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