ManageWP Backups: New and Improved

Backups are key to keeping your website secure. If an update fails, an error prevents you from accessing your dashboard, or an attacker destroys your content, being able to restore a recent version of your site is vital. However, what do you do when backups fail?

Our backup tool is secure and designed to run in the background, but there is always room for improvement. In the last year, our development team has been hard at work rebuilding the system from the ground up to make it faster, more reliable, and more secure.

In this article, we’ll look at the improvements to our ManageWP backups. While most of the upgrades were done on the ‘backend’ and are primarily impacting the stability and reliability of the system, we’ll then cover three key user-facing changes and how they help your website. Let’s go!

Updating and improving ManageWP backups

Last year, we became aware of some issues with our ManageWP backups. As we experienced a sudden growth in users in 2019, our systems came under a bigger strain than usual. As a consequence, a number of our systems were impacted which also included our backups. This led to our development team taking a closer look at the system. Since then, they’ve entirely rebuilt our backup technology stack.

The new backup system uses completely new coding. The infrastructure was also amended to improve performance and security. Many of the updates and changes are in the background, but the increase in efficiency is easy to see.

By the end of last year, the new technology was ready for testing. And for the next six months, the old and new stacks were running in parallel. This gave our development team a chance to ensure the new system is stable and better than the last.

The results are now in, we can say the rebuild has been a success. As of now, all ManageWP backups are on the new, V2 backup system.

3 ways we’ve improved ManageWP backups

The new technology stack has improved our backups in many ways. Most of them are on the back end and not clearly visible to the average user. However, there are three key changes that directly impact users and should be evident to you when you’re carrying out your regular WordPress site maintenance tasks.

1. Increased backup reliability

One of the most important improvements we wanted to make to our backups was to increase their reliability. While the old system didn’t necessarily fail often, there were enough failures to be problematic.

As we already briefly mentioned, failed backups are a serious problem for website owners, managers, and maintenance professionals. This issue can leave you without a recent version of your site to restore if something else goes wrong.

Fortunately, our new backup technology is far more reliable than the old system. During testing, this improved reliability resulted in fewer failed backups. This provides more peace of mind and ensures our customers always have recent versions of their sites on hand.

2. New backups are more secure

While reliability is vital for backups, security is always a concern for website owners. ManageWP backups have always been encrypted and distributed. The distribution system stores parts of your backup in different locations. If malicious individuals access a backup unit and break the encryption, they still won’t have access to the entire file. This stops them from being able to use the backup information to attack your live website.

However, our new system added a forced transit encryption in order to further ensure the safety of your site(s) and protect your data from prying eyes during the transport. Whether your website has an SSL certificate enabling transport layer security or not, our system will provide fully encrypted communication during the transit.

3. We doubled the backup speed

A slow backup system can cause a lot of problems for users. Long wait times are not only inconvenient and frustrating but also result in more failed backups and situations in which backups become ‘stuck’.

During testing, our new ManageWP backups were two times faster than the old ones. This should help sustain our increased reliability and improve the overall User Experience (UX) of the platform.

Average V1 backup time: ~4 minutes (old system)
Average V2 backup time: ~2 minutes (new system)

Conclusion

Our backup tools have enabled you to schedule regular, automated backups of your websites for years. However, no system is perfect. Our development team has been hard at work improving this feature. The new technology has been tested and implemented, and we can say with confidence that the changes will provide significant benefits.

The three main improvements to the ManageWP backup system include:

Do you have any questions about ManageWP backups? Let us know in the comments section below!

Marko Tanaskovic

Product Marketing Manager @GoDaddy | Currently on a mission of either cloning himself or learning to be at two places at the same time. Latter being the preferred option.

10 Comments

  1. Jakub

    It would be great to up the limit for files. 400k is not quite enough for larger websites.

  2. 123boost

    Hi Marko
    Is this for all backups ? even for EUROPE storage ? (or only US) ?
    Thanks

    1. Marko Tanaskovic

      Author

      All of the backups are now on the V2 version of the system, no matter where the backups are located.

  3. Daniele

    Hi guys,

    Was this already available on the accounts?
    Or has been rolled out today?

    Thanks!

    1. Marko Tanaskovic

      Author

      Hi Daniele, the initial development started last year and it was deployed for testing by the end of 2019.
      The two systems ran in parallel for a couple of months until we were confident that the new (v2) backup system was performing as expected. After that, the old system was retired, and currently, all of the customers are on the new, v2 backup system.

  4. Philip

    Is there a way to use a WGET with the new system to download the backup as when I’ve tried it, I get an authentication error

    1. Marko Tanaskovic

      Author

      Hey Phillip! Absolutely.
      You can use the WGET function on the download link as long as the link is active (a couple of days in most cases). You only need to watch out for SHELL and special characters such as &, ?, etc.

  5. Laurence

    It would be great if there was a way to separate full site backups from database backups. This used to be a feature, but it has unfortunately gone away. I have around 14GB of images and even though the backup is incremental, the process of comparing files seems to take up a lot of CPU. It would be nice to be able to do a daily database backup and then perhaps a weekly filesystem backup instead. Alternatively, if you have ideas as to how to improve backup performance on the server the CPU isn’t maxed out that would be great 🙂

    1. Marko Tanaskovic

      Author

      Hi Laurence, I am not aware that there ever was an option of having two different setups for a single website (one for the database and one for the content).
      However, you could add your website to two accounts and run different backup setups on each (one performing a full backup weekly, and one performing daily database backups).

      I am surprised to hear about the CPU issue as our backup system is extremely light on resources. In fact, that is one of its best features, and is usually works with even the slowest of hosting providers. As you mentioned, the backup system is incremental, so it should not check or compare the files that did not record any change.

  6. Bogdan

    Thank you, for improving ManageWP. Please keep up doing this!

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Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!

Over 65,000 WordPress professionals are already using ManageWP

Add as many websites as you want for free, no credit card required. Sign up and start saving time!



Have questions? Get in touch!