This usage document covers how to use the Hub 2.0 Backups module to manage, delete, download, backup and restore backups. The Backups module can be used to manage either the managed backups included with WPMU DEV hosted sites or Snapshot Pro backups created for websites hosted on 3rd-party hosting.

If you haven’t set up your WPMU DEV account yet, visit the Hub page, where you can explore available features, see pricing packages, and start a free trial.

Already a member? Visit your Hub dashboard to get started.

9.1 Getting Started

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To access the Backups section of your website, from the Hub 2.0 My Sites page, click on the site you would like to manage and click on the Backups option in the site manager menu.

Hub 2.0 Backup tab overview screen
If your site is not hosted with WPMU DEV, and you have not set up Snapshot Pro on your site, click the Activate button. This will install and activate Snapshot Pro on your website.

The settings available in the Backup tab are slightly different for sites hosted by WPMU DEV than for sites hosted by another provider. This document covers the options for both.

The managed backups tab includes:

  • Dashboard
  • Settings
  • Documentation

If you would like to see a visual representation of how much space your Snapshot Pro backups occupy for each site, you can view this in the My Account area. Scroll down to the Add-ons section, which is where you will find a pie chart showing the percentage storage distribution of Snapshot backups for all your sites. Hover over each segment to reveal the size of the backups taken up by that site.

snapshot backup size by site

9.2 Backups Dashboard Overview

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The Backups Dashboard Overview is an overview of available settings, configurations, and quick links for managing backups from the Hub.

The Backups dashboard:

  • Number of Backups – The total number of available backups for your site
  • Schedule – How often backups are scheduled to run either daily, weekly, or monthly

If your site is hosted by a 3rd-party and you’re using Snapshot Pro, you’ll see how much storage this site has used, and the remaining overall storage available in your plan. Click the + more storage link to upgrade your backup storage if needed. Note that if you just removed some backups to free up storage, it can take up to 1 hour for cache to clear and this data to update.

Snapshot storage displayed in Hub

Click the Create Backup button to instantly run a backup using the pre-configured settings for Snapshot Pro or managed backups.

Click the Settings icon (three dots) to open your settings action menu. The settings menu options include:

  • Go to WP Admin
  • Refresh Data
  • Deactivate (Snapshot Pro Only)

9.2.1 Backups List

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This section lists all of your available backups. The most recent backup is at the top of the list.

If a backup has failed, it will be highlighted in red to indicate that something went wrong.

failed backup

The information shown in the list notes:

  • Date – When the backup was run
  • Size – Size of the backup
  • Time – How long ago the backup was run

Click the Settings icon (three dots) to open your settings actions for the Backup List menu. The settings menu options include:

  • Create Backup
  • Set Schedule (Snapshot Pro Only)
  • Configure (Snapshot Pro Only)

9.2.2 Backup Details

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Click on a backup to open a popup module with additional information about a specific backup.

Along with all the date, time, backup type, size, and file name, the Backup Details module has options to:

  • Download – Snapshot Pro backups will download instantly and WPMU DEV hosted backups with be prepared and a link will be emailed for download.
  • Restore – Snapshot Pro will open the restore module with guided steps and WPMU DEV hosted backups will open the hosting tab to trigger the backup.
  • Delete (Snapshot Pro Only) – This allows you to remove the backup freeing up backup storage space.

9.2.3 Restore Website (Snapshot)

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This chapter covers all you need to know about restoring a 3rd-party hosted site from your Hub using a backup made with the Snapshot plugin.

Note that if your site is no longer connected to your Hub, you can still obtain the backup files you need from your WPMU DEV Account page. Skip down to the Getting your backup files from your Account page section for instructions on that.

From the Hub 2.0 Backups module, click the specific backup you wish to restore on your site.

Select Snapshot backup in the Hub

Then, in the modal window that pops open, click Restore.

Snapshot backup restore modal

You’ll then be prompted to select one of the available restore options.

Backup restore options in the Hub

Depending on the option selected, summary instructions will be provided directly in that modal window. You can also click any of those options listed below to jump to the corresponding section in this document for more details on how to proceed.

I can access my website

If your website is still running and accessible, then Snapshot should be able to restore from the selected backup automatically.

