There are a few different kinds of backups that you can do through cPanel. A full website backup, as its name suggests, backs up your whole website. This includes the webpages you have made, any content management programs you are using along with their settings, any databases you are running, and any emails that are still sitting on the server. If your server crashes, you are attacked by a hacker, or you simply “break” your own site – this backup is the one that can save your website.
When to backup your website
Unless your website is very static and simply does not change and does not receive important emails, it is a good habit to back up your website often. (once a week, every few days, or even daily) It is suggested that you back up your website:
- Before AND After making any changes in design or functionality. No matter how minor a change may seem, a simple mistake could easily break your website. In the event that you cannot find the mistake – you may want the ability to have your website restored to its previous state from a backup. Also, it would be very disappointing if a hacker got in and deleted all your hard work after a change has been made. So go ahead and do another backup after your changes have been made.
- Any time a significant amount of data has been added. Any time you have a website that accepts input from visitors, or that you add content to on a regular basis, you may want to back it up every few days or weeks. I personally like to back up websites that contain forums, comments, and customer orders twice a week. We did daily backups when one client of mine was getting hundreds of orders per day.
When you will use your Full Website backup
Backups are a special thing that you will hopefully never have to use. However, most serious computer users (and some not so serious) will need to use backups at least a few times in their life.
- When your webserver / hard drive crashes
- When someone else attacks or breaks your website
- When you break your website
- When you move to a new server or new webhost (Before moving, please confirm that the new host accepts cPanel Full Site backups!)
How to create a backup
((I will come back & edit this post with screen shots later. Please note that cPanel is not offered by all webhosts.))
- Log into cPanel . Secure login is at https://YOURDOMAIN.COM:2083 . If secure login is not supported, you can also log on at http://YOURDOMAIN.COM/cpanel
- Click on “Backups”
- Click ” Generate/Download Full Site Backup”
- Fill in your email address so that it can tell you when the backup is completed
- Click to generate the backup
Retrieving Your Full Site Backup
Once your full website backup has been generated, open up an FTP client or the file manager on your control panel.