Backup of your blog can appear as a secondary task, but it is always a good idea to keep a copy of all your hard work, or at least prepare yourself for an eventuality. Each type of blog have a different backup option depending on the way it is hosted. In this series of articles, we will see and explore each option and weigh its pros and cons.
Reasons to backup blog
As far fetched as they may appear, one or all of them can become a reality if you are unlucky enough.
- Technical issue at the hosting end
- Competitor trying to ruin your success
- Moving or cloning a blog
- Doomsday scenario not catered for by your hosting provider
- Peace of mind
Going for a good hosting provider needs no emphasis, but anything that is not professionally managed will run into issues. This means that you need to take a frequent backup of your blog. Do not assume that your successful blog will not be the target of a hack or takedown. Any migration to a different domain or a different provider means that your blog needs to be backed up.
Summary of backup options
Blog hosted with Blogger by Google or WordPress.com
These platforms or blog service providers have the best backup options that technology can provide. I starts from RAID, Virtualization and goes right till complex options like clustering or SAN. Your blog is safe, but still backup options are available.
Self hosted blog with a hosting provider
Every CMS has inbuilt backup option or backup can be done using plugins. Cpanel and Softaculous or similar automatic scripts also have their backup options. You can also go down and do the manual option of backup.
Backup blog using Softaculous
Softaculous is a popular automatic installer script for CMS packages. It greatly simplifies installation of CMS which is the building block for your blog or self hosted website. It has greatly eased the process of installation of CMS like WordPress taking out the technical nitty gritties away from the Blogger. Softaculous also offers a backup and restore option which is simple and involves just a few clicks. We will hence feature it first in the series of backup options.
A list of installations is available in Softaculous. Softaculous can be accessed from the cpanel which is provided by your web host provider. Here is what a typical installation will look like in Softaculous.
A typical softaculous installation give a few options.
First we have the site name with the date and time of installation with the version of CMS installed, which in our case is WordPress. The circular arrows icon means that the version of WordPress needs update. The next icon in a series of four icons grouped together is for cloning the website. This makes an exact copy of your website/blog. The second icon is for backup of your website followed by the delete and lastly edit icon.
To backup blog click on the backup icon, second from left. It will provide you a summary for backup as shown below.
You need to tick both backup directory and backup database, though at this point of time, I can’t come up with a scenario when you need to backup only either of them. Make sure to add a note for reference. Once everything is on order, click on the button Backup Installation.
You will get a prompt of Backup progress which depends on the size of your blog and it also displays a prompt after finishing backup.
You can have a look at your list of backups in Softaculous.
If you have added notes, only then they appear under notes and are also shown as tooltip for mouse pointer. The blue downward pointing arrow is to download the backup file to your PC. This action is highly recommended. The next dark blue circle icon is to restore the backup and red cross icon is to delete the backup file from the server.
Restore blog using Softaculous
Restoration process using Softaculous is as simple as that of backup. Click on the restore option and you get the following prompt.
Once the site or blog is restored, it comes back exactly to the state where you had backed it up including the un-updated plugins and dates.
Cloning using Softaculous
There are times when you need to clone a website or blog. You might have to move it elsewhere, or just test it at another place. Cloning feature in Softaculous helps in a big way. Use the first icon to start the cloning process. Note, you need to have a domain name or a sub domain ready to clone to.
You get a prompt after successful cloning
Backup and Cloning feature of Softaculous makes it one of the most reliable and easy to use backup option for your self hosted site or blog. Backup in a few clicks