Upgrading Your WordPress Installation

Recently, the WordPress team has been pushing out new releases rather quickly, making it advisable to upgrade your installation fairly regularly. The WordPress wiki includes some pretty good instructions explaining how to backup your install and how to upgrade. However, with the EZ WordPress Backup plugin, you can backup and upgrade with even more ease.

Installing the EZ WordPress Backup plugin is just as simple as installing any other plugin. Simply go to your Plugins menu and click the “Add New” link. In the search box, type in “EZ Backup” and the EZ WordPress Backup plugin will be the only result that appears. Click the Install link and then activate the plugin.

Once activated, you will see a new menu in your admin panel called “EZ Backup.” Within that menu, you will see an item called “EZ Backup,” which is where the main settings are for this plugin. When you first install it, you will need to configure it by entering various information such as which directory you want to backup, where you want the backup files saved, which database to backup, etc. You can even set up EZ Backup to e-mail the backup as an attachment if you want.

Note: At the time of this writing, although the EZ Backup settings ask for a database username and password, it seems to use the database username and password from your WordPress configuration rather than the one you added in the settings. I’m not sure if this is a bug, if this is an old feature that’s been removed without updating the settings area or if this is a new feature that hasn’t yet been fully implemented.

Update: As outlined in the comments, the plugin was actually using the custom database user and password I entered in the settings, it was just displaying the wrong database username and password on the “confirm your settings” screen. Shortly after SangrelX responded, he released an update to the plugin that fixed this issue.

Once you save the settings, simply click the “Create Backup” button and wait for it to finish backing up the files you selected. This plugin, if configured correctly, can actually back up your entire Web site (not just the WordPress installation). In my case, our backup is about 16 gigabytes, so it took a few hours to complete the backup. The EZ Backup popup window timed out while trying to create the backup, but the background process continued until the backup was completed. To make sure the backup was still running, I opened my FTP program, logged into the site and refreshed the directory listing every 15-30 minutes to watch the file size and the “last modified” date. Once both of those indicators stopped changing, I knew the backup was complete.

Once the backup was completed, upgrading was simple. I returned to my Dashboard, clicked the “Upgrade” button and then clicked “Upgrade Automatically.” Once that was complete, I made sure that all of my plugins were up-to-date and then checked my WordPress site to make sure everything worked properly. It’s as simple as that.

Of the backup plugins I’ve seen, EZ Backup seems to be the most powerful. It allows you to backup more than just your WordPress site, allows you to schedule weekly backups and allows you to e-mail the backups to yourself (or any e-mail address of your choosing). This plugin also includes a browser to inspect and even restore the backups you’ve performed.

There are a few things I would like to see added to the EZ Backup plugin, though. For one, it would be great if it included some sort of a file browser so that I could select or deselect multiple directories for the backup. It would also be awesome if there was some way to select multiple databases to backup, but that is probably beyond the scope of a WordPress plugin. Finally, I’d love to see the ability to choose a different backup schedule, as this plugin currently only allows weekly backups. It would be nice if the plugin somehow allowed the fully flexible scheduling that the cron daemon actually supports (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, irregular scheduling, etc.).

All-in-all, though, if you don’t install any other plugins on your WordPress blog, I would absolutely recommend you install this one, as, assuming you actually use it, this could save you a lot of trouble down the line.

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5 Responses

  • I am the creator of EZ Backup

    Wanted to Comment on a Few things from your Post.
    First off Thank you for the compliments on the plugin and its functions I always appreciate feedback even if its not directly sent to me LOL!

    Now as for your post.
    Im not sure if your using an older version but a few things you stated are incorrect

    Quote
    “Note: At the time of this writing, although the EZ Backup settings ask for a database username and password, it seems to use the database username and password from your WordPress configuration rather than the one you added in the settings. I’m not sure if this is a bug, if this is an old feature that’s been removed without updating the settings area or if this is a new feature that hasn’t yet been fully implemented.”

    1. The database selection will indeed backup ANY database you select as long as you provide the correct Database Name, Username and Password

    Keep in mind the username aka Data base username your assigning MUST have the proper permissions to that database and its tables

    2. The Updates / Backup Progress window timeout. This is true . its a unfortunate issue with PHP. I can code it to prevent the Timeout However this is usually not recommended when running PHP Scripts.

    so sadly it will timeout when doing massive backups. However if it Times out you can view the Log File by clicking the button for it. and it will also show you can up to date view of whats happening.

