1 authorization, it doesn’t guarantee approval when you actually charge the card. The authorization helps weed out a lot of the cards that would definitely be problematic, but it’s not able to guarantee that your next payment will be successful.

 

Why does my order status still show as “Pending”?

An order enters the “pending” state when you have pressed the “Place Order” button at the checkout, but we have received no payment. Our system immediately fulfils orders when payment is received.

If you were attempting to pay via PayPal, then you can verify the status of your payment in your PayPal account. (If no payment was successful, then there won’t be an entry in your PayPal statement; or if the payment was delayed because your PayPal account is not funded, it will show as a pending “eCheque” (eCheck) payment, and estimate when the payment will be made).

If you were attempting to pay via a card, then you can check your card statement, or ask us to check our account at this end… it’s best, though, to just attempt to pay again. We have never had a payment that was made without our card processor’s systems notifying ours. If that did happen, you could report it either to us or to your card vendor for a prompt refund. But, if you really do prefer not to check your statement and prefer us to check ours then send us a pre-sales question.

If you were attempting to pay via the debit/credit card option, then you could also try a card payment via the PayPal option – PayPal also process cards in the normal way, not only PayPal account payments.

To attempt payment again, just log in to your account, and press the “Pay” button next to your order.

Rackspace Cloud Files (2)

There appear to be lots of extra files in my Rackspace Cloud Files / OpenStack container

When you upload larger files to Rackspace Cloud Files or OpenStack (Rackspace’s product is based on OpenStack), an object (file) appears in your container (which, for RackSpace Cloud Files, you can view online – https://mycloud.rackspace.com) for each separate “chunk” (portion) of that file. That is part of the design of OpenStack / Cloud Files. The final file actually occupies zero extra space (for your billing purposes); it is a special file that knows that it is composed of the separate chunks. So, do not delete any of those chunks – because if you do then the final file will be having its parts removed and become unusable. Leave it to UpdraftPlus to manage – when it deletes the backup file itself, it will delete the chunks too.

In UpdraftPlus, because it needs to work on even the most resource-starved of WordPress installations, “larger file” means anything more than 5 megabytes.

Conversely, if you are seeking to download your backups from Rackspace Cloud Files (or whatever your OpenStack flavour is), then you can ignore all the chunk files – you just want the main file. The “chunk” files have names ending in an underscore followed by a number, e.g. _1, _2, _3 (etc.). Those are the ones you can ignore – you just want those ending in .zip (for file backups) or .gz (for databases – or .gz.crypt for encrypted databases).

What is the most secure way to set up Rackspace Cloud Files?

Rackspace Cloud Files allows you to set up users that have access to only one container in your Cloud Files account – and to nothing else. This is the most secure configuration. It means that admin users on your WordPress site, even if they can copy the Rackspace access details from the UpdraftPlus configuration, can do nothing more with them than access the UpdraftPlus backups.

The easiest way to set up Rackspace Cloud Files in this way is using the “Rackspace Cloud Files enhanced” add-on from our shop.

Restoration (15)

How do I restore my backup (from an already-installed WordPress site)?

A WordPress installation is made up of two things: firstly, the files which are on disk, and secondly the (MySQL) database. To transfer a site from one place to another, there are two things to do: 1) Copy the files and 2) Copy the database.  Restoring a backup is exactly the same in principle – restore the files and restore the database. Read on!

(Note – if you are migrating a site to a different location (URL) – i.e. not restoring at the same website address, then there is also a third step: 3) search and replace the database. For this, you will need our Migrator add-on (which is also part of UpdraftPlus Premium).

First: Is your website behind a reverse proxy, such as CloudFlare, or GoDaddy’s “Preview DNS” proxy? You will want to not access your WordPress dashboard this way to do the restoration, because such proxies usually impose a low time-out. If you cannot disable the proxy, then  you may need to restore manually instead unless you know your backup is small.

If your site is still basically intact (in particular, the database), then on the UpdraftPlus settings page, there is a ‘Restore’ button. Press it, and it will show you all of the backups it currently knows about. There is a further “Restore” button for each backup, allowing you to choose the particular backup you wish to restore. Once you press that, it will allow you to choose which parts of that backup you wish to restore. Then it will over-write your present data with that contained in the indicated backup set.

Note: if your website backups are large, then a bargain-basement web hosting company may impose a time limit which may be too small. This may result in a partially-restored site. The lowest risk way to restore (but which requires more skills) is manually – see here. Another way to lower the risk is to restore one component (uploads, plugins, themes, etc.) at a time. Generally if you are restoring many things, the safest procedure is to first restore the “uploads”, then secondly the themes, then finally the plugins, others and database together. “Database last” is the one rule that should be kept.

If, however, you have a set of backup files that UpdraftPlus does not yet know about, then there is one extra step. (This situation happens if you make a new WordPress install and install UpdraftPlus). To make UpdraftPlus to know about your backup, you need to 1) Copy the backup zip files from your backup set into UpdraftPlus’s folder by FTP (by default this folder, relative to your WordPress installation, is wp-content/updraft). 2) Click on the ‘rescan folder for new backup sets’ link. Then you can proceed as before.

re1

If you want to restore the database, then you do exactly the same again – but tick the box for “Database” when asked to. Alternatively, if you want to do it manually, then you need to use your web hosting company’s control panel. (Or if you are an expert user, use MySQL from the shell). Look for “database administration” or “phpMyAdmin”. You should be able to find the “Import” function and upload your UpdraftPlus database backup file directly into there. (You will need to remove the encryption first, if you chose an encrypted backup – this is done for you automatically if you download the database from your site’s UpdraftPlus settings page; or you can use the drag-and-drop decrypter on the setting page).

I encrypted my database – how do I decrypt it?

If you have the encryption key (which you entered in your settings) and you are restoring from the settings interface, then it will automatically decrypt. i.e. If you’ve changed your encryption key setting in the mean-time since you backed up, then you should change it back.

If you have a file which you with to decrypt and download (without doing anything else with it), then you can use the drag-and-drop facility built into UpdraftPlus (versions 1.5.10 and upwards). Find it in the “Settings” tab; add your encryption phrase there, and save your settings:

Decrypt database

Otherwise, if you really like doing things by hand (or wish to decrypt from the command-line), then use the file example-decrypt.php found in the plugin directory; that will need very (very) minor PHP knowledge to use; find your local PHP guru, or buy support from our shop.

I lost my encryption key – what can I do?

The answer is unfortunately very likely to be “nothing”. It’s real encryption; and people who don’t have the key can’t get the data; it’s meant to be mathematically impossible with current knowledge. National security agencies can hire encryption experts to build large super-computers to try to break the encryption by brute force, at a huge price – but that’s beyond the reach of other mortals.

You must keep your encryption key stored safely so that you won’t have this problem… if it’s already too late for you, then you might try to remember really hard to see if you’ve perhaps got an old backup or copy of the database somewhere. If you have, then search in it for the text “updraft_encryptionphrase”. If your database is online, then it’s the “options” table that you’re wanting to search in.

