Web Hosting - Backup, Take Regular Backup Of Your Website

Your server's hard drive crashed. A hacker compromised your account and deleted all your files. Your web host disappeared with your money and your data.

Chances are you have a lot of important stuff on your computer like financial documents, email, digital photos, music and more. Unfortunately, computers are vulnerable to hard drive crashes, virus attacks, theft and natural disasters, which can erase everything in an instant.

Current statistics show that one in every ten hard drives fail each year. The cost of recovering a failed hard drive can exceed $7,500, and success is never guaranteed.

Everybody knows that backups are a necessity, however too many companies are working without a good backup. Maintaining backups will cost money and time. However, when a backup is needed, this investment would be the best investment you ever made. 25% of companies never recover after a significant data loss. So, backup!

The Backup area allows you to download the daily, weekly, or monthly backup file of your entire web site, or a particular MySQL, alias, or filter backup file. If your computer crashes, or your personal backups are destroyed, these files allow you to recover your site in a convenient manner (you could also use FTP to download each file, but it would take much longer as the files are not compressed).

How often a backup is created is decided by your web host. Contact your hosting administrator for more details.

Important: You should keep your own backup copy of your web site as well. Do not rely solely on the backup provided by your web host. Having multiple backups in different locations provides security against permanently losing information.

Note: A complete web site backup file includes everything - from web pages to images to scripts to access logs. A large site will have a large backup file, and will take some time to download.

Automated Backups

Web hosts may or may not offer an automated backup solution. For those that do they usually follow one of the following backups plans, with higher costs associated with more frequent backups:
  • daily
  • every other day
  • weekly
  • monthly backups
Depending on the type of site that you run, you will need to choose a backup option that fits your needs. If you run a forum, news site, or any other site with current information you will want a daily backup, at the very least.

However, if you operate a simple personal page, that has not changed in over a year, keeping a backup of your most recent changes will suffice. A good rule of thumb for the casual webmaster is to do a complete backup every week or so.

The simplest way to backup your data is to download every file that exists on your account. This can be done with a simple FTP program by copying your main folder to your local hard drive.

A good backup practice is to create a "Web Backup" folder on your computer, with a sub-folder that states the date and time the backup was created. This way, if your host removes your account, or you somehow lose some or all of your files, you can choose a new host and upload your web site in its entirity. The downside to this backup option is the heavy usage of your monthly bandwidth, as you must download all your data each time you do a backup.

Note: downloading the main folder will not download the database on your server, you will have to ask your provider on the specifics about database backups.

There are two classifcations of backups: incremental and full.

  • Incremental Backup- The backups controller compares the existing backup to the data that you wish to backup. If it is an exact match between the two, then no additional files will be backed up. However, if you have added or edited any file, these files will be updated in the backup, thus the incremental name.
  • Full Backup - All files are written to the backup, even if they already exist in the most current backup.
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