Can you imagine if your entire WordPress website were to suddenly crash and fail, taking all of your hard work – posts, pages, and custom designs – with it?
Sometimes installing a new plugin or theme can cause your site to crash. Other times, a website hacker may break into your database and create a lot of design and functionality issues for your website. That’s why always having a recent backup of your entire WordPress website is so crucial to the recovery of lost data.
Understanding the seriousness of a crashed website is one thing. Preparing for a crashed website is an entirely different thing. In the past, we have discussed what to do when a newly installed WordPress plugin causes your website to crash, and even how to backup your website to your local computer.
However today, we are going to discuss how the powerful BlogVault plugin not only backups your website, but how it keeps your website safe and secure as well.
What is BlogVault?
BlogVault is a WordPress plugin designed to keep your WordPress website’s data safe and secure through backups and effective security measures. It is geared towards keeping all of your security and backup tools in one convenient location, so that you can have the peace of mind that should the unthinkable happen, you can easily restore it using the backups saved in your very own “blogvault”.
There are many reasons why BlogVault feels you need a high-quality backup plugin on your website at all times:
- Hosting issues
- Malware hacks
- Incompatible themes and plugins
- Human error
- Natural disasters
- Storage issues
- Server crashes
And honestly, I agree. There are many things that make your website vulnerable.
Think about it. What if you had all of your website’s blog posts safely saved on an external zip drive, and you lost it? Without a recent backup of your website, all of that hard work is now gone forever.
And, while that may seem extreme, or at least careless on the part of the website owner, the truth is, it can happen. That’s why it is better to be safe than sorry.
Here is a glimpse into just some of what the BlogVault plugin offers website owners of all kinds:
- Automatic daily backups and scans
- Ability to manage updates and manage user roles
- One-click staging on BlogVault
- Zero site migration downtime
- No plugin configuration
- One-click restore option
- Advanced search capability
- Collaboration with team members
And that is only the just scratching the surface. Let’s now take a look at the details and what else BlogVault offers website owners just like yourself.
BlogVault’s Main Features
In order to use the BlogVault plugin, you must first install it onto your WordPress website. To do so, simply navigate to Plugins > Add New and search for BlogVault. Then, click on Install Now and Activate.
Next, create an account with BlogVault so that you can access the intuitive dashboard that lets you control all of your site’s backups and security measures from one place.
Here you will see a number the status of your website(s):
- Active. This means your website has the BlogVault plugin installed on it. As you can see, this is what my website is marked as.
- No Plugin. This means you have a BlogVault account, with access to the dashboard, but the BlogVault plugin is not yet installed on your website.
- Unreachable. This indicates that you have the BlogVault plugin installed on your website, but that BlogVault’s servers cannot access that information right now. This could be due to a connectivity or firewall issue or a network setting.
- Hacked. This means BlogVault has detected a site hack.
This information is great because in an instant you can know exactly what is going on with any website you have the BlogVault plugin installed on.
Lastly, if you click on updates, you can access all plugin and themes currently installed on your website, those that are inactive, and those that need updates. You can also deactivate and delete any themes or plugins you wish, all from the BlogVault dashboard.
Notice how I can click on the themes I want to update and update them right away.
In the Backup section of the dashboard, you can do the following:
- Access the last 30 backups of your website
- Choose which backup version you want to download and define the URL to send it to
- Upload a backup directly to your Dropbox account
- Migrate your website to another URL or hosting service
- Automatically restore your website in the case of a crash
- Create a testing environment using a backup copy of your site
- Backup your website right now in real time
Rather than access the My Sites section and scroll through the plugins, themes, and core tabs to see what needs updating on my site, I can take a quick glance on the homepage of my dashboard and see all of that information in one place.
I can also quickly access the security section of my dashboard and perform actions such as block PHP executions in untrusted folders, limit the number of failed logins, change the database prefix, and disable the files editor.
Backups and Restoration
BlogVault’s Auto Restore feature is one of the highlights of this plugin. It lets you automatically restore a backup of your WordPress website in the case it suddenly crashes and you need to get it back up and running quickly. You can choose from the most recent backup, or any of the other past backups.
You will need to know your FTP credentials to complete the auto restore process. This information is likely found in the cPanel of your hosting provider. The convenient thing about BlogVault is that if you enter incorrect information, the plugin will alert you rather than cause more damage to your site.
Auto Restore happens in the background and alerts you when the process is complete. This feature is great for server or update crashes, and even better, the dreaded white screen of death.