I want to restore, but either cannot, or have failed to do so from the WP Admin console

Don’t panic. If you have access to your backed files (i.e. you have the emailed copies, or have obtained the backed up copies directly from Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP or whatever store you were using), then you simply need to unzip them into the right places. These are all basic operations and not difficult – if you don’t have anyone who can help at hand or if you just want a quick solution, then you can buy a support package from our shop.

Note: There are a tiny minority of users, inexperienced with WordPress backups, who go the do-it-yourself route to save themselves a few dollars on a “we’ll do it for you” purchase, but they make beginners’ mistakes (which is understandable) and then decide to send us nasty-o-grams about it. The procedure below is tried-and-tested; we have  done it over a hundred times; they are not the ramblings of a maniac designed to eat your website. We’re sure that you are not one of those unreasonable users. :-)

Just do this:

1. Unpack a fresh copy of WordPress.

Unless you purchased the “more files” add-on, UpdraftPlus does not back up the WordPress core – you can just get a fresh copy of that from www.wordpress.org. So, if you are starting from nothing, then first download and unzip a WordPress zip from wordpress.org/download. (If you did purchase the add-on, then you can skip from here to step 2., and just make sure you unpack the wpcore zip first at that stage).

You will also need to set up a new wp-config.php file, by editing and renaming the wp-config-sample.php file that is included in WordPress, so that it contains your proper database details. Don’t access WordPress itself in your browser until you’ve finished this entire procedure, though – edit wp-config.php in a text editor. You will also want to copy any other settings you had in your old wp-config.php – e.g. multisite settings. (If your backup includes a “wpcore” zip, then you can find your old wp-config.php in there. Don’t copy the old database settings, unless you really do intend to use the same database instead of importing the backup as below).

If your site is moving location (i.e. changing URL), then you will also want to add WP_HOME and WP_SITEURL parameters to the wp-config.php file. See here and here. (If you do not, then you will not be able to log in).

2. Unpack the plugins / uploads / etc.

After doing that, then unzip the backed-up zip files (i.e. the archives that UpdraftPlus created and stored) for your uploads, themes, plugins and other files back into the wp-content directory. If your access to your website is via FTP, then that means you would do this for each of the .zip files you have from UpdraftPlus:

  1. Unzip the zip file on your computer.
  2. Log in via FTP to your website’s hosting space, and move into the wp-content directory.
  3. Copy the contents of the zip file via FTP into wp-content. If done correctly, then for the “plugins” backup, you will be copying over a folder called “plugins” into wp-content, so its final name is wp-content/plugins. (The “others” archive will not follow this pattern – it can have anything in it)

If you had the “more files” add-on, and have a “wpcore” zip, then unzip that one first. That is the zip that contains the “wp-content” directory that you’ll then be extracting the other zips into.

3. Import your database

Finally re-install the database. Your web hosting provider will almost certainly provide you with access to a database manager – often phpMyAdmin.

If your database was not stored with encryption, then you can simply click on the ‘Import’ function in your database manager, and upload the database file (the file which ends in db.gz). Then you are finished!

If your database needs decrypting (if the file name ends in gz.crypt) then you need to decrypt it before doing the above step. See this question here.

What format are backups made in? Is it nasty and proprietary?

UpdraftPlus backs up your files into ordinary zip files (the same format that WordPress and its plugins and themes directories use). The database is backed up into an ordinary SQL (text) file.

Therefore you can use UpdraftPlus to restore backups, but do not have to. You do not even need WordPress installed. You can just unzip the zip files, and use your web hosting company’s control panel to import the SQL into your database.

See here for instructions.

We are committed, as a fundamental of UpdraftPlus’s design, to retain this situation. UpdraftPlus backups will always be something that you can restore with standard tools. There will be no proprietary lock-in.

I get SSL certificate errors when backing up and/or restoring

SSL is a technology used to help you make sure that a) you really are communicating with the people you thought you were (authentication) and b) your communications with them cannot be eaves-dropped by others along the way (encryption).

SSL uses entities called “certificates” to enable these functions. These certificates have time limits upon them (so that if a bad guy manages to steal one, then it has a limited use).

For this to all work, it relies upon the right certificates existing in the right places. In particular, you need to be able to access a store of certificates up-to-date.

UpdraftPlus manages this by including certificates internally. However, if something goes wrong then you may see errors when UpdraftPlus tries to connect to cloud storage (e.g. Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, Dropbox, Google Drive).

It is also possible that these errors mean that somebody really is trying to intercept and decode your communications. That’s what SSL errors are for – to alert you that something is wrong.

One step that you can take safely is to open UpdraftPlus’s “expert options” (at the bottom of the UpdraftPlus settings) and activate the option for UpdraftPlus to use your web hosting company’s certificate store (instead of its own). Then try again. If the backup now succeeds, then you should inform us so that we can trace the problem.

If that fails, then you can also try the option to not verify the identity of remote sites. This means that you are turning off authentication. This lowers your security. It should only be done if you are comfortable with the risks (e.g. you are sure that the communications really are with Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc.).

Finally, you can also turn off SSL entirely, using another expert option. Note that this only works for certain transport methods (including Amazon S3 and FTP (for those who have the FTPS extension activate)). Some cloud storage providers (including Dropbox) require SSL, so your only solution with them is to fix your installation.

 

SSL expert options

Expert options for SSL

What should I understand before undertaking a restoration?

Restoring parts of WordPress from inside WordPress always carries risks. Our aim is to reduce them as much as possible. If you are in doubt about anything, then remember that we sell a hands-on “we’ll do it for you” product in our shop, in the “Support” sectionRemember: though we want UpdraftPlus to work as reliably as possible (that’s how we get customers), ultimately it is a do-it-yourself tool, that you are finally responsible for the use of. If you want to hold another person responsible, then first hire that person to do the job for you!

Anything to worry about?

Firstly, if your website and its backups are not large (measured in the tens of megabytes instead of the hundreds), and if you can directly access it (i.e. it is not walled behind a proxy service such as CloudFlare or GoDaddy’s “DNS Preview”), then it is likely that you can stop reading now (although if you are restoring a site to a different address (URL), then see the note below). Even the most resource-starved of web hosting companies will be giving you enough resources so that you have nothing to worry about. If your website is under 200 megabytes, then you should still be fine as long as you have not over-economised with under-resourced web hosting (or been conned by high-priced hosts who sell you the same product with nicer branding!). You can also stop reading. Otherwise, read on.

Experts may prefer to do it manually

The safest and quickest way to restore WordPress is often manually, from the shell (or via FTP if no shell is available). Why is it safer and quicker? Mainly because it is not subject to the time-outs that come when running inside a web browser, and also can run quicker. However, the manual way also requires the most technical skills. If you do have the skills, then there are no technical advantages to doing it inside UpdraftPlus instead of manually – only convenience. The instructions for manual restoration are here.

