What happens when your web host has a failure and your account gets damaged or worse case scenario, the web host loses everything?
Do you run away screaming, or get angry with your web hosting company because you didn’t have any website backups? It’s a very common problem, which is so unfortunate, since it’s avoidable with a bit of knowledge and action on your part.
You should not rely on your web host to take backups for you? Unless you expressly pay them to do so, and even then I wouldn’t count on them being there for you. You can only trust what you take action on.
Check the fine print of most web hosts terms of service and they will state that they are not responsible for your data, even if it’s their fault. Great isn’t it.
So what’s the solution. Simple. Backup your data regularly.
cPanel control panels for your web hosting are the most widespread among web hosting companies. So let me tell you how to backup your websites on cPanel web servers, it’s quite labour intensive, but well worth it.
a) Go to your domain dot com:2082 or domain dot com/cpanel and enter in your login credentials. (replace domain dot com with your website of course)
b) Go to the Backup icon (will look different depending on your cPanel theme)
c) Click on the link to download the home directory backup (this will take all your files, including stored emailed)
d) Click on the individual links your trusted directory to download your databases
e) Click on the individual links to download your email filters or email aliases
Don’t worry about taking the full backup since that’s mostly helpful for hosting providers, the home directory backup is much better for restoration purposes.
Now do that once a week or month for your home directory (files) and everyday for your databases like WordPress, Forums, Shopping Carts, Email Lists.
You want to take a backup of your databases everyday since they change regularly, especially now with the widespread use of blogging software such as WordPress. Your content is entered online, and if you don’t backup then you have no local copies of your content.
Once you download your website make sure to keep it on your harddrive in a central spot that you are going to remember where you put it should you need to recover.
Keep at least 3 versions of your backups in dated sub directories so that you can recover from earlier backups in case any of them were corrupt or contain any broken files or databases.
To recover and restore your website backup you simply reverse the process. In the cPanel control panel, under the Backup icon, you can upload your backup file or database file and restore it.
If that all seems like to much work, to remember to backup your websites, and actually go through and download everything, across multiple websites (if you have more than one), you are right. It’s a massive job, which is why hardly anyone does it.