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The First 4 Critical Steps After Installing BackupBuddy

Having a solid backup strategy in place isn’t a choice, it’s absolutely vital for your WordPress site.

And BackupBuddy is that all-in-one holistic solution — because you can easily backup your site (everything – all your settings, themes, plugins, content etc) … and then restore it if you have a crash … OR move it to a new host or domain name.

BackupBuddy is currently running on well over 100,000 sites … but we don’t want you to just buy it … we want you to USE it so your site is safely and securely backed up.

We highly recommend these first four steps after first installing BackupBuddy:

1. Complete these key BackupBuddy settings.

The BackupBuddy Settings Page

From the WordPress Dashboard, navigate to the BackupBuddy menu and go to the Settings page:
  1. Make sure you set your ImportBuddy Password (so you can securely restore your site in the event of a crash).
  2. Put your email address in the “Error notification recipients” space (so you can be updated if backup errors occur).
  3. Setup your “Remote Destinations” (the best way to store your backups is off-site).

Our recommended remote destination for backups is an affordable and reliable service like Amazon S3. Amazon S3 is backed by the enormous Amazon.com infrastructure that powers a lot of your favorite sites.

Here’s an Amazon S3 calculator to estimate your charges. For example, we host our own backups with Amazon S3, and our bill is insanely cheap for what we store (everything). For 10GB of storage with 10GB of transfer (WAY more than the average WordPress site), the estimated bill is just 63 cents for the US region.

Signup for an Amazon S3 account (yes, different than regular Amazon.com).

2. Perform a backup to test your Remote Destination.

The BackupBuddy Backups Page

After you’ve setup the key Settings above, you’ll want to do your first Database-Only Backup and Full Backup to ensure everything’s working properly.

  1. From the WordPress Dashboard, navigate to the BackupBuddy menu, then the Backup page.
  2. Select Database. BackupBuddy will start backing up only your database. Once the backup is complete, the blue lights will stop blinking and you’ll see a green light at the end of the progress bar.
  3. Go back to the Backup page and you should see your new backup file listed. Next to the file, you’ll see Statistics and Status of the file.
  4. If the backup is listed as “Good,” hover over the file name and click “Send file offsite”. A popup box will appear, select your Remote Destination, and click “Select this destination.”
  5. Once completed, a box will say that your file is in transfer. To verify the transfer and to see a list of backup files in your Remote Destinations, wait a few minutes (to allow the transfer to happen), then visit the Backup page and select the “Remote Destinations” tab.
  6. Click on the “Manage Remote Destinations & Archives” button and select your Remote Destination (in this case Amazon S3) and hover over it to click “Select this destination.
  7. The page will refresh and show you a complete file list. If you see your backup, you are good to go and can even download it to verify by clicking on “Copy to local.”
  8. Repeat this process for the Complete (Full) Backup.
  9. We also suggest on this first run through that you download a copy of your Database Only and Full Backups to your computer. Hover over the backup and select “Download file.” Create a folder on your computer called “BackupBuddy” or “WP Backups” and save it in there. This just gives you one more place to store your first backups.

3. Setup Schedules.

Once you have verified that BackupBuddy has backed up both types of backups and stored them safely to your Remote Destinations, you’ll want to setup your backup Schedules.

The BackupBuddy Scheduling Page

In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the BackupBuddy menu and click  “Scheduling.”

For most WordPress sites, we suggest these backup schedules below but you should make your own judgment on how frequent you should do your backups:

1. Database Only Backup running Once a Week — name it “Weekly Database,” then select “Database Only” and “Weekly” as the frequency. We suggest setting the “Date/time of next run” for a low trafficked part of your day, like after midnight.

2. Full Database Backup running Twice Monthly— named it “Monthly Full Backup,” then select “Full Backup” and “Twice Monthly. Again, we suggest setting the “Date/time of next run” for a low trafficked part of your day, like after midnight.

4. Plan ahead to get the BEST SUPPORT from our team.

As always, our team is here for you if you have questions or get stumped along the way on our Support Forum… but please don’t wait until the last minute to migrate a site (especially if it is your first)!

Finding out you don’t know how to do something or running into a technical problem 15 minutes before showing a site demo to a client is not fun and although our support is fast, we can’t help you fix something you needed 2 hours ago.

So please plan ahead so we can offer you the best support.

We highly recommend if you’re backing up, restoring or moving a critical site (or even a large one), that you consider our support hours so our awesome support ninjas can help you.

Our support hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday-Friday (except on major U.S. holidays).

Simply logon to the BackupBuddy Support Forum with your iThemes username and password … search for a related subject, or post your issue giving as much details (with links) as you can in order to BEST serve you!

Watch the Video Tutorial: The First 4 Critical Steps After Installing BackupBuddy


  1. How do you upgrade from two licences to ten?
    There appears to only be a package of two or a package of ten but surely you have an upgrade path from two for those who purchase two to try it out and then decide to apply it to other websites once familiar with it.

  2. Hi, Thanks for this really useful guide. I use Livedrive for my cloud storage and was wondering if you knew how/if I can set that up as my remote destination in Backup Buddy. Thank you!

  3. This article was very helpful!

    Although, I still got lost on how to set up my S3 account for back up. it was requesting a bucket name… which I didn’t have, and it was requesting a directory, which I couldn’t figure out how to set up… could you elaborate on that a little bit?

    Right now, I’m just have it backing up to my gmail account… is that ok? Or should I only back it up to S3, or both?

    I’d really appreciate your advice on this!

    Thanks in advance,

    Tony Smith

  4. Thanks for the video tutorial:
    A couple of comments —
    1. He went too quickly for a newbie like me to keep up. He needs to go more slowly.
    2. The pictures in the video are fuzzy and out of focus. I cannot read the words. Yes I did have my glasses on : ) But I do need to see what and where he is clicking on — please.
    Any chance he could re-do this video — I’m sure others like me would have similar problems.
    Thanks for your support



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