Mostly, there’s nothing to worry about

Don’t let the above paragraph worry you unduly. All restorations of plugins, themes, uploads and (where relevant – on WordPress Multisite) additional blogs and must-use plugins are done atomically. This means that it’s all or nothing – either the restoration will be entire/complete, or nothing will be restored. UpdraftPlus does this by unpacking the download, and then moving the entire folder into place at once. So, there’s almost no risk of anything going wrong with restoration of those entities. If you have the “more files” add-on, in order to back-up and restore WordPress core, then this restoration cannot be done completely atomically. The atomicity is per-directory within your WordPress root. i.e. Inside the directory that has WordPress in it, UpdraftPlus moves in one directory/file at a time. This is still very low risk; moving things is only done once the entire archive is unpacked (into temporary storage), and the consequent moving around is almost instantaneous.

Maximise your chances

To maximise the amount of time that WordPress is allowed to spend on any one operation, you should access your website directly if you can. If your website is on CloudFlare or another proxy service (e.g. GoDaddy’s “DNS Preview” service), then temporarily disable it. Many proxy services impose a time-out that is lower than your web hosting company’s own time-out.

The database

The main risk is when restoring a database upon under-powered cheap web hosting. The risk is larger the larger your site is. This cannot be done atomically. If it aborts mid-way (e.g. due to a time-out), then you will be left with a database which partially contains the old data and partially contains of the new. However, if you are restoring a database, then presumably either your old and new databases are very similar, or the site you are restoring to is not live (we can’t imagine how someone would be replacing a very different database on a live site). In order to maximise the amount of time you have available to complete a restoration, you can and should:

  • If any of the entities you are restoring are particularly large, then do them separately. i.e. First restore the plugins, then do a separate restoration of the themes, then of uploads, etc. If you do this, then don’t be surprised to see various errors on your site in the intermediate stages, when only some things and not others have been restored. Wait until everything is restored before looking at them – and (this is important) – restore the database last. (And when you restore your plugins, we expect that your backup also had UpdraftPlus in it – but if it did not, then don’t be surprised if UpdraftPlus disappears immediately upon restoring plugins;  just install it again after doing so).

Restoring from scratch?

If you are restoring from scratch, and do not have the “More Files” add-on, then remember to set up any extra parameters in your wp-config.php file.

 

Tell me more about the “Search and replace site location in the database” option

Quick link: Go to the UpdraftPlus shop to find the Migrator add-on, or UpdraftPlus Premium.

If you have the “Migrator” add-on (or UpdraftPlus Premium, which includes all add-ons), then when you restore a site, you will be given the option to “Search and replace site location in the database”:

Migrating a database

Migrating a database

What does this option do? If selected, then after restoring your database, it will then perform a search-and-replace operation upon it. It will first look up the address that the site was living at (i.e. the site whose database you are restoring). Then, it will replace all instances of that location in the database with your site’s new address.

This is a vital step if you are migrating a site from one location (URL) to another. For example, if you are moving a site from your development location – e.g. http://localhost/testsite to your live location – e.g. http://example.com – then after copying all the files and database, you then need to search/replace the database to reflect the new location. If you do not, then your site, though sitting at the “new” location, will contain lots of references to the “old” one. This can cause confusion and bugs. Most professional WordPress developers use the tried-and-tested “searchandreplacedb2.php” script to accomplish this task. UpdraftPlus includes the same code as its own search-and-replace engine to give you the same reliability.

So, in summary, here is how to migrate/clone a site from one location where WordPress is installed to another:

  1. Make sure that the new site (destination) has UpdraftPlus and the “Migrator” add-on installed (either stand-alone, or via UpdraftPlus Premium). (You can get these products from our shop, here).
  2. Create a backup on the original (old) site.
  3. Import the backup into the new site, by dragging and dropping: Uploading backups
  4. After the upload has finished, use the “Restore” button on the new site to begin a “restoration” using the backup set that you just uploaded. Make sure that you tick the “search and replace” button when doing so. That’s all!

You can see a fuller walk-through, with many more screenshots, here.

 

How do I migrate to a new site location?

This question is about cloning or migrating your site to a different URL, using UpdraftPlus’s “migrator” feature (which is part of UpdraftPlus Premium). It is not about restoring your site into the same webspace it was in before. Migrating is especially useful if you want to clone a site for testing, or move to new hosting and test before you make the new version live, and many other similar scenarios.

In the example below, we are migrating into a completely empty WordPress site. However, you can migrate into an existing site – for example, if you are updating a development/test version of your website with a new upload. If you’re doing that, then you’ll be able to skip a few of the steps below.

We also assume that you have created a backup of your old site, and have got the backup files at hand. Got that? Then let’s go! (Note: backups created by the free edition of UpdraftPlus, with no add-ons, are sufficient for the task – there’s no need to create a fresh backup if you already have one from the free edition).

By the way – before you begin, try to turn off any proxies that are between you and your site, such as Cloudflare, GoDaddy’s “Preview DNS” proxy, or Opera Turbo/Road mode. These can all get in the way. Also, cacheing and minifying plugins are a common cause of migration problems (whatever method you use). Disable all of those before you create your backup – or alternatively, just be ready to turn them off if the migration stumbles.

1. Starting with an empty WordPress install which we’ve just made:

Starting with an empty WordPress install

Starting with an empty WordPress install

Here’s the front end of the site – just what you always see on a fresh WordPress install (the screenshot is from WordPress 3.5 – new WordPress versions since then have new, different looking default themes):

An empty WordPress install

An empty WordPress install

Note: If you are using a WordPress Network/Multisite install (you’ll know if you do – the setup instructions are not easy), then  you’ll need to first set up the second site as a network – this is not done for you. The Migrator is designed to migrate between equivalent sites (i.e. normal install to normal install, or network to network), but not from one type to another.

2. Install/Activate UpdraftPlus and the Migrator

The next step is to install and activate UpdraftPlus, of course. If you don’t remember how to do that, then go here.

You’ll also want to install UpdraftPlus Premium, or the stand-alone “Migrator” add-on (depending on which you bought) – instructions for that are hereNote: Here we’re talking about installing into the “new” site – i.e. the one that you’re migrating “into”.

Install UpdraftPlus

Install UpdraftPlus

3. Upload your backup files into UpdraftPlus

Next you’ll need to upload your backup files into UpdraftPlus. To do this, go to the settings page, click on “Restore” and then click on “upload backups files”.

Begin to upload your backup files

Begin to upload your backup files

Then, you can drag-and-drop your backup files in:

Drag and drop your backup files in

Drag and drop your backup files in

You should then see them each upload (how long this step takes does not depend upon the Migrator itself, but upon how large your backups are, and the speed of your Internet connection):

Uploading your backup set

Uploading your backup set

Alternatively, you can manually copy (e.g. via FTP) your backup files into the directory wp-content/updraft in the WordPress install, and click on “Rescan folder for new backup sets”.

