One of the worst things that can happen to a blogger is to wake up one day not only to find that their blog has been down, but to find that their database has been completely erased or corrupted. If your host doesn’t have automated backups or any kind of backup support, your in trouble. Or even worse, what if your host just goes out of business and you lose everything (it’s happened to me before). It’s not uncommon for this to happen and unfortunately not many bloggers know how to backup their blogs or find the time to do it. I try to make backups every now and then for Solution Watch, but it just isn’t enough to please me. Thankfully, BackupMyBlog has taken the initiative to solve this common problem and created a service that will automatically backup your blog everyday at a remote location (two locations, actually) in two different secured servers. BackupMyBlog currently offers 10MB of space and is free only during its beta testing stage. It only backs up databases, although it has been said file backups may be a possibility in the future in an extended plan.

Getting started is very simple, but make sure your blog meets the requirements first. You must have access to the server your blog is hosted on and must support PHP 4.3.0 or later. Your blog’s database also needs to be a MySQL database. If your a WordPress user like myself, everything should be just fine. After confirming your server meets the requirements, you then have to setup BackupMyBlog to backup your database.

You have two options when setting up BackupMyBlog to your server. You can either use their quick and easy Wizard Setup or the Manual Setup. The wizard will take you through a three step process that will ask you for some basic information about your database and FTP. You first enter your FTP information (FTP details will not be saved) and it will display your servers file system. Select the directory where your blog installation exists and it will automatically do the rest for you and upload two files to your server for BackupMyBlog. It’s that simple and your ready to go. However, there was one part that I felt uncomfortable about during this process. When it successfully finds your blogs configuration file, it asks for your MySQL database information, which it should, but what I didn’t really like was how it prefilled all of the MySQL information for me (host, username, password, and database). Maybe it’s just me, but it spooked me a little, specifically because of the password. Anyone else feel the same? Anyways, the manual setup just steps you through making two files that you include in your blogs directory (same files the wizard would setup).

Once everything has been setup, you will be directed back to the management area where you can access your backup history, restore your database from a previous backup, and modify reporting options. Shortly after (around 15 minutes) you will receive your first report, either by RSS feed (available in management area) or by email. Make sure everything looks correct and if there are any problems, submit a support ticket. I haven’t had any issues yet. The history area will show all your database tables and the amount of records in each so you can easily compare differences in the backups, making it easier for you to pick the best date to restore to if your database every does run into problems.

Restoring a database takes only a minute and is a very simple process. If you go into the restore section of BackupMyBlog, you will see a list of your backups sorted by date. Select a backup and then pick a method to restore. You can choose either a PHP script that will perform the database backup for you or an SQL file that you have to run yourself. Either way, you have to download a script and get it on your server, which I much prefer over having a remote service attempt to do it. If you have chosen the PHP script, all you have to do is upload the script to your server and access it. Submit the form when the page loads and all is set. Just make sure to delete the file when you are done so no one can attempt to back it up again.

That’s about all there is to it. I have ran multiple tests and everything seemed to work great without problem. I first setup a fresh installation of WordPress for our company that we hope to blog at soon. I wanted to do a fresh database rather then jumping at Solution Watch and find an error occur, just to be safe. Everything went through perfectly though. I collected a few days worth of backups. Added test posts to the blog here and there and restored the database a couple times. Once I knew things were working well, I have setup BackupMyBlog on Solution Watch and the backups are being made. Hopefully, I wont have to use them, but atleast I have them and don’t have to worry about making backups on my own.

Overall, I found BackupMyBlog to be a great service that can definitely help many bloggers out there. Many servers, especially on shared servers, do have some kind of backup system already, but those of you that don’t may want to look into BackupMyBlog. It would have also made things a whole lot quicker when switching my hosting for Solution Watch to Media Temple. It took some time to get the database over then, but I imagine it would only take a matter of minutes with BackupMyBlog.

BackupMyBlog is a service by Doug Martin who is also the owner of LookLater, one of my favorite bookmarking tools. I could not find a price at BackupMyBlog for when it’s out of the free beta stage, but a post over at Mark Allen’s states that it may be $20/3 months of daily backups. Not bad at all, but no word on official pricing as of yet.

View BackupMyBlog – Automatic Remote Backups for Blogs. (via LookLater)


15 Comments on “BackupMyBlog: Auto Remote Backups for Blogs”

  1. Doug Martin says:

    Thanks for the great review.

    To address your one concern: I tried to make the Wizard Setup as automatic as possible, which is why it automatically finds and fills in your database setup info. I’ll add a text blurb at the beginning of the setup to make it more clear what the Wizard will do.

  2. IT|Redux » Bug Bash says:

    [...] Last January, I explained how I am using various services to backup my data, but my attempt at retrofitting my old TypePad account in order to backup my blogs powered by WordPress did not go very far. Since then, I dropped the ball and have been waiting for a better solution. The answer came this week with the release of BackupMyBlog. It only works with blogs powered by PHP 4.3.0 or later and a MySQL database, but as Brian Benzinger indicated in his excellent review, it should not be a problem for WordPress users. I hope that Doug Martin, developer of BackupMyBlog and the LookLater bookmarking tool, will come up with a more universal solution down the road. This service does not address the need for a standard backup API, but it provides a good temporary fix nonetheless. [...]

