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WordPress Backup to Dropbox Made Easy

If you value the content of your site, you must make backups on a regular basis so that you don’t wake up one day and see your site broken with no way back. As a matter of fact, WordPress backup to Dropbox is a great option that comes with a few plugins out there. This post is gonna walk you through the process with the help of the plugin called BackWPup. You may want to use specifically this plugin because it also offers other methods of backing up your WordPress site. You’ll be able to use a few backup options at the same time.

Plugin Installation

You can install this BackWPup plugin just like any regular one. Nothing special here and you should totally know the drill. In a nutshell, you just need to go to your WordPress dashboard, expand the Plugins drop down menu and select Add New. That done, just type the name of your plugin (BackWPup) in the “Search” text field and hit the Search Plugins button. Once you can see the name of your plugin (the complete name of the plugin is BackWPup Free – WordPress Backup Plugin), you need to click the Install Now link. Then just click the Activate Plugin to get the ball rolling and make the plugin work. Now you can use the plugin as you see fit.

Adding a New Job

Having installed the plugin, you can add a new job that allows you to perform a WordPress backup to Dropbox. In order to do that, you need to select the Add new job option.

Adding a New Job

At this point, you need to name your job. Be sure to give it a self-explanatory name that makes it clear what exactly the job is all about.

Adding a New Job Name

The “Job Tasks” section allows you to select the backup you want to do. You have the option to backup your database, files, export an XML file, list of installed plugins, and check database tables. In case you’d like to keep everything as easy and simple as possible, you want to keep the default checkboxes ticked.

Job Tasks

You can also keep the Archive name structure as is unless you totally need to do so and you’re absolutely sure what you’re doing. It’s pretty optimally configured by default and you don’t want to mess around with something if it already works :)

configured by default

In the “Job Destination” section, you want to select the “Backup to Dropbox” option.

Backup to Dropbox

It’s no problem to select other options along with “Backup to Dropbox”, but I take it that you’re primarily interested in backing up specifically to Dropbox. Should you also want to know more about other checkboxes, just let me know in the comments.

The “Log Files” section allows you to specify the email address where your log file will be sent once backing-up is complete. Also, you can define your value for the email FROM field and tick the “Errors only” checkbox if you’d like to be notified via email only if errors occurred during the backup process.

“Log Files

Now that you’ve specified your basic settings, you want to schedule when backups should take place. You need to click the “Schedule” tab at the very top of the page, You can launch your backup process manually, with the help of WordPress cron or with a specific link.

Schedule

Since it’s perfectly fine to keep the default settings in the “DB Backup”, “File”, and “Plugins” sections, you can just skip them and go directly to the “To: Dropbox” section. That’s where you actually can make your WordPress backup to Dropbox.

Before you go any further, you need to make sure that you have a Dropbox account. If it’s not the case, you need to stop reading the post now and create your brand new Dropbox account so that you can send your WordPress backups to it.

So, now that you made sure that you have a Dropbox account, you need to authenticate it. You can either authenticate the Dropbox sandbox or full Dropbox. If you authenticate your Dropbox sandbox, the BackWPup will have access only to the folder it creates in your Dropbox account. In my case, the folder is called “Wordpress-Blog”.

sandbox backwpup

In case you authenticate access to full Dropbox, the plugin will be able to modify all content in your account on Dropbox.

fulldropbox backwpup

Not to overload your Dropbox account, you need to make sure that you keep the amount of backup files to a minimum. You can use the “File Deletion” feature that allows you to specify the maximum amount of files that you want to keep in your sandbox folder (WordPress-Blog).

dropbox backup settings backup

Now that you have everything setup, you can either run your backup job now or just wait till it starts according to your regular backup settings.

Even if you don’t receive any error messages about your WordPress backup to Dropbox, you still want to make sure that you get workable or better yet restorable backups. In order to double-check your backup, you may want to restore it either on a dummy WordPress installation on your server or simply run a localhost on your hard drive. The latter is more cumbersome because you may need to learn some local server administering.

In case you decide to test your backup file on the same server where you run your actual WordPress site, I strongly recommend you to be really careful so that you don’t damage your live database. The one that your actual site is currently using.  In other words, be sure to apply your backup .sql file to your dummy database! Again, it’s very crucial. If you do it wrong, your whole site can go down.

For a step-by-step tips on restoring your backup (both actual actual files and database), you want to check my post that explains how to restore WordPress using your backup file.

Dropbox Storage Quote

While performing your WordPress backup to Dropbox, make sure that you don’t add up over your storage quota. If it’s the case, you just won’t be able to create a workable WordPress backup on your Dropbox account. Note that you get 2 Gb of storage space when you create a brand new Dropbox account, but there’s a bunch of ways to drastically increase your Dropbox storage quota.

If you have some other content on your Dropbox, you may want to delete it to free up space for your WordPress backup. In case there’s no way to remove your current files from your Dropbox account, you can just create a brand new Dropbox account specifically for WordPress backups.

Bottom Line

Though you may also want to keep your backups in other locations, such as your alternative FTP server, it’s still a good idea to also send your WordPress backups to Dropbox because it makes it possible to ensure that you are totally safe if a disaster strikes. You just can’t go wrong with backup copies in different and independent locations.

  • Kenneth von Rauch,
  • September 11, 2015

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Kenneth is an outgoing guy who just loves living to its fullest potential. Coming from a tech support background, he ideally combines his web design and development skills with search engines tips and tricks. That mixture makes his works both tech savvy and SEO in-depth.

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