Here is a disaster I think everyone has had: you lose a really important file (or files) and then you realize you forgot to backup. This disaster is so common I’ve even seen several sitcom episodes about it. Most of us learn our lesson after this happens one time, and start backing up our files on external hard drives or on cloud-based services. However, I’m often really surprised at the amount of people that forget to backup something really important: their websites. I don’t know about you, but I’ve put hours of time into each of my websites, and I would hate for something to happen, and then not have a backup of the files that I need to restore the site.
Luckily, there is an easy solution to this problem: backup your files using your Hostgator cPanel. In order to do this, first login to your cPanel. Then, scroll down a bit to the section of the page that says “files.” Once there, you should see an icon that says “Backups.” Click on that, and it will take you to the backups page.
The backups page should look like this:
Once on the backup page, you have several options. You can download a full website backup, or download partial backups, such as of your home directory, a MySQL database, email forwarders, or email filters. You can also restore any of these things from this page, provided you have downloaded a backup at some point.
When you download your backups from this page, I suggest storing them in several different places, just to be safe. You can store a copy on your computer and on either a cloud-based storage system or external drive. That way, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you have backups in case something happens.
I like to download backups once a month or so, but you might like to do it more frequently, depending on how much new content you add to your sites. If you add content once a day, then you will definitely want to backup more frequently than someone who has a static site that they don’t do much with.
If you don’t already have Hostgator, and want to sign up, you can sign up through this link and use the coupon code dsmpublishing and pay only a penny for your first months hosting.