Website Administration Tools: CPANEL Is a Utility To Do Home Directory…

Website Administration Tools: CPANEL Is a Utility To Do Home Directory…

CPANEL Backup Wizard is your friend. You should become VERY familiar with CPANEL BACKUP WIZARD if you are a webmaster or website administrator.

What exactly is this CPANEL? CPANEL is the control panel for your website. If you have a website, you SHOULD be using CPANEL, minimally to:

  • Submit your website to the most popular search engines
  • Monitor your web traffic
  • Do regular backups
  • Setup and Manage Email on your domain
  • Review system logs

and much more.

As a webmaster, or any function defined as a system administrator, one of the most important responsibilities you must perform is BACKUP of your site information, and for a WordPress installation, the MySQL Databases. If you have any hope of recovering your data after a crash of any sort, these backups must be stored outside of the domain being managed, and easy to reach.

The backup utility you use must also have the capability to restore those things that were backed up. If your site maintenance schedule does not include regular backups, you are living on a VERY DANGEROUS EDGE.

It’s hardware. If there is any absolute in the universe, take this one to the bank: Hardware fails. Sooner or later, YOUR HARDWARE WILL FAIL. Unless you have installed a bulletproof, RAID5 range of disk drives with a mirrored fail-over server (I used to be a systems engineer for a very large Fortune 50 company distributed network that DID have these things, and nevertheless had occasional failures), you will NOT BE EXEMPTED FROM THIS ABSOLUTE!

The CPANEL utilities include the Backup Wizard. This utility is SO EASY TO USE, it takes away any excuse you have for NOT doing it! You must remember to do both the Home Directory AND the MySQL Databases. If you have an email server running on your site, you must also do the email forwarders and email filters.

The Home Directory backup could be a very large file, while the MySQL Databases generally take significantly less time. The Home Directory file will be a tar.gz file (you will never be asked to open this file, so you don’t need a utility to open it). The MySQL Files will be SQL files, but they will also be in a sql.gz wrapper. The “gz” files are zip files, using the Google Zip utility. If you use the RESTORE facility in CPANEL, you will have nothing to worry about. You must simply copy the files once they are downloaded — you will never have to open them.

You should be doing a backup at the minimum EVERY WEEK. The backup files should be stored on a local hard excursion, but should also be stored in the “cloud”. You want a copy of those backup files SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN YOUR PC. Remember the absolutes we discussed: HARDWARE FAILS. That also goes for your PC, or external hard drives you might have locally.

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a “safe” copy somewhere OTHER THAN YOUR HOME OR OFFICE. PC’s crash, fire, floods, and other catastrophes can effect your ability to get to your local data. Selecting a site “in the cloud” ensures that all you need is to find someone with a web browser, and you can restore your site.

I recommend some “cloud” sets like DropBox, Box.Net, Google excursion, Microsoft Skydrive, or many others. Some of these cloud sites give you sufficient storage with a free account to adjust to at the minimum one Home Directory backup and one MySQL database backup. If you have more than one hosted domain (with a separate hosting vendor other than the hosting vendor of the site being backed up), quite often they have fairly generous allocations of disk space for uploads, so just FTP your backups to the FTP site on the other domain. I recommend an Open Source FTP utility, FILEZILLA.

Make me proud. GO DO THAT BACKUP NOW!

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