Keeping a local backup of your account

Keeping a backup of your account is very important. In this day and age the information on your website is very important and valuable to you. You do not want to be left out in the cold with nothing left of your website in the event that something catastrophic happens. It is for this very reason that we recommend that you always keep a local backup of your account, something from which you feel comfortable restoring from should something bad happen on the server.

While we do create backups of all of the accounts on the server, our backups are really meant to stay current and be used in the event of a hard drive or other system failure on the server. We can then use these account backups as a restore point for each account, basically recreating each account to the state that it was at when each backup snapshot was taken. However, in the unlikely event that a server experiences two catastrophic events at the same time, something that may cause the main drive to fail and the backup drive to fail, all of our account backups may be lost. This is why it is always a good idea to keep some data recovery options in your (the client) hands. You can do this by keeping a local backup of your account.

We have integrated our backup system into each individual account. This means that you are able to gain access to the current backup snapshot we have of your account, which you can download and store on your individual computer. Using this system helps to minimize the load on the server that results when clients generate their own account backup. Creating a backup of your account is expensive in terms of server resources. This is why we created this system, instead of our systems generating a backup of your account and then you as the client generating your own personal backup of your account (double the expense), we have made our system generated backup available to you.

Some users may wish to keep several backups and restore point available for their accounts. Some users may want to keep a daily backup of their account. Others may want a weekly or monthly backup. Whatever your preference in terms of backup schedule and backup retention, you can download this account backup to suit your needs. The more valuable your website is to you, the more often you will want to keep a personal backup of your account. For example, if your website is an e-commerce website and the website is your main source of income, you will want to insure that you keep a backup of your account relatively up-to-date, perhaps a weekly or daily backup is in order. If your website is tribute to someone and its contents rarely changes, a monthly backup maybe in order. The backup schedule will be different for everyone. With this new backup system in place it is easy to download a backup of your account and keep the well-being of your website under your control.

The system backups that are created are full backups of your account. They can be used by our system administrators to fully restore your account. If you need your account fully restored from one of these backups, simply upload it to your account and submit a support request ticket and one of our administrators will restore your account from this backup. If you just need an individual file or directory restored from one of these backups, again just upload the backup onto your account and submit a support request ticket detailing what you want restored from the backup.

Below are steps you can follow to download a system generated backup of your account.

Downloading with FTP

It is also possible to download this backup via FTP, however for the sake of this article downloading the backup through the control panel is easier to explain. If you prefer working with FTP and know your way around FTP you can download the backup via FTP. The backup will be in your home directory when you first log into your main FTP account. You will see a file named username.tar where username refers to your account's username. Just download this file and you will have a copy of the backup snapshot of your account.

Please Note: There has been some concern that this backup file takes away from your account's disk quota. Please be assured that it does not. The file is linked from a separate partition on the server and does not count against your disk quota.

First log into your control panel. To log into your control panel, you would visit one of the following links:

Change to your actual domain name that you have hosted with us. If you are using the account's IP address, replace youripaddress with the IP address of your account. This information was given in the welcome letter when you first signed up for a hosting package.

When you log into your control panel, locate the Download Backup icon. It will be listed under the Files section. The icon will look like:

Download Backup Icon

Simply click on this link and you will be asked to download a file. This is system generated backup of your account. The filename for this backup will be of the form:


The Month, Date, and Year given will be the date that the backup was created. The date may not necessarily refer to today's date. This gives you an idea of how current the backup is. For example if the username to my account was amssuppo and the current backup snapshot for my account was from August 11, 2008 then the filename would show as:

Now you need to pick a location to store this backup on your local computer. If you have your browser set to ask you where to save downloaded files, you will be asked for a location to store the backup.

Save backup location

Notice in this example, I am saving my backup in the location C:\website_backups

Saving backup in c:\website_backups

I would recommend a similar setup because then you know that all of your backups are stored in a central location on your computer. The dating filename format also lets you automatically retain account backups. Instead of overwriting your backup file with each save, each new backup creates a new file.

In the event that a backup for your account has not been created or is unavailable, you will see a message like:

No backup available

If this happens you may want to generate a backup of your account or contact support for help.

Again, how often you want to download a new backup of your account depends on you as an individual. We just recommend that you keep a backup of your account that you would feel comfortable having your account restored from. This could be weekly, monthly, or even yearly.

Keeping a backup of your account keeps you in control of your account and you never have to worry about a scenario where your website is lost with no backup.