Database Snapshots provide an easy and fast way to save the state of WordPress before doing a major action such as activating or deactivating a plugin or theme. The previous state (snapshot) can be restored or compared to the current one with a single click. Snapshots are ideal to assess the footprint a plugin or theme makes and to test complex installation procedures when resetting WordPress each time is not an option.

A Few General Facts About User Generated (Database) Snapshots

  • although snapshots are a form of backup, we don’t advise using them for “real” backups on live sites; always save your backups off-site, not in the same, live DB
  • snapshots do not touch files in any way; they don’t save them, make a list of files or do anything with them
  • snapshots are stored as custom database tables; one snapshot table for each original table
  • naming template for snapshot tables is {6_char_random_hex}_{table_prefix_for_your_site}_{original_table_name}
  • besides the default WP DB tables, snapshots save custom tables too, but only the ones with the $wpdb->prefix name prefix
  • please mind the total size of your WP tables (size is visible in the box above the list of saved snapshots); when a snapshot is created it will take as much space as the original table did
  • restoring a snapshot does not affect other snapshots or WP Reset settings
  • for tables totaling up to 30-ish MB, creating and restoring snapshots is borderline instant
  • snapshot metadata is kept in wp-reset-snapshots WP option, which is preserved when doing a reset with WPR and all other operations that clean/delete items in the options table
  • depending on the Export snapshots table by table option snapshots are either created in one go (all tables at once) or table by table which is a bit slower but better for larger sites
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