Web Development

How to create Drupal backups

Why taking a backup is important

Creating a backup is a process that regularly concerns a websites administrator, in order to ensure that anything happens to the website they will be able to bring it back to its previous state.

Malfunctions in a website and the need to restore from a backup can occur for various reasons. While it may sound paradoxical a backup restoration is made mostly after administrator errors and rarely for malicious reasons. Usually website administrators make important changes in their applications (plugin or theme updates etc.) and the combination creates problems that can not be overcomed, so a backup is restored. In these cases the restoration of the website with a most recent backup is the perfect solution.

In case of a malicious action the restoration of a backup is more complicated because it is important to identify the vulnerabilities that allowed these actions. The solution to the problem may lie back in time, in a older backup, since the malicious action and its side effects may have been detected late, so your website and a lot of its files may contain malicious code from long ago. Having an older backup before the outbreak of the malicious action, allows the easier detection and repair of the damage that is caused.

Based on the above it is particularly important to keep the backup copies for a long time and do not rely on daily or weekly backups of websites hosting provider. It would be good to keep your backups offline for some months in order to have flexibility in case of emergency.

Taking a backup in Drupal

If you want to take a backup of your Drupal website you can follow the simple steps below:

Backup your files

You have two available options to create a backup of all your websites files. 
  • The first option is to navigate to cPanel > Backups > Download a Home Directory Backup and clicking the Download button. Respectively in Restore a Home Directory Backup section you can restore an existing Home Directory Backup.
  • The second option is to download your Drupal installation directory using an FTP client or the cPanel > File Manager. In case of a restore you will have to upload your files and folders again in their old location.

Backup your database

To create a backup of your Drupal installation Database you can use PhpMyAdmin or the cPanel > Backups option.

For the first option the only thing you have to do is to make sure that you have selected the right database of your Drupal installation on the left menu of PhpMyAdmin and then click the Export from the menu on top. Then select the Quick export method and click Go.

If you are not sure about your Drupal database name, you can find it by looking at  the drupal_folder/sites/default/settings.php file using cPanel > File manager.

The second option is to download the Drupal database with a click of a button. Open the Backups option in cPanel and in the Download a MySQL Database Backup category click the database name that you want to download.

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