Backup restore site accessible option in the Hub

Click the Restore button at the bottom of the modal to open Snapshot Pro in your WordPress admin, and restore your site following the guidance in our Snapshot documentation.

If you prefer a manual approach, click the Download link to have the backup package emailed to you. Note that this can take several minutes while the backup package is prepared. Once you receive the email, click the link in the email to download your backup. You can then either unzip it and restore only the files and/or database tables you need, or follow the My website is unavailable directions below to use the snapshot-installer.php file.

My website is unavailable

If your website is down (ie. white screen of death or unable to access wp-admin) you’ll need to restore it by uploading your backup and an installer file to your existing or new server.

Backup restore site inaccessible option in the Hub

  1. Download both the .zip and .php files by clicking each link in the modal window. Here again, clicking the link to download the backup will trigger an email that will contain a link to your backup download, which can take several minutes depending on the size of the backup package.
  2. Important: clicking the snapshot-installer link will download a zipped file called snapshot-pro-standalone-restore-script.zip. If that does not unzip automatically on your computer, be sure to unzip it manually. Do not unzip the backup download once you receive it though. If that one does unzip automatically on your computer, be sure to zip it again before uploading to your server.
  3. Upload the unzipped snapshot-installer.php file and the still zipped backup package to the root of your server.
  4. Navigate to the http://yourwebsite.com/snapshot-installer.php file in your web browser.
  5. Follow the instructions on screen to complete the restore.

Auto restore via FTP

If you select the Auto restore via FTP method, you will be prompted to enter (S)FTP credentials for the site you want to restore. You should be able to view or create (S)FTP credentials in your current host’s control panel.

Backup restore FTP option in the Hub

  • Select the appropriate protocol (SFTP or FTP) and enter the Host or FTP Server Name.
  • The Port should automatically set itself according to the protocol you select, but it’s a good idea to double-check anyway.
  • Enter your FTP Username and Password.
  • Finally, enter the WordPress install path.

Note that the WordPress install path should be relative to the path set for your FTP user. For example, if your FTP user’s path is already set to /home/username/ and your WordPress site is located in the /home/username/public_html directory, the install path would be simply /public_html as seen in the image below

Example FTP user path

Once you’ve filled in the form, click the Start Restore button. You’ll then see a progress screen like below in your Hub. You can safely navigate away from this screen in your Hub while the backup restores in the background.

FTP backup restore progress in the Hub

Getting your backup files from your Account page

If your site is no longer connected to your Hub, you can access your backup and the installer file from your WPMU DEV Account page. Click on your profile image in the top-right corner of your Hub and select My Account.

My Account link in the Hub

Then scroll all the way to the bottom of your Account page and, in the Add-ons section, click the All Backups link under the Snapshot graph.

View all Snapshot backups in My Account

This will open a modal window showing you all available backups associated with each of your sites. Use the filter in the top-right corner to filter your backups by website if needed.

Once you’ve located the backup you want to restore, click on it to pop open its details pane where you can download the files you need. Then follow the steps detailed in the My website is unavailable section above.

View Snapshot backup in My Account

Restoring a backup manually

Now that you have obtained the files you need to restore your backup, you’ll need to use either an FTP/SFTP or SSH connection to upload the backup package and installer file to your server. If you are not sure how to use an FTP/SFTP client or SSH, see our SFTP & SSH documentation.

The installer file will download as a zip file named snapshot-pro-standalone-restore-script.zip. If that does not unzip automatically on your computer, be sure to unzip it manually. Do not unzip the backup download once you receive it via email though. If that one does unzip automatically on your computer, be sure to zip it again before uploading to your server.

Upload both the zipped backup package and the unzipped snapshot-installer.php file to the root directory of your WordPress site. This is most often the public_html directory, but may be different depending on your particular setup.

When the files have been uploaded to your server, go to http://yourwebsite.com/snapshot-installer.php, replacing yourwebsite.com with your site’s actual domain name.

This will open the Snapshot Wizard in your browser that will walk you through all the steps of your backup restore.

