How to backup your website

With our Plesk and Installatron (1-click web apps) optimized hosting services, there are two built-in methods you may use to back up your website: Plesk Backup Manager and Installatron Backups.

Due to great improvements introduced with Plesk’s Backup Manager in Onyx (version 17 and newer), we recommend using the Plesk Backup Manager as your primary backup solution. Read on for more details on optimal configurations.

Configuring Plesk Backup Manager

Here’s how to use the Plesk Backup Manager to back up your website (files & databases), emails, and Plesk configuration all in one.

  • To get started, Log in to Plesk
  • Once in Plesk, select “Backup Manager” – this is found in the upper right corner in Plesk 12.5 and newer.
  • If you wish to backup right now, choose the “Backup” button. If you wish to set a schedule, choose “Schedule”
  • Choose the option to “Activate this backup task” then configure your backup frequency. It’s strongly recommended to enable incremental backups to save on disk space
  • Given that your backups will take up space within the total storage limits of your plan, we typically recommend a schedule like this:
    • Weekly Incremental (choose a random day of the week) at a time between 10pm and 4am.
    • Full Monthly kept for 1 month
  • An alternate schedule if you have enough disk space free in your plan:
    • Daily Incremental (choose a random day of the week) at a time between 1am and 5am.
    • Full Weekly kept for 1 week
  • Select the items you’d like to backup.
    • Domain Configuration means the Plesk config — this is handy to have because it means you can restore everything in one-fell swoop if needed.
    • Mail configuration and content: back up your mail account settings and all mail within.
    • User files and databases: back up your websites, including web applications like WordPress.
  • Exclude options:
    • Exclude log files: it is recommended to check this box.
    • Exclude specific files from the backup: it is recommended to check this box, then supply the following path:
      • /application_backups/*
  • Click OK or Apply to save your changes. All set!

Incremental backups mean that Plesk will take one large complete duplicate of everything you specified, then each of the next backups will contain only the changed files between when the complete backup was taken and now. This way each of your backups don’t need to fully duplicate all of the data, saving you disk space.

1-Click Web Apps Backups

Advantage: simple singular web app backup and restore

  • To get started, Log in to Plesk
  • Once in Plesk, select “1-click web apps” – this is found in the upper right corner in Plesk 12.5.
  • Find the app you wish to backup in the list. If you have an app installed, but it’s not showing here, you can import your app. Look for the controls in the upper right (a few buttons that allow you to interact with the app).
  • Backup Now: If you wish to make a backup now, click the second button, which has an arrow pointing to the right, and you’ll be all set!
  • Scheduling: If you wish to schedule backups, click the icon with the wrench.
    • Scroll to the section entitled “Default Backup Location” and choose your preferred 3rd party cloud storage provider. You may also choose local storage to save backups locally limited by the quota limit described below under “Backup Quotas”, or off-server storage to save backups to the Websavers backup cluster limited by the quota limit described below under “Backup quotas”
    • Scroll to the bottom section entitled “Automatic Backup” and select the schedule you prefer.
    • Note that on our shared servers the 1-click web apps utility will automatically prune your backups to at most 2 or 3 depending on the server you’re on.
  • Click Save All. That’s it! If you opted to use a cloud storage provider for backups, you will now be prompted to log in to the cloud storage provider so as to allow 1-click web apps access to store its backups there. Follow the prompts to complete the configuration.

Tips & Tricks

Backup quotas

Our 1-click web apps has the following quotas on shared servers:

  • Local storage: maximum 1GB.
  • Off-Server storage: maximum 2 backups per application (regardless of size)
  • Cloud Storage: the maximum capacity of your cloud service (like OneDrive or Dropbox) with no limits on # of backups.

As a result of this, off-server or cloud storage option is strongly recommended.

Picking one backup solutions is generally best

When it comes to scheduling backups, it is strongly recommended to choose only one of the above two backup options. We recommend using Plesk’s incremental backups as your scheduled backup solution and using 1-click web apps only for automated backups that occur prior to updating your website (whether automatic or manual).

Generally avoid backup plugins

If you have a plugin within your web app (like BackupBuddy for WordPress) it’s still strongly recommended to choose one available backup solution.

Anything that runs within your provided web hosting space (like a plugin) is inherently limited by the resources applied to your hosting account as a whole, such as timeouts and memory limitations, and will likely not function as reliably as the tools described above.

If you’ve got a backup plugin that you’re confident works well, then feel free to continue using it; just be sure to disable 1-click web apps and Plesk backups while you do so. Note that since we offer multiple backup options for you to select from, as described above, we can not supply support for 3rd party backup solutions. You will only be able to obtain support for these plugins from the plugin developer directly.

Jordan is a computer, security, and network systems expert and a lover of all things web and tech. Jordan consults with project management for software companies. Jordan is a founder and managing partner at Websavers Inc.

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