ImportBuddy (importbuddy.php) is the tool that allows you to migrate or restore a site with BackupBuddy. Keep a copy of the ImportBuddy script with your backups for restoring sites directly from backups. For complete documentation on migrating or restoring your site with BackupBuddy, please visit the Manual Migration and Magic Migration pages.
To use ImportBuddy, you'll first need to set a password. ImportBuddy requires this to protect unauthorized access to your site and backup files before you have finished restoring. This password is encoded inside your ImportBuddy file when it is made, so:
- If you share this ImportBuddy file to another for usage with a backup file you will need to provide the corresponding password.
- If you change the password will need to download a new copy of ImportBuddy. Changing the password will NOT change it in existing ImportBuddy files.
- To set your password, navigate to BackupBuddy > Settings and enter the password you'd like to use in the ImportBuddy & RepairBuddy password section.
- You can also set a password when you download ImportBuddy. If you set a password when downloading ImportBuddy, it overrides the password you created in your BackupBuddy Settings. If you leave the option blank, it will use the default password you created in your settings.
- An ImportBuddy password can also be set during the Quick Setup page after first installing BackupBuddy.
After setting your ImportBuddy password, there are two ways you can access ImportBuddy:
- Manually downloading (and then uploading to destination server)
- Sending to destination from within BackupBuddy
Manually Downloading and Uploading to Destination Server
To manually download ImportBuddy and upload to your destination server, follow these steps:
Manually Downloading ImportBuddy
- To download ImportBuddy, navigate to the Restore/Migrate page in BackupBuddy and click the Download ImportBuddy button. This will initiate the download of the ImportBuddy file.
- Save the file to your computer.
- You will next upload the ImportBuddy file to your destination server to begin using it.
Uploading ImportBuddy to your destination server
- Decide on the FTP directory that you would like to migrate or restore the backup to (using an empty directory is best) that corresponds to the web URL you want your destination site to be at. For example, if you want your new site's URL to be
http://your.com/mybuddy/then your server directory MIGHT be something like
/user/yourusername/public_html/mybuddy/. This is the directory you will then put importbuddy.php into. Note: The directory structure varies host to host but often follows a similar format.
importbuddy.phpand your backup zip file to the FTP directory that corresponds to your desired URL.
- Navigate to the
importbuddy.phpfile in your web browser after it has been uploaded. Example:
- To complete the migration or restoration process, visit the Manual Migration page.
Sending ImportBuddy to Destination
Instead of manually downloading ImportBuddy, you can send ImportBuddy directly to the location of your migration/restoration from within BackupBuddy.
- To send ImportBuddy to a destination, navigate to the Restore/Migrate page in BackupBuddy and click the Send ImportBuddy to a Destination.
- In the window that opens, you be given options for where to send the ImportBuddy file. You'll find a list of your current remote destinations and an option to create a new destination.
- Follow the steps for Manual Migration.
The 6 ImportBuddy Steps
For more information on the ImportBuddy migration/restore process, visit the following links:
ImportBuddy's Advanced Options allow customization of various ImportBuddy functionality for custom purposes or troubleshooting. Exercise caution as some advanced options may have unforeseen effects if not used properly, such as overwriting existing files or erasing existing database content.
Advanced Options can be located after clicking the Advanced Options button during Step 1 and 4 the 6 ImportBuddy Steps.
Step 1 Advanced Options:
- ZIP Archive Extraction (Step 2)
- Skip zip file extraction - Checking this box will prevent extraction/unzipping of the backup ZIP file. You will need to manually extract it either on your local computer then upload it or use a server-based tool such as cPanel to extract it. This feature is useful if the extraction step is unable to complete for some reason.
- Force medium speed compatibility mode (ZipArchive) - Bypass attempting to use command line zip. Rarely needed; troubleshooting.
- Force slow speed compatibility mode (PCLZip) - Bypass both high speed mode and medium speed mode, falling back all the way to PCLZip (slow speed). Rarely needed; troubleshooting.
- Database Import & Migration (Steps 3-5)
- Select the "Adanced Options" button while on Step 3 for database options.
- Skip migration of .htaccess file - Rarely used; for technical purposes only.
- Show detailed PHP warnings
- Import Logging - Errors and other debugging information will be written to importbuddy.txt in the same directory as importbuddy.php. This is useful for debugging any problems encountered during import. Support may request this file to aid in tracking down any problems or bugs.
Step 4 Advanced Options:
- Database Import (Step 4)
- Skip import of database
- Delete database tables that match new prefix on import - WARNING: Checking this box will have this script clear ALL existing data from your database that match the new database prefix prior to import, possibly including non-WordPress data. This is useful if you are restoring over an existing site or repairing a failed migration. Use caution when using this option and double check the destination prefix. This cannot be undone.
- Delete ALL database tables, erasing ALL database content - WARNING: Checking this box will have this script clear ALL existing data from your database, period, including non-WordPress data found. Use with extreme caution, verifying you are using the exact correct database settings. This cannot be undone.
- Force database import compatibility (pre-v3.0) mode
- Ignore existing WordPress tables and import (merge tables) anyways - When checked ImportBuddy will allow importing database tables that have the same name as existing tables. This results in a merge of the existing data with the imported database being merged. Note that this is does NOT update existing data and only ADDS new database table rows. All other SQL conflict errors will be suppressed as well. Use this feature with caution.
- Maximum time allowed per import chunk
- Database Migration (Step 5)
- Skip all migration of URLs/paths in database - Skip extended brute force migration of URLS/paths in database.
- Skip extended brute force migration of URLS/paths in database - By default BackupBuddy will extensively examine and migrate unknown database tables. Sometimes however this can cause timeouts on larger sites. You may skip this intensive procedure to reduce required runtime for database migration steps. Note that some URLs or paths may not be updated if skipping this step. All major WordPress URLs and paths will still be updated however.