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Media Temple and the restore policy

I was looking around the website at Media Temple and how they handle restore requests. It is not as clear as they make it sound when you sign up. It is not as easy as “hey, can you activate my backup that you have.”

This is not overly surprising considering that they handle migration to their service pretty much the same way. It seems everything at Media Temple has a price tag.

It seems that they want to focus on being a web hosting company and see things like support, backups, and migrations as your problem. If you want them to do that stuff, they want to be paid for doing it. Kinda like an Apple Care for web hosting.

What is Media Temple restore policy?

It is somewhat tricky to be honest. It says it cost “$0.00” for a restore but that is because you have not confirmed the payment yea. Here is what you will see when you start.

The problem is what you see after filling out the information that you need to active a restore on your website. It says that according to the terms of service that it will cost $79 to use the restore function that they offer to customers. As I said, I do not see this as honest and they should be much more up front about it in their sales material.

Here is what it says,

I understand the process and terms of requesting an emergency restoration of data through (mt) Media Temple Inc, per the (mt) Media Temple Terms of Service, section (J)(1)(d). I approve of the $79 one-time non-refundable restoration fee and request the data be restored by (mt) Media Temple’s CloudTech service. I further understand and agree that if a full data restoration is requested, ALL data currently on the server will be removed and replaced by the data from our emergency backup, and that this process cannot be undone.

What is this term of service deal?

Here is exactly what it says,

We do not provide backup services. WE REPEAT: WE DO NOT PROVIDE BACKUP SERVICES. We are not responsible for Content residing on or about the Service. In no event shall Media Temple be held liable for any loss of any Content. It is your sole responsibility to maintain appropriate backup of your Content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, on some occasions, and in certain circumstances, with absolutely no obligation and only as a courtesy, upon a Customer submitting an emergency restoration request, we may be able to restore some or all of your data that has been deleted as of a certain date and time when we have backed up data for our own purposes. Media Temple makes no guarantee that the data you need will be available. An emergency restoration is intended for data recovery of specific files and/or databases, and will NOT restore your server or website to a previous version. We may reject any emergency restoration request, at anytime, for any reason or no reason. We may reject any emergency restoration request received during any period when the (mt) Account is past due, suspended, closed or under investigation for any breach of any section of this Agreement. Backups are as-is and are not designed for litigation purposes.

Wait? Doesn’t it say that 30 days worth of backups are kept for file backup and restore? In case you missed it, this is right from their sales part of the website below.

So what can we take from this terms of service (that no one ever reads until there is a problem)

  • You really do not have any backups
  • They do not want you to hold them responsible.
  • If you do not have a backup of your website, you are shit out of luck.
  • They only back up data for their own purposes?
  • They can tell you to screw off for any reason.

It does not sound too nice, does it? I will be honest, I was surprised when I read this. I mean, Media Temple is a little more for services and you would expect them to back up things and include that in the service for the extra money?

One thing that really is concerning is that they want to only back up MY data for their their own purposes? What purpose would Godaddy have with my information? Is my data being sold to marketing companies or given to the NSA agents? I am just asking because that seems like an odd thing for Media temple to do with restore files.

What is the answer to their backup policy?

Well, it depends on how many websites you have to backup. I will give two options. One is if you have one or two websites and the other is, if you are like me, you have half of a dozen websites to worry about. 

The best option for someone with one website is by far VaultPress by Automattic. These are the people behind WordPress so they know the system inside and out. You can’t get any better with WordPress than the people who actually created it!

They offer things like 30 backups over the last month, uptime monitoring, spam protection, migration, and real support for only $3.50. This is great for a few website but could get pricy if you have a dozen website. Of course, there is a discount if you pay by the year.

The other option, if you have more than a few website is using a plugin called Duplicator. You can get the Duplicator Pro from Snap Creek LLC for as little as $1.08 per month per site that is backing your website up to Drop Box or Amazon. If you really do have a dozen websites, you would be best with their $79 a year option that works out to  54 cents a month per website.

At Mosaic Audit, our main website, Azusa Report, is backed up using VaultPress by Automattic but the rest of our website are backup with the Duplicator plugin by Snap Creek.

It is also worth mention that if your website does not change often, you could use the free version of Duplicator and just download the restore files to your hard drive every time you happen to update the website. It just doesn’t work for us because we update the content daily here.

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