The most important thing when it comes to backups is that they should be stored externally and not on the same server as your production site. Why? It’s simple. If the website and the backup are on the same server, there’s a chance that you may lose both in case the server crashes.
This article discusses how to backup WordPress to Google Drive and the caveats associated with it.
TL;DR: Store your WordPress backup to Google Drive easily with BlogVault. In addition to Google Drive backups, encrypted copies of your backups are stored on secure servers, so you are doubly protected.
How to backup WordPress to Google Drive?
It is a prudent approach to back up your WordPress website on servers other than the one your website is on. Google Drive is popular, because of its large—albeit limited—capacity and ubiquity.
You can potentially store two backups of a moderately sized website to drive. But if you have a large website and want to store multiple backups, you may have to pay for additional space.
There are several ways to backup your WordPress website to Google Drive, and we will start with the easiest and most efficient way to do so.
WordPress Backup to Google Drive using Plugins
The quickest way to backup WordPress to Google Drive is by using one of the backup plugins.
BlogVault stores daily backups of your website on an external server so that they remain safe in case your server crashes. However, if you want to save your backups to Google Drive, log into BlogVault and take a fresh backup. Download it, and upload it to your Drive account.
Things to keep in mind:
- Don’t forget to name it properly with site name, backup version/date, and any other specification that you may want to mention, so that it is easier to locate the backup on your Google Drive when you want to restore it.
- If you need to restore, then use the BlogVault restore feature instead of restoring your site manually from Google Drive as manual method of restoring the site may lead to errors.
BackupBuddy allows you to store the WordPress backup directly on multiple storage solutions including Google Drive and other cloud storage services such as Dropbox and Amazon S3. You can also schedule automatic backups to backup WordPress to Google Drive.
Under the BackupBuddy settings on your WordPress admin dashboard, go to ‘Remote Destinations’ and select Google Drive under +Add New tab. You’ll have to open the Google API Console and create a new project.
Then, just follow the instructions on the screen to get the Client ID & Client Secret which you can paste in the BackupBuddy settings to authorise Google.
In the Google Drive settings you can add a new schedule for your backups and define the frequency, destination and folder, and other settings to set up WordPress Google Drive backup
UpDraftPlus allows you to schedule backups, store them directly on cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, UpdraftVault, and Openstack Swift. The plugin enables users to schedule hourly, weekly, or monthly backups and restore the version you want to in case the website crashes.
To use this plugin for uploading backups, choose Google Drive as location under the UpDraftPlus settings and authenticate your account. All your scheduled backups will be stored on your Google Drive.
To manage the backups, go to ‘Existing Backups’ where you will find options to restore and delete the backup version.
if you are looking for options to backup to other cloud services such as Dropbox then check out this guide on WordPress backup to dropbox
BackWPup is a free plugin that allows you to store your WordPress backups externally on Dropbox, Amazon S3, and Google Drive. The premium version of the plugin also allows you to restore your backup in a few clicks.
To start pushing your backups externally using BackWPup, you have to add a new job in the plugin settings on your dashboard and choose the destination as Google Drive.
Authenticate your account using your Client ID & Client Secret which you can get by following the procedure given here. You can choose the number of backups you want to be stored at any time in the ‘File Deletion’ option. That’s it. Now your backups will be stored on Drive.
Backup Your WordPress Website to Google Drive using Softaculous
Softaculous is a utility available on cPanel that allows you to simply choose scripts to run them and manage your website easily without having to write codes. It has a free version with around 50 scripts and the premium version offers over 200 scripts for various functions.
You can log into the Softaculous dashboard from cPanel. To backup WordPress to Google Drive using Softaculous go to ‘Manage Backup Locations’ under ‘Backups and Restore’ and add Google Drive to authenticate your account.
Under ‘All Installations’, select what you want to backup and edit the settings to set the backup location. Don’t forget to select the frequency of backups from the ‘Automated Backups’ dropdown, i.e. daily, weekly, or monthly.
In ‘Backup Rotation’ set the number of maximum backups that can be stored in Google drive. For example, if you set it as 3, then after three successful backups the oldest backup will get deleted. Save the installation details and voila! Your site backups will be stored on Google Drive now.
Backup WordPress Site to Google Drive Manually
phpMyAdmin is a web application that offers management tools for MySQL allowing WordPress users to manage their website files and databases.
This section explains both how to backup the files and the databases manually so that you can backup either just a specific part or the whole site. You can log in to phpMyAdmin from your host cPanel.
To backup your WordPress database, select the database and perform ‘Export’ by selecting either all the tables or just the required ones. The exported tables can be saved in a zipped folder and uploaded to Google Drive manually.
To backup files and folders, you will need to access the file manager from cPanel and open the location of your site (e.g. public_html). You should be able to locate files and folders such as wp-admin, wp-config, wp-content, wp-includes, wp-cron etc. You can make a copy of these to a new folder.
Next, you can right-click on the new folder, zip it and download it. Upload the WordPress backup to your Google Drive folder so that you have your database and files, i.e. the whole site, in a single folder.
