Backing up your website to your computer (ie your local drive) is an important thing to do for three reasons:
1. You might do something to your site that stuffs it up!
2. Your host server might crash/go down/get corrupted/you don’t pay your bill and your account gets deleted!
3. You might do something to your site that stuffs it up!
Your web host should always have a back up of your site to restore from, but sometimes this can take a while. With your own back up of your website – you are in control. If something major happens to your host, you can upload your site to a new host, delegate your domain and you can be back up and running very quickly.
The most reliable way to back up your website is to do it yourself to your own computer, and do it as often. Using an FTP client makes this a pretty straight forward process (OK, it might seem a bit tricky the first time you do it, but after that….).
Back-up Website Files
Download an FTP client. Two free FTP clients are Core FTP and FileZilla (see Resources below). Follow the instructions to install the downloaded application.
Open your FTP Client and enter the user name and password for your account. Enter or click on the “Connect” button to access the account. Navigate to the directory that holds your website files and folders.
Select all of the files and folders in your website directory. Click and then drag the selected files to a designated folder on your hard drive. This is typically in the left hand pane of the FTP screen. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the files to the folder on your hard drive. Your website files begin to download to your hard drive, where they will now be backed up.
Restore Backed-up Files
Open your FTP Client and enter the user name and password for your account. Enter or click on the “Connect” button to access the account.
Select all of your website’s files and folders from the location where you backed them up.
Click and then drag the selected files to the directory that you want to restore your web files to. This is typically in the right hand pane of the FTP screen. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the files from your hard drive to your website’s directory. Your website’s files will be uploaded to your domain and your website successfully restored.