I just updated WordPress, theme and plugins to the latest and greatest 3.8.1 version of WordPress. Love the new admin panel. I’ve been bad about neglecting the site because I’m usually busy doing paid work, looking for new jobs/clients, learning new things and once in awhile relaxing and/or getting away from the computer for awhile.

What’s new in my world? Cloud storage, virtual private networking, Linux, virtualization, have been my main interests lately. Also I’ve been busy redesigning the website of the I.T. company I do a lot of work for, a WordPress website of course.

Some of the latest solutions I’ve used and incorporated on WordPress sites lately are….

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup and Restoration

UpdraftPlus is an easy to use free WordPress plugin to handle backups and restoration on WordPress sites. After having a bad experience with the popular Backup Buddy program on a site, I went searching for a new backup solution for my client’s WordPress site and found UpdraftPlus. I was soon installing it on all of my WordPress sites. It’s easy to configure and use, you can be backing up your site and uploading it to Amazon, Rackspace, Dropbox, Dream Objects or saving it locally in minutes. I recommend a good cloud storage solution though which I’ll get to in a minute.

UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup and Restoration

I spun up a quick Digital Ocean cloud server image with WordPress ready to go and installed a complex theme and demo content to test the backups and managed to restore everything fairly easily. UpdraftPlus saves separate backups of your plugins, themes and database. While restoring the plugins I did have to go in and delete the Akismet plugin from the plugins directory in order to be able to restore the plugin directory but it did show me the file that was causing the error and I was able to easily figure out the problem and resolve it.

Also what makes it much more attractive than Backup Buddy to me is not only is it free, it works fine out of the box with W3 Total Cache. If you need more features than what the standard free version offers (which is just fine for my needs) they also have several nice looking premium add-ons. ¬†Just a note, the free version of the plugin runs backups at the time you configure it. So if you have a busy site you might want to configure it late at night while your server isn’t as busy.

Dream Objects Cloud Storage

If you’re looking for a great place to backup your WordPress sites with UltradraftPlus check out Dreamhost’s Dream Objects cloud storage solution. Not only is it easy to use and lightening fast, it’s also only 4 cents a GB a month for storage and 4 cents a GB for transfer out of Dream Objects making it the most reasonably priced viable cloud storage solution I’ve seen. I backed up numerous websites there and came to a total of about 9GB or 36 cents a month. Also it seemed much faster than backing up to a free Dropbox account but I didn’t do any real testing. Check them out.

Bulk Delete

I maintain a large WordPress news/magazine site that imports hundreds of articles via RSS each day of which only a few actually get posted on the site. This soon builds up to thousands of draft posts in the database. With the Bulk Delete plugin I was able to rather quickly delete almost 20,000 draft posts up until a certain date. Easy to use and a real blessing if you need to rather quickly delete thousands of posts or pages. 

WordPress Image Cleanup

This is another maintenance utility plugin for large WordPress sites. After deleting all of the old articles with bulk delete, I was still left with numerous unused featured images taking up space in the hard drive, media library and database. I ended up having to bump the allowed PHP memory for the site up to 512MB to get it to run on the server. After running WordPress Image Cleanup I was able to easily get rid of over 13,000 images and free over 2GB of disk space. As with any plugin of this nature backup before running it but no problems at all here, awesome.