Manually backup website files through cpanel

Cpanel file manager

Cpanel comes with a powerful file manager that will allow you to manipulate files and folders within your cpanel account. This part of cpanel can become quite handy as all your functions are available through a nicely laid out interface. When using the cpanel file manager be extra careful that you don't disrupt any files that you don't intend to change.

Keeping things tidy and secure

One of the worst security issues that we encounter are backup files that are accessible through the internet. Whenever we take over a clients website that previously employed poor web developers we tend to find more of these types of backup folders and files. Anything from css-backup to css-old or even website_backup.zip or magento.zip. These types of folders should not be on a server. If you find these types of folders and files, let a project manager know. You should also never create these types of folders and files yourself.

Backing up websites files through cpanel summary

  1. Login to your cpanel account by visiting yourdomain.com.au/cpanel.
  2. Click on File Manager.
  3. If this is a new cpanel account, you will be presented with some options which we need to set once. Ensure Web Root (public_html/www) is selected, Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) is selected and Skip this question, and always open this directory in the future when opening File Manager is selected.
  4. Ensure the folder selected is public_html and click on Select All. You should now see all the files highlighted.
  5. Click Compre..., Select Bzip2ed Tar Archive and choose the location /website-backup-YEAR-MONTH-DATE.tar.bz2 and finally press Compress File(s).
  6. Once your files are compressed, close the popup and click /home/YOUR_CPANEL_USERNAME to traverse to the root of your cpanel files and find your backup file which you just created. (Please note we have saved the file above the root of your public_html folder so the backup file should NOT be accessible via the internet. This is very important to do, it is a security risk to backup a file and place in a location such as /public_html/backup.zip).
  7. Click on the backup file followed by clicking Download. Download the backup file to your computer.

Backing up websites files through cpanel

  1. Login to your cpanel account by visiting yourdomain.com.au/cpanel.
  2. Click on File Manager.cpanel file manager
  3. If this is a new cpanel account, you will be presented with some options which we need to set once. Ensure Web Root (public_html/www) is selected, Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) is selected and Skip this question, and always open this directory in the future when opening File Manager is selected.cpanel file manager options
  4. Ensure the folder selected is public_html and click on Select All. You should now see all the files highlighted.
  5. Click Compre..., Select Bzip2ed Tar Archive and choose the location /website-backup-YEAR-MONTH-DATE.tar.bz2 and finally press Compress File(s).cpanel file manager compress files
  6. Once your files are compressed, close the popup and click /home/YOUR_CPANEL_USERNAME to traverse to the root of your cpanel files and find your backup file which you just created. (Please note we have saved the file above the root of your public_html folder so the backup file should NOT be accessible via the internet. This is very important to do, it is a security risk to backup a file and place in a location such as /public_html/backup.zip).cpanel file manager find backup file
  7. Click on the backup file followed by clicking Download. Download the backup file to your computer.cpanel file manager download backup file