Cannot run BackupBuddy backup (35MB) to Dropbox on shared hosting account



I am looking for advice on getting several of my blogs to successfully backup to Dropbox using BackupBuddy.

I have been working with BackupBuddy support, but they feel very strongly that the solution is for DreamHost to allow my backup process to run with more memory. I tried manually increasing the memory to 256MB in phprc, but as expected this process seems to have gotten killed by the DreamHost monitoring process. It seemed like 128MB was a safer manual increase (over my default of 90MB) but this did not seem to be enough memory for BackupBuddy to run (or maybe the monitor also killed it?).

My blogs are not huge (in my opinion). The blogs that are failing to backup range in size (database and files) from about 35MB to about 250MB.

I know that one of the limitations that is causing a problem is that the Dropbox API which BackupBuddy uses requires that the entire backup file be transferred in a single step, and that the entire file be held in memory during that transfer step. It seems like process overhead causes this to be too much for my shared hosting plan even with the smaller 35MB backup.

While I know that it would be better if BackupBuddy provided an incremental backup option, or wrote a more robust transfer routine which would break the full backup set into safer-sized chunks (instead of a single zip file), that’s not how the software works and I don’t know if there is any plan to change it. It would also be better if the Dropbox API provided a chunking transfer like Amazon S3 does, but again - don’t know when/if that will change.

Unfortunately, my refund request ($100) has so far been ignored or denied (not sure which) by BackupBuddy. Their techs seem to feel very strongly that the problem should be resolved by DreamHost allowing more memory.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Shared hosting has its limitations. If you want dedicated resources allocated to you, I suggest you add vps service to your account.


Totally understand. Personally, I think that BackupBuddy could do things more efficiently (maybe by doing an incremental backup, or something else). And I don’t think a VPS would guarantee success since as soon as my backup grows further I would probably just hit another upper limit.

I’m not asking for additional resources - just trying to figure out what to do since the vendor I purchased from BackupBuddy is pointing to DreamHost as the problem, and refusing a refund on that basis. But I’m not so sure we can say DreamHost is the problem. BackupBuddy is the first piece of software I’ve had a problem with.

Their techs believe that more resources than 90MB or 128MB are very typical for a shared host, and that I should expect DreamHost to provide more.

Any experience with what other hosts do as far as memory limits?


hosts that provide shared hosting are usually not all that forthcoming about specifying the limits they provide per user. if you had a vps you would know what you have and the resources are set aside for you only. if you are obviously having an issue with memory on shared services the only logical step for you is to get a vps so you can have more dedicated resources. you cannot expect to get an increase in something like that on shared services. i never saw the need to pay for such backup solutions in the first place. with wordpress your mysql database is most important. you could do your own daily or weekly backups and save yourself money.


Agreed, pretty much on all points. Thanks for the feedback…


The vendor provided a refund of the purchase. I am no longer using this software. Thanks for the help in any event…