Backing Up WordPress to Dropbox Reliably and For Free
One of my favorite things about WordPress is that fact that you can download a plugin for almost anything. When I first set up this site almost three years ago, I was using a plugin that would backup my site once a week and email me the file. Fast forward to today and a few weeks ago I realized I hadn’t received a backup file in almost two years. Yea, I’d totally forgotten about it!
So I went searching around Google and the plugin directory for a backup plugin that would work reliably – funny enough, I went through about ten different plugins to find something that worked they way I wanted to!
The issue with the plugins mostly came about because of the size of my database. The majority of plugins work by either uploading the backup to your server (which to me, defeats the purpose of the backup), or by emailing you. So of course, if your site is over a few MB’s, your mail server will reject the email and you’ll never get the backup.
I wanted to automatically send my backups to dropbox – there I wouldn’t have to worry about moving the file from my inbox to my HD, or worry about manually downloading the files, I could just download it and forget it.
I found BackWPup to be the best plugin by far. It’s a little bit confusing at first because of all of the options, but it lets you backup everything if you wanted to, including uploads and theme files, as well as the DB. It also allows you to send it to different servers, dropbox, email or other backup options.
Some of the plugins that failed for some reason or another:
- EZPZ One Click Backup – Got a PHP error on install, so didn’t even get to try it out.
- WP-DB-Backup – Files sent to email inbox never made it, probably due to the size of file. Email was only option on scheduled backups.
- XM-Backup – Weird PHP errors on settings page and when trying to send to Dropbox
- Automatic WordPress Backup – didn’t works
- Backup to Dropbox – hanged on MySQL creation and never worked
Make sure you always test the plugins out before you set them up and forget about them. Most have the option to do a “backup now”, even if you’ve scheduled them out as automatic.