Learn How To Backup A WordPress Site
I’m going to teach you step by step how to backup a wordpress site and have it scheduled to backup every day/week/month or however often you like and uploaded to a free Dropbox.com account.
All you’ll need to follow along is a self hosted wordpress site and a free DropBox.com account that takes under a minute to setup and create.
What Is A Self Hosted WordPress Site?
A self hosted wordpress site is a WordPress site that isn’t hosted over at WordPress.com, for example this site TheWiseAffiliate.com is hosted at Hostgator and would be classed as a self hosted wordpress site.
What Is DropBox.com?
Dropbox has been around for several years and offer online storage for it’s customers. They offer free account, pro accounts and business accounts. All free accounts are given 2GB (GigaBytes) of online storage. So we’re going to use this service to keep backup copies of our wordpress sites.
Now before we move on here, I’d like to point out a few reasons why it’s important that you create and keep full backups of your wordpress site on another server.
Why Should I Create Full WordPress Backups?
Nobody wants to visit their site one day only to find everything has gone. Perhaps the hosting server crashed or had a hardware failure has everything has been erased from the server, maybe the hosting company went out of business and just pulled the plug.
Now some hosting companies may create weekly or monthly backups and charge fees to re-install, but it doesn’t mean that something couldn’t go wrong and because your site is running WordPress, probably the most popular website platform around, hackers enjoy finding vulnerabilities and holes to cause damage to wordpress sites and hosting servers.
How To Backup A WordPress Site Video Tutorial
If you know who I am you’ll know that I prefer to create video tutorials as I believe it’s easier to follow along too, but I’m also going to post some text instructions below however I still recommend that you watch the video on how to backup a wordpress site.
How To Backup A WordPress Site Step by Step Instructions
If for some reason the video above didn’t work you can follow along to the instructions below that will teach you how to backup a wordpress blog. If you need help or run into any problems along the way, please post a comment below.
If you don’t already own a free DropBox.com account (link opens in new window) you’ll need to create one first. With this free account you’ll have 2 Gigabytes of online storage to use. This is plenty of space as we’re only going to keeping a 3 of the latest backups of our wordpress blogs.
Step 2: Locate & Install BackWpUp
Login to your wordpress admin area. We now need to Install a new plugin called BackWpUp.
Locate the plugins button in the left side menu and select Add New. In the Search field enter BackWpUp as seen in the images below. After you locate the plugin you can click the “Install Now” button and activate it.
Step 3: Configure BackWpUp & Create A New Job
So now that the plugin has been activated, you’ll notice that two new menu buttons have appeared, one in the lower left menu and one in the top menu bar.
The first time you click on either button you’ll be greeted with a welcome page, giving you some details about the BackWpUp plugin and the difference between the Free and Paid version of this plugin. Please note, I personally and to follow along to this video tutorial only use the free version. On the welcome page simple scroll all the way down to the very bottom and click the “Backup Now” button.
With this plugin you can create severals jobs if you wish, but our goal is to only create one job, and that’s to have everything backed up. But should you want to create different types of backup jobs you can, for example, perhaps you only want to backup the wordpress database and have it emailed to you weekly, well no problem you can create a job to do that task too.
When creating a backup Job we have several tabs with options that we need to go over, most option you can leave as default but I’ll explain below. Click Images To Enlarge in LightBox
The first thing that I change is the name, normally I’ll rename it to “Full Backup” that way I’ll know what the job is just by reading the name. Then for job destination I must select “DropBox” as the backup destination. Double check that the Log Files has a valid email address entered so if something goes wrong you’ll be notified and press “Save Changes”.
To have this plugin create backup every day/week/month you’ll need to set up a schedule. Select the “with WordPress” option and you’ll then see more options, you can then select a day and time for the backup to be performed.
I normally pick a time of day when less people are going to be visiting my site. Then press “Save Changes”
The dumpfile compression type should be fine left on none. If you make any changes press “Save Changes”
Under the file tab you have the option to exclude folders from being backed up if you wish, without getting into all the details and reasons why you may want to exclude unneeded folders, lets just say if you don’t know anything about these folders then DO NOT exclude them.
If after you’ve created a successful backup you notice it’s over let say 150MB is size, I would then consider looking into what folders you could exclude. Don’t forget to press “Save Changes”
Here you can edit the name of the file it creates and the compression type. Inside the text file that it creates you’ll find a list of all plugins and which ones were active and inactive at the time of backup.
To DropBox Tab:
If you do not see this TAB then go back to the first General tab and make sure Dropbox is selected for the destination and you press Save. In another browser TAB I recommend that you login to your Dropbox account and then come back to this page.
First you need to click on “Authenticate (Sandbox)” or “Authenticate (Full Dropbox)” . Then in the following window select “Allow”. It should bring you back to the option page.
The folder name is what the name of the folder over at Dropbox will be called when it’s created. File deletion I recommend you set it too 3. This is the latest number of backup copies of your site you’d like to keep. Don’t forget to press “Save Changes” or you’ll need to re-authenticate again.
Step 4: Run The Job
If you completed the above steps your site should be now setup to backup on it’s first scheduled date, but I highly recommend that you perform a backup right now and make sure everything works. So to do that we’re going to Run the job now. You can access via either BackWpUp options.
Under the Jobs overview you’ll see a list of Jobs, over your mouse over the job and you’ll see a Run Now link appear, click the link and it will start to perform the complete backup.
If you’d like to more details about what’s going on and what errors or warning you have, you can click the “Display working log” and it will open a popup box/window. Notice I have one warning, this is simply because I never asked it to dump any tables.
Step 5: Check DropBox
The final optional step is to double check your DropBox account and make sure you see the backup files was uploaded. Well this is more of a personal habit and for peace of mind, if it didn’t work the plugin would’ve given you an Error.
Need Help Or have Questions?
If for some reason you’re having problems backing up a wordpress site or you just have a question you’d like to ask, please feel free to post a comment below and I’ll try and help you out.
It’s come to my attention that people who use shared hosting over at Godaddy can’t use this plugin as they do not allow outbound FTP access or something along them lines. This makes it impossible to upload a wordpress backup to dropbox.