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November 30, 2010

Ultimate Blog Security: A VaultPress Premium Alternative? (WordPress)

After reporting about the impressive improvements regarding VaultPress’s security feature (which is available to premium users), we received an interesting comment from one of their rivals.

I have a site called http://www.ultimateblogsecurity.com which allows you to *prevent* getting hacked in the first place. WordPress exposes a number of security vulnerabilities during installation (and upgrade to new versions!) that are easy but cumbersome to fix. We allow you to fix those in one click, and the pricing is reasonable too.

Founded by Chris Neumann and Eugene Pyvovarov, Ultimate Blog Security is a service that scans your WordPress blog in order to find and close security holes and exploits that could be used by a potential hacker.

Thus far the service does not offer a backup solution like VaultPress or blogVault, although the company plans on launching one in the future in order to challenge Automattic (the company behind VaultPress and WordPress) by offering a similar service at a greatly reduced price. read more

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November 27, 2010

VaultPress For WordPress: Now Better, Faster, Stronger

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VaultPress (a backup service for WordPress blogs by Automattic) has just announced a new feature for premium users which should make it harder for hackers to alter blogs undetected.

VaultPress knows which version of WordPress your site is running. For each particular version of WordPress, we know what the MD5 checksum for each of the core files should be (an MD5 checksum is a kind of digital fingerprint for a file, that can be used to validate the integrity of that file). […]

This scan creates a baseline that we can compare against in future scans. If the MD5 checksum of a core file doesn’t match, we notify you through an alert in the security tab of your VaultPress dashboard. A variation in the checksum means that the file has been modified from the original version that came with your WordPress install. (Official VaultPress Blog)

Users who notice any suspicious changes can contact the VaultPress team who will then not only take a hard look at the core file but also help provide a remedy for you as well.

The improved security features should help separate VaultPress from less expensive rivals (like blogVault and BackupBuddy) as well as help them win a few converts (especially larger blogs who can not afford to suffer through a hack).

VaultPress’s security service is only available to premium members which is currently priced at $40/month per blog (note: this is a beta price as the final version is expected to jump to $50/month per blog), although users have to option to purchase the basic plan for $15/month per blog.

Update: Corrected article noting that VaultPress Premium will be $50/month (not $60). Thanks Paul!

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November 24, 2010

WordPress Ponders VaultPress Affiliate Program

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VaultPress (a real-time backup service for self hosted WordPress blogs) may give hosting companies an extra incentive to promote Automattic’s premium service (which currently is in beta).

@vaultpress my pleasure. Are you guys working on an affiliate or white-label program for web hosts like me? (via @DowntownRob)

@DowntownRob It’s been one of our top requests during the beta. We’re working on it and will announce once available here & on our blog. (via @VaultPress)

Although affiliate programs are nothing new, launching one for VaultPress could give bloggers an extra incentive to promote the service in order to help lower their monthly backup bill (not to mention generate some extra revenue on the side).

Automattic could choose to pay bloggers (and hosts) a commission based on the first monthly purchase or via a recurring monthly fee (as long as a user remains an active client of course), which could help the service become almost as popular as Akismet in the WordPress universe.

Automattic has not announced a time frame of when they will consider launching an affiliate program, although the company will probably create one after the service exits beta (as the service has yet to provide support for multi-site blogs).

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October 15, 2010

VPS.NET To WordPress Fans: VaultPress Now Included

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Automattic (the company behind WordPress) continues their path of backup domination with news that will probably please WordPress fans hosting on VPS.NET (a cloud hosting service).

Our friends at VPS.NET have just turned on their partner golden ticket machine for VaultPress, and are now making these golden tickets available to all of their hosting clients. We’re excited to bring them on as a partner as we continue to roll the VaultPress beta out to more customers. (Official VaultPress Blog)

VPS.NET alerted users via Twitter (as shown below) and are providing their customers with priority access to VaultPress in which they can access by clicking upon a link while logged into their accounts.

This is Automattic’s second hosting partnership as they have previously partnered with WPEngine (which is a WordPress only hosting company).

With many WordPress fans attempting to get their hands upon a VaultPress golden ticket, it would not be surprising to see WordPress partner with other reputable companies before launching VaultPress to the public.

Note: Users who sign up with VaultPress (while the platform is currently in beta) are able to receive a monthly discount for the service, which are priced at $15/month and $40/month for the standard and premium services, respectively.

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October 6, 2010

VaultPress Gives Stat Geeks Another Reason To Choose WordPress

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The boys and girls at Automattic (the company behind WordPress) have released a new feature for VaultPress that should help make WordPress more appealing for those who live and die by their analytics.

Today, we’re announcing the first release of VaultPress stats, available immediately for all of our beta customers on their VaultPress dashboards.

VaultPress stats complement stats packages you may already be running, like the WordPress.com stats plugin or Google Analytics. […]

Because VaultPress backs up activity on your blog in realtime, we can help you understand time-based patterns. What time of day do you blog most often? What day of the week do you blog the most? We’ve crunched these numbers for you so you can see at a glance when you’re most productive. (Official VaultPress Blog)

At first glance the new VaultPress stats dashboards seems more of a “Google Reader stats meets Disqus analytics” mash up, in which Automattic blends the best of both services upon one dashboard.

However one feature I did find distinct about the VaultPress dashboard was its ability to track the number of media files uploaded, as well as pages created (2 features that may appeal to group blogs as well as analytical geeks).

Unfortunately there is no way to segregate between media types (i.e. images, videos, audio, etc.) which could help further distinguish VaultPress from the sea of WordPress backups available.

Despite presenting users with basic stats from “behind the curtain,” the new dashboard is pleasant to look upon, which may help convince a few of my Joomla friends to make the WP switch (as they have been watching VaultPress with envious eyes).

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August 31, 2010

BlogVault For WordPress: A Cheaper Better Backup Solution?

After reviewing VaultPress by Automattic (the creators of WordPress), there has been a lot of spirited debate online (and off) over how much one should pay to backup their WordPress blog.

Although cheaper alternatives are available, very few match the backup frequency of VaultPress, save one which is blogVault.

Created by Inactiv Media Solutions, blogVault offers users an inexpensive hassle free way to back up their blog without breaking the bank.

With prices starting at $29/year, blogVault looks like a strong contender to many of the premium backup services available to WordPress.

BlogVault also does not require users to create an account with Amazon first, which means bloggers can focus on blogging rather than maintaining separate billing accounts.

For those of you who might consider blogVault as a “poor man’s VaultPress,” here is an in depth view from someone who is using both services. read more

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July 22, 2010

VaultPress To Court WordPress Multi-Sites?

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After sending golden tickets to users on stand-a-lone WordPress blogs, it looks like Automattic (the company behind WordPress) will be supporting multi-sites soon.

Unfortunately the only thing that is preventing multi-sites from being supported can be summed up in one word: billing.

Right now VaultPress is for standalone instances of WordPress only, but the question on everyone’s mind seems to be: what about MU + MS? With the merge of MU and WordPress into MS (multi-site) with 3.0 I’m not surprised it’s a hot topic.

For WordPress MS users, we just need to figure a few things out first, namely billing and enumerating your blogs. On the tech side, hooking into MS is not going to be hard since it’s basically just a bunch of WordPresses. (Official VaultPress Blog)

Emphasis: Mine. read more

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July 13, 2010

VaultPress From WordPress: The Good, The Bad And The Beta

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). read more

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