Effortless Website Backups with Mover.io

By Collins Agbonghama
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The traditional way of doing a website backup is to download and save a local copy of the site files to your computer or to cloud storage services like Dropbox and Amazon S3.

But things get unwieldy when the size of the backup is huge. Hence a large internet data plan with fast downloading speed, and a considerable chunk of your time is required to pull this off.

I back up my WordPress blog and save it in a special bucket on Amazon s3. I must confess, the process isn’t fun. That’s why I searched for an alternative to automate the backup process and, after many hours of research and testing, I finally settled on a service called mover.

Introduction to Mover.io

Mover.io is a secure cloud transfer company that acts as a middleman between various web technologies that don’t play nice together. Mover takes your files from one place (internally referred to as “connectors”) and transfers/converts them to another while you have a cup of coffee.

Since it doesn’t run on your computer, it doesn’t use any of your resources — CPU, memory, disk space, or network bandwidth — to transfer the files. It supports over 20 connectors including FTP, SFTP, Dropbox, Google Drive, MySQL, Rackspace, and a host of others.

Mover gives you 2 GB free upon signing up and no credit card is required. You can view all the pricing details here.

Why Choose Mover?

I am quite sure a lot of us maintain accounts on multiple cloud storage solutions. Like the saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, it is important you save your website backup in multiple locations to be on the safe side.

Mover not only allows you to back up websites but you can also transfer the backup to multiple cloud storage accounts that you own without having to download and re-upload the backup.

Website Backups with Mover

Now that we’ve discussed a little bit on the features of Mover, and why you should use it, let’s see how we can use Mover to save a backup of WordPress to Amazon S3. With Mover, you can take a backup of not only your website files but also your database inclusive. Take note: Only MySQL databases are supported at this time.

To demonstrate how website backup is made easy with Mover, I will be showing you how I save a backup of my WordPress files and database to an Amazon S3 bucket. The backup will be divided into two processes: First the WordPress files, then the MySQL database.

We will be using the following three connectors for our backup process: FTP (used by mover to access website files in a server), Amazon S3 and MySQL.

WordPress Files Backup

When you first log in to the Mover interface, you’ll be shown two options: A way to select a “Source” and a way to select a “Destination”.

To create and send the WordPress backup files to Amazon S3, you’re going to add a “Source” in the form of an “FTP connector”. You’ll add your web server credentials to complete the connector options.

FTP Connector

Next you’ll choose a “Destination”. For this, you’ll choose an “S3 connector”, adding your S3 Access ID and Secret Access Key to complete the connector options.

Amazon S3 Connector

To initiate the backup, select the HTML radio button beside your WordPress installation folder and S3 bucket.

If you want the backup in zip format, tick the “Archive (Zip files before transfer)” checkbox. Finally, click the “Transfer Now” button or schedule the backup for later.

Initiate FTP S3 Transfer

As soon as the transfer is complete, an email containing the migration details will be sent to you, as shown below.

Transfer Details

MySQL Database Backup

Our WordPress backup isn’t complete without the database. The Mover IP address needs to be added as an “Access Host” so as to grant access to your server for it to connect.

On cPanel, for example, in the database section you can choose the “Remote MySQL” option:

Remote MySQL in cPanel

Then add the Mover IP address as an “Access Host”:

Remote DB Access Host

Full details on backing up a database with cPanel and Mover are found here.

Now that access to our server has been granted, you can add a new “Source” and select “MySQL connector”. Then fill in the details containing your server IP address and port, database name, and DB username and password.

MySQL Database Connector

Select the radio button beside your WordPress database and S3 bucket.

Finally, click the “Transfer Now” button or schedule the backup for later.

Take Note: Mover creates a .dump file of your database backup, which can be used to restore your database in the future if you ever have problems. If you are using a tool like phpMyAdmin that accepts a database file with a .sql extension or a .sql file inside of a zip archive when restoring or importing a database, you’ll need to change the database backup from .dump to .sql — otherwise, an error will be thrown.


Once you have performed a first-time backup, your connectors get saved, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of creating the connectors each time you want to carry out another backup.

Mover is indeed a life saver. I no longer spend hours downloading and syncing my WordPress backup to Amazon S3.

