Importance of website backups - what, why & how guide
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The importance of website backups – the what, why and how guide in 2023

Your website is live, it is cruising along and now you can just sit back, let it do its thing and make millions. That sounds fantastic but…… is that really the case?

Websites will need some sort of maintenance to keep them running smoothly and help prevent any major issues.

By creating a plan to run website backups is a must just in case there is an error on your website. Errors that can occur include a website crash, and accidentally deleted page, a hacked website, your hosting goes down etc. By regularly backing up your website you reduce the risk of losing all your content and data if a fatal event occurs on your website.

What is a website backup?

Website backups are the saving or downloading of your website. It is like taking a snapshot of your website today and keeping a copy of this file in case there is any problems with your website tomorrow. Basically just like saving your word document before you lose all your hard work or downloading all your photos from your phone in case it is stolen

Why running a backup is important?

There are many reasons why you should backup your website.

  1. Keep a history of your website 
  2. In the event of accidentally deleting a page
  3. Your website gets hacked
  4. Your hosting goes down
  5. A fatal error occurs
  6. Your plugins or theme crash

In the event of one of these occurring you can restore your website back to the last saved version which could be a few days ago, last week or if you don’t have a plan it could be 2 years ago.

How often should you back up your website?

We recommend that you should run a backup weekly or even daily depending on the type of website you have. If your website is basic with only a few pages and you do not add content often you can get away with a longer period between backups. However, if you have multiple pages, add content regularly or have an eCommerce store you should backup your website on a more regular basis.

How to run a website backup?

Running a website backup will really depend on the website platform that you are using. In this how to guide we will be concentrating on Self Managerd WordPress websites however I will also share links on how to run a back up with other platforms.

Self Managerd WordPress is the easiest website builder to run a backup for your website. The reason for this is that you can download the whole website as a file and keep the files for years, even if the website is not live. All you would need to do is zip the file back onto WordPress and all your formatting would be the same. However with websites such as Squarespace, Shopify, Wix, Showit to name a few you can only keep a copy of the content by screensharing the page as a document. Therefore if you were to have an issue with the website you have to re add all the content back onto the website from scratch.

How to run a WordPress backup?

There are a three main ways that you can run your website backups with WordPress. Starting from easy to hard.. 

  1. Using a WordPress Plugins 
  2. Using your WordPress Control Panel
  3. With File Transfer Protocol (FTP) e.g Filezilla 

1. Using a WordPress Plugin

  • The Plugin that we recommend is UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore. 

This is a free plugin. 

  • Head on over to your WordPress dashboard e.g. 
  • Login and go to plugins and Add New. 
  • Search for UpdraftPlus – Install and Activate.
updraftplus website backups
  • Once it’s activated you will see it appear at the top of your dashboard and to the left under settings. 
  • Click on UpdraftPlus and go to the UpdraftPlus settings.
  • Set the file backup and database schedule to daily or weekly and keep 3 backups.
  • Save the backups to download to a remote storage option such as Google Drive or Dropbox. 
  • Once you have set up the options scroll to the bottom and hit save.  

2. Through your Control Panel

  • Log into your Cpanel- e.g 
  • Click Backup
  • Click the Download a Full Backup button
  • In the drop down menu, select Home Directory
  • Type in your email address where you will receive notification once the back up is done.
  • Click Generate back up
  • This will generate the back up for you and place the TAR.GZ file inside of your Home Directory within your file manager. To check this head back to Cpanel and click on File Manager (Just above backup’s in the image above)
  • You can then download this file to your computer, disk, thumbdrive, google drive, dropbox or other storage space.

3. Via FTP e.g Filezilla 

If you are more advanced when it comes to websites you can download your files via FTP with a program such as filezilla. This will allow you to go into your file manager and zip all files inside the public_html folder. Then you can download these to your computer or remote storage space. 

We are not going to go into the exact how to for this option as we recommend one of the above two options. This option would only be used if you do not have cPanel access from your hosting provider. If you do not have cPanel access please contact us at Thomas Web Designs

How to run a Shopify, Wix or Squarespace backup?





We hope this overview of what, why and how to guide of website backups has been helpful.

By having a website backup in place means you have piece of mind that if something were to go wrong with your website you can easily get your website back on track to a version that was running smoothly. All you need to do is head on over to the backup files, which are only a few days or week old and get your website back on track pretty quickly. 

If you are not sure how to organise this or would like Thomas Web Designs to organise this for you we can certainly help you out or organise a Domain Hosting which includes daily backups or check out one of our Maintenance Package

About Me

Hi there, I’m Jacinta, Australian web designer, digital marketer, mocha lover, mother, wannabe digital nomad, and an introvert at heart.

We help small & medium-sized business owners like me, in Australia and New Zealand by providing affordable website and digital marketing solutions and help them conquer their website worries and turn them into secure money-generating machines.

We aim to work with our clients in an encouraging and supportive way.

We start by sending you a list of things we need to start your website or by doing an audit on your website and breaking it down into actionable steps to make it secure and start earning you more money than ever before.

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