Best Way to Back Up a Website?

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Best Way to Back Up a Website?

Ok so I am really not a very clever bunny when it comes to this sort of thing, but I need to back up my website.

I have done this before on two of my websites using the BackWPup plugin and I save my backups to Dropbox right?

Now I tried all yesterday and last night to back up my other website in the same way, also to Dropbox and I just got error after error.

I hate fighting with things and I hate it when things don't work.

Are there any really easy ways to back up my website? I do need to do it quite urgently because I want to make lots of changes this weekend and in case I stuff something up I need to be able to revert back to where it is now....


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Hi Lynne. Firstly, don't panic! When you panic you make rash mistakes and it just exacerbates the situation even more. Big words and psychology lesson over. Keep calm and be positive! There are many ways to back up a website! I'll post some of the ways I do it.

A websites files are just that, files. And like files on your own PC, you can back those files up to a new location. Such as a CD/DVD or USB memory stick. Another external or internal drive or even to DropBox or some cloud hosting solution.

So you'll need access to those files before you can back them up. Your web host should provide you access to your hosting account dashboard where you can manage your site from. They may even provide their own back up services as well. But they probably provide Cpanel access at least which gives you access to all your sites files, directories etc and browse through them etc.

You can use Cpanel to create a backup of all your site files. It should give you access to your public_html directory where your site/s are. You can use it to compress your whole sites directory into a zip file or even a tar or rar file you can then download to your own PC. That way you'll always have a hard copy of your site in case the host ever goes down and stops being in business and your site and all its files are gone (does happen).

I presume you're talking about backing up a WP site? And you've used some plugins to back it up from inside WordPress itself? This is also one way of backing up a WP site using some backup plugin. They usually do the same thing and compress everything like your sites theme files, plugins, account details, settings, pages, posts and even your actual sites database etc into an XML file you can then "Import" back into a fresh WP installation using the Import page in WP.

Those plugins that do that are useful but they only back up the main parts of that WP site. But using Cpanel IMHO is the easiest and fastest way to back up your whole site and actually does that, backs up your whole sites files (everything). Which you can download and store on your PC or upload that to DropBox or some cloud hosting solution or something.

Then if you need to restore your site. Just reupload that and extract and overwrite and your site will be restored exactly as is. That will include everything in that directory, your other directories the .htaccess and robots.txt etc. Everything.

You should also backup your database as well! You'll need to use MySQL Manager or phpMyAdmin from Cpanel. A site comes in two parts. The database and the files. Unless it's just a simple HTML site and isn't using any databases.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more q's.


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I usually use the backup feature of cPanel.

Here's how I do it:

  1. Login into your cPanel
  2. Under the "Files" section find "Backup" and click it
  3. Find the button "Download a Full Website Backup" and click it
  4. You'll be redirected to page in which would give you options of where you want the backup
  5. Choose "Home directory"
  6. Click the button "Generate Backup"
  7. Then you'll be redirected to another page with "Full Backup in Progress … "

You can opt in for an email alert of when the backup is done if you want to get notified, shouldn't take too long to complete the backup.

Another way I do it, is compress the entire "public_html" directory, and save all the contents of phpmyadmin and download it. Then I store on a USB stick just in case something were to occur with my hard drive.

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Thanks Everett Best Way to Back Up a Website? I just need my cPanel details then for future backups!

My sister just did this one for me, but I think in future I will be doing my own since it is awful having to always rely on other people to get things done.

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Well make sure you gain those details, they become really important whenever you'll be having hosting problems. I also suggest you backup everything as often as you make important changes to your website.

I suggest you archive everything on an external HDD.

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I have an option on my control panel that allows me to backup my website, but personally I've never use it, because I prefer to store all my website files manually to my HDD/Online storage through FTP server. HDD it's not a safe place enough, and due to this I'm using online storages too, because a very bad thing happened to me a few days before, my computer got burned by lightning and I lost everything from my HDD-s. :/

Now I have done some copies of my website backup, and I've uploaded it in some online storages, because I can't risk again to use only my HDD.

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Oh my gosh Procoder that is awful Best Way to Back Up a Website? I hope you didn't lose too much work!

I know how that feels. About 6 years ago I had all my work lost because my pc and my laptop died on the same day. I had some backups of my work on disc but not completely up to date plus there was a lot of other things saved on my hard drives. I lost it all.

Since that day I don't save anything to disc or my hard drive. Everything is saved to my online storage.

I am so sorry to hear that you have had such a rotten week.

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Yeah that was really a bad moment. I've lost everything that I was working recently, and that is a lot of damage for me. I had some backups on my external hdd, but not things that I wanted. Anyway, I've started from 0 now.

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Oh no, that is terrible I am so sorry you lost so much. I really do know that feeling since I was there too.

You know how nice it is to save everything online? 3 years ago when I was pregnant with my son I accidentally poured coffee (a lot of it) on my laptop in the morning. I went and bought a new laptop immediately and by the afternoon I was working again like nothing had changed!

It makes such a difference using Drop Box and Google Drive.

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Wow, thanks for all the information Mike, you have made it all so simple for me.Luckily right now I don't have to worry about it anymore because I got tired of trying yesterday, it was like hitting my head against a brick wall so I called my sister because this website is hosted with here and she knows how to do these things. She is busy with backing it up this morning.

I am grateful for this information though because I like to know how to do as much as possible for myself and not be reliant on someone else if I can help it. Now maybe next time I do it myself, I will just need the Cpanel details which I don't have.

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Thank you for the information that you commented, guys. I have to learn these things because I need to be equipped with enough knowledge when I create my own website. My understanding was that the host provider will handle the backing up of the web files but it looks like it isn’t the standard. Anyway, perhaps I have to know how to do the backup in case I the web owner has to do it himself.

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