How Do I Backup My Website? – Easy Guide to Backups

Guide on how to backup your website files

Why It’s Important To Backup Your Website

If you run a website the last thing you want is to find that your website data has been lost or overwritten in error.

Most people assume that backing your website data up is to protect against server failure. However, the way that we have set up our servers makes data loss a low possibility because our cloud platform is configured as follows:

  • Enterprise Grade SAS and SSD hard drives
  • Data stored across multiple drives in a RAID 10 Configuration and across multiple servers in High Availability Cloud configuration for Virtual Private Servers (VPS)
  • Dual components such as CPU, network cards and power supply means no single point of failure

But data can be lost or need to be recovered for other reasons such as hacking or malware upload because your website is not protected and the emphasis is on recovering a recent, uncorrupted version of your website files.

Or maybe an important file or database has been deleted in error. These things can and do happen.

Whatever the reason, in some instances businesses that suffer data loss find it difficult to recover.

So what are the main risks that you face by not backing up your website? Here are a few headline issues:

  • Lost revenue due to website downtime
  • Cost and time to build a new website from scratch
  • Goodwill of clients lost and difficult to recover

Just reading this list should give you some idea that the financial costs could easily extend into the thousands of Pounds (or Dollars or Euros)

But it is the cost in reputation and business continuity that could be the greatest cost for your business.

But it’s not only to protect your website. Maybe you need to access some data from a database or emails that have been deleted. With a website backup you could access this data.

These are just some of the main effects of not backing up your site. So let’s have a look at some ways you can backup your important data.

How To Backup Your Website Manually

Probably the cheapest way to back your data up is to use the cPanel backup feature in your control panel. This is free and available to all of our shared hosting clients.

All you need to do is to login to your cpanel control panel, go to the backup wizard, select the site to be backed up and the destination that you want to back it up to, e.g. your PC or another server.

If you ever need to restore your data from backup you just need to access the backed up file and restore it in cpanel.

The only issue with this approach is that it is manual. You need to remember to take a backup and if you fail to do this then your data can quickly become out of date.

How To Backup Your Website Automatically

A much better option is to take automatic backups of your data. This way you will never forget to take backups.

Pickaweb offers a fully automated backup option where your data is backed up on a daily basis and stored safely on one of our backup servers using a specialised tool called r1soft (Idera).

You can just set it and forget it and the system will just run in the background and take regular full backups of your data.

Should you ever need to restore any data you can access the backup tool via your hosting control panel and restore the files from your backup.

How Your Data Gets Backed Up

Your data is automatically backed up every day. Multiple copies are kept covering daily, weekly and monthly backups so that even older data is kept on the backup server.

When your data is backed up, copies are made of everything – website files, databases, emails – the lot.

When you initially set it up an initial full backup is taken. The backup software then checks your files regularly and when it detects a change it will amend the backup. This is called Continuous Data Protection (CDP).

This way the process is very efficient and it does not have a heavy load on your website or the server so it does not affect performance.

If you ever need to restore any files from backup you just choose the type of files you want to restore (e.e. Web file, database or mailbox) and you can either overwrite the current files or download it locally to analyse further before restoring it.

Of course, if you are not confident with this type of thing you should ask a developer or web professional to perform this type of task for you. Of course, if you are hosted with Pickaweb then our technical support team are on hand to assist you.

Wrap Up

Failure to backup your web files can have disastrous consequences. Backing up your data is a low cost insurance policy against server failure, hacking or human error.

You can use the free cPanel backup feature but this is not the most efficient method of backup and requires manual intervention.

A far better option is to use a fully automated backup service like r1soft which runs in the background and takes regular backups of all your data.

I hope you found this article useful on how to backup a website.
Thanks for reading and leave your questions below to keep the conversation going.


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