Today, I’m going to show you exactly how to backup your WordPress Website to Dropbox for free.

Now, I’m sure you already know how important it is to backup your WordPress website.

The problem is, you’re probably just not quite sure how to do it.

You don’t want to have to do manual backups, and you don’t want to pay for a premium plugin either.

Well, as it turns out there’s a free plugin that will backup your WordPress website for you automatically each and every day.

And in this blog post, I’m going to show you the exact steps to take to set up automated backups in under 15 minutes.

 

[youtube_video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoCgRa7zp8M[/youtube_video]

 

Watch the video that shows you, “How To Backup Your WordPress Website To Dropbox For Free“.

Or…

Download the PDF version below.

Or…

Continue reading the post below.

5 Simple Steps
To Backup Your WordPress Website

Alright, so real quick, here are the 5 steps that we’re going to take to set up backups for your WordPress website.

Step 1. We’re going to install a WordPress plugin.
And I’ll tell you which one we’re going to use here in a minute.

Step 2. We’re going to sign up for a Dropbox account.
And you can get a 2GB Dropbox account for free, and I’ll show you exactly how to do that.

Step 3. We’re going to connect WordPress to Dropbox.
In order for all of this to work we need to have the two of those communicating with each other.

Step 4. We’re going to change your settings for the plugin.
This is where we’ll tell the plugin exactly what we want it to backup, and how often we want it to back it up.

Step 5. We’re going to make a manual backup.
And this is always handy to know how to do, just in case you want to make a backup on demand instead of waiting for an automated backup to happen.

Which Backup Plugin Should You Use?

Alright, so now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Hmmm… Which plugin should I use.”

Well, we’re going to use a free WordPress plugin called Updraft Plus, and here are the 5 reasons why this plugin really is the best choice for backing up you website.

1. Good reviews.
You want to pick a plugin that is well liked because that indicates that it works well.

You can see below that Updraft Plus has over 1,400 five star reviews.

2. Actively developed.
You want to make sure the plugin is updated often because that indicates that the plugin author will continue to develop the plugin and not leave you hanging with a plugin that doesn’t work or is a security risk.

So, as you can see below, this plugin was actually updated today, August 11th, 2015.

updraftplus-wordpress-plugin

3. We’re going to look for a plugin that’s actively supported.
And you want to make sure the author responds to support requests, in case you run into trouble with the plugin.

So if we go over to the “Support” tab for this plugin, we can see that the author responds to and resolves support requests quickly.

updraftplus-wordpress-plugin-support

4. Multiple backup locations.
This is one of the great features of this plugin.

Not only can you backup your website to Dropbox, as you can see here, but you can also back it up to Google Drive, Amazon S3, or a number of other options that they provide.

updraftplus-wordpress-plugin-backup-sources

5. Restoring backups is simple.
And the authors of Updraft Plus have made it so easy to restore your website, that you can actually do it with a single click.

So as you can see, Updraft Plus, really is the perfect plugin for backing up our website.

Alright, next, let’s go over and get started with Step 1, which is…

Step 1
Install The WordPress Plugin.

And now we’re going to walk you through the steps to do that.

1. We’ll log into our WordPress dashboard.

wordpress-dashboard-login

2. And then we’ll go to, Plugins, and Add New.

wordpress-plugins-add-new

3. And then over in the Search plugins box, we’re going to type in, Updraft Plus, and hit, “Enter”.

wordpress-plugin-search

4. And then, the only one that comes up, we’ll click, “Install Now”.

wordpress-plugin-install-now

5. And then after it installs successfully, make sure to click the “Activate Plugin” link.

activate-wordpress-plugin

Alright, and that’s it. We’ve just installed the plugin, and are ready to move on to the
next step.

Step 2
Sign Up For A Free Dropbox Account.

In this step, we’re going to head over to Dropbox and sign up for a free account.