4. Press “Restore”

When the upload has finished, you will be able to press the “Restore” button for the backup set which you just uploaded:

A new backup set is available

5. Select all the components to restore, and press “Restore”

If you are restoring from nothing, then you will want to check all the boxes, to restore every part of your site. Then press “Restore”.

Important: Since this is a migration, you will want to also check the “Search and replace site location in the database” option. This option is what will instruct UpdraftPlus to fix everything in your database for your new location (URL). (If you forget to do so, then it is not fatal – here are the instructions to recover).

Selecting the components to restore

Selecting the components to restore

Are you curious as to why UpdraftPlus does not ask you to type in any old or new site URLs for the search & replace? That’s easy – it already knows the new site URL (because it knows what site you’re visiting the dashboard for), and it can get the old site URL out of your database backup.

6. Watch the restoration succeed!

UpdraftPlus will then run the restoration and migration. You can watch the progress:

Restoration in progress

Restoration in progress

After restoring the database, it will then go through it to perform the search-and-replace of your old and new site URLs:

Database migration progress

Database migration progress

At the bottom of the screen, hopefully you’ll get the “Restore successful!” message, and the option to return to the main UpdraftPlus page:

All successful!

All successful!

If you do return to the WordPress dashboard, then don’t be surprised if you have to log in again – having replaced your site database (including the users), WordPress will need you to re-identify yourself, using valid login details from the imported database (i.e. the site that the backups are from):

Logging in again

Logging in again

Success!

Now, we visit the front end of the site, and it’s all migrated – what a beautiful website!

Everything is migrated!

Everything is migrated!

Didn’t work?

If something went wrong, then don’t panic – it may be easy to fix. Even if it’s not, then there’s still nothing to worry about – the UpdraftPlus backup files are just standard zip and SQL files which can be used to restore your site another way. However, before you give up, do try looking in your web server’s error logs, and turn on WP_DEBUG in wp-config.php. Also, cacheing and minifying plugins are a common cause of migration failures – so disable any of those and see if that helps (either through the dashboard, or via renaming their directories inside wp-content/plugins).

Migrations not working first time is not a sign of something hugely wrong. WordPress is a big, complex beast. Nothing can be perfect. If you find out a way that we can make a failed migration work for you, then please just let us know.

See also:

When I restore WordPress core, should I include wp-config.php in the restoration?

This question is only relevant if you have the “More Files” add-on (or UpdraftPlus Premium, which includes all add-ons).

If you are restoring a site, and restoring WordPress core as part of that restoration, then you will be asked if you wish to include wp-config.php in your restoration:

Option to restore wp-config.php

Option to restore wp-config.php

What is wp-config.php? It is the WordPress configuration file. You can read about it in the official WordPress documentation, here.

It tells WordPress how to find its database. As such, it is a critical file. It can also contain various other settings that control WordPress’s behaviour, e.g. your language setting if you are not using the default language.

If you are performing a migration (i.e. move to a different URL), rather than a restoration, then it is always wrong to use this option. (If you can think of any exceptions to that rule, then let us know; we can’t!).

Should you include it in your restoration? It is always safe not to - if you do not select this option, then UpdraftPlus will leave wp-config.php alone, but restore the backup as wp-config-frombackup.php. You can then look at the differences (if any) between the two by hand, and tweak them at your leisure.

However, i you are using the same database as was being used when you backed-up, then generally, yes, it is safe. wp-config.php may contain settings placed there by other plugins that you will want to retain. However, if you are using a different database (e.g. this is a new installation, or you had to create a new one for some other reason), then restoring wp-config.php will break your site – because, after restoration, WordPress will be looking in the wrong place for its database.

The rule of thumb is: if in doubt, then don’t; especially if you are not confident about editing wp-config.php yourself if you make a mistake. All you are likely to lose is a few settings which you can easily restore. However, if something does go wrong then don’t panic – editing wp-config.php is actually very easy, and if you’re not confident yourself then you should easily be able to find someone to do it for you.

 

I am restoring a pre-WordPress-3.5 multisite into a 3.5-or-later multisite – what happened to my blogs.dir?

Before WordPress 3.5, a new WordPress Network (i.e. Multisite) install used to keep media uploads (images, etc.) in the uploads directory (for the “main” site on the network, site ID 1), and in a separate directory (called blogs.dir by default) for other sites. By default, blogs.dir was found at wp-content/blogs.dir, and UpdraftPlus’s multisite add-on would back it up separately.

From WordPress 3.5 onwards, a newly set up (i.e. not upgraded) multisite would instead put all blogs’ uploads in the uploads directory (wp-content/uploads, by default). This is more consistent, and leads to fewer backup zips.

However, this presents a small issue if you have a backup from a pre-3.5-era multisite, and wish to restore it into a 3.5-or-later multisite. You have a backup of blogs.dir – but your new site has no such location.

This issue does not arise if you have only upgraded your pre-3.5-era multisite to 3.5 or later – in that case, WordPress will run it in a compatibility mode, and keep the blogs.dir setup). Furthermore, this issue is not relevant if you are restoring a database from a pre-3.5.-era multisite, because doing this will trigger WordPress’s compatibility handling.

What to do? You can do this:

  • Unzip your blogs.dir backup zip (i.e. the one that UpdraftPlus created). It will contain subdirectories for each site on the network, like blogs.dir/2, blogs.dir/3, etc.
  • Also unzip your uploads backup zip. This will contain a subdirectory, “uploads”.
  • Create a subdirectory “sites” inside it the “uploads” subdirectory (i.e. “uploads/sites”).
  • Move the contents of the blogs.dir directory into uploads/sites (so now you will have “uploads/sites/1″, “uploads/sites/2″, etc.).
  • Zip up the uploads directory again, so that you have a zip file with one subdirectory in the top level (“uploads”).
  • You can then use the new uploads zip to import your site uploads.

Alternatively, just perform the restoration, and then copy over the contents manually from your blogs.dir backup zip into wp-content/uploads/sites on your new site.

You can do the same procedure  in reverse if wanting to transfer content from a post-3.5-era setup into a pre-3.5 multisite.

I am trying to upload my database backup from a Mac so that I can restore/migrate from it, but it is greyed-out

Some versions of Mac OS appear to show the database file (ending in db.gz) as greyed-out when you try to upload it from the file selector. (This is apparently because the Mac doesn’t know what a db.gz file is).

If this happens to you, then open the Mac’s directory browser application, and drag-and-drop the file instead. If that doesn’t work, then drag-and-drop it more slowly!

Please can you (Mr. UpdraftPlus) send me (A. Customer) a copy of my backup set? Thanks!

We can’t do this, because we have never had any copies of your backups.

Your backups are stored in whatever location you chosen in the UpdraftPlus settings (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). If you chose none of them, then your backups are kept on your web server (in the directory wp-content/updraft – we don’t recommend doing this, as then if hackers destroy your website or your web hosting company goes bust, then you lose both the site and the backups in one go).

Storage options

Storage options

What does the error message “PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT(-10)” mean?

