WordPress is probably the most popular blogging solution, but it comes with a price. The platform is often a victim to vulnerabilities. Although staying up to date with the latest versions and following basic security precautions is very important, backing up is also quite essential. I often find that many avoid this practice due to its tediousness. Having to manually download files with a FTP client or upload archives to another storage solution is sometimes time-consuming. Fortunately, a new plugin comes to the rescue by regularly saving your entire WordPress installation to Dropbox.
If you configure a daily schedule, a new ‘.zip’ file containing everything including media uploads, themes, and plugins will appear on your desktop at a given time each day. Dropbox even saves a few revisions online, which is another plus. Those who have multiple computers can feel safe knowing that the backup is in several places. This also makes it easy to manually copy and store a local copy whenever you have a chance.
To give this plugin a test drive, just head the Plugins section in the WordPress Section. Click ‘Add New’ and search for “WordPress Backup to Dropbox.” Assuming that your server has all the essentials, the plugin should install within a few seconds. I ran into an issue on one shared hosting provider which did not offer “PHP zip support,” but I had luck on a another dedicated development server.
- Log into WordPress and click on ‘Plugins’
- Press the ‘Add New’ button at the top
- Search for ‘WordPress Backup to Dropbox’
- Click ‘Install Now’ to begin
Those concerned about security might be glad to hear that this plugin takes advantage of OAuth to authorize access to Dropbox, so WordPress does not save any credentials. Linking my test WordPress blog to Dropbox took just a click and configuring the backups was quite easy. Users can choose where to save the ‘.zip’ file, enable storing an extra local copy, configure a repeating schedule, and opt to automatically purge old backups to save space.
This plugin is just one easy way to backup WordPress, but I would also recommend using other tools in case this one fails to work. I generally store several forms of backups in various locations in case one is lost or damaged. For those who ran into issues with this plugin, I would suggest trying BackWPup as well, which offers storing backups to several third-party services including Amazon S3, RackSpace Cloud Files, Dropbox, and SugarSync. If you use any other great plugins or want to share your backup practices, feel free to let us know in the comments.