How to Backup a WordPress Site with Dropbox

On the surface, DropBox may just look like another cloud storage provider. Even though they are extremely popular due to their 2GB free storage plans and affordable pricing, they’re more than a typical cloud storage solution. Most people don’t know that they have created a WordPress plugin that simplifies the backup process.

Backing up your WordPress site is critical. Even with the latest and greatest security tools and services from your hosting provider, you always need to backup your website…or you risk losing everything. There are a million and one different ways hackers can tear a site to shreds. From XSS attacks to SQL injection, it’s not as hard as you may think to break into a website.

And WordPress, though it is a secure and stable platform, is ultimately fallible, as are all pieces of software. Numerous plugins and extensions contain vulnerabilities, and some of these vulnerabilities include flaws that make it possible for a hacker to login to your website and escalate their privileges to that of an administrator. I know, I know, it sounds far fetched, right? Well, it’s not as rare as you may think.

According to Forbes, approximately 30,000 websites are attacked every single day. That’s almost 11 million website each year, and the number is only growing as more vulnerabilities surface and more websites are created. In the information age, you cannot afford to forgo backing up your website.

If you fail to perform a backup, a hacker could steal database information or delete all your posts, and your traffic would vanish overnight. Instead of letting all your hard word, blood, sweat, and tears go to waste, it’s better to err on the side of caution. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so it’s best to avoid a complete loss of website data altogether.

But many WordPress users aren’t advanced web technicians with deep understandings of database query code, scripting languages, PHP, and every other facet of website design and administration. The great thing about WordPress is that it’s extremely user friendly, and allows even the most basic user to create a website with little to no background experience in web design. But backing up your website can be challenging if you don’t know where to begin.

That’s where DropBox is extremely useful. Apart from providing a popular cloud storage solution, they also have a WordPress plugin that makes backing up your website incredibly simple. Before we dig into the ridiculously simple backup process, let’s take a moment to talk about DropBox security concerns.

DropBox Security Issues

On the whole, we feel that DropBox is a great cloud storage provider. Nevertheless, they are far from perfect, and in certain situations you may be better off using a different cloud storage provider. You see, DropBox has been criticized as having substandard security and encryption. Believe it or not, the infamous Edward Snowden recommends against using DropBox. Keeping that in mind, realize that it probably doesn’t matter if you just want to backup your blog, or inconsequential code such as the layout of your pages.

However, I might caution you from backing up personal data with DropBox. For example, it likely isn’t a great idea to backup a database containing payment card information, usernames and passwords, and other similar information. Use DropBox at your own discretion. Lastly, I’d recommend using the DropBox service for personal use with a third party security tool such as TrueCrypt.

wp-dropbox2Installing the Backup Plugin in WordPress

To install DropBox to an existing WordPress instance, use the following steps:

  1. Log in to your website’s administration panel.

  2. Visit the plugins section and click the “add new plugin” button.

  3. Query for the plugin by searching for “Backup to Dropbox.”

  4. Click the installation button.

Next, use the following steps to create a backup:

  1. Click the “create local backup” button to backup data locally on the server or to your local machine (does not require to login and connect the plugin with a DropBox account).

  2. wp-dropbox3Alternatively, you may wish to send the backup files to DropBox’s storage servers. To do so, first click the “Settings.” You’ll notice that you first need an App Key and an App Secret. If you don’t have this information handy, just follow the link below the “connect” button.

  3. After you have authenticated your credentials, you can now create a backup stored on the DropBox servers by clicking the “Create Dropbox Backup” button.

  4. In the even you need to restore a backup, simply find the point in time you wish to restore, and click on the “Restore” button on the far right, which is next to the “Delete” button.

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