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How to backup your website
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Having a backup of your website will allow you to sleep easy knowing that your website files, databases and emails are safe. In the event of server problems or your website being hacked (generally this can happen if your website uses Wordpress and it isn't kept up to date) for example it is vital to have a backup of your website in order to get your website online again.

With our Web Hosting service we do create automatic backups which we store on a separate backup server. But you should not rely on this as in the event of a large scale server issue it can take a long time to restore the data from the backup server, thus it will take time to get your website back online. Having your backup(s) stored on your computer will give you a extra layer of protection (incase our backup server was to fail for example) and will also allow us to restore your website even quicker.

How to generate a full website backup

In this tutorial I will show you how to generate a complete backup of your website and emails.

1) Login to cPanel. cPanel is your Web Hosting control panel that allows you to manage your website, setup emails etc. You will find your cPanel login within your Zomex account. You can also access cPanel by typing yourdomain.com/cpanel in your web browser.

cPanel overview
A overview of cPanel

2) Before generating a full backup of your account it's important to check that your account has enough disk space to be able to store the backup file. You can check your disk space on the right side of the cPanel home screen under statistics. As a rule of thumb I would recommend that you have at least 50% of disk space free. For example if you're currently using 100MB you will need at least 200MB of free disk space in order to proceed. If you're unsure about this please submit a support ticket and we will be happy to advise.

cPanel disk space
Checking your available disk space

3) Click on the backups icon under the files section.

cPanel backups
Click on the backups icon

4) On this page you have some options to create backups of your Web Hosting account. Thankfully you only need to use one feature of this page to handle all of your backup needs. Click on the download a full website backup button.

cPanel backups
Generate your backup

5) You will now be presented with some backup options. For backup destination select Home directory, this means your generated backup will be stored within your hosting account. I recommend setting your email address, this way you will receive a email once your backup has finished generating. It can take from minutes to hours to generate your backup depending on the size of your website, files stored, emails etc

cPanel backup options
Select your options

6) Sit back and wait for the email to confirm your backup has been generated. Once you have received the email go back to cPanel and click on the backups icon.

7) You will now see your backup listed along with the date/time the backup was generated. Click on the backup name to start downloading your backup. It is vital to download and store this backup file somewhere safe on your computer, this backup will allow you to get your website back online in case of a emergency.

cPanel backups
Download and store the backup on your computer

How to generate a manual website backup

Your website is made up of files including HTML, PHP, Javascript and images. Most websites also utilise a database which handles data storage such as content. This is the case if your website uses software such as WordPress.

1) First login to cPanel.

2) Click on the file manager icon to access the page and then open the /home directory. All of your websites files are stored within the /public_html directory. Right click the directory and click on the compress option. This will create a compressed zip file of all of your account files. Download this ZIP file.

3) Next we need to download any databases used by your website. Head back to cPanel and then access the PHPMyAdmin page. PHPMyAdmin allows you to view and manage your databases. Each link within the left represents one database. Your hosting account may use more than 1 database, for example if you have multiple addon domains within your single account, each could be using WordPress. Either way i recommend downloading all of the databases to ensure that you have a complete backup of your account. Click on the database within the left column, for this example I will download the database named Blesta.

4) You can now see all of the tables and data stored within this database. Click on the export button within the top menu. Leave all settings as default and click on the Go button to start the download process. You will need to repeat this step for all of the databases within your account.

5) Now you have a manual backup of both your files and databases which you should store locally.

Backup file explained

The backup file generated using this method will contain a complete copy of your account. This includes all of your website files, databases, emails, settings etc. When this backup is restored it will restore all data of your Web Hosting account.

How often should I backup my website?

This will depend on the type of website, what it means to you and how often you update it. A general rule of thumb is to create a backup of your website at least every 30 days. I personally create a backup of Zomex every 3 days. It's also important to remove old backups from your cPanel account (once you have downloaded them and stored the file on your personal computer) as overtime you will find that your generated backups will start to drain your disk space. We are happy to remove old backups from your account upon request.

But what about the included automated backups?

Our Web Hosting service does include automated daily backups where we will take a full backup of your Web Hosting account every day. The benefit of these backups is that as they are daily so we will always have a recent backup of your website (24 hours). In the event of a major problem we will automatically restore the stored backup of your website. But we still recommend creating and storing your own backups for a extra layer of security as by providing us with your own backup we can get your website up and running more quickly in a emergency. It can sometimes take many hours to restore from our backup server due to the amount of data/accounts to process.

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