How to Backup your WordPress Blog or Website With Dropbox
Note: This is a Guest Article by Matthew Epstein who works for San Francisco based start-up SigFig as their Product Marketing Manager. He’s also known for his Ingenious Marketing Stunt he pulled when he tried to get Google to hire him. This article was taken from his personal website.
Believe it or not most people don’t backup their WordPress blog or WordPress website. In the event of a virus, attack or programming catastrophe your WordPress, which could have taken years to create, can disappear in the blink of an eye. I’m assuming those of you out there who don’t backup your WordPress site either don’t know how to or never thought to do it. Now there’s no excuse! In three easy steps I’ll show you a free and easy way to backup your entire WordPress web site to Dropbox – automatically!
Step One: Download Dropbox
If you want to automagically backup your WordPress to Dropbox you’re going to need…you guessed it…Dropbox! It only takes a minute or two to install and the free version of Dropbox (2GB limit) should meet most people’s backup storage needs. Just to give you an example, after fully backing up this blog the total Dropbox file size was a mere 24mb.
So, to download Dropbox visit the link below and click download. To learn more about Dropbox click here.
Download Here: http://www.dropbox.com
Step Two: Download the “Backup to Dropbox” WordPress plugin and install
After you’ve installed Dropbox and created an account, you need to download and install the “Backup to Dropbox” plugin. To download click the link below.
Once you’ve downloaded the zip file to your desktop simply navigate to the Plugins section within your WordPress admin dashboard, click “add new plugin” and then upload and install the plugin.
An alternative way is to Click on the ‘Add New’ tab under Plugins and search for the “Backup to Dropbox” plugin in WordPress. Then you can automatically install it.
Step Three: Configure your settings and run your first backup
Under Settings within your administrator panel you should see “Backup to Dropbox.” Simply open the plugin page and connect it with your existing (or newly created) Dropbox account. Be sure to first review your Quota, or Dropbox spaced used, to ensure you have adequate storage space for backup.
- Choose a local backup folder. For 95% of you there’s no reason to change the default wp-content/backups. In other words, leave wp-content/backups as is.
- Choose a folder name to backup to. If this is your first time creating a backup the folder will be automatically created for you within Dropbox. Click here to see how the backup folder is reflected in your Dropbox. As you can see I’ve named mine GoogleWordPressBackup.
- Choose a day and time for regular backups. I personally like to manually backup my WordPress to Dropbox, so I choose every 12 weeks as I normally backup my site every 30 days. Choose whatever works best for you though. (Techin5 note: We backup our website once a week, but the choice is up to you).
- Next, simply click “Backup Now” and you’re off. Keep in mind the process can take anywhere from two minutes to an hour depending on the size of your site and whether or not you’ve backed up before. Be sure to check the History of your backup directly on the plugin page to check for errors and see whether or not you’re backup was successfully completed. (Techin5 note: Our first run took nearly two hours. Remember to leave this page open during the duration of the first backup so you can monitor any backup problems you may encounter).
Voila! You’re Done!
Here are some helpful backup tips to keep in mind
- Version your backups: I can’t stress to you how important it is to version your backups! Imagine for a moment you continuously backup and overwrite your website Dropbox folder. What happens if you have a virus or faulty plugin for months without realizing it, overwrite your ONLY backup folder with the virus/bad code included and then weeks later your site crashes as a result of one of the two only you can’t restore youre site because your only backup is actually an exact duplicate of the culprit. To avoid this problem always copy, paste and rename the latest version of your backup (ex: GoogleWordpressBackup 2/14/2011) BEFORE overwriting your main backup folder.
- Backup your site every 30-90 days: It may seem like common sense to continuously back up your site, but the unfortunate truth is that many people either get lazy or forget to backup their website until it’s too late. So as a friendly reminder – BACKUP YOUR WEBSITE EVERY 30-90 DAYS! Or simply use the auto-backup tool included in the plugin. (Techin5 note: Again this is up to you on how often you backup your website. Since the backup is small, it doesn’t hurt to backup your site more often if you post often).
- Cleanup unused plugins and media: Just like my room, my WordPress is a mess; hundreds of unused images, dozens of inactive or unused plugins and tons of undeleted spam and posts. Cleaning all of these unused assets up (which I did last week…ugh) will greatly help to reduce your backup file size and backup speed.
There you have it folks, go backup your WordPress site now! This is the best (free) way I know of! Credit to “Wordpress Backup to Dropbox” plugin creator Michael De Wildt.