How to back up your website (Part I)

"He who laughs last, made a back up." —unknown author

Your website is a database driven site, which means that in order for it to function it needs program files (these are the files that provide functionality) and the database — this is where your content actually lives. When viewers click on links in your site, Drupal goes to the database and gathers the necessary content. The program files then display the content on the viewer's screen according to the design and layout Canister developed for you.

As you add pages and change content, your database grows, and images get stored in with your program files. While Canister does keep a copy of your initial site, we do not update our files as you change and grow your site. Therefore, it is important that you make regular backups of your site. Data loss on professionally managed servers is rare, but it can (and does) happen ... protect your investment of time and money! You can decide your own backup schedule, but we encourage you to stay on top of backups.

If you rarely make changes to your site, we suggest you back up the site after each update. If you make regular changes, it may be more convenient to choose a frequency, like once a week or month

Backup program files using CPanel

In this article we describe how to back up your program files using the built-in tools provided to you through your hosting account

In order to perform any backup activities you need: Your website name, your cPanel username and your cPanel password

  1. Log into your CPanel by going to
  2. Enter your information in the login screen
    cpanel login screen
  3. Click on the "File Manager" button
    file manager
  4. Click on the "Home" icon in the left-hand column
    Home icon
  5. In the right-hand column, fiind the folder called "public_html" and click on it to highlight it.
    Public HTML
  6. Press the "Compress" button at the top of the window.
  7. After the file is compressed, scroll down to find it in the right-hand window. Click on the file to highlight it.
    Zip file
  8. Click on the "Download" button at the top of the window.
    Download button
  9. Save your back-up file to your preferred location

That's it! You are done. Don't forget to back up your database too!