BackupBuddy: Host Compatibility

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The information contained here is for shared hosting accounts unless specified otherwise. Please contact your host for details and confirmation as this page should be used as a guideline only, not an official, definitive source on the host quality.


There is no perfect host, I wish I could say otherwise and that you should move to this or that host and all possible issues will fade away like a small clear rain puddle in a hot summer day but that is not the network world we live in. BackupBuddy has no size or speed limits set into it, but it has to run in accordance to the server's configurations. If the server is slow or bad then naturally a site may have a harder time getting a complete backup (the bigger the site the harder it will be, it's just how servers work with max PHP runtimes).

There aren't even any hosts that are the "worst". What host is best for your site varies for each person, some sites won't have much issue with a certain host while other sites could run into issues. Though in many cases with hosts you get what you pay for: cheap hosting tends to be cheap on quality, and shared hosting is often overloaded. For some sites that could be fine, for others they (the site itself) should have something a bit higher quality.

It all comes down to the server configurations such as max_execution_time (max PHP runtime as a whole) and speed of the server (often hurt by a shared hosting being overloaded).


  • Servers sometimes overloaded causing browsing sites hosted on them to take a very long time to load or time out.


  • Problems reported with sites above 450mb (with zip compression on; off increases limit).


Overall BlueHost hosting seems to be somewhat hit or miss. Many customers have found that BlueHost is slow and often returns 404 and 500 server error messages for no reason periodically. These can not only cause a bad experience for viewers of your site but also break BackupBuddy backup functionality. Though in general BackupBuddy should work the lack of consistency among the experiences of users of this host results in us not being able to recommend this host.

PHP memory limit is 128MB at MOST. This is low. Hostgator for example provides 256MB which is double.

  • One customer had an Addhandler line in .htaccess which gave issues when migrated to another host.

Bluehost requires a database name (and user) to have a prefix of your username, so to be of the form username_databasename.


On the boards, a few people have complained about BackupBuddy timing out during backup. To resolve this, support recommends editing your php.ini file to change max execution time to 600.

According to response from tech support these are the limits on how long a process can run before being killed off and are based on whether the customer has a dedicated IP address or uses the shared address.

  • Apache/Web (HTML/PHP/Downloads): With Dedicated IP: 12 Hours | Without: 10 Minutes (up from 5 minutes)
  • SSH/Shell: With Dedicated IP: 2 Hours | Without: 1 Hour
  • Cron Jobs: With Dedicated IP: 30 Minutes | Without: 30 Minutes
  • Deamons: With Dedicated IP: Unlimited | Without: 10 Minutes


No cPanel

Dreamhost - D (maybe F)

Note: As of August 2012 we are working with Dreamhost to clarify or resolve issues noted below. We will update this as this progresses. Thank you Dreamhost for so kindly working with us!


  • Does not allow HTTP Loopbacks (PHP connects back to site via curl to Site URL - ie ).
  • Unlimited plans terms of service PROHIBITS storing of backups in your account. "Unlimited" is not truly unlimited.
  • Resource related:
    • Extremely slow zip generation.
    • Problems reported with sites above 22mb (with zip compression on; off increases limit) due to slow processing.
    • Possible workaround: Can create a custom php.ini to extend PHP timeout to increase BackupBuddy run-time.
  • No cPanel (uses custom system) - See Resources below for manual unzip functionality.
  • Configuration related:
    • No native command-line zip. BackupBuddy will enter the slower, less reliable compatibility mode.
    • Procwatch automatically kills off BackupBuddy if it uses too many resources in the process of making a backup.


  • Verify your mysql server as it may not be the common default localhost (for ImportBuddy migrations).


GoDaddy - F

Note: Godaddy is currently working with us to try and improve known issues. We will update this pending improvements.


  • Custom control panel. Some changes take up to hours to take effect.
  • Slow site load times on some servers.
  • Some servers overloaded not leaving processing power for backups.
  • System actively kills any PHP process working too hard or too long (ie backups).

HostGator A


  • Fast. Command-line zip available for best BackupBuddy experience.
  • CPanel.



  • Current limits of their shared and reseller hosting (9/20/2011)
    • safe mode = Off (cannot adjust)
    • memory_limit = 64M (MAXIMUM)
    • max_execution_time = 30 (MAXIMUM)
    • max_input_time = 60 (MAXIMUM)
    • post_max_size = 64M (MAXIMUM)
    • upload_max_filesize = 64M (MAXIMUM)
    • enable_dl = Off (cannot adjust)


  • Slow page loads.
  • Problems reported with sites above 85mb (with zip compression on; off increases limit).


Minimal issues.

Told a customer that they don't support linux command line zip.


Minimal issues.

Rackspace Cloud Hosting

  • Some reports of failing path/directory detection due to symlink issues, preventing backups.
  • We have not had success or failure reports for Cloudsites hosting in a long period so we cannot accurately report the status.


  • JustHost blocks the command line ZIP command which is required for BackupBuddy's normal functionality.
  • Compatibility mode is available but is only recommended for moving away from JustHost hosting.


  • We do NOT reccomend WPEngine for BackupBuddy compatibility.
    • Command line zip via PHP exec() is blocked. You MUST enable "Alternate zip method" under troubleshooting for best functionality. WPEngine does NOT meet BackupBuddy requirements due to this.
      • Note: Backups will be severely limited due to this restriction.
    • Blocks downloading of backup files via web for enhanced security purposes.

Free eBook

For more information on choosing a good host, we published a free ebook resource titled How to Pick a Great Web Host without Having a Computer Science Degree.

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