So, it looks like the first thing we need to do is…

1. Enter our name, email address and password.
2. Then don’t forget to check the “terms and agreement” box here.
3. And after you do that, click the, “Sign Up For Free” button.

sign-up-for-free-dropbox-account

4. Then you’ll see this window appear, along with a window for downloading the installer for Dropbox.
5. We don’t need to do that, so let’s just cancel that.
6. And then let’s go to the icon here up in the top, left-hand corner here, and click on that.

dropbox-account-setup-1

7. And that will take us to our Dropbox home page, the main page for our account.

dropbox-account-home

And we are finished setting up our free Dropbox account, and ready to move on to step number 3.

Step 3
Connect WordPress With Dropbox.

Okay, for this step, we’re going to connect our WordPress website with our Dropbox account.

1. And in order to do that, let’s first head over to our WordPress dashboard, and then
go to “Settings” and “UpdraftPlus Backups”.

updraftplus-backups-2

2. And then we want to go to our “Settings” tab.

updraftplus-backups-settings

3. And then scroll all the way down to, the “Authenticate With Dropbox” section, and then click on that link.

updraftplus-authenticate-with-dropbox

What that will do. It will take us to Dropbox, and allow us to authenticate with Dropbox.

4. Okay, and if you’re signed in, this is the screen that’ll come up automatically.

If not, it’ll ask you to sign in first, and then this screen will come up. And it’s asking you if you’d like to allow Updraft Plus to access it’s own folder on Dropbox.

So basically, it’s going to create an Updraft Plus folder, and then that’s what it’ll save your backups to.

5. And just click, “Allow”.

updraftplus-authenticate-with-dropbox-allow

6. And then after you click, “Allow”, it’ll take you directly back to your dashboard.

updraftplus-current-status

7. And if we were to go to settings, and then scroll back down here. We’ll see that it says, “You appear to be already authenticated”.

updraftplus-dropbox-authentication-complete

And that means everything’s connected properly. And we are done with this step.

Step 4
Change The Plugin Settings.

And to do that, we’re going to log into our WordPress backend again. So go ahead and go there and log in.

1. And once you’re at the dashboard, we’ll go to, “Settings”, and then, “UpdraftPlus Backups”.

updraftplus-backups-2

2. And then we want to go to the, “Settings” tab for that.

And the first thing that we’re going to configure is the, “Backup Contents and Schedule.”

3. So, first we’ll look at the, “File Backup Intervals”. And we can change that to whatever we want.

So what my recommendation here is, it depends on how often changes are made to your website.

So if you’re posting daily, then you want to make daily backups. If you’re posting like once a week, or if you’re changing  something on your website once a week, then you’ll want to make weekly backups. So I’m going to choose weekly here.

4. And then the next one is the database backup interval.

So you have the files which are all your files associated with your website and your images and things like that that you use on there.

And the database is where everything is stored like your post and things like that.

So there’s two different parts to backups, and I would recommend keeping these both the same, I don’t think you would want to do one different than the other.

updraftplus-backups-change-settings

5. So you can also, it says retain this many scheduled backups, and you can select: 2, 3, 4,  you can select as many backups.

So say for example if you backed up daily you could keep 3 days worth of backups or something like that. Or if your backup weekly, you could keep three weeks worth of backups
if you change this. But I would recommend probably, I would say 2 would
be a good number. So we’ll just leave it at that.

6. And then to fix the time you have to actually purchase the premium version of this website.

So we don’t necessarily need to do that. That’s not a big deal.

7. And, then, it says “Include The File”, “Included Files In Backup”.

So if you look down here it says the above directories are everything except for WordPress core, itself which you can download afresh from wordpress.org. So it’s not going to include your WordPress files but, because you don’t need those, you can restore those very easily.

And I would say you can uncheck “Plugins” and even “Theme” because you can get your, well if you make customizations to your theme, you might leave that, because you won’t be able to get those those customizations back if something happens to your website. So you might leave that checked if you have customizations if not then you can uncheck that,

And then definitely leave “Uploads” checked because that’s where all your photos are and then “Any Directories Found Inside wp-content”, I would just leave that checked by default unless you know there’s something in there that you want to exclude and then you can exclude it by putting a comma after this, and then typing the directory there.