Examples: “PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT(-10): Invalid archive structure”; “PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10) : Unable to find End of Central Dir Record signature”

This is a message that it is possible to see during a restoration or migration operation. If it occurs, then it will be when UpdraftPlus is unpacking one of the zip files from your backup. (To be more precise, it is when UpdraftPlus asks WordPress to unzip the zip file, using WordPress’s built-in unzipping functions).

Its meaning is that the zip file was corrupt, and could not be unzipped.

All the times when we have seen this message, the situation was the same: the backup zip itself was fine (don’t panic!), but the corruption occurred when the user uploaded it into their “destination” WordPress site. i.e. The upload was not successful; the uploaded file is not the same as your original backup zip. Either that, or the user attempted to begin the restoration before the upload operation had completed.

The solution, therefore, is to upload the zip again. If the drag-and-drop uploading widget in the UpdraftPlus dashboard was used previously, then an alternative method is to use FTP to directly place your zips into the wp-content/updraft folder on your website; and then when the upload is complete, pressing the “Rescan local folder for new backup sets” link, as shown below. Then try your restore/migration again.

Link to press for rescanning files

Link to press for rescanning files

 

Why am I being asked for FTP details upon restoration/migration or plugin updates?

On some WordPress setups, you might see something like this when you try to restore your backup, or when you try to update UpdraftPlus:

FTP Connection Details

This happens if (and only if) WordPress does not have sufficient file permissions to write to the directories which it needs to write to. (To be more accurate, the PHP engine that WordPress is running on top of does not have these permissions). When this happens, WordPress has another trick up its sleeve: it asks you for FTP details. With those FTP details, it writes the files another way: by sending them over FTP to the webspace.

Hence, the key points are:

  • This is a WordPress feature, not an UpdraftPlus quirk
  • It happens if the file permissions do not allow WordPress to write files directly
  • It does not indicate a problem as such
  • The FTP details to enter are those for the web hosting space (i.e. the web hosting space that the WordPress install you are working on is installed in)
  • If you do not know your FTP details, then you will need to ask your web hosting company (we certainly do not know them!)

Troubleshooting (19)

What does the error “Error: redirect_uri_mismatch” mean?

It means that you wrongly copied across the URL shown in your admin console to Google Drive at the relevant step. Please return to the relevant step of the instructions and try again.

I get SSL certificate errors when backing up and/or restoring

SSL is a technology used to help you make sure that a) you really are communicating with the people you thought you were (authentication) and b) your communications with them cannot be eaves-dropped by others along the way (encryption).

SSL uses entities called “certificates” to enable these functions. These certificates have time limits upon them (so that if a bad guy manages to steal one, then it has a limited use).

For this to all work, it relies upon the right certificates existing in the right places. In particular, you need to be able to access a store of certificates up-to-date.

UpdraftPlus manages this by including certificates internally. However, if something goes wrong then you may see errors when UpdraftPlus tries to connect to cloud storage (e.g. Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, Dropbox, Google Drive).

It is also possible that these errors mean that somebody really is trying to intercept and decode your communications. That’s what SSL errors are for – to alert you that something is wrong.

One step that you can take safely is to open UpdraftPlus’s “expert options” (at the bottom of the UpdraftPlus settings) and activate the option for UpdraftPlus to use your web hosting company’s certificate store (instead of its own). Then try again. If the backup now succeeds, then you should inform us so that we can trace the problem.

If that fails, then you can also try the option to not verify the identity of remote sites. This means that you are turning off authentication. This lowers your security. It should only be done if you are comfortable with the risks (e.g. you are sure that the communications really are with Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc.).

Finally, you can also turn off SSL entirely, using another expert option. Note that this only works for certain transport methods (including Amazon S3 and FTP (for those who have the FTPS extension activate)). Some cloud storage providers (including Dropbox) require SSL, so your only solution with them is to fix your installation.

 

SSL expert options

Expert options for SSL

How much free disk space do I need to create a backup?

This question is only interesting or relevant if a) you do not have an “unlimited” hosting plan and b) you are already using more than (approximately) 25% of your web hosting plan’s web space.

The very short answer is, theoretically, up to two-thirds (i.e. twice as much free space available as is already used). This answer is not something unique to UpdraftPlus, but is the case for backup plugins generally, if they are based on WordPress on a modern web hosting platform.

Here is a longer explanation to help you evaluate your particular case and give more technical details:

If you are dispatching your backups to the cloud (e.g. Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, Rackspace, FTP, WebDAV), then some space is still needed within your web hosting account to create the backup, before it is then sent off to the cloud.

Backups are created as zip archives, which are compressed. So it’s not possible to predict exactly how much will be needed (because some resources can be compressed more than others). It will never be more than your existing usage. The larger your site is, the more likely it is that most of your space is used by already-compressed resources (e.g. graphics, videos, audio), and the closer the amounts for “needed space for backup” to “spaced used by your website” will be. For small sites, with few uploaded resources, the ratios will be much less – since much of your usage will be for WordPress itself, which isn’t normally backed up (since you can get another one from wordpress.org), and which even if you are backing it up is mostly easy to compress.

However, there is another factor involved. UpdraftPlus, being written in the PHP programming language (as is WordPress itself), uses PHP’s facilities for creating zip files. When creating a zip file, PHP can internally create a temporary zip file, which can be as large as the resulting zip itself. As a result, it’s mathematically possible, if you back up everything, to need at least two-thirds / 67% free space in your web hosting account in order to produce a backup. (One third is used by your site; another third is used temporarily by PHP in producing the zip file that UpdraftPlus requests of it; and another third is used by the zip file itself).

If your web hosting setup lacks resources, then it is furthermore possible for some of these temporary files to be left behind. If your web hosting server, in order to manage resources, kills off the PHP process before it finishes, then the temporary file will remain until is cleared up manually by UpdraftPlus, once the archive is completely created, or if that happens then usually 12 hours later. This can really boost the amount of disk space you need for things to complete successfully, especially if it happens multiple times. If you have a resource-limited web hosting provider, plus a small disk space allowance, then that’s an unpleasant combination. Unfortunately the PHP engine does not advise its users (in this case, UpdraftPlus) as to where it put its temporary files, so UpdraftPlus just has to do its best to clear up what it can find, after the event.

If you are not dispatching your backups to the cloud (why not? Are you expecting any hackers to be so kind as to not touch your backups, or your hosting company never to go bust or have an accident?), or if you are leaving backups behind on the server (i.e. if you changed the Expert Option for this), then you will of course need further resources, for each backup set that remains on the server.

My backup is not working; I have read the log file, and UpdraftPlus attempts to add files to the backup but the backup size never increases

This is symptomatic of your web hosting account being full. i.e. Your have reached the disk space usage limit on your web hosting package.

See also this FAQ for more information about disk space usage within UpdraftPlus.

