Author Topic: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!  (Read 9397 times)

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BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« on: March 11, 2009, 11:05:59 AM »
Backups!    :hearts:   They will save your life one day. 
JUST DO IT!



Or if you don't have one, you will wish you did!!   :'(
 
USE REMOVEABLE MEDIA:
Copy the files to a removable media of your choice: CD, DVD, USB thumbdrive, external drive, zip drive, etc.
Why? This type of backup will save you if your own hard drive is infected, corrupted, or you have to replace it because it stops working. EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS!

OFF-SITE STORAGE:
Off-site storage simply means make sure you get your data away from the computer that you made that data on.  Take it to work, store it with a neighbor/family member, safety deposit box, etc.  Separate that data.
Why?  If your home or business is broken into and your computer and files are stolen or damaged, could you continue to work on your website files on another machine?  If your computer is damaged, you have a fire, take a lightening strike, have a flood, hurricane damage, etc, having your data away from that site will get you back up and running faster.  If all your backups are with your original machine, you could lose EVERYTHING, original data AND backups at the same time!
I prefer to use a removeable backup drive and bring it to work.  Safe secure off-site and under my own control.

There are off-site ONLINE web services that allow you to send a few choice files, or your whole computer to them for backup in case of disaster.  I DO NOT choose to use off-site ONLINE services. And do not recommend them, long term. But it is a personal decision for you to make and this type service may be perfect for you! Some things to consider about off-site backups:
a)Transfer rates.  Time is a mean task master.  To backup my main hard drive onto an off-site server would be HOURS!!!   :yuck:  And if I just wanted to do tlx files, images, etc, again, hours!
b)Privacy. Backing up your website files, images, etc is not a big deal.  But many people start with that and then start to copy the IMPORTANT data from their drive that can have sensitive information.  Do you really want YOUR files on someone else's server where other people have the opportunity to copy, steal, delete information?
c)MANY of the services that offer storage Crash and Burn, even from big companies that are relatively stable!  Recently a really popular photo storage site DIGITALRAILROAD.COM gave users less than 24 hours to get files off the server before it was dismantled. They extended that for another 48 hours but the servers were so flooded, not everyone got their files.  Read about yet more examples: Hewlard Packard's HP Upline was highly praised for disaster recovery but had to close its doors as did Yahoo's Briefcase.

SLAVE/MIRRORED/BACKUP DRIVE:
This terrific option allows you to have two drives in your computer. The second is a complete exact copy of everything that you have on the main drive.  The idea behind this is simply to be able to use the 2nd drive in the case of 1st drive failure. You might have a separate SECTION/PARTITION of your main drive set aside for backup, or you could have a SEPARATE hard drive installed. This option will allow you to reclaim accidentally deleted files, may allow you to swap hard drives to get back up and running very fast, without having to reinstall ANYTHING!  :boogie:
But do not depend on this as your ONLY option. Either way, I have seen this work wonderfully and fail completely.
- If you have a viral infection that erases/replaces data, you may not be able to use the backup copy,
- your backup copy may be wiped at the same time as the main drive
- if the backup resides on the same piece of hardware, but in a separate partition, when the hard drive dies, it takes your backup with it.



What do you need to back up for your website
1) If your website building software creates a special file that stores your website data (CSB has a .tlx file, Xara's Web Designer has a .web file, etc) make sure you make backup of this file.  You NEED this file to edit your website files with that piece of software.  If you lose that file or it becomes corrupted, you can not edit the site with that software again until you rebuild the file from scratch!!!

>> >> You may consider making incremental backup copies of your design file, and keeping them on your computer for a short time. If you do something wacky to your file (delete the wrong page, insert code that corrupts a web page, etc) you can quickly go back to the previous version of the file and work again.  (CSB tlx design file note:  This method also COMPACTS the working file and prunes out old unneeded code, making the file leaner and less likely to corrupt!)
LOW TECH way:   Use FILE SAVE AS every time you open your file.  Save the file with a name that includes the date for easiest reference and the files stay in date order too!   
Example: open main010109  FILE SAVE AS main010209.  The next save as: main010309.
Subdirectory examples:  vacation070109, photos070109 etc.
To keep the order correct, use a 6 (010109) or 8 (01012009) digit number - don't use 1-1-09
Simple. Fast. Easy.  The publishing information remains the same and is undisturbed. The previous day's file still exists so you can come back to it if necessary and this process creates an  unlimited number of backup copies you can delete or archive the old ones as you see fit, or have a record of how your site has progressed.  This technique will also keep you from overwriting your existing file with an older version!!!

2) Images, music, video, downloadable files, bullets, etc.  The things that make your site special.
3) If your website building software edits the HTML pages directly, make sure you have copies of those files!
4) Program and Web Host settings, serial numbers for software, username/password for all FTP locations.
5) The installation program file for your web building software.  Save a copy of this file so you can reinstall the software if necessary.  Sometimes software manufactures stop offering the downloads, or charge you extra to get it.  Having your own copy of the installation file in your backup is recommended highly.


