In June Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com for you non-geeks) began granting users access to their latest and greatest beta VaultPress.
Unlike other services of Automattic, VaultPress is geared strictly towards self hosting WordPress blogs (aka WordPress.org) as a data backup service that protects a bloggers data in the even that their hosting company dies, kidnaps their site or (worse case scenario) is attacked by hackers.
Despite being in a limited beta, WordPress is charging brave souls $15 a month per blog (which works out to be $180 a year) to entrust their blog’s entire content to the VaultPress crew.
For those of you wondering if you should give Automattic your cold hard cash or choose an alternative, here is this authors take on VaultPress (both the good as well as the bad).
Where VaultPress Shines
That includes all of your images, videos, audio podcasts, themes, content, comments, plugins, and anything else hosted upon your blog is copied over to the VaultPress cloud server (as well as two other cloud farms).
This ensures that your blog can always revert back to a previous clean state if you discover that nefarious hackers have been making millions off of your blog for the past few months, as well as ensure that all of your data is safe (and not just the first 25 gigs).
VaultPress also backs up your data instantly (within minuets if not seconds) instead of checking your blog once a day to see if anything is different.
Last but not least VaultPress has a more expensive service (which is around $40 a month) that monitors your blog to see if anyone is attempting to mess with your site.
Where VaultPress Fails
As far as I could tell (at least when signing up), VaultPress does not take third party payment services like PayPal or Google Checkout, which may scare a few users off who do not want to hand over any financial information to a web company (regardless of status).
Even though PayPal’s transaction fees are horrendous, WordPress may want to reconsider the service in order to appeal to more users.
Another annoyance of VaultPress is the blandness of the dashboard. While its “keep it simple” approach means that any user can easily navigate throughout the VaultPress temple, it also ensures that only data geeks will be excited about logging into the site on a daily basis.
Hopefully the VaultPress crew can spice up the interface with a few graphs, color, etc. highlighting how much data you have since you started, as well as plotting how much your blog has grown (via gigabytes).
Last but not least there is no affiliate links for bloggers wanting to generate some extra revenue by recommending an excellent service for their readers (especially if they’re paying for the service themselves).
Is VaultPress Worth It?
As of this post VaultPress is currently in beta and is only giving out 30 golden tickets a day (one which I was privileged to receive for my personal site) and is one of the few WordPress services I would highly recommend to friends (the other two being Intense Debate and Akismet).
Unfortunately the beta is only limited to one site per account, although WordPress is planning on expanding the number of sites protected once VaultPress exits beta.
Although VaultPress isn’t cheap (at least when compared against rivals), it may at least prove to be a wiser alternative than backing up your blog on your computer (or worse, upon your own hosting server!!).
For those of you lucky enough to test out the service, what are your thoughts about VaultPress? Are you satisfied with the service or would you recommend other alternatives?
Feel free to share your opinions with the rest of us below!