I am having trouble backing up, and my web hosting company uses the LiteSpeed webserver

LiteSpeed appears to have problems with all WordPress scheduled tasks that last more than a very short time – including all backup plugins. Adding this in an early position in the .htaccess file in your WordPress root folder may fix the problem:

RewriteRule .* - [E=noabort:1]

Adding the above line will make the LiteSpeed warning on UpdraftPlus’s settings page go away – this does not mean that the problem is definitely fixed; you will only know that via testing. If the above does not help, then you can try this: use WordPress’s alternative scheduling system – instructions here. The instructions amount to one thing: add a line to your wp-config.php file as follows:

define('ALTERNATE_WP_CRON', true);

If that does not help you, then you’ll need the help of your web hosting company to see why WordPress’s scheduler isn’t working on their setup, or is terminating it prematurely. Or failing that, you’ll need a different web hosting company. This problem is a generic one affecting all backup plugins on WordPress that run via the scheduler (which is all of them, as far as we know).

I can no longer download or restore from a Google Drive backup

Google recently (first half of 2013) changed their permissions setup. Specifically, the permission which UpdraftPlus was using to download backups (and thence to restore them) no longer enables it to do so.

To fix this, you need to:

1) Update to UpdraftPlus version 1.6.1 or later.

2) Click on the link to “Authenticate with Google”, down in the “Google Drive” settings section.

Authenticate with Google

Authenticate with Google

You will then be able to re-authenticate with Google, gaining the new permissions needed to download your backup files within UpdraftPlus.

Granting permission to UpdraftPlus to use Google Drive

Granting permission to UpdraftPlus to use Google Drive

 

The modal windows that UpdraftPlus opens can’t be clicked on – they are greyed out

Note: Some steps have been taken in UpdraftPlus to overcome the actions of other plugins that cause the problem below. If you’re not on UpdraftPlus 1.7.21 or later, then please update. Otherwise, continue!

Do you, when you click on the “Backup Now” button, or the “Restore” button, see a window that appears to open “underneath” the greying-out effect, and looks something like this: Backup window is greyed-out This is caused by another plugin you have installed, or perhaps your theme. That plugin or theme is loading its code onto UpdraftPlus’s settings page (instead of only loading its code on its own page). That problem is then compounded by that code conflicting with UpdraftPlus’s own code.

Here is an (incomplete) list of plugins known to do this, at least at some point in their history – please let us know if you find another, so that people finding this page in future can find their problem quicker: “WP Shortcodes”, “WP Events” (2.2.4.1), “The Events Calendar” by Modern Tribe (3.2), Font Resizer (1.2.3), Agent Extension Standalone Plugin/Agent Image News (one of the two – which one is unconfirmed) (present in version ?1.3).

To find the culprit (if it’s not one of those), de-activate your plugins one-by-one, and switch to a default theme (e.g. Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen), to find the culprit. (When the culprit has been disabled, reloading the UpdraftPlus settings page and clicking on “Backup Now” will no longer manifest the problem). If you have lots of plugins, then you can work quicker by “bisecting” – i.e. de-activate half of them, and then depending on the outcome either re-activate that half and work on the other half, or re-activate half of that half.

When you find the culprit, please report it as a bug using the support mechanism for that plugin. (Or permanently de-activate it or replace it, depending on whichever you find most convenient). Ask them to make sure that the plugin/theme’s code is only loaded on its own pages, and not everywhere.

My FTP stopped working when I upgraded to UpdraftPlus Premium

If you could successfully backup by FTP with UpdraftPlus Free, but it stopped working when you upgraded to UpdraftPlus Premium, then this article is for you.

The cause of this issue is that UpdraftPlus Free only supports unencrypted FTP. UpdraftPlus Premium supports encrypted FTP, and will try to use it by default.

Unfortunately, some FTP servers indicate that they support encrypted FTP, but don’t. Usually the problem is firewalling – the firewall ports to allow encrypted FTP are not open. So when UpdraftPlus tries to connect, it times out.

One solution is to ask the operator of the FTP server to either: a) Make encrypted FTP possible (open up the firewall ports) or b) Configure the FTP server to not advertise itself as offering encrypted FTP (since it doesn’t work – though, you may wish to confirm this first e.g. by using a desktop FTP client)

Alternatively, you can force UpdraftPlus to drop back to non-encrypted FTP as follows:

1) Click on the “Show expert settings” link towards the bottom of the UpdraftPlus settings page:

Expert Options

Expert Options

2) Check the “Disable SSL entirely” option.

After doing so, press the “Save Changes” button.

Disable SSL

Disable SSL

That’s all!

Why am I getting warnings about my site not having enough visitors?

Short-cut: If you are developing a new website and see this warning, then simply keep the UpdraftPlus settings page open whilst you back up. You don’t need to read any of the rest!

UpdraftPlus is a WordPress plugin; as such, it relies on WordPress running and handing it the opportunity to do something.

Thus if WordPress does not run, then neither can UpdraftPlus. So, if your website has zero visitors between midnight and 5am, and if your backup is scheduled to run just after midnight, then it won’t actually get to run until a visitor turns up at 5 am.

There is usually no danger of this becoming a problem, because even very unpopular websites tend to get visited by several search engines as long as those search engines are aware of them.

However, if enough of the following factors are present, then your backup may not be able to complete:

  • Your website is not known by search engines
  • Your website has almost no other visitors (e.g. is under development, and only the developer visits it, during office hours)
  • Your webserver only allows code to run for a short time
  • Your website is larger, and is being uploaded to a cloud backup service
  • You schedule backups to run very frequently (e.g. every 4 hours) so that multiple backup jobs may be competing for resources

Another way that this can happen is if your WordPress scheduler has been disabled (you’d usually know if this is so and understand the rest of this paragraph), and you”re instead running the scheduler via an automated task you’ve set up to call wp-cron.php directly. If you only call wp-cron.php once an hour, then this is like just having one visitor per hour as far as WordPress’s scheduler is concerned.

Note: If you were sent to this page by a warning from your copy of UpdraftPlus, then this does not mean for sure that your backups are definitely failing because of this problem – it just means that UpdraftPlus has detected a lack of visitors. It may be that there are still enough. The warning is advisory of a potential problem.

This issue is not a novelty of UpdraftPlus; it is the case for every WordPress backup plugin with scheduled backups.

What are the solutions? Any of these should help:

  • If you’re a developer, or your site was only just launched, then don’t set your backup time to 1 a.m. until after you launch the site and have some visitors and your site is known by search engines.
  • Your web hosting company’s control panel may have the facility to set up automated tasks – you could set up a task to visit the site every 10 minutes. This has no impact on performance. If you want to look at this option, you should ask your web hosting company for help – we can’t provide specific guidance.
  • Sign up with a facility like https://www.pingdom.com/free/ or http://www.easycron.com/tutorials/how-to-set-up-cron-job-for-updraftplus to get some more automated visits to your website.
  • If you’re just developing the site and need a backup *now*, then just keep the UpdraftPlus settings page open – it will make silent visits to the site’s front page in the background every few minutes (UpdraftPlus 1.7.15 and later).
  • Load up the site’s front page and hit “reload” every 5 minutes until the backup has completed.

