Fix for WP-DBManager Error Warning: Your backup folder MIGHT be visible to the public

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wp-dbmanager-error-wordpress-database Recently, an upgrade to the WP-DBManager plug-in for WordPress started giving an error message on my sites.  The error message is, "Error Warning: Your backup folder MIGHT be visible to the public".  The plug-in goes on to recommend that you copy the .htaccess file from one folder to another.

There are two glitches with the WP-DBManager WordPress plug-in.

The first is that there is no .htaccess file where WP-DBManager says to look.  It is an easy solution, on the support forums, the author notes that there are some difficulties distributing the plug-in with a real .htaccess file in it.  To get around the issue, there is a htaccess.txt file instead.  Just copy it to the new directory and then rename it .htaccess.  All of which is easily done with Filezilla or another FTP utility.

The second glitch is a little trickier.

Even after you have copied the .htaccess file where you are supposed to, the plug-in might show the error message anyway.  In other words, you still keep getting the error even if you have the right .htaccess file in the correct directory.

On the support forums, there is information to make the Warning message go away.  It involves how to tweak the plug-in’s PHP code, but all this does is stop the check.  It doesn’t fix the problem.  That is bad news, because if the error message is broken your backups might be broken too.

What gives?

WP-DBManager Error and Dreamhost Hosting

For whatever reason, Dreamhost hosts their accounts for WordPress and other sites with a full directory path that includes a ".something" directory. WP-DBManager requires a path to mysquldump and mysql, but also the FULL directory path structure to work properly.

As a Dreamhost user, that means that you will input a Path to Backup containing a ".".

For example, /home/.swami/

Whether it is a Dreamhost thing or a WordPress thing, I don’t have any idea, but for whatever reason, when the WP-DBManager plugin code tries to read the Path to Backup field it uses the /.swami/ part correctly in one section, but then does NOT use it correctly in the next section.

The result?

Keep getting the Warning: Your backup folder MIGHT be visible to the public error message even though you have the right .htaccess file because the check the plug-in makes fails due to have the "wrong" path.

Even worse is that your backups are failing!  The same path error that causes the warning to falsely display causes a directory write error when it tries to run the backups!

How To Fix WP-DBManager WordPress Plug-in Error Message

Fortunately, the fix is pretty easy.

Go into the DB Options under Database in your WordPress control panel and change the Path to Backup to NOT include the .directory whatever it is.

In the example above, delete the /.swami/ part of the path.

That leaves /home/

Save the changes and then click on a different plug-in or control panel option and then back on the Database (to get it to re-try and read the file).  The error message should disappear, and more importantly, your backups should be working again.

You can test if WP-DBManager backups are working by clicking Backup DB which runs a manual backup.

By the way, Dreamhost already backs up your mysql databases for you, so if you are in a pinch you can use those.  But, WP-DBManager still provides more robust, automated backups, that are not overwritten by default and are easier to restore, so you still need the plugin.

IceRocket Tags: ,,,,,Warning,.htaccess,Fix
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17 thoughts on “Fix for WP-DBManager Error Warning: Your backup folder MIGHT be visible to the public”

  1. REd says:

    I know this thread is old, but I still had the problem (e.g. error message showing up) even though the .htaccess file was moved into the correct directory and the backup file path was correct on DreamHost. I just went into to the plug-in PHP, searched for the error code and commented it out. Backups work correctly.

  2. Dave Curtis says:

    Ok – sorry, no way to edit my previous reply (don’t mean to spam you so you can edit my replies into just one if you like). I edited the wpdbmanager.php file but the line to delete is 405. It worked. The way I did it was to simply remove the contents on that line but without removing the carriage return (in other words there’s still a “line” there, but it’s blank. I’m not sure whether or not it will work if you delete the blank line too, but I’ve seen that happen before so it can’t hurt to leave it there.

