At TechCrunch Disrupt NYC last May, the unanimous winner of the “Audience Choice” award was a young, Atlanta-based startup called CodeGuard. The startup caught the audience’s attention based on a simple value proposition: To become a “time machine for your website.” In other words, CodeGuard’s free service allows any site owner to back up their website and revert to earlier versions, while monitoring for infections.
After months of tweaking and beta testing, today CodeGuard is officially pulling back the curtain on a new-and-improved service, backed by a fresh $1.3 million in funding from Imlay Investments and a host of angel investors, including Palaniswamy Rajan, Bert Ellis, Tom Noonan, Matt Chanoff, and Merrick Furst.
The new funding adds to the $500K the startup raised back in June of last year from Imlay and others. All of CodeGuard’s seed investors have returned to re-up their investments and give the startup the fuel it needs to expand — now just under $2 million total.
While there are a number of companies that provide disaster recovery and data backup, what differentiates CodeGuard from the rest, says co-founder David Moeller, is that it utilizes differential backup. What does that mean? As opposed to solely storing just a snapshot of a website’s source code and database, CodeGuard compares the current version with prior versions and only stores the differences.
This minimizes the space needed for backups and, in turn, gives the startup insight into all the changes in a website’s code and database. After launching its public beta at Disrupt last May, CodeGuard has since upgraded its backend infrastructure to Amazon EC2 and S3 to enable scaling and to provide near-total redundancy.
The startup is also today officially launching a complete redesign of its user interface, which means, among other things, an update to its “Time Machine” feature. The majority of the UI updates are visual in nature, giving those site owners who may not have a computer science degree a visual glimpse into their website’s operations, rather than lines of text (as in the previous version of CodeGuard). Now, site owners can simply log-in to CodeGuard’s free dashboard and sort through prior versions of their website visually, choosing from particular versions of files that they want to restore — or restoring the whole site to a previous version.
Previously, CodeGuard had simply downloaded a zip file of the contents of a website and presented its Time Machine in text-form, but now users can take advantage of a visual representation of their file mix, watching as their development support works on the site, etc.
The startup also released a cPanel plugin so that hosting providers can allow their users to create accounts with a few clicks from a hosting provider control panel, which now complements a WordPress plugin with similar functionality.
In the big picture, CodeGuard wants to provide backup for life for websites of all stripes, from the big players to the mom and pop shops and millions of bloggers out there using WordPress. Of course, users want things to be easy, but when it comes to backup and monitoring, there are a lot of different use cases, and configurations change from provider to provider. WordPress itself has a laundry list.
So, CodeGuard has struck strategic partnerships with hosting and web service providers like Parallels, CloudFlare, A Small Orange, HostDime, HostMySite, WebHostingBuzz and NameCheap, and now offers integration options via cPanel, Plesk, and WordPress, as well as FTP/SFTP, MySQL and WordPress backup and restore. And that’s really one of the coolest parts of CodeGuard’s technology — it performs platform-agnostic, non-intrusive change monitoring and differential backup, whether tunneling over SSH or using near-ubiquitous but dated protocols like FTP.
In terms of cost, CodeGuard offers a pay-as-you-go service, which is free until users hit the 2GB limit, at which point they can upgrade to a yearly rate of $10/month. For $25, users can access all their backups for 72 hours.
Moeller says that the key here, though, is that CodeGuard isn’t doing the typical bait-and-switch that’s become rampant among backup solutions. The goal, he says, is to keep backups and snapshots as small as possible so that users never get to that 2GB limit.
The other important differentiating point for CodeGuard is an element of customer service. That is to say that many solutions give site owners the tools and just leave them be. In contrast, when CodeGuard, say, opens up a site’s servers and checks to see what’s been modified or deleted, it automatically alerts users if they find any changes. That way users know that their backup solution is working — based on the fact that the startup actually notifies them with each change.
With its new infusion of capital, Moeller says, CodeGuard has been ramping up its team and integrating its technology with hosting providers all over the country. In the last two weeks, its observed 20 million changes to files, and its new system has been designed with scale in mind, to be able to handle an exponential load. The startup hopes to begin offering Tumblr backup in next quarter, along with support for a number of other content management systems.
For more on CodeGuard, check ’em out at home here or in the video below: