Everything You Need To Know About Keeping A Backup

Hackers, extortion, updates, hardware failure … the list goes on. There are a million reasons to keep a backup of your data, but here is a little more motivation to help protect yourself.
In the last few years technology has taken redundancy – or the duplication of data as a failsafe – to the next level. Midphase uses only the best hardware as well as redundant array of independent disks, or RAID, to keep you from ever needing your backup (a saved copy of the files on your website so that you can restore your site should anything happen to your original files). But unfortunately things do happen, which is why we strongly advise our clients to maintain a current backup of all of their data both at home and at work.
We’ve all had the experience of working hours on a project and then hit the wrong key at the wrong moment and POOF: it’s gone. Hopefully the initial freak-out is calmed when you remember that you had hit ‘save’ only moments before your screen went blank. A backup of your site is like hitting the ‘save’ button on a separate device. Midphase takes daily backups of all Shared Hosting accounts and stores them for up to five days. But as there is no guarantee that our copy will be the easiest route to take (plus there is an additional fee for restoration of the files), it is in our clients’ best interests to create their own backup in the event of:

  • Hardware Failure/ Drives, RAID etc.
  • Upgrade issues that force you to restore from backup
  • Compromised server
  • Hacked server
  • File system corruption
  • Malware or viruses
  • Natural disasters
  • .. and the ever-present risk of user error, otherwise known as ‘oops’

It’s a scary world out there when it comes to  keeping your data safe. This is exactly why we recommend that you take the steps outlined below to be sure that you are prepared for anything that might come your way. A backup will save also you time, money and a world of pain.
cPanel makes it extremely easy to backup your site. We strongly recommend that you backup your mySQL databases more often than your files because mySQL files are easier to corrupt.

  1. Log in to your control panel (www.domain.com/cpanel)
  2. Under “Account Overview”, click “Backups”
  3. You will then be presented with several options:

Generate / Download Full Backup: This option is recommended for the first backup you perform. Please note that this procedure will generate a complete backup of all files, emails, mySQL databases and account information. Depending on the size of your website, this could take many hours to complete.
Home Directory Backup: This option will download all files located in your home directory (which includes all files on your account). This is a good backup to perform if your website is file-based rather than  database-driven.
MySQL Backup: This is by far the MOST IMPORTANT backup you can do. MySQL databases are much more likely to become corrupt, but they are generally small and take seconds to back up. If your website has any database-driven applications (such as a blog, mailing list, forum, etc) then this should be part of your routine.

For creating a MySQL dump follow the instructions within this link at drupal.org

Be sure to test your backups! Too many a time have we seen backups that aren’t working properly. We recommend that you create a daily backup and rotate the files weekly. Create backup for each day of the week and replace that day’s file with the following week. For example, every Monday backup the Monday file and on Tuesday replace the Tuesday file. By rotating you can have a full week’s updates in the event that one doesn’t work properly.

For more information on backups visit the Midphase knowledge base or contact our expert support at Midphase.com/support/.