BackupBuddy recently announced that they will soon offer Stash Live, a cloud backup service similar to VaultPress and BlogVault. Discover what you need to know and whether you should switch or not when BackupBuddy version 7 becomes available.
Why BackupBuddy Must Change
BackupBuddy has been suffering a slow and painful death for two years.
I finally had to drop them as my primary backup solution and as a preferred vendor for two main reasons.
- Lack of stability
- Lack of support
I lost a LOT of money with BackupBuddy.
I don’t mean a few hundred dollars, I mean a few thousand, in non-billable hours helping them troubleshoot.
All the while I was told the plugin was not at fault.
Another release came out and poof, the issue was fixed.
Then a new problem cropped up.
And I wasn’t the only one they were lying to about the problem not being the plugin. Lots of folks lost time and money helping troubleshoot a problem they never had a shot at fixing.
But, the main reason I finally had to stop using BackupBuddy was that an unstable plugin placed a huge liability on my company.
I’m responsible for ensuring that all of my site maintenance clients had solid backups. I couldn’t rely on BackupBuddy to provide that ultimate site safety net anymore. Not to mention the risk of losing my own sites!
The New Hosting Reality
Backup, and other resource hog plugins have had a tougher time running without overage issues on many hosts over the past few years.
There’s a good reason for that.
Internet security changed radically in 2013 with huge botnet and DDoS attacks becoming bigger and more frequent. It’s only gotten worse ever since.
All hosts have started taking measures to shore up their servers to prevent going down during these mass bonet attacks.
That includes lowering the resource ceilings on shared hosting.
Because so many site owners don’t have adequate protection on their sites and let bots run wild.
Some hosts have even started taking more aggressive, proactive measures to change the code and install hidden plugins on sites, all without the knowledge or permission of the site owners. That’s a little over the top, in my opinion, but I get why they feel they need to do it.
Instead of waking up to the new security and hosting reality three years ago, BackupBuddy continued to be a major resource hog.
It won’t even run on many shared hosting accounts at all anymore.
iThemes has the gall to blame hosting companies protecting themselves as being the reason their plugin doesn’t work.
From the press release for Stash Live:
“For years, we’ve battled the slow, painful decline of the shared hosting industry (and so have you). As WordPress has grown, shared hosting companies have sought to limit resource usage on their platforms in order to squeeze out profits on their cheapest plans.
The result? More crappy hosting, which means you’ve probably encountered more problems trying to use WordPress and essential plugins on your sites.
So this summer, we decided instead of waiting for hosting companies to change (it’ll never happen honestly; it’s only going to get worse) to do something about it FOR YOU.”
It’s everybody else’s fault that your plugin can’t run?
And you’ve waited for three years for hosting to change? They did change. How is it that you don’t know why?
This is the same attitude I encountered with iThemes support, why I lost so much money, and why I had to drop relying on BackupBuddy as a primary solution.
More Details on the New Service
From the press release, I gather that Stash Live will be an option, not mandatory. And that if you have BackupBuddy already sending files to other storage options, like Amazon S3 or DropBox, you can continue to do so.
The new Stash Live service will store backups on Stash, which is the current storage option offered by iThemes.
So, if you’re already paying for Stash storage, your integration for Stash Live is likely already made.
If you’re using another storage option, you will have to switch to Stash storage to use Stash Live.
At the time of this writing, Stash Live offers 1GB for free, and 5GB is $35/yr, and 10GB is $60/yr.
Since Stash Live will take daily, full backups, it’s likely you’ll be looking at a minimum of 10GB for a medium sized site. That’s especially true if you have lots of images.
They did not make mention of how long backups are stored on Stash. VaultPress stores 30 days worth, as does BlogVault.
Price comparison to similar services
The VaultPress Lite plan is $5/mo or $55/yr and has no size limit. Backups are daily.
The BlogVault Basic plan is $9/mo or $89/yr with no size limit. Backups are daily.
Here’s the big price difference
Both VaultPress and BlogVault don’t make you pay extra for the plugin. In fact, the plugin is just an interface.
The BackupBuddy plugin alone is $80/yr. Storage would be extra, and you can only use their Stash storage.
(iThemes didn’t make it clear in their press release whether you had to pay for the plugin plus the storage, but that’s the way it is now, so I assume that will remain unchanged.)
Plugins as Service Provide Interface
Don’t confuse these cloud services with plugins such as UpDraft. It’s a direct competitor to the standard BackupBuddy plugin, where the backup takes place on your site and is stored there unless you make other arrangements for outside storage.
With VaultPress and BlogVault, the plugins are just an interface to the offsite service.
If you’re curious, the UpDraftPlus plugin is $70-$145 and comes with 1GB of free storage. Other storage options are priced similarly to Stash.
The Scariest Part of All
Here’s what iThemes said concerning when Stash Live will be available.
“We’re currently deep into testing this version as we do every iThemes release.”
(emphasis added by me)
Yeah, y’all keep testing the same way you’ve been doing it, blaming others for why it doesn’t work under real-world conditions, and we’ll see how that goes for you.
And when you say it’s ready, I’ll be testing it myself. And reporting the results.
What I’m Using
The clear winner for me right now is VaultPress Lite.
I switched my sites and all those of my site maintenance clients over to it.
Plus, their support has been stellar.
See 4 VaultPress Tips to save you money and performance – MaAnna Minute Video for more.