Making and storing a backup should be an essential process for any one who has a website. Whether it's a small personal site or a worldwide business site, having a backup is one of those things that you may forget about until it's too late.

This guide will help you create a backup of your website and any connecting databases which you can then transfer to a cd, USB or external hard drive for safe keeping.

    Backing up your web content

  1. To make the backup you will need to first connect to your hosting using FTP. In this example I will be using Filezilla which is available free for PC users.
    • In the Quick connect bar at the top, enter in the Host field.
    • In the Username field enter your FTP username.
    • In the Password field enter your FTP password.
    • The Port can be left blank, which will default to 21.

  2. Note: If you are unsure on any of the details above, simply log in to your account, click the hosting icon, choose manage for the hosting and then scroll to the FTP details and you can check them here.

  3. You now need to navigate to your content on the server itself. In the remote site section, enter / (replace with your own domain) and hit enter on your keyboard.
  4. Your contents will now be displayed and you can now copy this content from your Remote site (the server) to the Local site (your computer). Simply drag each file and folder from the right side of Filezilla to the left side, in a folder on your pc.
  5. You can check that the backup was successful by checking that each file and folder exist on both sides of Filezilla.

    Backing up your database

    If you are using a web app such as Joomla or Wordpress then your website will also be linked to a database. You would need to back this up too as this is not held in the same place as the content.

  1. You would first need to locate the database username and password. If you are not sure on either of these, simply connect via FTP using the details above and locate your websites configuration file as they will be stored in here.
    • If you are using Wordpress, these can be found in the wp-config.php file
    • If you are using Joomla, these can be found in the configuration.php file
    • If you are using OpenCart, these can be found in the config.php file
  2. Once you have these, you need to navigate to phpMyAdmin and log in. This is a tool which allows you to administer the database that your website uses.

    This be accessed by adding /phpmyadmin to your domain name in any internet browser.
    For example
  3. When you are logged in, click on the database you would like to backup. This is normally the top option on the left hand side column. In our example, the Wordpress database is called _blog_www_wordpress_lcnsupport_co_uk.
  4. You now need to click the Export option which will allow you to export the database and download it to your local computer. You do not need to amend any of the default settings. Next click Go.
  5. Depending on your browser, it will ask you to download the file and save it to a location. Choose where you would like to save the file here.

Whilst it might seem a daunting task, it's something that could save you a lot of worry and downtime should something happen to your website. When you perform the backup is up to yourself, but if you are updating your website regularly, it's best to do this when any major updates are made to ensure you have the latest backup.

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