Even the most reliable host suffers from outages and technical issues. In context of web hosting the most recent major event was a huge fire in OVH data center that destroyed thousands of servers and even more websites. Only careful planning allows a website to survive a disaster like that.
What makes Backblaze such an attractive option? Unlike Dropbox and OneDrive, B2 Cloud Storage is the product tailored for data storage. The most direct competitor to Backblaze is Amazon Web Services S3 cloud storage.
When compared to AWS S3, Azure and Google Cloud we prefer to highlight 3 advantages of Backblaze:
Sign Up process is very straighforward – you navigate to https://www.backblaze.com/ and enter your business email and a password for the new account. If you are in EU, you most likely want to change the region to EU Central from the default US West because of GDPR. Once ready, click “Sing Up for B2”!
It may ask for your phone and email verification after you login for the first time.
Traditionally files are organised in folders. And folders can include other folders. B2 Cloud Storage does not try to replicate traditional user experience. Instead it is focusing on storing all uploaded files in a very simple flat layout. The intention that files with similar purpose should be stored together. B2 as many other storage providers call every individual storage location a bucket. Within the same account you can have many buckets but every bucket can only contain files – it is not possible to nest buckets into each other.
Buckets must have unique names, so if someone else is using a name such as mybucket, you won’t be permitted to create a bucket with the same name. It is reasonable to call your first bucket after your website. Most likely it will be available. It is essential that files are kept private – you don’t want random people downloading your data.
Also it might be the best to disable object lock unless you want to keep backups indefinitely. Keeping backups for too long may sound attractive but in practice it is expensive and unnecessary.
Bucket names follow certain conventions, for example, you cannot use “.” and “_” symbols. Instead it is suggested to use “-” symbol.
At this stage you should generate application keys.
First create the master application key – the key that grants full access to your Backblaze account. Do not share it with untrusted parties and keep it secure.
Next setup an application key to be used by UpdraftPlus Premium plugin.
It is essential to copy key details into a Notepad or a similar text editor at this stage.
Once bucket and application keys are setup, it is time to setup UpdraftPlus plugin.
For Blackblaze B2 Cloud Storage support you need Premium version of the plugin or Backblaze Add-on. Purchase it from UpdraftPlus, download zip file.
Login into WordPress administrator console and navigate to Plugins -> Add New page. On this page use Upload Plugin button. Then activate it and connect to your UpdraftPlus account. Finally, enable addons as appropriate.
After it is activated, go to Settings tab and enter your Backblaze key details. You will need both your master key and application key details.
To verify settings, click “Test Backblaze Settings” button. And if everything is ok, apply settings (scroll to the bottom of the web page).
Next – update backup schedule. For an informational website performing full backup weekly is sufficient. UpdraftPlus gives an option to seperate file backup and database backup. Database backup often can be done more frequently.
For WooCommerce website performing database backup every hour is a good idea. However consider if your hosting is high quality or not. On a slow / budget host you may not be permitted to run backup process so often.
The last step – setup backup retention rules so that old backups are deleted after some time. Consider that backups are created during plugin and theme upgrades as well as on demand.
Time to Outsource?
Backup management is an essential part of WordPress website maintenance. If you find instructions above complicated, it may be easiest to outsource WordPress maintenance to an agency such as Blue Star London. We offer number of Care Plans at affordable prices. Feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.