New: Faster, Resumable WordPress Restores

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WorpDrive backup is an innovative approach to WordPress backup.

99% of WordPress backup is done using plugins – they all follow the same formula. Backup plugins only work when you load WordPress. You’re backing up WordPress while it’s loading.

This has a lot of drawbacks, but it’s fast and cheap and works well-enough for premium hosting… most of the time.

WorpDrive takes a completely fresh approach. Instead of using WordPress and your HTTP web server to backup your data, it uses FTP.  FTP is perfectly suited to transferring data and it doesn’t interrupt or use any web server resources.

But, if you have a lot of files, it can take a little longer to pull down that data during a backup.

We’ve already optimised the WorpDrive FTP backup to copy files that are newer or have changed, so performance isn’t really a problem.

WorpDrive Restores, however, couldn’t be optimised in quite the same way as the backups.  Until now…

How we improved the WordPress Restore with WorpDrive

WordPress site restores are a tricky business. During a restore, we must ensure that the data we push to your site is correct.

We take great pains to ensure that this is the case… it’s critical to the integrity of a restore.  For this reason we have been reluctant to “over-optimise” the restore process.

That said however, with a few improvements and after extensive testing, we’ve been able to introduce 2 significant enhancements to our WordPress restores.

1) Optimised File-Copy (like the backup)

Since restore is done over FTP, if your site is large with a lot of files, this can take some time. We’ve brought some of the enhancements that were already present in the backup to the file-copy part of a website restore . The restore will now only copy files that are different in any way. i.e. if a file exists in your backup that doesn’t exist on your server, or is different in any way, we copy it up.

This saves a huge amount of time during the file copying part of the restore process.

This feature has been available for some time already, but wasn’t turned-on by default, until now. There are some servers that don’t work with this feature, but in those cases, we seamlessly fallback to the normal file copy. You can also choose to force all files to be overwritten (i.e. non-optimised) at any time.

2) Resumable Restore

While this isn’t usually something that’s seen from the outside, things can and do go wrong. File copying over FTP can get interrupted, for example, if an FTP server stops responding or closes a connection.

Normally, our restore process will quit and restart. But when this happens, file copying must start again from the beginning.

We’ve engineered a new resume feature where the whole file copy process will start up again right from where it left-off.

This results in much faster restores for unreliable, flaky hosting providers. And there is no shortage of those!

What you need to do to?

For anyone who’s been with us for a while will know, there’s nothing you need to do 🙂

We automatically put most improvements into place for you. When you’re next restoring a site, you’ll see that the Optimized Restore option will be checked by-default.

If you want to force all files to be copied (and it’ll be slower), you can uncheck this option. Otherwise, all your WorpDrive restore operations will be running as fast as we can do it.

If you have any questions or comments about any of the topics here, please leave us a comment below.  Thank you!

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