When you talk to a seasoned webmaster, he/she will always tell you to backup your website files since the server you are hosted on will always let you down when least expect it.
I remember it happened to me when my webhost went down for about 4 hours at the same time I just launched a massive (and costly) marketing campaign. It’s really frustrating to see it happen when I need it to be up and running.
As a webhosting reseller, I experienced one time how my server is advertised to be backed up daily but when the server got fried by surging electric current by accident, my hosting partner cannot recover even the backup harddisk!
Not only did I lose my websites hosted on that server, I also lost my customers who hated me for what had happened. It’s a nightmare you wouldn't want to happen to you.
Today, many webmasters still disregard the value of backups especially those who are just starting online.
They rely solely on their hosts to backup their websites but little did they know that not many hosts are not backing up databases but only the website files, scripts, images and settings.
The MYSQL databases are not considered to be included in their backup service. Yet this is an important component of any website especially those used in business. Imagine a forum getting back to square one, a mailing list that has been wiped out or customers that cannot login because the system cannot find their data. These are just few examples of how you can lose your online business if you forget the backup task.
Most hosting control panel programs like CPanel, which is leading in the world today in terms of server dominance, has a backup utility that you can use anytime. This is a manual process where you have to login to Cpanel, click on the backup page and the download link to the backup files.
This backup activity, although time consuming will ensure that you have available website files to restore even when a server problem gets worse thereby decreasing downtimes and headaches on your part. Recreating website files and databases from scratch takes much much longer.
Believe me I know. “Been there, done that. "
As a webmaster, you should at least backup your websites once a week and for your MYSQL databases at least thrice a week. You can also relate this backup procedure to the frequency with which you update your websites and databases. .
For example, if you are changing your webpages daily or you have dynamically generated pages, then you should backup those changes daily. If you websites or databases change less frequently, then you can backup less frequently. In this case, weekly or monthly backups will do.
Backup procedures are not to be taken for granted. This should become part of your regular activities as a webmaster to make sure your site is safe and insured from any eventualities. You should treat backing up files seriously.
Believe me, you will be thankful you did this when the times get rough.
If you care about your websites and all the things in it, backup regularly and completely. It’s one webmaster task you should never miss.
Manny R. Jao II is self-taught webmaster whose aim is to improve the lives and working habits of other netrepreneurs just like him. He is the developer and owner of the first automatic backup software for CPanel-powered websites named CPSiteSaver which you can see at