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VaultPress Review

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October 28th, 2010
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WordPress, WordPress Plugins

There are many ways to backup WordPress, but none as easy and thorough as VaultPress. VaultPress is one of the newest Automattic projects and is definitely a powerhouse in its field.

One of the many things that sets VaultPress apart from the rest is its set it and forget it ease of use. Simply install the VaultPress plugin and watch as it begins to analyze and backup your database, plugins, themes, and uploads. After the first backup is complete, VaultPress will update your backup whenever a change is made, even for something as trivial as adjusting a setting. The result is a series of up to the minute full backups ready to be restored as soon as you need them.

In contrast, iDrive is VaultPress’ closest competitor. Though iDrive’s service starts free, you’re only allotted 2GB before a paid upgrade is required, and the backups are only generated once every 24 hours. VaultPress is not free, but space is unlimited and backups occur immediately and as often as necessary.

In addition to extensive real-time backups, VaultPress offers intuitive stats that use data from your backups to help you determine your blog’s most popular day and hour (based on % of comments received) and your blog’s most productive day and hour (based on % of posts published), and if you upgrade to a premium account, VaultPress will regularly scan your files for known exploits and threats. This is an invaluable feature for popular sites as VaultPress will notify you the minute an exploit or threat is found and you’ll be able to immediately restore from the latest clean backup.

Fortunately, I have not had the need to test the restorability of VaultPress’ backups, but I have determined by visual inspection that they seem to be complete, and several success stories have been recorded.

If you’re in need of a simple and complete backup solution, look not further than VaultPress. VaultPress is still in beta and new features are being added often. After applying for VaultPress, you’ll be placed on a waiting list until space is available, but the special beta rates are well worth the wait.

Disclaimers: I work for Automattic, but I am also a paying VaultPress customer. VaultPress is one of our advertisers.

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Comments

  1. Ricardo Santos says:

    Looks like a great concept/plugin but its expensive, $15 for vaultpress every month its “a lot”, decent hosting is not cheap as well.

    i’ll keep on doing manual backups through cpanel untill vaultpress becomes more realistic to the ” average joe” on its price per month.

    • SK says:

      Agreed on pricing. Way too high. I have a RackSpace CloudSite ($150) and I have a MediaTemple GridServer ($20). I have my blog running on RackSpace. Instead of $15 for this service, I just setup a chron backup from RackSpace to MediaTemple via SFTP twice each day. MediaTemple offers 100GB of storage. I purge the oldest backups that are over a month old automatically.

      And yes, my solution is a bit more complicated, but considering I can use the GridServer for hosting other sites and for developing, it’s much better than paying nearly as much for just a backup service.

  2. Wayne Baker@Homemade Baby Foods (1 comments.) says:

    I agree that Vaultpress sounds extremely useful but that the price is prohibitive. I cannot afford $15 a month for this service. Backups are essential but I can perform this manually without too much difficulty. I think they need to find a way to make this more affordable before it will be heavily used.

  3. Klark says:

    I’m paying $40 bucks per month and it’s well worth it. Support has been great so far, with prompt responses. We have over 50k posts and wanted multiple backups, mutliple locations, easily accessible and restorable…so this is the best option for the price.

    • Zatz (6 comments.) says:

      Instead of $15/$40, they’d probably have a much larger potential customer base at $10/$25. Of course, it’s all relative… and I subscribe to VP for $40/mo.

      It’s not the cheapest insurance plan, but it’s probably the most promising. My site was hacked twice in the last year and at some point I unfortunately discovered my host wasn’t backing up my DB as they should have. So now I have a better safety net. And I’m hopeful when the service is more fully fleshed out, I’ll have some opportunity to “fail over” to a new host entirely with just a few clicks. We’ll see.

      My my experience is the same as Klark’s – the VP support has been outstanding, thorough and prompt.

      • Zatz (6 comments.) says:

        Oh, and as I’ve told Matt before, I’d rather give him $100 or $120/mo directly to host and protect my site. Then I could just skip VP and everything else… one can dream.

  4. Phillip Molly Malone (3 comments.) says:

    If the cost of Vaultpress was lower, would do it in a second! But, for me, the cost is too expensive.

    The iDrive solution looks interesting. Should you have noted in your mention of it that for the cost of the Vaultpress you could have a 150gb account with iDrive.

  5. Matt (27 comments.) says:

    It’s always funny to me how people ascribe value online and offline. I do it to: I think nothing of dropping $15 at KFC for a bucket of chicken (and sometimes I share it with friends), at least once a month, but ask me for the same amount online and it seems much larger, because I’m used to everything online being free. (Especially around WordPress.)

    The way to properly think of VaultPress’ price is not what it costs but what it saves. Which is your site. For example I have over 30GB of phto galleries on my site — it’s too big for Gmail, I don’t want 30 copies of it on my own server from a local backup plugin, I don’t trust a random storage site that’s not focused on WordPress… my options are limited.

    On the other end of the spectrum is another WordPress I run — WordPressFoundation.org. No attachments, probably just a few megs of data, and the server it’s on does automatic backups, but that was one of the first sites I put VaultPress on.

    Why? I’ve invested many hours into the content and I want to be absolutely, positively, beyond a doubt sure that it’s safe. I don’t want to have to regularly test out the server backups, or worry that something was lost in the interval between a change and a backup. Give me real-time bulletproof protection.