    1. WGHubris says:

      No worries. All of those posts were useful and may give someone else the extra info they need to solve the same issue.

  3. Dave Curtis says:

    Just checked and WP DB Manager says in it’s readme.txt: * If you are 100% sure you have did that and have verfied that the folder no longer is accessible to the public by visiting the URL ``, you can safely remove it by deleting `add_action(‘admin_notices’, ‘dbmanager_admin_notices’);` on `line 191` in `wp-dbmanager.php`.

  4. Dave Curtis says:

    Why am I not surprised that this post also mentions a problem with NightmareHost aka BadDreamHost aka DreamHost? I dealt with them for two problem filled years. 😛 They’re separate from the plugin error though since I’m having the same issue with the annoying WP-DBManager plugin warning message on other hosting platforms as well. So even after fixing the .htaccess issue hacking the php file (as mentioned) is probably the only way to make it work – at least until the next scheduled plugin update when I suspect the custom hacked php file will be replaced. I’m going to hack mine to read “Your WP DB Backup is properly installed – we love you!” or something similar. At least then when clients looks over my shoulder as I work they won’t think I’m blind or don’t know how to fix an obviously simple to fix and important “error”. 🙂

  5. tresa says:

    This did not work for me. Tried it every which way.

    1. WGHubris says:

      Sorry it didn’t work out. You could try re-installing or contacting the developer.

  6. JB says:

    This only fixes one of the problems with this plugin. There is still the problem with PHP functions disabled. I have not been able to find any fix for this and chan no longer supports the plugin.

  7. NRICS says:

    I encountered this problem while moving a WP Blog to a new server. The path to the old server was displayed in the warning message.

    Glad I found this post, it led me right to where I needed to go in order to make the change and put things right.


  8. Laura "Ole" Olesen says:

    Hi! This is really helpful. I’m still caught though.

    I’m hosting two accounts in godaddy. Someone helped me install WP-DBManager for my first site.

    Now I want to do it for my second site. The plug-in tells me a specific file directory in which to put the file but that doesn’t exist (or I don’t know where it is).

    Also, there’s already an htaccess file in my html folder which appears to be the “root” directory for godaddy.

    Where you say “Just copy it to the new directory and then rename it .htaccess” I have the following question…

    What do you mean by new directory? The html file I mention would make sense because I wouldn’t want two htaccess files there.

    Thanks much!

  9. Wealth Management says:

    On my set up I had a different issue. The error said .htaccess should be in the /home//www/wealth-management/wp-content/backup-db and I had the path as /home//public-html/wealth-management/wp-content/backup-db.

    Once I corrected that it was fine. Thanks for the pointer to the problem though I hadn’t thought of looking there. I was just ignoring the error and not backing up.

    1. WGHubris says:

      Glad to help. I’m moving off of Dreamhost. They just seems so squirrely with a lot of these things.

  10. Sean says:

    I recently upgraded the WP-DBManager plug-in and I had the same annoying issue/message. I had renamed the “htaccess.txt” to “.htaccess” in the “backup-db” folder, but it didn’t work. The “.htaccess” file would just disappear when I refresh the directory, and the warning message was still there in WordPress. I re-did the whole fix process and same thing happened, and it made my head spinned. I suspected that it had to do with my DreamHost webhosting.

    Finally, I found your post and saw the other fix of removing the “.” folder from the path. That worked!! Thanks.

    1. WGHubris says:

      Glad it helped. I’ve started worrying about my Dreamhost hosting lately. I had to move to a “Private Server” for some very low traffic blogs. The things they were blaming were some of the most common WordPress plugins around, like All In One SEO. Seems strange that everyone else can handle that and they can’t.

      Anyway, good to hear your issue has been fixed. WP-DBManager is too good of a plug-in to not use.

  11. Michael Grant says:

    Yes thank you so much that was really annoying!!!

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  14. Ms Underestimated says:



    You so TOTALLY ROCK!!!!

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