I am going to attempt to blog on a more regular basis during the upcoming school year. To prepare for this I have been doing some work on looking how I can get this blog to back up automatically (this is a self hosted Word Press Blog).
I wanted a fully automated backup solution that would not require manual input and stored the backup on a separate server to the blog. It was also important that not only does it backup the files but also the database.
Backup Storage – Amazon S3
Because of the low storage costs; US$0.14 per GB plus bandwidth charges of US$0.12 per GB Amazon S3 was ideal for cloud storage. This means that I will be paying less than 40 pence a month for backup charges. Currently I am paying nothing due to the introductory discounts for new S3 customers for the first year.
More details on the S3 service can be found here.
Backup Plugin – Automatic WordPress Backup
I tried out a number of different plugins but settled on ‘Automatic WordPress Backup’; the plugin page is available here on wordpress.org .
This plugin is incredibly easy to set up and has limited options but backs up the whole site quickly and easily to Amazon S3. It works perfectly with the current version of Word Press 3.2.1 (despite some comments to the contrary on the plugin page). The only thing to watch is after the plugin has generated the backup it does take about a minute for it to be transfered to S3 so it won’t immediately appear in your bucket.
However I wanted to test it actually worded, for a backup to be useful it needs to be able to restore easily. I created a new WordPress installation and installed the plugin and ran the restore option. It was up and running in two minutes and all settings were copied over including users and themes. This would be useful if moving web hosts.
The plug in allows you to create manual backups as well as set retention policy so backups can automatically be deleted after a certain period of time to save on storage costs.
All in all a good solution and quick to implement; this took me about 30 minutes to install and fully test (although I already had a S3 account).
The image below shows the management interface (click for a larger view):
The image at the top of this blog post is from Flickr User Sylvar under a creative commons license.