WP Engine backup functionality allows you to restore older versions of your site in the event of data loss or infection. These backup checkpoints run automatically each night and can also be manually initiated through the User Portal.
What Backups Contain
Each backup contains:
WordPress core files Themes Plugins Database
Backup Exclusion Types
The things we choose not to backup on our platform typically fall into the following 5 buckets:
Temporary Files (Cache, temporary files, versioning files, etc): These files are meant to be kept around temporarily and therefore can be regenerated easily. In most cases it’s actually bad if we restored these files as they contain time specific content and may affect the functionality of your website.
Stock files (samples, templates): These files are provided by the maintainer of the software to illustrate sample content in various config files. EX:
sample-wp-config.php in WordPress core. The files are not used in rendering a site, and can be gathered again if needed.
Backups (backups, snapshots, .bak files): These files are redundant to the backups we offer as part of our platform, and for that reason we choose not to include them as part of the backups we create. We recommend never creating backups locally (we disallow some plugins that perform this), but we do permit additional offsite backups to be created.
Log files (logs, error logs, debug logs): Log files as they would appear in the WordPress root are relevant only at the time of creation, or shortly after. We believe that backing up these files is typically unnecessary and instead recommend downloading relevant log files when the necessary information is captured. Long running log files can also create a large amount of disk usage, and we recommend disabling wp debug and other logs once you are done using them.
Obsolete software (unmaintained or prohibited): This category contains things like timthumb and other softwares that aren’t something we recommend using. If you are using unmaintained software, we strongly recommend working to eliminate that software from your site as a security precaution.
Full List of Backup Exclusions
WP Engine backups contain the majority of your uploads, though some are excluded.
Here is our list of files and directories that are not backed up:
.*~ (These are typically drafts of files edited with a command line text editor) .*/_wpeprivate (This directory is used for short term file storage) .*.(svn|cvs|git|log|tmp|listing|cache|bak|swp) .*/log.txt .*/cache .*/imagecache.* .*/ics-importer-cache .*/gt-cache .*/wp-content/w3tc.* .*/wp-content/w3-.* .*/wp-config-sample.php .*/wp-content/plugins/wpengine-snapshot/snapshots .*/wp-content/uploads/snapshots .*/wp-content/backups .*/wp-content/managewp .*/wp-content/upgrade .*/pclzip-.*
Resolving Backup Errors
Start your troubleshooting process here if you receive an email that your WP Engine backup, restore, or copy has failed.
The following database items are currently not fully supported on WP Engine specifically because they interfere with the checkpoint process. Unlike files, however, these items are not ignored automatically by our system. The entire database is backed up at once without any modifications, taking any problem-causing items with it.
When the database is restored or imported with these items, Superadmin permissions are required. For security purposes, our system does not allow Superadmin actions and the process will fail, leaving your site potentially broken.
The following database items should be removed to prevent issues:
NOTE: While these items may work on your live site itself, they will directly interfere with WP Engine backup, restore and Copy Site processes and should be removed if you intend to use these services.
Too Many Processes
Only one backup, Copy Site or restore can run for an environment at any given time. Starting any additional operations will cause the new process to immediately fail if the old process has not yet completed.
If you receive a failure email after starting an additional backup/restore/copy, this typically means there is no error at all with the original process. Simply need to wait a bit longer for the original process to finish.
If you’re still having issues or simply have questions, our Support team is always happy to help!