Let’s face it: backing up a website can take time and can be tedious work. The more time something takes, and the more tedious it is, the less likely it is to get done. The more a website changes the more often the backup is required. A website that changes often doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring a backup. And ignoring a backup is potential data loss. As I’m sure you might’ve guessed, that’s a bad thing.
WordPress Backup Rules You Must Follow
If you want to keep your website’s files and ensure your site is stable and stays live, your WordPress site must be backed up. That’s it. No questions asked. It’s not open for negotiation. But, it’s easier said than done. I spoke before of rules to follow to help keep you on track. These rules still apply. Here’s a shortened version of that list.
- Maintain a backup schedule based on your site update and blogging frequency.
- Backup your site’s database before you install anything new.
- Keep three backups in three different forms and/or places, such as in your email account, on an external hard drive, and on a DVD.
- Only backup those plugins that contain value for your site—not those that bloat your site such as spam filters and stat plugins.
- Schedule manual backups just in case there’s an issue with an automatic backup.
Following these rules will help ensure you never lose your info again.
Now, let’s take a look at Dropbox
And how you can use it to help you prevent losing information and always keep your site live and running. Some of them are Dropbox specific, while others have a wider range of cloud storage solutions that include Dropbox. Dropbox is a free secure cloud storage that allows you to access your data from computers, phones, and tablets. You can edit your documents, add photos and video, and share with your team. Dropbox is a great backup solution for your WordPress site. And of course, plugins make the task easy.
The free account, Dropbox Basic, gives you 2 GB of storage space, access from anywhere, and simple file sharing. £7.99 per month upgrades you to Dropbox Pro, which gets you 1 TB of storage, additional sharing controls, and remote wipe. For £11 per month per user you can upgrade to Dropbox for Business, which gets you unlimited space, lots of admin controls, unlimited version history, comprehensive logs, and much more.
For a backup of WordPress to truly be useful, the plugins need to backup all of your WordPress installation files including any theme modifications that you’re done, your MySQL database, and your XML map. It’s also nice to get a list of plugins that you have installed.
There are several plugins, both free and premium, that will automatically perform these backups for you and store them in your Dropbox account. We are going to concentrate on WordPress Backup to Dropbox for the sake of this post but there are others.
WordPress Backup to Dropbox is free plugin that automatically uploads your entire website to Dropbox, including your WordPress files and your database. You can choose the day, time, and how often it will upload your files. It also lets you choose which folders within Dropbox and on your server that your files are backed up to. You can even choose which files and directories to include, so you can exclude directories if you want. Backups also include any theme changes that you’ve done.
The interface is easy to use. You simply link the plugin to your Dropbox account and you’re good to go. Your information is kept secure because the plugin uses OAuth rather than storing your information in the plugin’s files. Unfortunately, there isn’t a restore feature included here.