Requirements Check

The first step will begin by running a check on all the Requirements for the backup restore:

Snapshot installer requirements check

  • PHP Version – Snapshot Pro requires PHP version 7.0 or later. If your host is using an older version of PHP Snapshot Pro will display a low PHP version or PHP version is out of date warning. You’ll need to update your PHP version to proceed.
  • Open Base Diropen_basedir must not be configured on your server. If it is, you’ll need to disable it or contact your host for help to get that done.
  • Max Execution Time – A minimum execution time of 150 seconds is recommended to give the migration process the best chance of succeeding. If you use a managed host, contact them directly to have it updated.
  • MySQLi – Snapshot needs the MySQLi module to be installed and enabled on the target server. If you use a managed host, contact them directly to have this module installed and enabled.
  • PHP Zip – To unpack the zip file created by Snapshot, the PHP Zip module will need to be installed and enabled. If you use a managed host, contact them directly to have it added or updated.

In addition to the above basic requirements, you may see the following error messages if there is a problem with the backup file:

Snapshot installer requirements errors

  • Archive – If no zipped backup file is found in the same directory as the snapshot-installer.php file, this will return an error. Please ensure the uploaded backup file is zipped, and is uploaded to the correct directory.
  • Archive Validity – If the archive is found to be corrupted in any way, this will return an error. You’ll likely need to download a fresh copy of your backup, and upload it again to your server.

If your site fails the check, correct the deficiencies, then reload the page. Once the Requirements Check has passed, proceed with the Configuration step.

Configuration

The next step is to connect to your database. It is recommended you create a new database, but you can choose to overwrite an existing database once you’ve tested the connection. By default, these fields will be pre-filled with the location of your last backup. Update the info in the fields if you do not want to overwrite the existing database.

Snapshot installer database connection

Settings

In this section, you will see the New Site URL (URL that will be used when your site is restored).

A connection test will let you know if the server and database are connected. If you have chosen to use an existing database, a warning message will remind you that restoring your site will overwrite all existing data.

If you make a change to the New Site URL or Database, click the Re-test Connection button to verify your connection.

Snapshot installer test connection

Deployment

Once you are satisfied that the connection info is correct, click the Deploy Site button to proceed with the backup restore. This will overwrite your current site and any changes made after the backup was taken will be lost.

Snapshot installer deploy site

Deployment Progress

Step Two is a progress bar that notes the progress of the deployment. This can take some time depending on the size of your website package.

NOTE

If the backup restore fails, don’t hesitate to contact our 24/7 support team for help restoring your site.

Snapshot installer deployment progress

Cleanup

Once the process completes, a success message will display. Click the View Website button to visit the homepage of your restored website.

Snapshot installer cleanup

Click the Run Cleanup Wizard button to remove the installer.php script, your backup package, and other temporary files used for restoring your site. A success screen will display to confirm that all files associated with the backup restore process have been removed.

Snapshot installer cleanup done

The Settings tab has options for managing your backups schedule, deleting backups, and deactivating Snapshot for sites not hosted on WPMU DEV.

Hub backup settings tab

Modules and options include:

  • Schedule – Set or change the schedule of your automated managed backups. For Snapshot hosted sites, click on the schedule to update and change your settings.
  • Password protect backup – Enable this to prevent your Snapshot backups in the plugin from being deleted without providing your WPMU DEV account password.
  • Storage Location (Snapshot Pro Only) – The storage location for your incremental backups can be changed between the United States and the Europe data center regions. Currently, this can only be adjusted from inside the plugin.
  • Storage Cycle (Snapshot Pro Only) – This is the number of backups you can take and store. For WPMU DEV Hosted sites, this is unlimited. For Snapshot Backups you can limit the number to save on storage. Click on the current number of backups to adjust this limit to your preferred number (up to 30).
  • Delete All (Snapshot Pro Only) – Delete all the backups for the site. Click the Delete Backups link to open the Delete All Backups popup module. Click Cancel to close the module or Delete to remove all backups.
  • Deactivate (Snapshot Pro Only) – Click Deactivate at the bottom of the page to deactivate the Snapshot plugin.

9.4 Backups Support

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Need help managing or setting up Backups in the Hub 2.0? WPMU DEV members have access to 24/7 live support.