When I migrated my site, I did not search/replace the database; what can I do now?

This article is about “migrating” a site – that means, cloning it at a different location (URL). It does not apply to “restoring” a site – when the site’s location stays the same.

In step 5 of the migration instructions, there is an important checkbox to tick. This performs the search/replace on the database, so that all the location references are updated.

Selecting components to restore

If this checkbox is not ticked, then you will not even be able to log in to your new website; WordPress will keep sending you back to the old one.

But, do not worry! It is easily fixable. Just do this:

1. Open up your wp-config.php file in an editor

Connect via FTP to your website (or whatever other method your web hosting company gives you to access the files stored in your webspace). Find the file in the root of your WordPress install called “wp-config.php”, and open it up to edit.

Add these two lines anywhere near another line beginning with ‘define’, but change http://example.com to match the address of your new website:

define('WP_SITEURL', 'http://example.com');
define('WP_HOME', WP_SITEURL);

Then save the newly edited wp-config.php file back to your webspace.

2. Log in to the WordPress admin dashboard

Visit your site’s /wp-admin page (e.g. http://example.com/wp-admin) and now you should be able to log in.

If the whole site has now crashed and you can’t even visit the admin page, then you must have introduced a typing mistake in step 1 – go back and try again!

3. Perform the database migration again

Perform the database migration again, and make sure that the box is ticked. There is no need (and it will only waste time) to re-migrate the plugins, themes, uploads, etc. Keep the browser window in which the operation takes place open, in case anything goes wrong – then you will want to copy and paste the contents so that they can be analysed.

After migrating my site, my front page works, but all other pages give a 404 error

First of all: this is not bad. Even though your front page is only one page, if it migrated correctly, then you’re 99% there.

If your front page works, but others give 404, then there’s only one thing missing: a piece of configuration in your webserver. In particular, it’s the configuration for permalinks – the configuration to send access to pretty URLs like www.example.com/about-us/ into WordPress’s actual files on-disk.

Because this is part of the webserver configuration, it’s one level above WordPress, and not under WordPress’s direct control. Therefore, it sometimes needs a small piece of manual intervention from you to get working.

How can I know what webserver my hosting company is using?

It may tell you on your 404 error page. If not, then go to your UpdraftPlus settings page (remember that you’ll need to use the login details from the site you migrated – login details are part of what’s migrated), and click on the ‘Show expert settings’ link at the bottom of the page. Then scroll down, and underneath the heading ‘Debug Information And Expert Options’ there should be a line ‘Web server’.

Failing that, you can ask your web hosting company – they’ll know!

Apache and IIS

The vast majority of webservers are Apache. Apache handles this via .htaccess files (a file called .htaccess in the root directory of your WordPress install), and WordPress can almost always set these up automatically. WordPress also can usually set the configuration file for Microsoft IIS webservers (a file called web.config). If it is not happening automatically for you, then firstly visit the Settings -> Permalinks page in your WordPress dashboard, and press the button to save settings. When you do this, WordPress will make a second attempt to set up the file. This probably will not work, if it did not work the first time. But you can try anyway. If it does not work, and you have Apache or IIS, then you should check the file permissions in the root folder of your WordPress install. Does WordPress (or to be more particular, the PHP engine that WordPress runs on) have permission to create files in that directory?

Finally, on Apache, if you are running your own server, then you should also check that you have the module mod_rewrite enabled. WordPress relies on this. (If you are using web hosting, then it is extremely unlikely to not be enabled already). Depending on how you have installed Apache, mod_rewrite might be called rewrite_module, or something similar.

Other webservers

If your webserver is not Apache or IIS (e.g. is one of the others – nginx, Zeus, lighttpd, LiteSpeed, or some other product), then you are likely to need to do something manually to set up the permalinks. Here are some links that may help; if they don’t, they just try Googling – e.g. Google for something like ‘WordPress permalinks lighttpd’.

Why is WordFence warning me that files inside UpdraftPlus have changed?

There are some WordPress security plugins which will alert you if the contents of one of your plugin files changes (e.g. WordFence). This is a useful service – if unexpected changes occur, then it might mean that your site was hacked.

Unfortunately, WordFence (at least at the time of writing – December 2013) uses a faulty algorithm to detect this, which results in lots of false positives.

The right way to perform this check would be by comparing your installed plugin with the plugin that was originally downloaded. However, WordFence instead compares your installed plugin with the plugin that can be downloaded today.

This is problematic, because often plugin authors make minor changes to their plugins without changing the version number. They do this because changing the version number will cause an update to show for all users of the plugin – and if this happens too often, then users get unhappy about the number of updates they have to apply. Hence, there’s a trade-off; the plugin developer has to weigh up the relative value of the improvement or bugfix he is making and the number of users it will benefit against the costs of increasing the version number. This is quite common (we speak from experience of maintaining very many WordPress sites + plugins); but unfortunately WordFence assumes that a plugin will never change if its version number hasn’t changed. That assumption just doesn’t fit with a lot of very popular WordPress plugins.

Of course, it’s possible that you really have been hacked; however, WordFence’s warning is only a possible indicator of this, not a definite one. Because WordFence has had over two million downloads, and UpdraftPlus over a million, we cannot economically take time to review your WordFence warnings or answer other questions about WordFence, without a dedicated support contract (see: http://updraftplus.com/shop/get-support/).

Please can you (Mr. UpdraftPlus) send me (A. Customer) a copy of my backup set? Thanks!

We can’t do this, because we have never had any copies of your backups.

Your backups are stored in whatever location you chosen in the UpdraftPlus settings (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). If you chose none of them, then your backups are kept on your web server (in the directory wp-content/updraft – we don’t recommend doing this, as then if hackers destroy your website or your web hosting company goes bust, then you lose both the site and the backups in one go).

Storage options

Storage options

My remote storage method is FTP, but I cannot see my backups on my FTP server

Here’s a check-list to help you…

1. Has your backup finished?

If you visit your UpdraftPlus settings page (refresh it if it’s already open, just to be sure), then does it show the backup as having finished?

2. Did you save your settings before starting the backup?

Sometimes users either forget to save their settings before they start the backup… or they change the settings after the backup job began and hope that the backup job will pick up the new settings. That doesn’t work: backup jobs use the settings that were active at the time that the backup began; so, you need to set the FTP settings and save them before you start the backup.

3. Does your FTP software cache directory listings?

Some FTP clients will show you the same directory listing as it last saw – they will only update the listing for files uploaded through the FTP client itself. Close your FTP client and open it again, and press the button for refreshing the directory listing view.

4. Have you ever tested your FTP settings?

If you press the “Test FTP Settings” on the UpdraftPlus settings page, then does it work? If not, then you will need to respond to any error message it gives you when you try it.

If the attempt to connect fails, but the same settings work in an FTP program on your PC, then most probably your web hosting company has a firewall that blocks outgoing FTP connections from your website – you should ask them to open up the port to allow connections for your backup.

