WP-DB-Backup: The Most Dangerous WordPress Plugin Of All?

by Martin Russell on March 1, 2012



So let me openly say that, yes, WP-DB-Backup gets my vote as the riskiest WordPress plugin of all time.

wp-db-backup

It does exactly what it says it does. It backs up your WordPress database (or databases), and it does this quite reliably.But before I explain my concerns, let me review the good qualities about this plugin because there are lots.

  1. It is free. That’s also very nice.
  2. It is massively popular, with 1,200,000+ downloads as of this writing.
  3. It has a solid reputation and many, many people recommend this plugin. (In fact the reason I am writing this post is exactly because one very well-known, long-standing and influential IM guru whom I respect sent me an email recommending it.)

So with all that going for WordPress Database Backup, why would I have any issue with it?

Well simply because people think that if they use this one plugin, they can feel safe …

… and they are dangerously mistaken!

You see there is more to a WordPress blog than just the database.

The database stores your passwords, posts, pages, etc etc.

BUT… the separate from the database here is also your theme, your plugins, your plugin settings, your uploads (like graphics, pdf files etc), your widget settings, your opt-in boxes, your custom tweaks of your theme, and anything you dared to upload onto your site via FTP rather than through your official WordPress system.

Basically that’s hours and hours of tweaking that you did to your blog, and all that will be utterly vaporized if you are only left with the database as your backup.

So my guess is that of the 1.2 million people who downloaded this plugin, about 80% had NO IDEA of this limitation.

They are at risk of having some catastrophe happen, only to find that their back-up isn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Aaargh!!!

And with maybe a million bloggers with 1 or more blogs each at risk – this is why I vote WP-DB-Backup as THE most dangerous plugin of all time.

Fortunately, once you know the problem you can focus on the solution. So here are…

The 3 Best Solutions For a COMPLETE WordPress Backup

…of your database, AND the rest.

And each of these 3 can be set to run automatically for ultimate set-and-forget peace of mind.

  1. The Free Option:
    Update 12/04/28: Unfortunately the EZPZ One Click Backup plugin I recommended here was yesterday officially farewelled and survives no more. You can find more details at my other wordpress backup post.
  2. The Most Popular DIY Option:
    There is no doubt that BackupBuddy from iThemes has won in the popularity stakes, and for good reason. It is cheap, and very well tested with lots of users. You only get support from a forum, rather than phone calls so you do need to either by a DIYer, or be prepared to have your website guy do it, but they have kept it fairly simple and straightforward.
  3. The Done-For-You Option:
    On my original wordpress backup post there was one membership service that stood out as the popular vote in the comments, and that was BlogVault. You can check out the features on the site itself, but most importantly for me it allows you to create a test restore on their site so you can PROVE your backup is complete. In the past couple of years BlogVault has grown into one of the bigger players in the field, still with first class customer service as part of its offering.

Now you know your real choices for a COMPLETE backup of more than just what the WP-DB-Backup plugin offers – safe blogging!

http://pluginbuddy.com/purchase/backupbuddy/

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