Plugins Reviews

Backup Buddy v WP Twin

I’m a plugin junkie so it’s pretty natural for me that I own both of these WordPress time savers.

Backup Buddy is a plugin that is installed in your WordPress site.   On the other hand, WP Twin is a script.     Both of  these WordPress add ons are able to take a complete copy of your site.    Of course, there are free plugins in the WordPress repository that will also do this as well.     There’s a bit of a problem though …..they don’t work that well.

Why copy your site?

Having a copy of your site or a backup is essential if:

  • your site is hacked;
  • you build sites to flip/sell;
  • you need to change web hosts;
  • you do something silly like I did one night and delete your site entirely from the server!

If you have a backup of your site, you simply restore it (in minutes) – no stress, no pain, and no hours waiting on chat with your web host.

Having a backup lets you sleep soundly at night 🙂

Backup Buddy

Backup Buddy is a WordPress plugin that is easy to install and set up.    A feature that I really like is that you can configure the plugin to do automatic backups of your site every hour, day, week etc.     This is hands free automation at its best.

You have two options with backups:

  • database backup (includes pages and posts)
  • full backup (this will also include your themes and plugins)

Personally, I prefer to do a full backup as I am constantly adding/changing/removing plugins and customizing themes.

Where do the backups go?

You can decide whether you want the backups forwarded to your:

  • email address
  • AS3 account
  • via ftp to your hosting account

When things go wrong

Best not to wait until your blog has been hacked in order to check that your backups are working!  I would suggest that you have a test account where you can backup your blog and restore it after first installing the plugin.   If it has backed up successfully you can just delete the test account.   This is just a safety precaution that I like to take  (sadly I do this from a bad backup experience).

If you need to restore your blog don’t despair.   This is not one of those uber geeky things to do.  The team at Ithemes have made this process painless and if you should run into problems then help is at hand.


Easy to install, configure and restore


Backup Buddy is available for single and developers licence.   You can use Backup Buddy on as many sites as you like with the low cost license, but you will not have automatic updates or the ability to ask questions on the support forum about that site. If you have more than one domain you will need to buy a developers licence which is more expensive but does give you more features.

WP Twin

WP Twin is not a plugin it is a script.

WP Twin differs slightly from Backup Buddy because it is basically a blog cloning tool.    What WP Twin is designed to do (and does very well)is clone your blog settings.   Say, for example, you build adsense sites.   On your adsense site you like to have a set of plugins and particular themes that you like to use.   Each time you build a blog and upload all your plugins and themes it takes time – perhaps half an hour, perhaps more but it takes time.

If you own WP Twin what you do first of all is create a master site with all your plugins and themes configured.   Now you just clone it.   That’s really simple:

  • you upload the WP Twin script to the root of your domain (ie where the WordPress files live) and follow the instructions
  • download the wptwin clone file to your computer
  • Install WordPress via Fantastico on your new site
  • Deploy the WP Twin file.

This process takes about 5 minutes (or less) to do.

The beauty of this system is that you can have clones on your computer for all sorts of sites.   For example, say you have Adsense sites, Autoblogs, membership sites, sales pages – you name it you can copy the settings for one type of site (save it on your computer for future use) and then just deploy when needed.

Backing Up

You can also purchase an additional add on to automatically back up your blog.   This is a real advantage and something I purchased for myself (plus there was a good bonus included).


It’s super simple to use

You can use the script on all of your domains

Great for moving your blog to a new server

It’s not a plugin (plugins are often a gateway to hackers)


It relies on a Fantastico install which although most people are familiar and comfortable with is not the best way to install WordPress.

Which one is best for you?

Compare the two products and what you are most comfortable with using before making a decision.   I use both and I like both add ons.

How often should you back up your site?

That answer really depends on how busy your site is.    If you get a lot of comments on your blog every day then you really need to do daily backups and perhaps even hourly backups.   If your site is static and never gets updated then you would probably only need to do backups each month (to take into account new versions of plugins and WordPress that you may have updated).

Should you delete your backups?

It’s a good idea to keep at least your last three backups.    The reason is simple.    Your blog may have been infected/hacked but it is not visible.   Having an older backup (sans infection) might be needed to restore your blog to its former glory.


WordPress Security – An Easy Way To Check

Have you ever wondered what goes on with your web host and your WordPress installation?   Well, if you have wondered if there are server problems or security problems with the way WordPress has been installed on your host there is quick, free and easy way to check it out.

Server Buddy is a free WordPress plugin that you can install and that will run simple server and WordPress security checks on your site.

Let’s take a look at it in action on one of  my test sites

All you need to do is upload the plugin and activate it.  Then go to the Server Buddy Menu.   When you are in the menu you will see a screen just like the one above.    Choose the type of test that you want to run from the drop down menu and click “Run Test”.

On my test site you will see that I am running WordPress 3.0 (beta).   The plugin has quickly told me all the details of  my server configuration the sql version and php version.   It’s also picked up a problem with file permissions that need to be chmod to 644 so I’ll need to go to my install and change the file permissions there.     This is fantastic information for people who are new to WordPress and don’t know how to find this information easily.    It’s also great for theme and plugin developers.   If you have a problem with a theme and plugin you can quickly run a test and send the report to the developer via email.   This saves them going back and forth asking you for that information.   If you are unsure of what the description means then you can click the handy information icon for more details.

You can also check the server details  for the site by running a General Server check.

In addition, the plugin can run plugin compatability checks for Gravity Forms, Backup buddy and Pods CMS.

All in all a handy little plugin that will be useful for WordPress users and developers.

You can download it for free at Server Buddy.

P.S.   I found my little icon for today’s post at Icons Blog.    These guys make cute little icons and give them away for use on your sites and no link back is required.   Check them out they have some very nice icons 🙂