Here is a step-by-step demo of how to set BackWPup to do automatic backups on a daily and weekly schedule, including sending those backups to a free DropBox account.
Barbara J. Feldman: Hi. Barbara Feldman of WordHer.com here to give you a run-through of how to use BackWPup to automatically back up your WordPress site on a schedule.
So, as you can see, I’ve already installed BackWPup. But what we’re gonna focus on today is jobs. Because jobs are the scheduling component of BackWPup, and it’s important that you back up your site on a schedule so that it’s completely automatic and you don’t have to worry about it or think about it.
So, to start, we’re going to jump into Add New Job. One thing I want to mention right off is that there are tabs. And when we are adding a new job, we have to go through each of these tabs. It is a common beginner mistake to just add the job on this one screen, not look at the other tabs, and then wonder why it’s not working.
In terms of a basic backup philosophy, one that I use for my sites is that I do a daily backup of just the database and I keep that in a folder on my website. And this is good for small mistakes that have been made, mostly by me, or by a mischievous plugin, and so I can roll my site back to a previous database.
But then once a week, I do a complete backup which includes both the database and all of my files. And I put that somewhere remote in the cloud, such as Dropbox, Amazon S3, or Google Drive. Today, we’re gonna work with Dropbox because it’s free and it gives you 2 gigabytes of storage, which should be plenty for most websites.
So, first we’re gonna name the job. And we’re gonna set up two jobs. First we’re gonna do what I call the “database local,” meaning that I’m backing up the database, not my images or files, and I am keeping it local to my website. So, not local to me on my desktop, but local to the website.
And so, in this particular situation, I’m gonna call it Daily (Database) DB Local. I’m only gonna do a database backup.
I’m gonna accept their default archive name, because it includes the year, the date, and the time. That’s what this percent Y, percent M; that’s what these parameters mean. And they’ve given it a random name here. Feel free to change this random name. You can type in anything you want here. This will be the name of your backup file.
Now they’re asking you how you want to compress your file. And I use Tar GZip, because I run my sites on a UNIX system. You probably do, too. But if you’re more comfortable using Zip because that’s what you know, that’s fine. So, I recommend either Zip or Tar GZip.
Now, we’re getting to what I call the “local” part of my daily database backup. And that is what they call Backup To Folder. In other words, you’re choosing a folder on your web server. And this is where I’m sending the logs to. This is who I’m sending the email confirmations from, so it’s also from my address.
And I’m gonna ask that we only send a log when there is an error during job execution. So, in the beginning, you might want to uncheck that, because it’s very reassuring to see a couple of these emails come in day after day, to know that things are working. And then when you get tired of seeing them, you can change this setting to Errors Only.
So, we’re gonna hit Save Changes on this screen. And now we’re gonna go through the rest of our tabs. We may as well do them in order.
So, here’s the schedule: Manually Only; that’s exactly what I don’t want to do, because I want this to be automatic. And so the selection that you want is with the WordPress cron. So, this will get executed as long as there are visitors to your site on whatever schedule you choose.
Now, they have both a basic and an advanced. If you wanted to run something daily, like we just spoke about, you can easily use the basic scheduler. So, here it is daily and here’s the time. We’ll choose some sort of random minutes. So, this is gonna run at 3:05 every morning. And I’m gonna save that, so now my schedule is done.
So now I go to the next tab, which is asking me for more detail about what part of my database do I want to back up. And I want you to choose “all.” So, these are different tables in your database, and you just want to back them all up.
You can change the name of the file that is created. For a database-only backup, it will do an SQL file.
And you can specify compression if you like. I always choose compression because I’m always interested in saving space and saving bandwidth.
Changes are done there. And now it’s asking us where we want to store our backups. So, this is a folder name. And it will default to its own folder in your uploads directory. And then number of files you want to keep there.
So, since this is a daily backup, this will be the number of days that you can roll back to. So, 15 days, it’s longer than two weeks, in most cases that is certainly long enough, and in many cases you may feel that it’s too long. You don’t want this to be a huge number, because you don’t want to run out of space on your web server. And depending on your plan and how much space you’re allocated, that could be a problem.
But this is the smallest kind of backup because it is a database-only. So, in most cases, keeping it at 15 you should be fine.
And then we’re gonna save changes. And now we have our first job created. So, this is the database local that we created that’s gonna run at 3:05 in the morning by the WordPress cron. It’s not been run yet. Once your jobs have run, you can look at a log to take a look at them; the logs that were created while the backup was done. Or, you can download the most-recent backup job.
OK. So, we now have taken care of our daily database local and we are now going to make a weekly full backup, being database end files, and we are going to send it to Dropbox.
So, now we’re going to do, check the box, Database. End files. And let’s throw in the installed plugins list.
If you need an XML export, which is a simple way of moving posts from one site to another, you can do this sort of backup instead. But since we are doing a database backup, this is really unnecessary. So, I don’t ask for it in addition to the database.
Checking the database tables might be something that you would want to do after you’ve run a few successful databases. But it’s not something that I would do in the beginning.
So, again, these should now start looking familiar. Here’s your archive name. It’s gonna include the date and the time. I use Tar GZip. And now we are going to back up. This time we are going to back up to Dropbox. And we’re going to send an email when an error has occurred. Save the changes on this tab and move through the rest of our tabs.
You notice these tabs will change based on the kind of backup that you defined in this job. But now we’re gonna schedule it. And this is gonna be a weekly job. And we’re gonna do it, oh, let’s say every Tuesday, and we’re gonna do it at 6:25 in the morning.
Now, if you wanted to do something twice a week, you could moved to the Advanced and you could choose, you know, Monday and Thursday as your backup days. This is the sort of control that you have if you go to the Advanced scheduler. But for our weekly needs, this works. Every Tuesday, 6:25, save changes.
Now we’re moving to the next tab. It’s asking us what do we want to back up. I always back up all my tables. I always like GZip. Save changes.
OK. Now, on to our files parameters. My choice at this point is not to back up the file in the root folder in public html or whatever your root folder is called, because we can reinstall those from a standard WordPress install. On the other hand, we do need to back up files that are in wp-content. We can exclude upgrade. I like to back up all of my plugins because sometimes there are settings and uploads that are happening here. But you can exclude BackWPup.
On your themes, you can exclude all the themes that you are not using, so that it will just back up the theme that you are using.
On the Uploads folder, you can exclude everything that has to do with BackWPup, because you don’t need a backup of a backup.
If you are using, maybe, a unique folder that’s not part of the standard WordPress install, you can put the name here. And I always like to include what BackWPup calls the “special files.”
Now we’re gonna save changes. We’re gonna GZip the plugins list.
We are given two ways to authenticate our Dropbox account. Full Dropbox will give BackWPup access to all of your Dropbox folders. And the sandbox will limit BackWPup to one folder. So, that’s what I like to do.
OK. We’ve been authenticated. Of course, all this assumes that I was logged into my Dropbox account, which I already was and you will have to be in order to go through this step.
So, this is the folder that’s going to be within the BackWPup folder. And here are the number of files to keep. Now, this is a weekly backup, so 15 is a huge amount. If you have the space, you may as well keep this many. But, you know, you can certainly take that number down to eight and feel secure that you have two months’ worth of backups.
And then we’re gonna save changes. And now we’re gonna look at our brand-new job.
So, this is the weekly Dropbox that’s gonna run next September 9th at 6:25. And our local that’s gonna run every day at 3:05.
I hope you found today’s video helpful. If you did, let me know in the comments below.
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