WP Engine has just announced that they are extending their instant backup and restore functionality to its Staging websites. This comes hot on the heels of significant upgrades to its backup system announced last November.
WP Engine's backup functionality is everything you would expect from a premium WordPress provider. While snapshots of your website are taken daily, you can also initiate a snapshot of your website at any time. This is crucial whenever you wish to modify, upgrade or just generally safeguard a version of your website. Restoring a website from a staging backup can be done in just a clicks, as we will show later in this article.
There are some features with the staging backups that are especially useful:
- Know who took the backup — If you have many developers working on a website, it can be helpful to record who made the snapshot backup of the website.
- Description of backup — In addition to knowing who made the backup, having a description can be helpful to determine why the backup was taken. For instance, making backups after each critical stage of development \ development of a particular feature can be very useful.
Furthermore, with any backup, it is important that the data is stored away from the same server your website is hosted on. WP Engine ensures your backups are stored in an entirely different geographic location from your website, with redundancy built in. This ensures that no matter what happens to your data, you will always be able to get up and running again.
How to restore staging backups at WP Engine
To demonstrate the power of the new staging backups, it is useful to look at the process involved.
- Access Staging Backups from its own interface — The staging backups are kept separately from the normal backups. You can easily access these by clicking on the "View Staging Backups" button in the user portal:
- View backups — The backups will be clearly shown, and you will have the option to restore or download any of the backups:
- Custom Snapshots — While the screenshot above only displays the daily checkpoint snapshots, you can create a snapshot at any time. When doing so, it will record which user took the snapshot, and allow comment:
Always take your own backups
While we think the backup system at WP Engine is excellent, we always recommend keeping your own backups away from your hosting provider. WP Engine does, of course, allow you to download a zip file of your backup, so this is one option.
WP Engine does not permit third party backup plugins to be installed, with the sole exception of VaultPress. VaultPress is something we use ourselves and allows a much finer control over the backup and restore process (i.e. you could restore individual database tables from last week, the uploads folder from yesterday, and another set of database tables from this morning).
Of course, the backups at VaultPress would only cover your production website (but still worth mentioning), so the new backup functionality of the staging websites will be of particular interest to many.