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).
Where VaultPress Shines
Regardless of how many gigabytes your site churns out a month (and yes, I did say gigabytes!), VaultPress only charges you $15 a month to back up your entire blog.
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).
Although there are cheaper services available (like Mozy, or Backupify), VaultPress doesn’t limit your backup snapshot to the previous 30 days or put a cap on how much data you can back up.
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
Despite the many benefits of VaultPress, the site does have a few setbacks, the first dealing with payment.
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!
Darnell Clayton is a geek who discovered blogging long before he heard of the word "blog" (he called them "web journals" then). When he is not tweeting, friendfeeding, or blogging about space, he enjoys running, reading and describing himself in third person.
$15 a month seems steep, especially considering that is more than most people pay to host their WordPress site. This does make the BackupBuddy plugin look more attractive. It costs $45 and works with Amazon S3 (15 cents or less per gigabyte) or S/FTP and has features for easy migration or restoration of your site (http://pluginbuddy.com/purchase/backupbuddy/). This service costs even more than VideoPress.
BackupBuddy is great, but I would consider it a close second due to the fact that VaultPress allows you to backup your blog to 3 cloud services (WordPress and two others) for a cheap price instead of just one.
Not to mention the up-to-the-minute backups which makes much more sense than the once a day routine.
I may try out BackupBuddy (as I have several other blogs) but thus far VaultPress has captured my heart. :-)
Just a quick note — $15/mo is the special pricing for beta testers, we’re planning to raise it to $20/mo for signups after the beta is over. We think we have the best solution in the world for securing your site. For example we’re storing every single file 11 times. Forever. It’s not for everyone, but for high-end bloggers and businesses using WordPress as a CMS, I think VaultPress is a no-brainer. (Most businesses spend more every month on one person’s cell phone plan.)
11 times Matt?! Is that overkill? (in a good way of course).
Also, what other 2 cloud services do you back our blogs to? Amazon S3? Google App Engine? A secret location underground? ;-)
S3 and one we’re not talking about yet, in addition to the 6 copies in three datacenters (Chicago, San Antonio, Dallas) we keep ourselves.
Thanks for taking the time to review VaultPress! This is one of the first reviews of the service.
I’m definitely gonna hold out on this one. For one thing my blog is still small enough to backup online for free at iDrive. And for another, I really don’t like climbing on beta-bandwagons, to risky. Especially when it’s my blog and content at stake.
A worthy contender and I think it will corner the market for high end backup.
The budget blogger will probably stick to the free or lower priced solutions, even though they are often inferior in features.
Hope I see one of those beta tickets to try it myself.
Ever since VaultPress was announced I have kept an eye on the service and posts about the service. There is nothing which comes close to it when looking at features and even price. But then again, price is also the main issue for a small, indie network like ours with lots of sites.
Automattic’s high end service offerings are some of the best out there but their price sadly makes them accessible only to the top sites. I would love to move all our sites to both WP VIP and VaultPress but for us both services would a. be overkill; and b. be unaffordable.
When thinking about just our main network sites, VaultPress alone would tick in at $500/month and that would only be for backups. How many hard drives can I get for the same monthly price.
When a backup is needed though, no service is faster and easier than VaultPress.
Vaultpress looks like a great service, currently we us WP DB Backup and do manual content downloads monthly but I would like to fully automate this.
We have 30+ sites which are all fairly small and unfortunately the cost/site would make this service a bit too expensive for us. I look forward to a multi site option for site owners in our position (maybe a datacapped multisite option would work?)
iDrive is free for personal use (2gig) or costs $9.95/month for business use (50gig). I would prefer to support a backup service made by the WP team but based on the beta discounted rate it’d be costing me $450.00/month which I can’t justify.