Backup Websites in cPanel

cPanel is a great tool for Linux Apache hosting. cPanel hosting is the most popular option for web hosts. In this article, we will talk about cPanel backup. You will learn how to backup websites in cPanel and back up MySQL databases and page files using the built-in backup tools. Whether you want to backup a single website, database, full backup of all site pages, or complete backup of your cPanel account, you can always get it done in cPanel in quick steps and without any fee. cPanel has the built-in backup tools, they are optimized and totally free. Popular cPanel hosting service providers include HostGator, Justhost, Arvixe and many more.

You have to backup your websites regularly. Website backups are essential because problems inevitably occur, such as hardware failure, accidental file deletion, virus infections, file deletion or overwriting during upgrades, etc. cPanel hosting users is lucky as you have the free backup tools to make your own backup in easy steps, best of all, they are free.

backup cpanel

Backup Websites in cPanel

Login into your hosting control panel with your username and password, scroll down to the Files section, you will find the backup options in cPanel. See below screenshot.

To backup sites in cPanel with Justhost, HostGator or other web hosts that offer cPanel hosting, simply click Backups icon to get started. You can also backup sites using the Backup Wizard, we will introduce it in the lower section of this guide. Click Backups icon, you will be taken to the cPanel Backups page as below.

cpanel backups

Note: Backups allow you to download (to your computer) a zipped copy of either your entire site (including your home directory, databases, email forwarders configuration, and email filters configuration) or one of the previously mentioned parts of your site. These are not automatically scheduled backups. Automatically scheduled backups need to be enabled by the server owner/administrator.

From the above cPanel backup screen, you can find two options to backup sites in cPanel. To make your own backups, you can either create full backups of all websites and databases or make partial backups of website files directory or selected databases. A full backup includes all of the files in your home directory, your MySQL databases, and your email forwarders and filters. You can back up your account to preserver your data, or to move your account to another cPanel server.

Create Full Backup in cPanel

Click the Download or Generate a Full Website Backup button, you will be redirected to the Full Backup page. See below screenshot.
create full backup in cpanel

Backup Destination:

  • Home Directory
  • Remote FTP Server
  • Remote FTP Server (passive mode transfer)
  • Secure Copy (SCP)

Normally we back up websites to the Home Directory in our hosting control panel. You can find it from cPanel >> File Manager. You can type in your email address there, so when the backup completes, you will be notified via email. You can download the full cPanel backup from your server to local computer through File Manager or FTP. Other backup options allow you to send a copy of all website backup files to a FTP server.

Note: A full backup will create an archive of all the files and configurations on your website. You can only use this to move your account to another server, or to keep a local copy of your files. You cannot restore full backups through your cPanel interface.

Make Partial Backups in cPanel

If you have multiple websites hosted in the same cPanel account, you may want to backup specific websites sometimes. In this case, you can choose to do partial backups of your websites. Or if your websites do not have any MySQL databases attached with them, you can simply backup the Home Directory which has all website pages beneath. To create partial backup for website pages or databases, go to the Partial Backups section, click the Home Directory button to download a copy of the Home Directory from remote web server to your computer. To backup MySQL databases, click on the specific database name to download the selected database from web host server to your computer.

create partial backup in cpanel

phpMyAdmin is a database management tool comes with almost all cPanel hosting. You can backup your MySQL database with phpMyAdmin as well.

Backup Website Files via File Manager in cPanel

Other then the built-in backup tools in cPanel, you can also go to download website page files from File Manager. Go to the root directory of cPanel File Manager, there will be a folder named ‘public_html’, right click on this folder, select Compress item from the jump-down menu list. This will create a copy of your websites’ files, compress and save it to the Home Directory of your hosting account. You can then download the compressed web files from File Manager to your computer right with your web browser. Alternatively you can also connect to your web server through a FTP client and download the website backup file from there. Usually FTP client downloading would be faster than the direct web browser downloading.
backup websites via file manager in cpanel
This ‘public_html’ folder contains all your website files. If you like to backup only some of the websites under the same hosting account, open this folder, browse to the specific folder for the websites you like to backup, then compress the folder and download it from web hosting server to your computer.

Backup Websites Databases with Backup Wizard in cPanel

You can also backup websites and databases with the Backup Wizard in cPanel. Go to the Files section from main cPanel interface, click Backup Wizard, you will get a screen as below.

cPanel backup wizard

The backup through Backup Wizard in cPanel is quite similar to the usual cPanel backup we have illustrated above. There will be three steps to backup websites in cPanel with it:

  1. Click Backup button;
  2. Select backup mode (full or partial) and create backup file;
  3. Download backup files.

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