How to backup your blog to Dropbox

Most of us have a Dropbox account and since it’s important to keep your backups on a different server than the one where you host your blog it would be ideal to backup your blog database and upload files to Dropbox.So how do you do it? Our plugin XM-Backup for WordPress can backup your blog database and all the files in your wp-content/uploads folder.

Get the plugin from WordPress.org and upload it to your plugin folder. Activate it from the plugin page within WordPress and then select the settings page under Settings > XM-Backup. Under the heading “Where to save your backups” check the box next to Dropbox and fill in the details. To use the Dropbox option you need to register an App with Dropbox, but it’s free and fast. Just visit their website and click on Developers > My Apps > Create an App.

The plugin works with both access alternatives (app folder or full Dropbox) for Dropbox Apps, so you can choose any you like.

Once you have the App Key and the App Secret fill it in into the fields in the backup plugin and login with your Dropbox email and password. The plugin will create a folder called BlogBackups where the backups will be saved.

Under the next heading you get to chose what you want to include in the backups. If you for example have many pictures and other files in the uploads folder it could be a good idea to do a one-time backup of older files and then only include the latest year folder for the daily backups. In the example picture for example there are two folders, one for 2012 and one for 2010, and only the 2012 folder is selected. The 2010 folder will not be included in the daily backups since that folder will not change (all new pictures are uploaded in the 2012 folder) and a one-time backup has been done for that folder. This is to save both disk space in your Dropbox account, server CPU and memory and also to avoid the plugin from timing out, because if the data backed up is too much the plugin may time out because of the limits set in your server.

Next option is how often you want the backups to be done. You can of course backup your database and files hourly, but to be honest how many blogs are updated on an hourly basis? For most people it’s enough with daily, but we included hourly and twice daily as options just in case someone really got the needs for it.

If you want to test the options you’ve made you can check the checkbox for a manual backup. This will create a manual backup according to the settings you’ve just filled in (even if you’ve selected to have backups done daily) as soon as you save the options. In some cases this many take some time, but when you see the settings page again you should be able to find a new ZIP file in your Dropbox account. To make sure that it’s working you should unzip the file and check the contents. If the content was what you had expected (should be), then everything is fine.

Now you will see a notification from Dropbox that a file has been updated to the most resent version every time a new backup is done. If you selected to have the date in the file name a new file will be created every day, so you may want to delete old backups every now and then to avoid running out of disk space.

If you think it’s too expensive to upgrade to 100 Gb with Dropbox, Online File Folder is a cheaper alternative offering 100 Gb options for much much less.

This blog post is not for support issues, visit our support forum at www.xavierforum.com instead if you need help.

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