As a web designer I always back up a client’s website before I make any changes or install any updates – it’s simply a good habit to get into – I then usually make a fresh copy after the work has been completed and I’ve made sure everything is working as it should.

It may seem a little over the top but despite the reliability of Wordpress, Joomla! etc. and the ease with which we can now add content or update our sites, things can, and do, go drastically wrong when you least expect it. Sometimes conflicts can arise between system and installed plugins and on a good day it may mean simply deleting a problematic plugin, but on a bad nothing short of wiping the drive and starting again will get the site back up and running.

So I heartily recommend making a full backup of your site at least once a month and downloading the files to your computer’s hard drive.

All of our hosting accounts use cpanel so if you’re one of our lucky clients here’s a brief tutorial on how to backup your website.

1. Log in to your hosting account. You do this by going to your home page and adding /cpanel to the end of your url in the address bar at the top of your browser. It should look something like this: www.yourwebsitename.co.uk/cpanel

Hit return.

2. You will have been provided with a username and password when you opened your hosting account and this is the place to use them. Fill in the form and click ‘Log In’

3. Once you’ve accessed your cpanel look for the backup wizard in the panel at the top of the page and click on it.

4. Select ‘Backup’ on the left.

5. Click ‘Full Backup’ on the left again.

6. Choose ‘Home Directory’ as the back up destination if it isn’t already selected and fill in your email address to receive the confirmation email once the backup is complete.

Hit ‘Generate Backup’

Your cpanel will now generate a full backup of your home folder and database, zip it up and save it to your home folder. Once the backup is complete you will receive an email letting you know that the task has been completed and a fresh backup is ready to download.