How to quickly Backup and Restore a website other than uploading all the files again to the web server

Posted on 2014-11-03
Last Modified: 2015-01-02
Hi there,

We have designed a website using html, php, java script. Then we hosted it with one of the hosting service providers. Now we are in the process to design and develop the content for the website. Our content files are education related video lessons, video solutions, solutions notes and interactive quizzes. Those are all standalone files. Time to time we upload these files to our web server to the appropriate place or folders. so lets say at the time of writing this question our total size of the website files and content is about 1 GB.

For backup purpose we make the backup of the website including the content files from the cPanel of our domain, using the "File Manager" feature in the cPanel. It is working fine. Now we do have the backup of every thing.

If something malicious happens (such as virus attach, data breach and so on) to our website files which are currently residing on the web server . Then the only option that i am aware of is this that i can restore (by using direct FTP client or via cPanel) all the files including the content files, using the backup that we have , BUT uploading all the files again will take lot of time and effort with some down time of the website. (now it is 1 GB, but we know that it will grow to any where like 20-30 GB).

So my question to the experts is this, in case of any malicious activity or malfunction, what are the other ways or services available to quickly restore the website back with all the data and functionality intact. (i do not know server side backups, mirror images, hot/cold back up or what? other than me uploading all the files again...)

your help is more than appreciated. Please suggest!
Question by:masmatc
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

RedLondon earned 500 total points
ID: 40421034
Use cPanel, but not the File Manager icon.  Use the Backup icon: cPanel will make a tar.gz archive of all of your files and the database which you can download to keep.  If you needed to restore it, it'd keep all the file permissions unlike FTP uploading.

If you create a "home" directory backup it'll start downloading straight away, else you can create an "account" backup which runs in the background and stores the file it generates in your account's root folder and you either refresh the page until it's ready for downloading or give your email address so that the server emails you when the backup is ready to download.

Depending on your hosting company's choices, the account backups can be automatically run and archives kept on a different drive in the server every day, week and month - or the same files can be generated and stored remotely (ie, transferred elsewhere via FTP), or the R1Soft continuous data protection plugin is popular too - often being configured to run twice a day so that there are off-site backups run every 12 hours.  Not all hosts choose to do any or all of those though, and if you have only a hosting account on someone else's cPanel server you'd not be able to configure those things yourself.

Absolutely you should be able to download home and account archives though - much quicker than FTP of individual files.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 40421037
If your query is more about how can you get copies of your files off the server and not have to rely on your own slow internet connection to re-upload them later, the cPanel account backup that you can do should allow you to specify FTP details for a remote server as the destination for the backup - though you'd need to provide those details each time because they are not saved

If you did that, you would be able to copy a tar.gz archive of everything in your hosting account to storage space in another hosting account somewhere else, disc space permitting, so you'd not have to download and then re-upload the files yourself.
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40421095
I Always keep a local copy of my web sites including databases.  If something malicious happens, your site is effectively down anyway.  @RedLondon's suggestions may be better than FTP... but I figure if it's not on your own computer separate from the web server, then it's not a legitimate backup.

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