You know the best way to protect your site from hackers? Backup. Do you know the best way to be able to recover from issues on your WordPress site? Backup. Why do I say that? Because if something bad happens to your site, a backup will allow you to return to a known point of time when everything was working as expected. Also in the case of hackers, it is so much easier to see what was changed if your site is hacked by comparing with what was there before the hack. Granted if the hack has been discretely happening you may not know. And while it would be a pain, you could restore from day one and move forward slowly with restores until then.
This will talk about how to backup your site using cPanel’s built in tools. This assumes your provider uses cPanel.
cPanel’s backup pushes everything into one large compressed file. (If you ever have to restore, you go into the Backups option to see the restore option). If you are switching providers, then you can restore your site using these tools onto any provider using cPanel. Here you see the screen for Backups and Backup Wizard.
When you choose Backup (or you can use the Backup Wizard which ends up in the same place), it takes you here:
If you click on “Download or Generate a Full Website Backup” it will backup your website, database, home directories, email settings and all.
This sends you to this screen. Click “Generate Backup” and when the backup finishes it will send you an email to your favorite email address.
The email arrives and looks like this:
Then you need to visit the Cpanel site to download your backup.
Going back into the Backup screen will take you to this screen that will show you your backup.
Notice the Backups Available for Download. Download this file. Noticed it is time and date stamped so you will know when it was a backup from. This file is in tar and Gzip format. In Linux operating systems tar is a compression utility that uses tape archiving methodologies to create the file. Then the file is sent through Gzip which compresses it even more. If you wanted to open this file to see what was inside, you would need a utility like 7zip. You would first need to uncompress the Gzip file, then it would produce a tar file which you can then uncompress again which will give you the file and folders contained inside the compressed file.
If you needed to restore, cPanel’s restore expects the file to be in gzip format so don’t delete these file until you are sure you are done with it.
In “WordPress: Backup before going Forward (Part 2)” we talk about phpMyAdmin and sftp.