"Some Wealthy Affiliate hosting servers DO NOT allow plugins to make outbound requests, if you site is on one of these servers you're going to get errors"

Step By Step Video & Instructional Tutorial

This tutorial is going to cover how to backup wordpress to Dropbox. I'm going to show you how to have your site scheduled to be sent to a free dropbox account every day/week or month.

It’s very straight forward and after you watch the How To video tutorial you'll be able to complete this process in a few minutes. However to follow along you’re going to need a free Dropbox.com account and a selfhosted wordpress site as we need to install a plugin called BackWpUp.

If your site is hosted here on Wealthy Affiliate hosting or perhaps Hostgator or BlueHost etc you'll have no problems creating backups of your site, but if you use Godaddy hosting this isn't going to work because Godaddy hosting does not allow outbound FTP access.

What Is DropBox And Why Do I Need A Free Account?

Dropbox.com is an online service/site that will give you 2GB of online storage when you create a free user account. We need an account at Dropbox so that we can have our wordpress blog backed up and stored on a server at Dropbox that’s not part of our hosting.

What Is The Plugin BackWpUp And Why Do I Need It?

Well first off there are several plugins that will allow you to backup your entire wordpress site, but BackWpUp is the only plugin I’m aware of that will allow you to automatically upload it to your Dropbox account every day/week/month. The plugin has also been around for a long time and is well known in the wordpress community, plus it’s updated often.

Do I Even Need To Backup My Wordpress Site?

It’s entirely up to you, but let me try answer that question for you.
Would you be ok if someone just deleted your entire site?
Silly question right, of course you should be backing up your site and that’s exactly why I’m creating this tutorial to show you how to backup a wordpress site.

Backing Up Wordpress Step By Step

I recommend watching and following along to the video tutorial above, but I’m also going to give you some short step by step instructions on how to backup wordpress and send to Dropbox.

Step 1: Create A Free Account At DropBox

Simple head over to Dropbox.com and create yourslef a free account. Please note that you do not need to install or download the dropbox software to follow along.

Step 2: Install BackWpUp Plugin

Login to your blog dashboard, now via plugins/Add new search for BackWpUp, this is the plugin we're going to use and it’s by Inpsyde Gmbh. Once installed you can activate the plugin.

Step 3: Plugin Intro

After activating the plugin you should now see two new menu buttons, one in the top menu and another in the bottom of the left menu. Click on either one to see the plugin welcome page, now this page will talk about the free and Pro version of the plugin. Again to follow along you DO NOT need the Pro version. Just scroll all the way down and click the backup now button.

Step 4: Creating A Backup Job

Creating a full backup job if relatively straightforward and I’m going to briefly run over each TAB of options. But first you'll need to click on Create New Job, you can also get to this page via the BackWpUp menu.

General Options:
I personally change the backup name to “Full Backup” but this is totally optional. By default you can leave Job Tasks and Backup File Creation asis. Then for Job Destination you need to select “DropBox” as the backup destination. Log Files should already contain your email address, just double check as this is the email address errors get set to should something fail. “Save Changes”.

Schedule Options:
We want to select the second option “with wordpress cron”. Then you should see more options appear. Here you select how often you’d like the job to run and backup your wordpress site. If you only add one post per week, then consider setting it to backup weekly and select a time/day when least people will be visiting your site. “Save Changes”

DB Backup Options:
Click the ALL button so that all tables get a checkmarked, scroll down and press “Save Changes”. Please note that in the video I made a mistake and that’s why I added an overlay image.

Files Options:
Again by default everything is set to be backed up, but if you’d like to exclude folders/directories from being backed up you can by adding a checkmark next to the folder name. If you’re not sure what anything is, backup everything. If it turns out the total backup size is over 150MB+ then I’d consider asking someone what could be excluded. “Save Changes”

Plugins Options:
Nothing much to do on this page unless you'd like to change the file name or compression type..

To DropBox Options:
If you this TAB is missing go back to the first tab and make sure you have Dropbox selected as the destination and Save Changes.

First click on “Authenticate (Sandbox)” or “Authenticate (Full Dropbox)”. If you're not logged into Dropbox it’s going to ask you to login, then you’ll see a screen asking you to allow the plugin to communicate with Dropbox. Select “Allow”. It should bring you back to the option page. The folder name is what will be created over at Dropbox and file deletion I recommend setting too 3. 3 being the number of latest backup copies that will be stored on Dropbox. In other words, when a new backup in created and uploaded, the oldest copy in deleted. “Save Changes” or you’ll need to re-authenticate again.

Step 4: Run The Job
At this point if you've followed along everything should be working and on the next scheduled date a backup will be created and sent to dropbox, but it’s always recommend to “Run Now”. You may see a “Run Now” link on the page you’re currently on, if not via either BackWpUp Menu you can select Jobs.
Under the Jobs overview you’ll the new job you just created, hovering the cursor over the job will reveal a few more option, press the “Run Now” link and it will start to perform the complete backup.

It should only take a minute or so to complete, depending on the size of your site/blog, once it’s finished you can double check over at dropbox to confirm everything worked.


If you run into any problems you're welcome to comment here and myself or others will try help. Or you can also visit the plugin support page, I'm sure you'll find the answer to the problem http://wordpress.org/support/plugin/backwpup

If for some reason after you press "Allow" to connect DropBox with your Blog it redirects you to the Google Analytics plugin setting page, please deactivate the Google Analytics plugin just while you authenticate with DropBox, then Activate once BackWpUp in setup.