    Example: My status window timed out – I click View Log file and the last line shown is Archiving BlahBlah Please Wait. that will be a good indication its still creating the backup.

    3. The Backup Browser – is not really a full featured browser it allows a few simple operations. you can move a copy of the backup to a publicly accessable folder for downloading via the Browser / remote downloading, You can Delete Backups from the public area, or delete them permanently

    I did not include an actual Restore feature because there is just no way to really tell exactly how each user is going to have their site setup , file paths, etc..
    so I left it up to the user to extract files they want or need form the archive created or have a more experienced person do so.

    I wanted to make it as easy and Less prone to errors as possible
    which brings the last point

    Cron Jobs / Schedules
    This was limited to a Simple Weekly Command on purpose to ensure that users didnt accidently create schedules that could cause them issues.
    Example would be running the Backup every 2 hrs by accident instead of entering every 2 days …

    Now the Bonus on the Cron Scheduler / Backup Scheduler is — The file can also be manually Editted. you dont have to use the command line generator. Anyone with knowledge on how to modify Cron Jobs can setup their backup schedule with all the flexibility Cron Offers Because the Scheduler is Actually just a link to the Real Cron Daemon on the Server itself.

    it is a pretty powerful plugin but like the Description of it states. its an Administrators Plugin as in meant for those with a bit higher understanding of Web structure, file paths, cron jobs, etc..

    Thank you for the write up on this Plugin I do hope that those who need help will feel free to E-Mail me for support & I hope everyone continues to find this plugin as useful as I do.

    SangrelX

    • Thank you for the response and for the explanations. I’m not sure what the story is with my DB username and password. I am using the latest version available. I created a new MySQL user specifically for use with EZ Backup, then typed in that username and password in the administrative area. Saving the settings seems to save that username and password (those are the items that show up when I go back to the settings area), but when I click the “Run Backup” link, it shows me “Please Verify the Below Settings are Correct before continuing!” and the database username shown there is the username stored in my WordPress configuration.

      The information about viewing the log file is very helpful for people that might not have access to FTP. Thank you for sharing that tip.

      Also, thank you for correcting me about restoring from backups. I could have sworn I saw that option, but I was obviously wrong. I understand your reasoning for leaving it out, though.

      I also completely understand what you’re saying about the cron scheduler. I was just mentioning that it would be nice to see those changes made at some point. On my site, it doesn’t make any sense to make a weekly backup (monthly would cover it). It’s good to know that it’s possible to edit the scheduler manually (for some reason, I thought the plugin was just saving the command into the cron.weekly file).

      Again, thank you for all of your work on this plugin. It is a great addition to any WordPress site.

  • ” but when I click the “Run Backup” link, it shows me “Please Verify the Below Settings are Correct before continuing!” and the database username shown there is the username stored in my WordPress configuration.”

    hrmm … You just spotted a Cosmetic Bug lol
    This is a bug in the values shown on that page .. it does however NOT effect the function of the plugin.. it will still backup the Database you selected using the username and password you saved in the settings

    I just patched this bug and will release the newest version here in another 20 minutes

    Thanks for the input your last comment explained better what you meant

    also another Note on the Cron Scheduler
    it will do the EXACT same function as the Cron Jobs in Cpanel or the Scheduled Tasks in Plesk it uses the exact same Job list / Jobs file that they access so you have full control over Cron its just with the plugin you have to know how to Manually type cron commands in order to schedule other then weekly because the command generator does that for you to simplify it

    I was trying to make the plugin as “Goof Proof” as possible so even the most novice user IF THEY READ the actual information on the pages .. could successfully use the plugin

    Thanks A lot for spotting that Bug though it can confuse a lot of people…
    SangrelX

  • Cindi

    I’ve been using the EZ-Backup to backup our WordPress files. Today we had to uninstall and reinstall WordPress. I cannot for the life of me figure out how reinstall all of our blog info from the backup. I can’t import it like the standard backup within WordPress. There isn’t any information or instructions on this program onSangrelX’s website. I picked out EZ-Backup because it was supposed to be EZ! I hope someone can help us get back up and running!

  • […] if you’re running WordPress anywhere, you should really login to your administrative area, back up your site and then perform the update (if you don’t have a nag message at the top of your dashboard, […]

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