cPanel Backup Tutorial
- A Step by Step Guide to CPanel's Backup Process
What files do you need to backup?
Your website files (html, images, scripts, css, downloadable files,
etc.), mysql databases, aliases and filters.
With the cPanel backup feature, you are able to simplify this process
as all of the above files are contained within the cPanel backup
- Access cPanel on your other providers server. You normally
do this with the following link:
http://www.yourdomain.com:2082 (change "yourdomain"
- You will be needing your hosting username and password here.
- Once inside, you will see something like this:
Important: If your CPanel doesn't look like the above, don't
worry. You will be able to see all the things you need to
do here but in a different image only. They all function the
Within your cPanel, you will see a link to the cPanel Backup function,
go ahead and click this link to see the available backup options
that are available to you.
At this point it is a good idea to create a directory on your computer
for each domain/user that you will download any cPanel backups for.
Once you clicked the link to the Backup page, you will see something
NOTE: Before we proceed, let's dissect the above backup page
screenshot so you will know what are all these backup files are
worth to you.
You will see that on top, there is what they call here System
Backups and Full Backups. And below you will see the links
to download Home Directory, MySQL databases, Aliases and Filters.
What's the difference?
OK, so that it will be clear, they are all backups of your site
but here is the main difference.
The first cluster of System and Full site backups (hereinafter
referred to as "Server Backups") can only be
restored by your hosting provider and contains all data needed
to restore your account, web content, email settings, aliases, mysql
databases (in .MYI format, just as they would be within /var/lib/mysql/user_database)
and all system files necessary to recreate your account, should
data be lost or your account terminated.
This is what we call cpanel Server Backups
while the second batch i.e. Home directory, MYSQL, Aliases and
Filters (hereinafter referred to as Webmaster Backups)
can be restored by you alone (through cPanel's restore function)
without the help of your host. These files also contain all
data you need to restore your account, web content, email settings,
aliases, mysql databases (in .gz or zipped format) and all system
files necessary to recreate your account, should data be lost or
your account terminated.
This is what we call cPanel Webmaster Backups
So why I bother to explain this?
Because you have to be in control of your website. If you
download the wrong backup files say the Server Backup files, you
might not be able to restore it yourself when your site needs to
be restored on the same or another server.
However, if your host is willing (I'd say 50% of them are willing
to do restore System and Full site backups if you transfer to them
because of the risks involved here. they have to trust you and the
file you want them to uncompress on their server), then you can
download and maintain the Server Backups.
But for purposes of this tutorial, we want you to concentrate on
the Webmaster Backups only because this is something every
webmaster can control and restore anytime to any Cpanel server in
case of problems with your host.
Here are some detailed descriptions of what you are actually downloading:
Download a Home Directory Backup - Home Backup
This backup option will create a compressed file
containing all of the data needed to restore the following:
- Web content (html, images, css, scripts and all other files
contained in your public_html directory in Cpanel.
- Password Protected Directories settings.
- Additional pop email accounts and webmail data.
- Webstats History.
The /home backup simply compresses a copy of your /home/user directory,
which contains all of the data that we have covered above. You should
be able create a /home backup and then download the resulting compressed
file to your computer if you wish to use the cPanel backup feature
to transfer and restore the data to another host.
Download Alias / Filter Backup
The 'Alias' backups contain any email forwards/aliases that you
You should create an alias backup and then download the resulting
compressed file to your computer if you wish to use the cPanel restore
feature later to transfer the data to another hosting provider
The 'Filter' backups contain any email filtering rules that you
may have created on your account on your other providers server.
You should create a filter backup and then download the resulting
file to your computer if you wish to use the cPanel restore feature
to transfer later the data to another host.
Download MySQL Database Backups - MySQL backup
*Note to those with Resellers Account: Please note that to
create and download MySQL database backups, you must access the
accounts cPanel using the account's real password, not your reseller
The MySQL backup contains all of your individual MySQL database
backups. There will be 1 backup file for each MySQL database.
You should create a MySQL backup for each database and then download
the resulting files to your computer if you wish to use the cPanel
restore feature to transfer later the data to another host.
We are almost done here.
Normally, the biggest file you will download from the Webmaster
Backups is the Home Directory file. Please make sure you let
all the download to fully finish to get a restorable backup.
If you fail to take note of this (say your connection to the internet
is disconnected during the process), you might get an incomplete
backup which will not work upon restore in Cpanel.
You will become aware of how big is your website once you
are doing this backup process periodically and from time to time
compare the file sizes in the directory you saved them.
Be organized and save your backup files in their proper domain
directory. And within that domain directory, it is wise to
create a separate directory for your database, alias and filters
You should view and checkup backup files from time to time in your
backup directory like these:
Now you are in Control!
Once you have downloaded the above cPanel's Webmaster backup files
to your computer, you can now be restful and confident that whatever
happens to your webhost, you will not be affected. When worse
comes to worst, then you can simply point your domain to a new hosting
provider with cPanel and upload / restore all of the backup files
you have and presto, you'll get back online in no time as if nothing
You are in control and that is a great feeling!
you want to automate the backup process above, try CPSitesaver today!