On a final note, if you found this video tutorial helpful, please hit the Like button below.

Join the Discussion

MarieKi Premium Top 200 Follow Me
Thanks for sharing! Now I feel safe...
Miss Angee Premium Follow Me
Hi, I did the backup, and it went fine other than many of my pictures had to long file names. I deleted and uploaded some of them after shorten their filenames, and then did another backup. This time I get the error "couldn't connect to host", why do I get this the second time and not the first? I don´t have Google Analytics to turn off, so how do I fix this?
Really appreciate your help! :)
welshy Premium Top 50 Follow Me
I would recommend that you try again, it may have been a server down at the time it was attempting to connect.

If it doesn't work, try to re-authenticate with Dropbox again.
MarvH Premium Follow Me
I set up Dropbox and BackWpUp. Got interrupted in between and now Dropbox gave me a Key Code to put into BackWUp., Does anyone know where? I also got this error:RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: couldn't connect to host.
NormandyMktg Premium Follow Me
it looks like the answer to your question is below here in several posts ... let us know if those recommendations fix your problem and answer your question
PLarkins Premium Top 100 Follow Me
It says not authenticated. I did all the steps. How do I fit that.
cruzyn Premium Follow Me
Thank you for your instructions! Installed the backup and dropbox.
camsmith12 Premium Follow Me
Christabelle Premium Ambassador Follow Me
Thank you so much for this step by step tutorial and making it simple though a couple of the screens have changed a little I was still able to figure it out with the help you gave me! Miracles do still happen,lol! :)
nudge1969 Premium Follow Me
Thanks Welshy, done.
LucindaF Premium Follow Me
Thanks Welshy. The video was easy to follow although it took me a while but I now have the backup installed.
gdos1 Premium Follow Me
I have followed each step in the video. I got to the To Dropbox tab. Even though I logged in to Dropbox before I ever had the plugin installed, it does not have an authentication button for me to choose. All it shows is Not Authenticated (cannot click on this) and Create Account. If I click create account, it takes me to dropbox with me signed on again. How do I authenticate? Thanks!
welshy Premium Top 50 Follow Me
It’s been some time since I created this tutorial or used the plugin. I’ll have to update this post.
I just tested the plugin on a test site, when you get to the “To:DropBox” tab/options.
If you already have an account, do not click create account, simply select either “Get Dropbox App auth code” or “Get full Dropbox auth code”.
Copy the auth code you get after granting access and paste into the field. Then scroll down and hit Save. It should then say Success Authenticated!
gdos1 Premium Follow Me
Thanks Welshy! That worked. I now have a backup and a weekly schedule set. On to the next lesson......
edtay78 Premium Follow Me
Hi Welshy, thanks for sharing this video. Got my backup installed.
LuciusTseng Premium Follow Me
Hi Welshy,
thanks for the great info. I followed every step and it's up and running! Great content!
MarvH Premium Follow Me
Just Watched the video .I will be doing it very soon. Thanks Welshy,for all the info. Very easy to follow.
JamesJ Premium Follow Me
Hello-- I got a 16 or 20 digit number to input for the synchronization between dropbox and WP. I did not see any instructions on where input this and looked through settings and everything on BackWPup. Any ideas? I am getting 2 error messages when the backup runs...
JAHBOBCLATO Premium Top 200 Follow Me
apologiies.. I dont know this yet.. i need to stidy it,
LuciusTseng Premium Follow Me
Hi James,
At the BackWPup menu, Go to Jobs -> Edit -> To:Dropbox tab, On that page, you'll have Authentication, App Access to Dropbox, Full Access to Dropbox. On its right, you'll find "Get full Dropbox auth code". Click on it, copy the code, and paste it in the empty row besides "Full Access to Dropbox". Hope this helps.
LuciusTseng Premium Follow Me
Finally, remember to "Save changes"
welshy Premium Top 50 Follow Me
Thanks for all the comments everyone.
If anyone get errors or warnings, please copy paste them in here and myself or another member will be able to help you fix it.

If the error contains your domain name and you don't want to make it public, just replace it with domain.com
jdeHaan001 Premium Follow Me
Hi Welshy, I had it working for four sites, and now two have stopped backing up for me. After going through the settings again to make sure everything is correct, I found that I had to re-authenticate Dropbox, but I'm still getting this error message:
Cannot create folder: /mnt/vhosts/http://domain.com/httpdocs/wp-content/uploads/backwpup-a6fdb-logs

The HTTP response test get an error "couldn't connect to host"

Any ideas? Thanks! - J. Mark
Others seem to be having this same problem. I've done some investigating. The plugin author says:
To fix this you must:
- Ask your hoster if self connections are allowed to that http.
- Check that your server can resolve its own domain name.
- Check if there are plugins or htacess entrys that prevent access to wp-cron.php
welshy Premium Top 50 Follow Me
Hi, It's related to the hosting setup and security measures they put in place.
Only support can fix this I'm afraid.
I would create a ticket and also give them all the details you posted here as it may help them.
If you want to create a full backup on the go, install the plugin WP Clone by WP Academy. Click create backup, then download the .zip file to your computer.
DLansing Premium Follow Me
Done mine. Not as complicated as I thought, pretty easy and it works right away!