Monday, 28 June 2010

Backing up your website/vle

This post is for those people whose web hosting company uses the 'cpanel' to manage their sites.  Most of the popular ISPs use cpanel including Bluehost, Hostgator and Justhost.

When you log into your web host, you are automatically taken to their cpanel.  In the Files section of the cpanel, there is an option (icon) called Backup Wizard.  When you click on the icon, you are presented with two options, namely Backup or Restore.

If you select the Backup option, you can decide whether to do a full backup or simply backup your databases or your Home directory.  Whichever option you select, when the backup if finished, an email will be sent to the email address you provide during the process.

A Full Backup will allow you to create an archive of all the files and configurations on your website. However you can only use this to move your account to another server, or to keep a local copy of your files. You cannot restore Full Backups through your cPanel interface.

The Home Directory backup contains all the data uploaded to the server including, in the case of your web site, all the Joomla or Wordpress folders and files; or in the case of your Moodle VLE, all the folders and files that Moodle uses as well as all the resources/files that have been uploaded by the teachers within each course.

The database backup will contain all the data that is generated through the runing of the system.  It does not contain files/folders but instead, it contains data such as the user details, the login details, the details of the structure of courses within the VLE, and so on.

If you want to restore your site, all you need to do is to select the Restore option.  You can use this option to revert to a previous version of your account or you can use it to move to another ISP who also offers the cpanel facility.

I would strongly recommend that you carry out a backup of your Home directory and the Mysql Databases  on a weekly basis saving the compressed files to a local hard drive.

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