    The final bonus is the security features, which you didn’t mention above. VaultPress, because of its purpose-built nature, is savvy to your theme, plugins, and core files and can tell when something’s amiss, like if a hacker has changed one of your files or there’s suspicious code in a plugin you just installed. These features are still nascent in VaultPress, but it’s already started to empower people to protect their own site, as you can see on the testimonials page:

    http://vaultpress.com/what-theyre-saying/

    There’s a lot more coming in the future! Keep an eye on the VP blog. :)

    • Phillip Molly Malone (3 comments.) says:

      Of Course you make many great points, as you would expect!
      On your KFC example, if you wanted fried chicken and someone was going to give you fried chicken, but only 2 pieces when really you only want one piece anyway, would you still buy KFC? Probably not.

      Now, I haven’t used VaultPress but I have no doubt in the world that it is top of the range solution. The issue for me is that I don’t see that its a $15 value to me. I can absolutely see that there are hundreds and hundreds of sites that would get $15+ value out of it. I think your point about us being use to free on the net is a very good point as well (it is interesting you bring that up as I am pretty sure its fair to say it was one of (not the only one but one of) the factors that helped WordPress gain popularity over some other blogging platforms (like TypePad)).

      As a support engineer, I wouldn’t agree with your point: ” I don’t want to have to regularly test out the server backups…”. After working with Corporations, and remembering one day were two rather large companies found that their backups were no good even though they had backups, I am of the opinion that if you don’t test your backup, you don’t have a backup. Not saying you have to test it everyday, but testing it every now and again is a good idea even if its just so you understand how to do it.

      Anyway, don’t want to sound negative, just putting some other points to consider.

      JMTC
      Molly
      PS. Did you consider a free or lower cost version of VP? The old “first hit is free” or the micropayment that you forget about seem very valuable marketing ploys to me, but as I say, I am a support guy not a sales guy.

      • Chris says:

        Matt

        Firstly let me say thank you…as a user of vaultpress — I love it.

        I am quite new to blogging and internet marketing in general. That being said I have had my site breached and as a result the back up solution I employed was not satisfactory to say the least…the end result being I lost everything.

        There are a number of back up solutions out there but for my money I now only ever use vault press, and for the record I would pay three times as much. All those people that are concerned about what it will “cost” them (while a legitimate concern as it allays is) should think about the cost of NOT having a credible back up solution and the effect that would have on their site — not to mention the time it takes to rebuild if the worst happens.

        Keep up the good work my friend you are an inspiration.

      • Matt (27 comments.) says:

        Testing backups is crucial, but as you know almost no one ever does it. Your blog backups in the VaultPress vault, by virtue of being used by lots of people, get tested all the time by end-users in addition to the full-time team of over five people constantly working on improving it.

  6. Chris Cree (4 comments.) says:

    That’s a great point, Matt. When someone says my service seems “expensive” I usually ask, “Compared to what?”

    Most times they are unconsciously making a comparison that doesn’t make any sense at all once they actually think about it.

    Vault Press may seem pricey for hobby bloggers and those who are technically savvy. But for small businesses without in-house tech skills who depend on their websites VaultPress is very inexpensive insurance.

    It’s all a matter of perspective.

  7. Colin (1 comments.) says:

    I guess it comes down to the value you place on the safety of your site.

    If your site is low quality / doesn’t make you much money – then yes $15 p/m will be a bit of a bummer for you.

    If however it is a $1000 p/m powerhouse – it would certainly be wise to pay a small fee to keep it safe.

    I guess it is similar to insurance in that respect…

  8. Harsh Agrawal (2 comments.) says:

    I have used Vault Press for 2 months and I kinda liked the service but again they are big memory hogging..They should work on some mechanism which doesn’t put shit loads of server load…
    Problem is they keep uploading files as soon as they changes and that makes server slow and always busy….for a less powerful server they can work as a disaster…Else everything is great about Vaultpress..
    $15 is perfect price…but I would expect them to work on adding more feature and control to admin of the blogs!!

  9. Ricardo says:

    @Matt
    Comparing KFC with vaultpress pricing ist funny to say the least…

    Vaultpress its expensive, you can try and compare it with kfc chicken bucket all you want but at the end of the day its still damn expensive, you can colour it all you want but it is what is is… expensive, if everyone can afford it…thats a different story.

    Nowadays with the economic crisis all around us paying $15 every month for a pluggin its way to much, and we are talking dollars not euros or other monetary currency…do you know how much that is in euros? or other currencys?

    At the end of the day its up to us wether to buy it or not but making this article appear in millions of wordpress admin pannels advertising it as “cheap”…. lol lol lol

  10. John Flag (1 comments.) says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. I used iDrive as it was free.. and ‘you can’t beat free’ can you? Oh yes you can! I had my blog hacked and was unable to recover the files from iDrive. Three years of good content and a good blog trashed overnight! $%$!(*&^&%!

    I’m willing to pay for the peace of mind that my new content going froward will be protected. I’ll check out VaultPress. Thanks.

    John

  11. quicoto (39 comments.) says:

    Just applied to VaultPress.

    Waiting for the golden ticket :P

  12. Robert says:

    Matt, please address the comment about memory hogging issues. This concerns me greatly. I was very interested in VaultPress, but now am alarmed. What does this mean? Please explain. Help!

  13. Chief Editor (1 comments.) says:

    Quality does not come cheap :-) I love my site and decided to protect it by the best solution. Will write about my experience with Vaultpress soon



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