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What is ImportBuddy?

Hi everyone! Bes Zain here, answering one of life’s little mysteries for you called “ImportBuddy.”

Because of the very complex things BackupBuddy does to make your life easier, there are several things BackupBuddy offers that you may want to know more about.

One of those things, and one of the most common terms you’ll hear in the BackupBuddy community, is the “importbuddy.php” file, or simply “ImportBuddy.”

Even though ImportBuddy is a file provided for free as part of BackupBuddy, there seems to be some mystery behind it in the eyes of some BackupBuddy users.

What is this file? Why is it needed? Why is it not just called BackupBuddy also? It’s only a single file? ImportBuddy is my buddy, just like BackupBuddy? :O

Let’s go through this file just a little bit to explain its purpose, shall we? :)

ImportBuddy is like a mini-version of BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy runs on WordPress. That is BackupBuddy’s requirement. One of the many things you can do with BackupBuddy is to move your entire WordPress site and database from one server to another.

One of the great features of BackupBuddy is to allow you to move entire sites without requiring you to install WordPress on the destination site.

Hmmmm, how can BackupBuddy be run on the destination host, to move my site to it, if it doesn’t have WordPress installed already?

Through ImportBuddy :)

You simply upload the importbuddy.php file along with your BackupBuddy backup, and let ImportBuddy do all the work.

Importbuddy.php is a simple, yet extremely powerful, miniature version of the most important and required BackupBuddy commands which allow you to work with any BackupBuddy backup file on a server or a host or any place, with or without WordPress.

And ImportBuddy is very easy to download via the BackupBuddy menu system:

Importbuddy runs on its own

All Importbuddy needs is access to your host’s database. Everything else is handled by Importbuddy. Importbuddy walks you through the entire migration or restore process, depending on what you want, and makes sure you have your entire site working perfectly in no time.

That is the most important reason why the importbuddy.php file exists: to allow you to work with your BackupBuddy backups when you may not have WordPress installed or setup somewhere.

See ImportBuddy in Action!

Since migrations and restores are long processes, here is one of the several webinars I did recently explaining BackupBuddy and ImportBuddy in detail:

Intro to BackupBuddy - with Bes Zain

Intro to BackupBuddy - Bes Zain

There is another upcoming webinar on BackupBuddy in which I’ll walk you through the basic and advanced features of BackupBuddy and ImportBuddy. Be sure to sign up today for free for the Live Intro to BackupBuddy Webinar!

What do You Think of ImportBuddy?

There you have it: ImportBuddy may be the single most important file for you after your actual BackupBuddy backup file. You use ImportBuddy to work with your backup files almost everywhere you go.

What do you think of the importbuddy.php file? Do you use it a lot for your migrations and restores? Or have you been using BackupBuddy through WordPress more and have rarely had the chance to interact with ImportBuddy yet?

For the above questions, and any other general ImportBuddy related questions and this post, please post a comment below.

Do you have any importbuddy.php related questions and your actual BackupBuddy backups? Please share them with us on the BackupBuddy forums.

If you haven’t used BackupBuddy yet, go ahead and get BackupBuddy with 30% off, or download BackupBuddy from your Member’s area.

ImportBuddy is included for free with every version of BackupBuddy.



  1. I have been doing backups with Backup Buddy for quite some time now but only recently started to use importbuddy.php to migrate sites. So far I moved around 30 sites. Most to a new domain on a new server. I have to say that I have saved so much time using importbuddy that I’m not sure if I would ever want to go back to my original way. I use to use an sql script after migration to change the urls and keep things serialized and even though that was not hard or took that much time importbuddy still saves me time. I also like knowing that i dont need to update permalinks or text widgets or theme settings or anything else using imortbuddy.


  2. Can this importbuddy.php file be use across all website backups? I mean every website that is backed up by backupbuddy has an importbuddy.php file. What if there is an instance where the importbuddy.php file is lost for some reasons, will the importbuddy.php file from other backups be used?

  3. I would also like an answer to the question. Specifically if we are doing automated backups as we all know we need to, how would we obtain the appropriate importbuddy file if a site is wiped out by a hacker, virus, or operator error?

  4. Hey guys!

    Your copy of ImportBuddy can be used with any of your backups from any of your sites. So, for instance, you have two sites, site1.com and site2.com. If you download a copy of importbuddy.php from site1.com, you can use it with your site2.com backup. So if you download and lose your copy of importbuddy.php from site2.com, you can use the one from site1.com.

    While your copy of ImportBuddy isn’t tied to the site that way, the password you create the file is. The password you set on your site for ImportBuddy is tied to that particular file.

    @Darrel – If the unthinkable does happen, you can always download a copy of importbuddy.php from another site where you have BackupBuddy installed. If you don’t have it installed on another site, there is actually a copy of importbuddy.php included in your backup file.

    If you have anymore questions, just let us know!



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