There is nothing like spending countless hours and thousands of dollars on your website only to have it get destroyed due to a hardware failure. This is something that happens to hundreds of websites a day, and the number is growing. What can be done about this? The most common solution to this is the very simple task of making a website backup. This is simply the process of making sure that all your files for your website, and any database information is duplicated and stored in a safe place.
There are multiple ways to perform a website backup. The most popular way is to use the backup service provided by your hosting provider. You would be hard pressed to find a web hosting plan that does not offer some sort of backup solution. Most web hosting plans now come with a control panel that offers very easy, in some cases one click backups. There may be a limit to how many backups you can take in a given time, however, there should also be the option to download these backups to your local computer. Some web hosting providers even offer automated backups that you can schedule. This makes website backups a very easy and effortless task.
The older standard for making a website backup involves physically downloading all of your files and folders from your website to your local computer. This can be done with a number of tools, the most popular will be an FTP application or an SSH application. The next step to take would be to backup any database information manually. This can be done with numerous tools as well, the most common would be phpmyadmin, or direct access to the database with an SSH connection. The end result here will be a dump file of your database that you can restore when needed.
The most important thing to remember about website backups is that they are the responsibility of the website owner or operator. Hosting companies may provide website backup tools, but whether or not they are run is not their responsibility. Website owners or operations need to be proactive in making sure that their websites have current backups that can be restored.