And then let’s scroll down here.

8. It says you can “Encrypt Your Database With a Phrase”. And I wouldn’t necessarily need to do that you can if you want.

updraftplus-backups-change-settings

9. And then this is kind of a cool little feature – “Reporting”.

So if you check that it will send an email to your site’s admin’s email address which in my case is right here.
And it will let you know whether the backup was successful or not. Or if there was a problem with it, things like that. So that will come to you. It’s a handy little feature.

updraftplus-backups-settings-reporting

10. And then this we have already set up before this is with Dropbox we’ve set up all those settings.

updraftplus-backups-settings-dropbox

11. And then there are expert settings down here, none of which we really need to worry about.
12. So we’ll just click, “Save Changes.

updraftplus-backups-settings-advanced

And that is about it for setting up our backups.

13. So you can see that it’s scheduled to back up something Thursday, August 13 at 5:36.

And that’s right at this time right now. So, actually in a couple minutes.

So, and it will backup the database at the same time. So it’s going to do that for us. And let’s look at one other thing.

14. Here’s the “Restore” button.

So assuming that we needed to restore a backup. We just install WordPress, install this plugin, and then click on the restore button.

updraftplus-backups-settings-restore

15. And then it will allow you to upload a backup file.

And you can see here it says, “You Have Not Made Any Backups Yet”. So, but you can restore from a backup file or upload a backup file, and it’s a really simple process.

updraftplus-backups-upload-backup-file

So, that’s about it.

16. And we’ll go back to the “Current Status”.

And that’s all for this step. And we’ll see you in the next step.

updraftplus-backup-in-progress

Step 5
Make A Manual Backup.

We’re going to show you exactly how to do that.

1. So let’s go ahead and log into your WordPress dashboard.

wordpress-website-dashboard-login

2. And once you get there  again let’s go to “Settings” and “Updraft Plus Backups”.

updraftplus-backups-3

3. And we’ll be on the current status tab.

4. And you can see here that it’s in the process of actually making a backup for me.

It’s on file number 2 of 4. But let’s say I want to do a manual backup.

So for example, if I’m doing weekly backups and something in between – I change my website somehow – in between one of those weekly backups. And I want to make a backup
right after I change something. Then I’ll do a manual backup.

5. And all I have to do is click on this, “Backup Now” button.

And that will start a backup for me. So that’s a really important feature. If something changes you can just come in here, click that button, and it’ll backup after you select that.

updraftplus-backups-current-status

So that’s about it. That’s the last step – step number 5.

Conclusion

And that concludes this tutorial on how to back up your  WordPress website to Dropbox for free.

So if you have any questions please go here to ask it in our forums.

And if you want to download a PDF version of this tutorial, you can do so by sharing the link below.

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And if you liked this tutorial, please subscribe to my channel on Youtube, because we’re going to have lots of other videos like this. Lots of good tips for improving your website. And so you’ll see those in the future if you’re subscribed, and we would love to have you!

And if you liked this tutorial the best way to help me out is to comment and like the video on YouTube.

And I really appreciate it! So I’ll see you in the next video. Thanks!

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Comments

3 Responses

  1. Great, Todd, thanks very much for thinking of this. Very easy to follow your instructions, and obviously a must-have. It might be an idea to warn people that the first back-up can take quite a long time, and not to worry if it suddenly seems to stop because it has a built-in monitor that prompts it to resume if it has been inactive for a few minutes.

    Kind regards,
    Jane

    1. Hi Jane,

      Thanks for your great feedback.

      I’m glad you were able to figure it all out, even with the couple of bumps along the way.

      That’s some really important information and I’ll have add it to the article for the benefit of others.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

      Todd

  2. How many backups do you think could fit on the free version of Dropbox? Eventually you’ll run out of room and start having to delete. I understand each site will vary in size, but what about a guesstimate?

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Todd
Todd has been building his own websites for ten years, and now wants to help others do the same. He believes that anyone can make a website with a little help, and is on a mission to simplify the process for you. More...

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