BlogVault’s migration feature is a nice touch, despite being a backup and security plugin. With a single click, you can effectively move your entire WordPress website from its existing domain to another, with zero downtime.
Here are some of the things to consider before migrating your site to a new hosting provider using BlogVault:
- If moving to another hosting provider, ensure you have the new hosting account up and running
- Make sure the new domain has been created and registered with your new hosting provider
- Install and configure WordPress onto the new domain before migrating
- Have FTP credentials ready as they are required for the migration process
In addition to switching hosting providers, BlogVault also lets you change domains entirely, effectively rewriting all of the old references to the old URL that exist in the database. This prevents broken links at helps improve the user experience after such a big change.
Lastly, BlogVault offers you the opportunity to copy your entire website from your staging environment and upload it into your production site. Simply move the test site to the production environment (after manually backing up your site, just in case). All staging links will automatically change to production site links so you never have to worry about crossed up URLs.
BlogVault offers users a really unique feature called Test Restore. In short, this feature allows website owners to access an automatically created test site (available on BlogVault test servers), made up of all content, working links, and media available on your existing site backups.
You can then view your site backups on this test site for up to one week to make sure the one you choose for a restore is exactly what you want on your live website.
Setting up this test site is easily done, and you can choose to view any number of site backups you have by accessing the your backup history. In addition, if you have created multiple test sites using other versions of your site backups, you can choose between any of them directly in your BlogVault dashboard.
Another great feature provided by the team at BlogVault is the History feature. Easily manage all of your site backup histories from over the past month from one convenient location.
Organizing each backup so you can easily discern between the versions, you can access up to 30 of your last site backups in the History section according to:
- Date and time of backup
- Notifications of new posts
- WordPress website updates
- Site details such as WordPress core, theme, plugins, pages, and comments
- Table and file details, including backup times
- Notes you left for specific backup versions
In the end, all you have to do is choose the backup you want from the History section and decide which action to perform. For instance, migrate backups to a new domain or URL, create staging environments, or restore your WordPress website using any version of your previously backed up website.
Lastly, BlogVault not only provides you an easy way to backup your website, restore it, create a staging site, and migrate your site to a variety of different locations, it helps keep your website secure from the very security issues that threaten to take your site down and thus require using one of your site backups.
You can perform the following security measures in this section:
- Block PHP Execution. Prevent the execution of PHP files in folders that get new files created. For example, your cache or uploads, which are vulnerable to TimThumb/MailPoet attacks.
- Limit Failed Logins. This is one of the most effective strategies for keeping unwanted hackers out of the backend of your website. Limit the number of failed login attempts one IP address can make in an hour.
- Change Database Prefix. Coupled with firewall protection (likely found in your website’s security plugin), changing the database prefix helps prevent SQL injections.
- Disable Files Editor. Just in case someone does access the backend of your website, you can disable the Files-Editor so they cannot make changes to any of your site’s files.
Additionally, you can take advantage of BlogVault’s Auto Clean feature. Automatically clear out any malicious code in the case you notice your BlogVault dashboard has alerted you your website has been hacked.
Documentation, Support, and Pricing
BlogVault has many FAQ sections helping you to understand how the plugin, dashboard, and everything in between works. And, for those that are unsure about BlogVault, you can check out the general FAQ section and find answers to common pre-sale questions.
In addition, BlogVault has an extensive Knowledge Center that details general plugin use as well as comparisons of BlogVault and other popular WordPress backup plugins. Plus, they have a blog as well with much needed WordPress backup information.
If you are in need of support, there are two ways to get in touch with the BlogVault support team – via live chat and the Help and Support contact form.
Lastly, when it comes to pricing, BlogVault has several options:
In addition, they have three unlimited plans (with a variety of available space) for backing up as many websites as you need to.
BlogVault offers you a 7-day free trial so you can see just how the plugin and dashboard works. They require no credit card and only take payment information should you decide to use their plugin.
In the end, BlogVault has an impressive set of features for being a WordPress backup plugin. With added security measures, the ability to migrate your website to a variety of locations, and the added convenience of an all-in-one dashboard, this backup solution seems promising.
Though there is a price tag attached to this plugin, whereas some other popular backup plugins are free, I think that the features you get are worth the price. In fact, there is a good possibility that you may be paying for separate security and backup solutions right now that are more expensive than BlogVault when combined. Perhaps for your individual needs, something like BlogVault is just what you need.
Why not try the 7-day trial and see for yourself. You will be able to backup your site, explore the dashboard, and see all that BlogVault has to offer with zero obligations to sign up.
Have you ever used BlogVault for your backup, migration, or security needs? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!