How To Backup Your Website Onto Your Own Computer

For most small business websites, there’s a really easy way you can make a complete back-up copy of your entire website and store it on your local hard drive. Even if your web host is doing their own back-ups, it’s a good idea for you to keep your own.

The back-up that we’re creating in this tutorial is intended for disaster recovery. So if, for whatever reason, your website goes irrevocably down, this back-up file can be used to get you quickly up and running again.

The nice thing about this backup method is if you’re running a more sophisticated site (like a Joomla or WordPress site), this backup includes your database files too!

In order to do this back-up technique, you’ll need:

  1. a web host that uses what’s called cPanel.
  2. Your cPanel username and password.
  3. Enough disk space on your web hosting account.

(If your webhost doesn’t run cPanel, you may need to find a better host!)

Logging In to cPanel

Firstly, you can tell if you are using cPanel web hosting if you get a login screen when you type in:


  • If you don`t get this login screen, you probably don`t have a cPanel powered web host. You’ll want to look into whether or not you have appropriate web hosting. In my opinion, the typical small business website should have cPanel hosting.
  • If you can get to the login screen, but don’t have your Use Name and Password, you need to contact your web host and get that information. This is information that you should have in your records.

Check for Enough Disk Space on Your Web Host

When you log into cPanel, you should see an area on the left of the screen that will show you how much disk space you have used and how much you have left:


You want to make sure that the disk space used (83.7 MB in the above screen shot) is less than half of your total disk space (400 MB in the above screen shot).

If you don`t have enough disk space, you need to talk to your web host to get that increased. As a general rule, you want to have at least 3 times as much disk space as you`re using.

Run the cPanel Back-up

Once you’re logged in, you will see a screen with many choices. (note: the screen shots in this tutorial may appear different than what you see because there are different cPanel themes with different icons and layouts).

You want to look for the icon that says Backup Wizard:


Step-by-step Guide to cPanel Backups

  1. Click on Backup Wizard. You’ll see the following screen:
  2. Click on Backup. You’ll see the following screen:
  3. Click on Full Backup. You’ll see the following screen:
  4. Leave Backup destination as Home Directory (more on that later).
  5. Type in your Email address. Once the web server has finished generating the backup, you’ll receive an Email. Depending on the speed of your web host and how large a website you have, it could take a few minutes for the backup to finish running.
  6. Click Generate Backup. You’ll see the following screen: (STAY ON THIS SCREEN):
  7. Download the backup file to your computer. Once the backup job is completed, you will receive an Email saying the backup is done. At this point, click on “Go Back”. You’ll see your backup link.
    Click on that link and save the file to your computer.

If you have any questions about your webhosting or how to back-up your website, please contact us; we’re happy to help.


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