As a website owner, it is vital to create an archive of your websites. Even if you use a very reliable hosting service, it does not mean you can underestimate the importance of backing up your sites. Loss of data can take place at any point of time. If this really occurs your source of income can be lost overnight. Although your web host provider has a backup system, do not rely on their backups as the only copy of your data files.
If you use an unlimited domain web hosting such as Hostgator, you can actually do the backup process easily. Just login into the cPanel and from there you have access to the backup control panel. Click the Backups link. It is the most easiest way to achive multiple sites at once, especially if your sites have databases. Then simply click the “Download or Generate a Full Website Backup” button. Next, select the Backup Destination from the dropdown menu and insert your email addess in the box provided to get email notification of backup completion. Finally, click the “Generate” button. The process usually does not require much time. After you receive the email notification, there will be “Backups Available for Download” message in the Backup control panel. Click the .tar.gz file to download your entire sites. Once you get the the files and configurations of your websites, do not forget to make at least two copies of the archive.
This is a very simple process. However, there are few things that you need to keep in mind. If you use Hostgator shared or reseller account, for instance, you can not conduct the full backup process right away if your data is larger than 4 GB. You need to ask for their help. It is also important to notice the number of inodes. Make sure you do not exceed the limit. Different hosting companies apply different rules about it. To check out the quantity of your existing inodes, just take a look at the sidebar of your cPanel. If you have inode problem during the backup process, try to eliminate the unused ones. You can do this by deleting unused files through File Manager and databases. Another thing that you should know is that you cannot restore the backup copy of your sites through cPanel. However, a number of web host providers provide users with a special form dedicated for accomplishing this task for free. Of course, if you use a dedicated hosting plan, then your web host normally enables you to restore your own full backups as you are the root user of the server.
The above manual cPanel backup should be conducted regularly. Although you can use a special script to do it automatically, keep in mind that things can go wrong. Content Managements Systems such as WordPress actually have special plugins or modules that make it possible for you to accomplish it. However, once again, doing it manually is still the best strategy.
In addition to this, you can also backup each of your MySQL databases via cPanel. Using the above full backup process, your databases are actually also included. But if you only want a copy of your database, then you can do the following: First, click the “Backups” link. Then choose the name of the database that you intend to download. Finally, select the local destination folder and start the process. Restoring the MySQL Database can also be accomplished easily by uploading the .sql.gz file via the Backups section.