For several months, I’ve been using UpdraftPlus Premium to back up my WordPress based web sites. In preparation for some enhancements, I tried last week to set up a test site with all of the live site’s content. This site is actually three WordPress instances, so I went to my test root directory, and created three directories off the public root directory, and created a default WordPress instance in each. I then installed UpdraftPlus Premium in each, pointed the installation at my Dropbox account, where the live site backup were stored, and tried a restore with migration enabled.
The error message indicated a corrupt zip file (Updraft stores the files in zips). I went to my Dropbox account with the Windows File Explorer, found the folder with the backups in it, and clicked on it, invoking the File Explorer’s built in zip extractor. It said the file was corrupt.
Not all the files were corrupt, though. In fact, more were OK than bad. It seemed like the bad ones seemed to be the ones that were so large that Updraft split them into more than one zip file (the default size for that is 400 MB, and it’s easy to change). I made the limit large enough so that the backup from one site did not require splitting.
I fired up an ftp client, and went looking on the server for the backup files. They weren’t there. I dug through the Updraft configuration screen, clicked on the “Advanced” box, and got more options, one of them was whether or not to delete the files from the server after they have been successfully transferred to another storage location (in my case, Dropbox). The default was to delete the files. I told Updraft to keep them, and ran another set of backups.
Then I used the ftp client to download the backups to my workstation. I used the Windows Explorer to check each of the zips.
They were all good.
So the problem had to have something to so with Dropbox.
I used the ftp client to upload all the backups that I’d ftp’d to the workstation to the test site. I tried a restore/migration there.
I migrated the other two sites.
Then I bought a short term license to use Updraft’s own backup repository: Updraft Vault, enabled it on the UpdraftPlus plugins, and did a new backup. I went to the Updraft Vault website, downloaded one of the backups, and checked it with Windows Explorer. It was good.
So now I know I can’t use Dropbox for Updraft backups. I sure am glad I found that out before I had to restore a site in anger. And Im also glad that I know that I have to configure each site to have local backups retained if I want that (and I do).
By the way, although the above sounds nice and linear, simple, and quick as I wrote it, it took me several days to work through all that. When you’re dealing with gigabytes of data, things don’t happen quickly.