5. Does your backup report give any clues?

If you configured UpdraftPlus to email you a backup report, then does it have any useful information in it? Is it showing any warnings or errors? (If not, then you can also read the backup log file if you’re confident enough to read log files… do a search in it for “FTP” to find the right part of the log).If you did not configure UpdraftPlus to email you a report, then try that.

If all that fails, and you’re a paying customer, then please feel free to file a support request… please remember to attach your backup log file (the “Download latest log file” link at the top of the UpdraftPlus settings page should access it; if not, then find it in the section that opens when you press the big “Restore” button).

The scheduler in my WordPress installation is not working – what should I do?

WordPress has a system for running scheduled tasks in the background. This does lots of useful things – things like clearing up internals (the equivalent of taking out the garbage), checking for available updates, and performing actions that plugins want doing at a set time, or regularly (like backups!).

If you have received a notice that your WordPress scheduler does not seem to be running tasks, then this page is for you.

Firstly, if nobody has not visited your site for a while, then this situation is expected. WordPress only gets the opportunity to do things when people visit pages. No pages = WordPress is never called upon = WordPress cannot kick off any background tasks. So, if your site is a development site, or has been moth-balled for some other reason, then this message is not surprising. Visit a few pages, and the message should go away. If not…

If you weren’t expecting this message, then take a look at this article. It’s an article about why scheduled backups don’t run. (If your scheduler is not working, then this is one of the results – but it won’t just be UpdraftPlus scheduled tasks that aren’t running; it’ll be all of them). All the reasons we’ve ever come across (after 1,100,000 downloads of UpdraftPlus!) for a scheduler not working are in it.

Why does UpdraftPlus warn me that my disk has no space left, when in fact it does?

UpdraftPlus just passes on the results of asking PHP “how much free space is left?” – via the “disk_free_space” PHP function.

Based on support requests we’ve had, it does seem that on some PHP installs, PHP reports that your disk is full when it is not. We do not have any specific information on why this might happen. If it is causing you a problem, then you should ask your web hosting company to take a look. If they give you any useful information then please do send it back to us!

 

What does the error message “PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT(-10)” mean?

Examples: “PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT(-10): Invalid archive structure”; “PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10) : Unable to find End of Central Dir Record signature”

This is a message that it is possible to see during a restoration or migration operation. If it occurs, then it will be when UpdraftPlus is unpacking one of the zip files from your backup. (To be more precise, it is when UpdraftPlus asks WordPress to unzip the zip file, using WordPress’s built-in unzipping functions).

Its meaning is that the zip file was corrupt, and could not be unzipped.

All the times when we have seen this message, the situation was the same: the backup zip itself was fine (don’t panic!), but the corruption occurred when the user uploaded it into their “destination” WordPress site. i.e. The upload was not successful; the uploaded file is not the same as your original backup zip. Either that, or the user attempted to begin the restoration before the upload operation had completed.

The solution, therefore, is to upload the zip again. If the drag-and-drop uploading widget in the UpdraftPlus dashboard was used previously, then an alternative method is to use FTP to directly place your zips into the wp-content/updraft folder on your website; and then when the upload is complete, pressing the “Rescan local folder for new backup sets” link, as shown below. Then try your restore/migration again.

Link to press for rescanning files

Link to press for rescanning files

 

How do I deal with “Fatal error: Allowed memory size of…” errors?

Here is an example of such an error:

Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 41943040 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 98304 bytes) in D:\Hosting\4662999\html\wp\wp-admin\includes\post.php on line 281

This is not particularly an UpdraftPlus error. It means that the PHP install on the webserver that your WordPress site is on reached its configured memory limit. What that means is that your site has plugins that need more memory than your setup is configured to allow. If it happened when you installed UpdraftPlus, then it means that you were previously running very close to the limit, and one more plugin was enough to tip you over the limit.

To resolve this, you just need to tell WordPress to increase the limit. To do that, edit the wp-config.php for your site and add a line like this one; add it after the opening <?php at the top. Anywhere after that is fine (but not at the very end, where it will take no effect):

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

If you are not sure of how to do this, then ask your web hosting company for help, and they should be able to assist. If your memory limit was already 256M, then raise it to something higher, e.g. 512M.

If seen when restoring/migrating

If you see the error whilst restoring your site, then it probably means you have a very large file to unpack (the maximum memory needed is approximately the amount of memory used by WordPress generally, plus the size of the largest file). You will need to raise your memory limit to at least that.

If the largest file is in your “uploads” (which is where very large files are likely to be), then you can just restore the uploads manually – i.e., don’t include the uploads in your restoration (do the restoration without it). Then, afterwards, unzip that zip on your PC and use FTP to move the resulting “uploads” folder into wp-content (so that it becomes wp-content/uploads – remove any existing such directory first… but if you have multiple uploads zips, then you’ll instead need to upload the contents of each in turn).

I have locked the UpdraftPlus settings page, and forgotten the password – how do I unlock it?

Are you faced with this lock screen, and forgot the unlock password?

Locking the UpdraftPlus settings page

The best thing to do is contact whoever set the lock password, and ask them!

If that is you, and you have lost the password completely, then please read on…

If you have access to the site’s wp-config.php file, then simply add this and then reload the settings page:

define('UPDRAFTPLUS_NOADMINLOCK', true);

Otherwise, if you cannot do that, then you will need to find the password in the WordPress database; for this, you will need to either have:

  1. The ability to install plugins – install and activate the SQL Executioner plugin
  2. Another way of editing your database (e.g. phpMyAdmin in your web hosting control panel)

If you find the below steps too technical, then you can always purchase a one-time support incident from our shop.

If you installed the “SQL Executioner” plugin, then you can access it in the Tools -> SQL Executioner menu.

SQL ExecutionerYou now need to search in your database for the unlock password. The following query will work in SQL Executioner on a WordPress single site installation:

SELECT * FROM $options WHERE option_name = 'updraft_adminlocking';

On a WordPress multisite (i.e. network) installation with UpdraftPlus Premium or the UpdraftPlus multisite add-on, you will need to use this query instead:

SELECT * FROM $sitemeta WHERE option_name = 'updraftplus_options';

If you are not using SQL Executioner, but instead phpMyAdmin or some other SQL tool, then you will need to replace $ with the table prefix from your WordPress site – so, instead of $options, you’ll have something like wp_options (and something like wp_sitemeta instead of $sitemeta). (The tool should show you the names of all the tables, from which you can spot the correct table name; if not, then use the SQL command “SHOW TABLES;”).

When you have successfully run the correct command, then the output should include the text password in it. On a single site, it should be obvious; on a multi-site, search in the output for the text updraft_adminlocking … and very shortly afterwards (a few characters later), you should be able to see the password. (Don’t directly edit it in your SQL editor unless you understand the format of PHP serialized arrays – otherwise you may lose some or all of your UpdraftPlus options).

If you wish to reset your password again afterwards, then you can do so in the “Debugging / Expert Tools” tab of your UpdraftPlus settings page in the WordPress dashboard.

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

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