I have been following 23Press since before its inception. Despite not keeping in touch with Terry Smith or the other principals in the company, I’ve been watching and waiting to see what products they release into the WordPress marketplace. There are only two companies I have this fanaticism for, Rocket Genius and 23Press.
Recently, Jeremy Wright contacted me about a new product that 23Press is releasing on Monday called BackupPress. For a while now there have been companies trying to help people secure their blogs through data backups. WordPress blogs are constantly suffering through security issues as well as user issues. As the barrier to entry is lowered, and the complexity of the code base increases, the overall understanding of the software is diminished. BackupPress is like TimeMachine, for WordPress. If you make a mistake with your blog, such as deleting a comment, breaking your theme, then you can easily roll your changes back. It backs up posts, pages, uploads, theme files, settings and more.
And unlike many of the other WordPress backup plugins I’ve used, this one makes things very easy, and that has been my experience in using both of the 23Press products now.
My Experience With WordPress
I should preface this post with a bit of details regarding my WordPress experience. I have been using the software since before version 1.0 came out. I’ve developed plugins, themes, and managed hundreds of WordPress installations. I still only consider myself an intermediate level user, but I’m always looking for the easier, faster, and more simple way to manage all of my own and my clients WordPress installations.
After getting access to the plugin, I downloaded it to my local computer. Using WordPress’ built-in plugin upload tool, I uploaded the zip file to my blog and it installed flawlessly.
Once activated, I was kind of confused. I looked for an icon to appear below the settings where my other plugins have added their own menus. I checked under Settings, and Tools only to realize that BackupPress had added itself near the top of my admin panel sidebar. I didn’t really mind its placement, but after using the plugin, I don’t know if it needs such a prominent placement only because it is so easy and automated.
I clicked on the logo and was brought to a login page, much like I saw on the BackupPress website. Entering in my details, I was quickly authenticated and told that my backup would take up 73MB of my allocated 5GB.
I then clicked on the start backup button, and was immediately brought to a page that let me know what was going to be backed up, and the percentages of each chugged along.
Reading the message, I noticed the following which made me very happy:
“We have started doing an initial backup of your blog; you can track the progress of that process on this page, but you don’t have to stay on this page and can come back at any time.”
I am always worried about accidentally closing a tab, or making a mess of a running process, and so to know that it was going to take care of backing up my blog no matter what I ended up doing was a nice bit of security.
Once the backup completed, I was given some stats about my backups and an interface to restore data.
Of course, since I don’t have any previously backed up data as of yet, I can’t really try out the restore feature, but I will be making a follow-up post to discuss this feature once I can really test it out.
Beyond that, there are no settings, nothing to manage daily, and I don’t foresee a time where I will run out of backup space. It just runs in the background. As I make changes to the site, it will automatically back them up. As long as they are able to maintain a high level quality of service, I don’t see any reason to use any other tool.
I can already think of more than a dozen situations where BackupPress would have saved me several hours, and if I value my time at all, I would have saved myself a great deal of both time and money had this been available.
For the most part, I avoid paid plugins and services when it comes to blogging. Again, Gravity Forms by Rocket Genius being an exception, and of course the previous 23Press plugin MoveThatBlog being another, but I’ve used the free WordPress backup plugins, and they are either confusing to set-up or require a reasonable cash investment.
BackWPup almost requires a Masters in Computer Science to understand and configure. BackupBuddy is $75. VaultPress, what I would consider the closest competitor to BackupPress, is $15 per month or $180 per year. BackupPress is $25 per year. While they do note that this pricing is available during their Beta period, I am hopeful that they’ll continue to keep costs lower than their competitors as it was a big selling feature for me. Even at around $50 per year, I think the service will remain competitive.
It is much easier to charge clients $25 or $50 per year to secure their blog data than $180, especially if the service and features are nearly the same.
From Their FAQ’s
Are my backups secure?
Absolutely, we take security very seriously. All communications of changes, uploads, settings, etc. between your blog and our servers is done over SSL. We also digitally sign every request we send to your blog so it can verify that it came from our servers.
What happens if your service goes down?
Obviously we take up-time very seriously, but things do happen and we’ve built the plugin with a lot of safety features just in case. In the unlikely event our service goes down, your blog will be unaffected. Things you do during that time will be queued up and will be sent when our service becomes available again.
The two people that I know well at 23Press are Terry Smith and Jeremy Wright. Terry Smith worked at b5media as a developer. His development skills are absolutely remarkable. He’s worked on a variety of high quality projects, including some well known WordPress powered websites. His previous plugin release, MoveThatBlog, was well received in the community, and he has only not become a central figure in the WordPress community because he’s so busy actually coding new and cool things.
Jeremy Wright used to run b5media, and it wasn’t his first well known start-up. At b5media, he was the type of owner that lived in the trenches, helping grow the network of hundreds of WordPress powered blogs, and keeping them running efficiently with a start-up budget. Jeremy understands the plight of WordPress users and is very focused on making things easy. His passion towards this goal is one of the many reasons I’m so excited to see what 23Press produces.
I wasn’t paid for this review. I have no conflict of interest to disclose. This article doesn’t contain any affiliate links. I am just really impressed with this product. The only selfishness I have is hoping this is a success so that they can keep it inexpensive and continue to develop new products for me to use.