Making WordPress Backup to Dropbox seems like an attractive option due to ease of use & low cost. However, is it the best practice, & will restores be as easy as backups?
Uploading WordPress Backups to Dropbox?
Dropbox is a free, and accessible storage solution for WordPress backups. Storing backups on Dropbox also means that your backups are offsite. This is very important. These points along with the fact that many plugins now exist which upload your backups to Dropbox automatically. This combination of points makes Dropbox a popular option for storing WordPress backups.
Plugins to Upload WordPress Backups to Dropbox
Backup & Restore Dropbox, Dropbox Backup by Supsystic, and WordPress Backup to Dropbox are all plugins which backup to Dropbox. BlogVault also supports backups to Dropbox.
Other plugins like Backup Guard, and UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin provide Dropbox as one of the optional destinations for backing up. IN the case of the the former the option is available only in the PRO version, where as in the case of the later it is an add on.
Advantages of Dropbox Backups
The process is simple. You will need to input your Dropbox login credentials, confirm them and you are done. Some plugins will regularly backup your WordPress site to Dropbox according to the schedule you have set. Tracking this may be another matter altogether.
Apart from the simple process, cost is another factor which makes Dropbox a seemingly attractive option for backups. Some plugins which allow you to backup your WordPress site to Dropbox are free. Dropbox itself is free upto 2GB so you may feel there are no extra costs with this option.
WordPress Backup to DropBox: Think again!
In order to backup up your WordPress site to Dropbox, plugins will need to store a copy of your Dropbox account’s API key on the site itself. This means that you are keeping a spare key to your backups on your site. What is the point of leaving a copy of your bank vault’s key in your living room? You might as well have left your valuables in the living room too, right?
Backing up to Dropbox is indeed simple enough. Our WordPress backup plugin offers users the option to upload backup to Dropbox too. Users who know a particular version to be without any problems can download the backup to their Dropbox account. This is not a default option when you use the BlogVault plugin and regular backups are not made to your Dropbox account. We do this because we follow best practices for WordPress backups. Know more about why backups to Dropbox is not safe.
However, if you’re relying on Dropbox only to provide the safety net for your WordPress site then you are in trouble, at least according to our experience.
Dropbox Backups & Restores
Apart from all of these points, there is another issue to making WordPress backup to Dropbox only- restores. After all the entire point of making backups is to empower us when we need to restore our business or blog.
Most WordPress backup plugins zip your files; meaning they download your site in .zip or .gz files. You cannot view .zip or .gz files in Dropbox anyway and you have to download the files to sort them out. In this case Dropbox becomes a temporary storage solution rather than a comprehensive backup solution.
Seemingly simple matters like clutter. Regularly backing up to Dropbox clutters your account. You may not be able to find the files you desire quickly, when you need them. When you have to restore your site, you don’t want to sift through thousands, if not millions, of files.
When backing up to Dropbox, ensure that you label the downloaded backups in an organized manner so that you know can categorize different backups. This will be helpful when you have to restore your site.
You need to safeguard your data in a more robust manner to ensure that in your hour of need you know not only know that you have access to backups but also that they are functional. Especially, if you’re running a small business or a popular blog then you might want to look at a more holistic solution for backup and continue making WordPress backup to Dropbox only as an additional step.