WordPress Database Backups

I was reading a couple of articles online talking about database backups, leaving the backup on the server, and how easy it is to restore your WordPress database if needed.

There are a couple of distinct disadvantages to leaving a backup on the server

1. A backup will do you no good, if there is a server crash and all the data is lost, or partial data is lost. This does happen. If it does, this leaves you with a broken website, and a possible broken backup. There is no guarantee that a host will have a backup.

2. When you backup your database, that back up includes everything – which is a good thing. It also includes userids and passwords. Keeping it on your server, if it is not configured properly, could allow anyone in to download your database – and use it! Passwords are encrypted, and your average user wouldn’t be able to do much with them. I’m not even sure a savvy hacker can, depends on his/her level of expertise, I suppose.

I’m not going to give them a chance to find out. No backups on the server for me! I’ll download them to my harddrive, thanks.

3. It may not be a good idea to keep a backup on your server if you have a really huge database. This may cause the plugin you use to quit, it will use more resources while the plugin runs the backup. If you run out of space, you may wind up with bigger problems than you bargained for.

Have you checked lately to see if your backup plugin is doing what it’s supposed to? Sometimes they don’t. I just saw a site whose plugin hasn’t backed up for over a year, even though it was scheduled to do so.

Database Backup Options

If you have cPanel, you can grab a backup of your database thru the backup utility there, and download to your hardrive. Here’s a tutorial showing you how to export your WordPress database with Phpmyadmin.

If you use a database plugin likeWP-DBManager – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-dbmanager/ you can opt to download your backup, or leave your backup on the server.

Some backup programs will even email your backup to you. Not recommended for large sites or databases!

You can use the Backup plugin to backup to Google Drive.


What do you need to backup your database to Google servers?

Assuming you have the Backup plugin installed and activated via your WordPress backend:

Sign up for Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/start You may not have to do much here if you’re already using Google Docs. Google Drive is giving you 5 gigs of space in “the cloud. “If you’re comfortable with Google keeping your data, this may be a good option for you. It’s a free service, and you know what they say about free.

Disclaimer: ALWAYS read the terms of service for anything you do or use online.
Google’s states that your stuff is yours, *but* they can do whatever they want with it.

google tos

Find the blue button that says “Download Google Drive for PC”, and download the program. (If you don’t have the blue button, Google Drive may not be available to you yet.)

google drive

Create your Client ID in the API Access section of your Google APIs Console if you don’t have one. Once in the Google Console you will have a long list of options to choose from.

Create your Google Drive API
Create your authorization key.

This info goes in your backup settings in your WordPress backend. If done right, you’ll have a backup! Your WordPress files and database will be backed up.

But honestly – I personally don’t see the point in doing this. You can setup a backup program to download your database, or email it to you, providing it’s small enough. Setting up Google drive was a bit of a pain, and I can’t imagine how it might be for someone who isn’t that savvy about this stuff.