WTF is BackWPUp?
OK so if you don’t already know, BackWPup (free) is the number one backup plugin for WordPress. It has something close to 1 million downloads and it’s in the top 20 of ALL WordPress plugins. It really is awesome too as it can do backups of not just your database, but your entire WordPress installation. Here’s the breakdown on it’s feature set:
- Database Backup (needs mysqli)
- WordPress XML Export
- Generate a file with installed plugins
- Optimize Database
- Check and repair Database
- File backup
- Backups in zip, tar, tar.gz, tar.bz2 format (needs gz, bz2, ZipArchive)
- Store backup to directory
- Store backup to FTP server (needs ftp)
- Store backup to Dropbox (needs curl)
- Store backup to S3 services (needs curl)
- Store backup to Microsoft Azure (Blob) (needs PHP 5.3.2, curl)
- Store backup to RackSpaceCloud (needs PHP 5.3.2, curl)
- Store backup to SugarSync (needs curl)
- Send logs and backups by email
- Multi-site support only as network admin
One of it’s strongest features is the ability to push your backups to an external Backup Service, like Dropbox, S3, FTP, SugarSync and many more. So with this one free plugin you have the ability to generate a single backup .zip file that will allow you to easily restore an installation in case of tragedy. They also offer a PRO version that adds even more features along with priority support.
BackWPUp Cannot Authenticate with Dropbox
So you likely don’t have pro version, or you’d have support and you wouldn’t be looking here for answer! In the past I’d been using SugarSync as the backup location in BackWPup. Unfortunately, SugarSync has started notifying everyone that beginning on February 8th, 2014 they will transition to a paid service. In order to continue using SugarSync you will need to upgrade to a paid account. That sucks, I’d banked up quite a lot of space from referrals. ce la vi. Time to move everything over to Dropbox!
Changing from SugarSync to Dropbox is as easy as changing your Job Destination from one to the other. Deselect SugarSync (or leave it active until they turn off the free service) and select Dropbox. You’ll then see a new To: Dropbox tab display along the top. Select the tab and authenticate with Dropbox. Except… maybe it won’t. If you click to authenticate you will likely be taken to a Dropbox screen that asks you if you want to allow the app access. Saying yes returns you to your WordPress site but curiously, it might tell you it’s not authenticated. It doesn’t matter how many times you try this you’ll always have the same results… if you have W3 Total Cache (W3TC) enabled!
To fix the problem where BackWPup cannot authenticate with Dropbox just go into your Installed Plugins in your WordPress admin section. Deactivate W3TC. Don’t worry… I think W3TC is the jam too, you’ll turn it right back on. But for now just deactivate it, return to the backup job where you’re trying to configure Dropbox and hit authenticate. Blamo! Odds are you’re now authenticated so head back to your plugins and reactivate W3TC. Test your job just to be sure that it runs of course but in all likelihood you should be good to go.
For those curious, the authors of the plugin have identified three potential things that make it so you cannot authenticate Dropbox:
- WordPress cannot make external requests (host resticitons)
- A caching plugin caches transients, so BackWPup is served a wrong authcode or no authcode at all
- Another plugin may be interfering
- If you use CloudFlare (I do) and suspect it might be your problem check out this post