  3. Webby’s World » BackupMyBlog says:

    [...] (via and images by) [...]

  4. TechCrunch » Blog Archive » Back Up Your Blog says:

    [...] BackupMyBlog backups are fully redundant on two separate servers in two locations, so its extremely unlikely you’ll lose your main blog as well as both backups. However, the service has a 10 mb limit – something I don’t like – and older posts are deleted as that limit is reached. Hopefully they’ll have options for more storage once the service is out of beta. Brian Benzinger has done a full test of the service and likes most aspects of it. [...]

  5. TechCrunch » Blog Archive » Back Up Your Blog says:

    [...] BackupMyBlog backups are fully redundant on two separate servers in two locations, so its extremely unlikely you’ll lose your main blog as well as both backups. However, the service has a 10 mb limit – something I don’t like – and older posts are deleted as that limit is reached. Hopefully they’ll have options for more storage once the service is out of beta. Brian Benzinger has done a full test of the service and likes most aspects of it. [...]

  6. Backupmyblog Saves Hours - rev2.org says:

    [...] Backupmyblog is a a new service which enables you to backup your MySQL blog within minutes. Brian Benzinger has written about it here. I find this an interesting service, but the fact that it only backs up databases and will be a paid-for service once launched has made me stick with my traditional WordPress plugin. WP Cron + WordPress Database Backup + a Bulk GMail Account does the trick more than well enough. Comments [...]

  7. TechCrunch en français » Sauvegardez votre Blog says:

    [...] Les sauvegardes de BackupMyBlog sont totalement redondantes et sont faites sur 2 serveurs différents présents à 2 endroits différents. Cependant le service est limité à 10mb – pas vraiment idéal- et les anciens billets sont automatiquement effacés quand la limite est atteinte. Nous imaginons qu’ils auront plus d’options pour l’espace de stockage une fois le service en ligne. Brian Bezinger a effectué un test complet du service. [...]

  8. Ben Werdmuller says:

    Wouldn’t this be a ton more useful if it looked at full-text RSS feeds instead? Currently it’s solely limited to technical users – the ones most likely to have some kind of backup solution anyway.

  9. Brian Benzinger says:

    Ben – I suppose part could be done with full-text RSS feeds, but that would only cover a small portion of data. BackupMyBlog backs up the whole database for the blogging platform, not just posts. It backs up categories, users, posts, meta data, and the works – something that just wouldn’t be possible with feeds, atleast without some heavy modification. Not to mention that there is a large percentage of bloggers that do not use full-text feeds. BackupMyBlog has manual options for technical users.. which isn’t really all that technical anyway, and an automatic option that’s just a matter of filling in connection details. Restoring a database is as simple as uploading a file and browsing to it.

  10. Prashant says:

    That service looks great, the only problem is that it only backups your database, what about the files?

    You should also take a look at Bytefortress, I use them and couldn’t be happier with their service. With their service you can backup your entire web directory (Including files and databases, etc.).

  11. Deep Codes » Blog Backup says:

    [...] BackupMyBlog: Auto Remote Backups for Blogs [...]

  12. Self Evident says:

    That seems useful… and less traumatic than FTP’ing to yourself. Maybe the larger blogging providers will add a feature to more easily create daily backups now. :)

  13. TechCrunch Japanese ????? » ????????????????? says:

    [...] BackupMyBlog ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????MB????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Brian Benzinger?????????????????????????????? [...]

  14. Jim says:

    Check out IDrive-E. This IBackup product allows you to backup 2GB of data absolutely free with their Basic plan. IDrive-E performs ‘totally hands-free automated backups’ of files and folders. The backed up data will always be available as ‘IDrive-E’ online drive on your computer so that it can be easily restored.

    You can backup any type of files with IDrive-E absolutely no limit on the upload or download size for backup and restore. IDrive-E retains 30 versions of backed up data. Each backup creates a new backup set that is identified by the date and time. You can restore up to 30 prior versions, including the most recent version of your data files. You can also restore latest versions of all your files or versions of files. IDrive-E does incremental backups that transfer only portions of file that have been modified or changed since the last backup.

    For ease of use, the application has two interfaces to work with. IDrive-E Classic view offers a very simple and intuitive user-friendly interface similar to the native Microsoft Windows explorer to
    backup and restore files and folders. You can also schedule your backup for a future data and time, exclude files and folders, delete entries in the backup set – all to suit your needs.

    IDrive-E Explorer view is a virtual drive with Windows Explorer-like view. IDrive-E Explorer view is meant for restoring files and folders and is not for backups. You can browse your IDrive-E account contents, restore files and folders with a simple drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste operation, view history of files, drag-and-drop or copy files to local drive (restore file versions) and search for files and folders backed up in your IDrive-E account. All data stored on the IDrive-E servers is encrypted using a secure key with a user supplied password known only to the end user. IDrive-E uses industry standard AES 256-bit encryption* on storage.

  15. Back Up Your Blog · ordaso.com says:

    [...] BackupMyBlog backups are fully redundant on two separate servers in two locations, so its extremely unlikely you’ll lose your main blog as well as both backups. However, the service has a 10 mb limit – something I don’t like – and older post backups are deleted as that limit is reached. Hopefully they’ll have options for more storage once the service is out of beta. Brian Benzinger has done a full test of the service and likes most aspects of it. [...]