09 November 2023 Last updated on 09 November 2023

We released Akeeba Backup for WordPress 8.1.0. This version needs a manual update. You will not be able to use WordPress' plugin updates or Akeeba Backup's built-in updater to update to it.

To update to this version please follow the following instructions:

  • Download the latest version from our site.
  • Extract the downloaded ZIP file on your computer.
  • Upload the contents of the extracted akeebabackupwp folder into your site's wp-content/plugins/akeebabackupwp folder.
  • Visit your site's wp-admin and click on Akeeba Backup in the sidebar.

Why do you need a manual update?

WordPress 6.3 changed the way plugin updates work in a backwards incompatible way, without any prior warning, without even announcing it. Even now, three months later, there is no announcement, and the WordPress documentation is still not acknowledging the change. This broke functionality which has existed for more than 14 years. The end result is that, despite us explicitly telling it to do otherwise with the only method that is officially documented even today, WordPress will always end up deleting the plugin folder before installing the new version.

This causes two major problems with Akeeba Backup for WordPress:

Backups stored in the plugin's folders are deleted. The default backup output directory was under the plugin's directory, therefore now deleted on updated.

Backup settings may be lost. Akeeba Backup, by default, stores the settings for backup profiles encrypted in the database. The encryption key for the backup profile settings was stored in a file inside the plugin's directory. Since this file is deleted, Akeeba Backup can no longer decrypt the settings and reset the backup profile to factory defaults. This is not the case if you have disabled backup profile settings encryption in Akeeba Backup's System Configuration page.

Due to the nature of these issues, and the fact that WordPress ignores the workaround for them that it itself suggests(!), we have to ask you to install this update manually. Anything else would result in data loss.

What we've done to prevent this issue from happening again

We have indeed taken measures to prevent WordPress deleting the plugin folder on update becoming a problem in future updates:

The default backup output directory has been moved to wp-content/backups. Any existing backups in the default output directory will be automatically moved to the new default backup output directory the first time you access Akeeba Backup for WordPress as an Administrator (single-site installation) / Super Administrator (multi-site installation).

The backup settings encryption key has been moved to wp-content/akeebabackup_secretkey.php. Your existing key will be automatically migrated to the new location the first time you access Akeeba Backup for WordPress as an Administrator (single-site installation) / Super Administrator (multi-site installation).

Very important note about automatic updates

We plan on making automatic updates from versions up to and including to versions 8.1.0 and later available again after mid-December 2023.

We remind you that in order to avoid any data loss you must update your sites manually in the next month. Any sites not manually updated will most likely suffer data loss once they install updates manually or automatically through WordPress' plugins updater.

A final note about a different WordPress bug

The major change in WordPress also came with a bonus major bug in WordPress versions 6.3.0 and 6.3.1 which caused a PHP fatal error when an update to a plugin was found. This bug has ostensibly been fixed in WordPress 6.3.2 As an additional precaution we decided to no longer use the affected WordPress core code.

One-off email to subscribers of Akeeba Backup for WordPress

Last month we published a news article about the problems we discovered updating to Akeeba Backup 8.0.0 which, ultimately, were issues with WordPress 6.3 itself. Many clients complained that they would have preferred to receive this kind of important information as an email. As a result, we decided to send the content of this news article as an email to all users with an active Akeeba Backup for WordPress subscription.

Kindly note that this is NOT a newsletter. It's a one-off email.

We are not getting into the habit of sending our clients emails about news items we publish on our site. We will only do it if there is critically important information you need to know. Our criteria for marking something as “critically important” is that it will either cause unrecoverable data loss, or is a security issue which can be easily exploited or is being actively exploited. The last five years there have been only two situations which would meet this criteria.

Our news are available as an RSS feed

We have always used the News section of our site to communicate important information about our software and our releases.

If you would like to stay up to date, you can subscribe to its RSS feed, https://www.akeeba.com/news.feed.

Our recommendations for RSS feed readers are:

  • Blogtrottr. Sends RSS feed items to you via email (free of charge).
  • Mozilla Thunderbird. Windows, macOS, and Linux. Free of charge, and FOSS. Email, RSS, instant messaging, and much more. It will notify you when there's new feed content.
  • Flipboard. iOS, Android. It has a pretty cool interface for news reading.
  • Reeder. For macOS, paid.

Of course, let's not forget that both CMS we support, WordPress and Joomla, have RSS feed readers built into them! After all, they create RSS feeds. It would be a serious omission if they couldn't consume them as well.

On a WordPress site you can create a page with its visibility set to Private and add an RSS block to it. Enter the feed URL https://www.akeeba.com/news.feed.

On a Joomla site you can create a backend module of the Feed Display type. Enter the feed URL https://www.akeeba.com/news.feed.