Amazon S3 & BackupBuddy: guide to WordPress backups
Posted on August 14, 2013 -
Last updated on August 13, 2020
Here's a guide to using the BackupBuddy plugin to back up a WordPress site to Amazon S3. The video only shows how to do the Amazon S3 initial configuration and user configuration, and adding Amazon S3 as a remote destination in BackupBuddy. The text below the video provides more details about configuring BackupBuddy in general.
Enter user name. We use the domain name (minus extension). So, for OptimWise.com, we use optimwise.
Click Show User Security Credentials. Copy the credentials to a secure, temporary place.
Click Close Window twice.
In the list of users, check the box for the new user. Below, on the Groups tab, click Add User to Groups. Select BackupBuddy, then click Add to Groups.
BackupBuddy configuration (each site)
These are the steps to configure BackupBuddy. You need to do this for each site. We're assuming you've already installed and activated BackupBuddy. These are the steps we perform, but you may need to customize the process.
If you have another backup plugin installed, download a complete backup. Then, uninstall the plugin and delete its backup folders.
WordPress admin menu > BackupBuddy > Settings.
Set and record ImportBuddy password. We record it in LastPass.
Set Send notification if no completed backups in X days to 8.
Set Error notification recipient(s).
Set Email return address.
Set Maximum number of local backups to keep to 6.
Select All tables in database.
Exclude unnecessary tables (such as Relevanssi logs and Redirection logs).
File & Directory Defaults: exclude unnecessary files and directories (such as /wp-content/cache/ and themes that can be easily replaced).
Advanced Settings/Troubleshooting tab
Uncheck Enable backup reminders for edits.
WordPress admin menu > BackupBuddy > Remote Destinations
Click Add New > Amazon S3.
AWS access key and AWS secret key: enter values generated for user in Amazon IAM (see instructions above).
Bucket name: a name that's globally unique within Amazon S3. We prepend ours with ow for OptimWise, then add the user name we created earlier. So, for OptimWise.com, we use ow-optimwise.
Note: in a previous version of this post (and in the video), we used ow_optimwise. Later, this stopped working due to the underscore, so we switched to hyphens (e.g., ow-optimwise). See Amazon S3 Bucket Restrictions and Limitations.
Remote archive limit: 6. Note that this limit is for the total archives on S3; not per scheduled backup.
Click Test Settings. When it succeeds, click Add Destination.
WordPress admin menu > BackupBuddy > Backup.
Check Send to remote destination as part of backup process and select Amazon S3, then click Complete Backup.
WordPress admin menu > BackupBuddy > Scheduling.
Choose schedule based on how often site content changes. If content changes daily, schedule database backup daily and complete backup weekly. If content changes weekly or less frequently, schedule database backup weekly and complete backup twice monthly. Or, you could use just one schedule: a complete backup weekly.
Database (if site is updated more than monthly; otherwise, skip)