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How to backup and recover your blog with Snapshot Pro

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Losing your WordPress site to a hacker or some stupid mistake on your part without first making a backup is one of the worst things that can happen to your blog. Fortunately, “Snapshot Pro” can get you back on track, even your blog is unavailable or blocked.

Snapshot Pro is a backup plugin which also allows you to restore your site easily from WordPress dashboard. Plus, with WPMU DEV's new managed backup service, you'll get 10GB of cloud storage and fast restores for free!

This means that if your site or one of your networks goes down, you are protected and you will not lose your content even if you can not connect.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to restore your unique WordPress installation when it is unavailable or when it has been blocked and we will do it in two ways: internally with Snapshot Pro, and externally with full backups managed by WPMU DEV and The Hub.

We will start with backups with Snapshot Pro and we will see how external backups business in another tutorial.

Why choose Snapshot Pro?

Snapshot Pro is a plugin that offers great flexibility when it comes to backing up a WordPress blog.

You can back up a single installation or a multisite network, you can back up your primary site and sub-sites separately, so that you have full control over your backups. If only one site in your network needs to be restored, it will not be a problem for Snapshot Pro.

Managing your snapshots is also easy and can be done directly from your WordPress dashboard.

WPMU Dev's backup management does a whole other job. With this formula, you can backup and restore an entire multisite network or a single WordPress installation. If all else fails, you can get data from "The Hub", your personal WPMU DEV dashboard.

Snapshot Pro can do even more than that:

  • Creation of unlimited "snaps"
  • Backups from and offsite
  • FTP and SFTP
  • Amazon S3
  • dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • WPMU DEV Cloud
  • Planned “snaps”
  • Manual backups
  • Redundant backups
  • Customize what is backed up
  • Update "Snaps"
  • Remove old backups
  • Define backup intervals
  • Downloadable report files
  • No dead time
  • Annotate "Snaps"
  • Little or no downtime

This is also not a complete list of features, especially when you pair them with full and managed WPMU DEV backups.

Restore Option # 1: Getting Started with Snapshot Pro

If you have already installed "Snapshot Pro" and you have at least one "snap" saved, you can restore your site, even if it is down or unavailable for access. You can restore a single installation of WordPres or subsites on your network with this method.

Copy your snapshot link (capture)

Before you restore something, you must copy the link to one of your Snaps "(Capture). You can get the link from the location of your capture (snap).

For example, if you saved your backup to your server, use the path that would include your site's domain name. If your capture is saved to your Dropbox account, you need to move it to your public folder and generate a link to access it.

Note: As of September 2017, Dropbox is making changes to the public folder and you won't be able to get a link to your capture the same way.

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Paste the URL of your capture on a document or somewhere that you can quickly access it and keep that in mind, we will need it later.

Make a list of your Plugins and Themes

Then you need to make a note of your plugins and themes that you have installed. You need to be able to install the exact same ones later to have the best results.

If you can not access your dashboard, you can access files from your site by FTP instead.

Go to to "wp-content / plugins /" and copy the folder names to a list that you can access later to remember which plugins you were using. When you're done, do the same for your themes, which you can find in "wp-content / themes /".

For multisite, try to remember only the plugins and themes that you had enabled on each subsite that you want to restore.

Delete your site

Now it may seem strange, do not be afraid. You must delete your site completely. For a multisite network, you only need to delete the site you want to restore.

Before you do, you can create a backup of your site just to be more protected in case of trouble. For more details, check out this recommendation of backup plugins on WordPress.

You can also check out this tutorial on how to reset a WordPress blog.

For multisites, go to your " dashboard> Sites> All Sites And hover over the subsite you want to restore. Then click on "remove".

Deleting a site or subsite means that this site / subsite will be unavailable, which may not be a good experience for your users. Later, I will show you how to deal with this with a method that limits downtime.

Creating a new WordPress installation

Then create a new WordPress installation or if you are using multisite, create a new subsite. Then install and activate "Snapshot Pro".

For more details, see our guide to best way to install WordPress.

Refer to the list of plugins and themes that you wrote earlier and install your plugins and themes. For multisite, you don't need to install anything.

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The next step is critical and cannot be skipped or your restore will not work as expected:

Do not activate any of the themes and plugins installed. Only Snapshot Pro must be installed. You will be able to activate them later.

Now you are ready to import your catch which will be a restoration.

Import Your Snapshot

In your new site, go to "Snapshot> Import". Remember the link to your capture you copied earlier? Enter this in the "Url or local path to snapshot archive" field and click on the " Run / Import Snapshot ».

Wordpress snapshot import

Once your capture has been successfully imported, you can restore your site.

Restoring your site

Then go to " Snapshot> All Snaps And hover over your capture. Then click restore.

This is not the actual backup, but the profile of the capture that you originally set up.

Wordpress snapshot restoration

Once you click on Restore, you should see the archive of the actual capture you imported. Hover over the file name and click on the "restore" link.

On the next page, you can adjust some options and choose what will be restored and where it will be restored, as well as other relevant settings.

Click on the "Restore selected database tables" option and make sure all of the boxes are checked that are displayed. You can click Select Links to check all the boxes individually.

Then select "Include selected files" and check all the boxes that appear dynamically. If you are restoring a subsite in a multisite network, choose all of the restore file options.

Restoring snapshot files

Scroll to the bottom of the page and check the box Disable all plugin ". If I have been following since, you have already made sure that all your newly installed plugins and themes are not enabled, but you can always check this box as a fail safe.

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You can also activate one of your installed themes by selecting it from the list of final options. Make sure to choose the same theme that your previous site was using. Otherwise, the design of your restored site will change.

Wordpress theme restoration

Click the " Restore Snapshot At the bottom of the page to start the process of restoring your site from the capture you. You can see the progress of the operation live.

When your site has been fully restored, a message should appear near the top of the page, allowing you to always see the outcome of an operation.

That's it for this tutorial. In a next, we will see how to use The Hub.

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