If you’ve used Mover or if you’ve tried another service, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

We teamed up with SiteGround
To bring you the latest from the web and tried-and-true hosting, recommended for designers and developers. SitePoint Readers Get Up To 65% OFF Now
  • Nice one bro

  • ElDerecho

    I’m not really buying the need here. I don’t see what this can do that rsync and mysqldump can’t do in a simple cron job. And you wouldn’t have to give a 3rd party access to your server.

    • LouisLazaris

      The need is clear based on what you just said. Most sysadmins and advanced developers would likely be comfortable with the free tools you mention, but Mover.io is so easy to use for anyone. I think there’s a very clear need for something like this.

      • ElDerecho

        If you can open up a PHP file and make changes, you are certainly capable of running rsync. But, I do see where it would help people who have almost no technical skills, but still want a backup.

        • We actually created Mover because running server commands and cron jobs is beyond most people setting up WordPress sites and doing basic PHP programming for their websites. Maintaining a server to run your backups isn’t as intuitive as you might think :)

          So we decided to help out those who don’t have the time or expertise to babysit backups or migrations!

          • ElDerecho

            I fail to see how “rsync source dest” is somehow more complicated than editing a PHP script. If someone is writing software, it’s their responsibility to be familiar with the system their server is running on. That’s part of writing software. And ignoring it could put their server and site visitors at risk.

            Its a whole different issue, of course, for non-technical people trying to maintain a blog.

          • I’d agree! As a “software developer” I’d expect you to understand the complexities or running things like rsync. As a “web developer” who is only familiar with doing one-click installs of WordPress and editing minor plugins and themes, it’s a very alien thing. Even the smartest software developers seek out professional and robust solutions that they don’t have to build themselves. Work smarter, not harder!

    • Yeah, I’m in the rsync/XtraBackup camp (no mysqldump here – locks MySQL – badly – in production). Still I can see where this would fill a void for a lot of users – looks like a nice product, but not something I would ever use/need.

      • I’m in rsync and indeed you can use -single-transaction with mysqldump to not lock the db. I run mysqldump before every rsync

        • True, true – it does only work with InnoDB table types though.

  • Test McTest

    This is awesome, I’ve just been spending time the last few days looking for cloud storage service transfer and backup options. Cloudberry looks very capable but more expensive.

  • Mhhh… I don’t know what to make of this. The Idea behind is quite nice but the pricing model for a connector is anything but cheap and for Me fairly uninteresting.

  • Roman

    Non-tech people often use WordPress for their website, and there are plug-ins to do backups. What’s left is just to copy the backup file to off-site. Very easy for anyone, I’d think.

    • Plugins certainly do rock, but at a certain point you hit problems where PHP can run out of memory or processes can take a very long time to complete, especially if you have a large website.

    • If your site is on a shared hosting, you could consume a lot of server resources. God help you if you don’t get suspended.
      It is advisable to as much as possible relieve the server from heavy-duty operations like website backup via plugins.

  • Roman

    I bet hackers would be happy to get hold of log-in info for several accounts for each user in one shot.

    • You are kind of right. i guess the guys at mover has security as their top priority.

  • I can think of many uses for Mover.io, but WordPress backups would not be one of them. BackupBuddy does a great job of automating backups, saving them to the cloud, etc. Unless the site is humongous (read: multiple GB of data), there are rarely problems with PHP timeouts or the like. If you’re storing that much data on your site, you need to re-examine your policies as there’s little reason to have that much data on a WP site that needs to be backed up every time.

    Yes, there are hosts out there that restrict resources to the point where backup plugins have difficulty with any but the smallest sites. If your backup plugin doesn’t work with your host, find a decent host.

    I happen to like and use BackupBuddy, but there are free WP backup plugins out there, as well, some of which are actually pretty good.

  • Malachi

    Funny that I see this. I just created something that would do this for me for one site.. and would fairly easy to set up for other sites. Then I find this.. haha. Anyway, yeah, of course they want to make money off of this, but it seems like a fairly nice thing to set up. Not sure about all the security and stuff, but if it’s a plug-and-play thing it would come in handy for people that have a gazillion websites to maintain…

  • Roman

    One would have the same hope for banks, Pentagon, email service providers, social networks, etc. Yet, all of them have been breached.