If you are using this method, you may want to check out how to manually backup the WordPress site for a more detailed guide.
Backup WordPress to Google Drive: Pros and Cons
The cons of storing your WordPress site on Google Drive outweigh the pros, due to which we do not recommend using Google Drive as remote storage for website backups.
Pros of Google Drive as WordPress Backup Storage
- Free option: Every Google account comes with 15 GB of storage shared across Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos. This space, though limited, is enough to store 2-4 backups of a small website.
Cons of Google Drive as WordPress Backup Storage
- Security: In case you are using a plugin on your website with direct access to your Google Drive, it can create a huge security risk for those using Google Drive as their only backup storage option. If the website gets hacked, the hacker can change the plugin settings to stop the backup and you can end up losing your website for good.
Moreover, you want to see if the backups that are stored are encrypted or not, because a compromised Google account may lead to a compromised website in case the backups are not encrypted.
- Real-time backups: Most plugins offer daily, weekly or monthly backups. However, if you have a WooCommerce site you may want to opt for real-time, incremental backups so that anytime your website crashes you don’t have to lose your orders and thus your customers’ trust.
- Restore issues: Firstly, you will not get a one-click restore option if you are using Google Drive as your backup storage. Secondly, even if you take your time to do it manually, it would be difficult to decide which backup to restore from.
For example, you have a backup from yesterday and from today in your Google Drive, and your website was hacked today. There’s no way to find out if the backup taken today was before the hack or after. However, with BlogVault’s ‘History’ feature you can easily figure that out and make an informed decision.
Other things to consider while choosing Google Drive as your backup storage:
- Manual backup process vs Automated: The process of storing your backups on the Drive requires a long list of steps and manual efforts with each method you choose.
Even if you decide to use a WordPress Google Drive backup plugin such as BackupBuddy or UpDraftPlus, obtaining a Client ID and Client Secret to authenticate your Google account is a tedious task.
Whereas with the BlogVault plugin you automatically get regular backups that are stored externally and can be restored in a few clicks.
- Large sites: Another thing to consider is whether or not the drive is sufficient for big sites. There may not be enough space for storing even one backup of a large site, let alone multiple versions.
Storing your backup in a different location from your website is an excellent idea, but Google Drive is not your best option.
You should opt for BlogVault as your backup plugin. It offers unlimited external storage for multiple backups with many more features such as one-click restores, incremental backups, and real-time options for WooCommerce. It also offers free staging, migration facility, and website management features.
WP Backup to Google Drive: FAQs
Why are creating backups critical to your website?
Backups are critical to your website because of security reasons. You do not want to lose your website under any circumstances and having a restorable backup is the key to ensure that. There are various reasons for you to opt for daily backups stored externally, i.e. not on the same server as your live site.
Apart from hacks, bot attacks, compromised credentials, many a time plugin or theme updates or changes in the code can break a website. If you are not making daily backups you may want to use BlogVault as your backup plugin because it comes with multiple benefits.
What should you backup to Google drive – whole website, only files, only database?
You should backup your whole website including files and tables externally. However, this is not always possible if you are using most plugins to backup WordPress to Google drive.
What you can do is use the BlogVault plugin to create backups of the whole website including all files and database tables and then back it up to Google Drive if you need.
However, as BlogVault backups are externally stored, you don’t even need to use Google Drive for storing backups as it may require you to spend extra money on Google Drive space especially if you have a large website.
Are Google Drive backups secure?
Google Drive backups are stored externally, i.e. not on the same server as your website, and from that view they are secure. However, as your Google account may be more susceptible to hacks, WordPress backup to Google drive may not be the best way to keep your website backup secure.
It would require a long manual process to restore the website from Google Drive in case your server crashes or your website gets hacked. We recommend using BlogVault if you are looking for reliable, incremental daily backups stored externally and restored easily in one-click whenever required.
Why is Google Drive not the best choice for WooCommerce site owners?
WooCommerce sites contain a lot of data pertaining to customers and their orders. As orders are an important part of backups for WooCommerce sites so that they are not lost in case the website goes down, daily backups are not the great choice.
Orders can come in any time and so it is best to choose real-time backups for WooCommerce. Most plugins that allow backup to Google Drive do not offer real-time backups.
Moreover, if your Google account is compromised, you not only risk losing your backup but also the data related to your customers which can affect your business adversely.
We recommend using BlogVault to get real-time backups stored externally, as anyway Google Drive may run out of space with large backups such as those of WooCommerce websites.
How to restore WordPress backup from Google drive?
There are various methods to restore the WordPress site and it may depend on what method you chose for backing up your site.
Plugin method: If you use a plugin to back up the site, it may allow you to restore automatically. For example, BlogVault has a restore feature which allows you to select the backup version and the files and tables you want to restore.
Softaculous: To restore a Softaculous backup, simply select the backup version you want to restore on the restore page and install it.
phpMyAdmin and cPanel: This is a tricky method and can lead to errors and frustration. However, if you need to use this method, follow this guide.