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How to Back Up Your Drupal Website

Backing up your Drupal site(or any website for that matter) is important in case the unexpected happens. This seems like something that can be put off until the day that an emergency happened and you've lost all your hard work. Even when there isn't an emergency, sometimes there will be times where it would be helpful to be able to go back to a recent version of your website. By regularly backing up your content, you can turn a massive, stressful ordeal into a mere inconvenience.

Hostgator offers a free backup/restore tool, but I prefer the old fashioned way(it's easy!).When you back up your Drupal site, there are two main components you’ll need to get, your database, and your website files. In order to really back up your site and be able to restore the website again from scratch, you will need to create a backup for both these components. The following Backup instructions will work for both Drupal 6 and Drupal 7.

Backing up your Drupal website database

  1. Log into your Hostgator, scroll down and click the ‘phpMyAdmin’ link(See Picture)
  2. Click on your databases name over in the left hand column
  3. Click on the ‘Export’ tab towards the top of the page in the main window
  4. Scroll down to the section named ‘Save as file’
  5. Type in a name for the file, and choose ‘gzip’ for compression. For the file name, I like to use the database name, and the date of the backup.(See Picture)
  6. Click ‘Go’

Backing up your Drupal website files

  1. Open up Filezilla(or whichever FTP program you use) and log in to your server
  2. Navigate to /public_html/sites/
  3. Drag your website folder(named ‘default’ if you haven’t changed it) onto your desktop to make a copy of it. Basically, you want to copy everything in the /public_html/sites/default folder and all its subfolders. Note: Most FTP programs use dragging on/off the program to mean ‘copy’, but some may not. Be careful!

Store Your Drupal Backup

  1. Make a new folder on your computer or thumbdrive, preferably with today’s date in the name to make it easy to find your backup later.
  2. Drag your database file, and your site folder into the folder you just made
  3. Backup complete! You can .zip it if you’d like; I do this so I can easily upload or download it to/from the server for storage.

Now that you've learned how to fully back up your Drupal website, learn how to restore your Drupal site from a backup.

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