You should back up BOTH directions....
1) Back up the files from your computer.
2) Back up the host stuff:  files and folders on the web host server.  These contain not just your current website files and images.  Your server has far more on it than that:  settings for the email, directory settings, forms, scripts, settings for any databases, LOTS of things that are outside your website building software!  You don't have to do this as often as your own computer but consider doing it!
Why? What happens if the HOST loses your data?  They are running a COMPUTER just like yours.  They can have a hard drive fail.  They sometimes have to replace equipment. OR if your site is HACKED and someone changes the content of your website or removes things from the site. If it is hacked, you could have a virus/trojan or other nasty put on your website (without your knowledge) and your host could dump your site data to protect the server or other accounts on the server.  If someone else on the server is hacked and infects the server, your website data can get damaged/corrupted. If you have images, music, downloadable files, anything uploaded outside of CSB, you could LOSE IT.  And all hosts consider it YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to make a backup of the website.  Remember you are not the only one storing information on that computer! You are on SHARED HOSTING....shared computer. 

Some hosts say they have good backups...every day or every 12 hours, etc.  But take it from someone with experience on this issue...sometimes the backups they make are INCOMPLETE, or older than you expect! Or the host will not allow use of it because it had been hacked and a separate copy is required. So having your own copy of what is at their server is a GREAT thing!

Many hosts have an option within the control panel that create compressed backup files.  Sometimes they are zip, sometimes they are gz files.  Either way, the file is a form of a ZIP file. 
Download the backup file to your own computer. You will need a program to UNZIP it on your computer.
If you have a paid ZIP program (WinZip, etc) they can handle it.
If not, you can give one of the free versions a try.  Take a look here: 
disabled address:  h**p://www.download.com/jZip/3000-2250_4-10730326.html?tag=mncol
or this one:  h**p://www.7-zip.org/

After installing one of those, you would be able to extract your backup file to your own computer.
That will give you a full copy of the HTML files, images, sounds, etc that are on the website.

Many people don't worry about this part and only are concerned with their own pc. 
Personal choice to take that risk to backup your host files.  I prefer having a copy of the server info!



AT MINIMUM you should have a backup made within the last month, or after every MAJOR change to the website. This depends on how often you update your site and how vital the data is.  Key here: how far back do you want to go if you have to rebuild?  Personal choice based on your sense of safety, how often you update, what type of updates you do...etc.

One last comment about backups. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT BEFORE MAKING ANY MAJOR CHANGE TO A WEBSITE,  full backup of what is on the web host should be made!  If the change breaks something, overwrites something that you needed, etc, it is easy to put it back.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 10:36:55 PM by Samrc »
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 01:17:57 PM »
Continued from previous post.... 
If sent from another thread to read about the CSB backup instruction, read below. 
Then PLEASE go back to read the other backup information above!

CSB SPECIFIC INSTRUCTION:   (CSB 4 or CSB 5) 

Recommendations:
If you can not burn cd/dvd or use a removable usb stick (thumbnail drive), etc, then at MINIMUM you should save a backup copy of your design file to your host.  This will take extra space so not everyone can do it.  But it is a great feature for people that can not backup any other way.
- If you let CSB do it for you: the file that is uploaded is a CAB, compressed file.  Takes up less space but it does take more time during the publishing process.
- If you FTP your design file to the host:  You can control when you do it easier.  Takes up more space.

The cab is a compressed copy of a tlx design file.   It can only contain the web pages and images specifically uploaded by CSB. This covers MOST things but not everything.  I know one CSB user that uploads 200+ images to his website WEEKLY, constantly replacing existing images.  Does it ALL OUTSIDE OF CSB.  Uses a piece of code to pull the images into CSB rather than putting them directly into his CSB web page.  So NONE of his images would be in his .tlx or cab file. If you have uploaded ANYTHING manually, it will not be included in the CSB file.  It also does not have any of your server settings (for email, folder protection, etc).





From the GlobalSCAPE Knowledge Base
Q10298 - HOWTO: Backup or Restore a CuteSITE Builder Web Site Data File


TO BACKUP A WEB SITE DATA FILE
You can save a backup copy of your Web site data file on your remote FTP site with CuteSITE Builder.  Follow the steps shown below to configure CuteSITE Builder so that your Web site data file is automatically compressed and transferred to the remote FTP site every time you make changes and republish your site.

   1. On the File menu, click Publish Web Site.
   2. Click Options.
   3. On the Host Setup tab select the Save copy of .tlx file on FTP server check box.

The next time you publish your site, CuteSITE Builder will automatically compress your Web site data file and upload it to your home FTP folder.  The time it takes to publish your site will increase as a result of the increased amount of data being uploaded.
     
TO RESTORE A WEB SITE DATA FILE
When you backup your Web site data (.tlx) file to the remote FTP server as shown above, CuteSITE Builder compresses the file into an archive (.cab) file and saves it using the original file name and a .cab file name extension.  For example, if your Web site data file is save locally as MyWebSite.tlx, the remote backup file will be named MyWebSite.cab.

To restore your Web site data file, download the compressed backup file from the remote FTP server and extract the .tlx file from inside it.  If you are not familiar with this process, follow these steps:

   1. Open your Web browser and browse to your Web site address followed by a "/" and then the name of the backup file.  For example, if your Web site data file was named MyWebSite and your Web site address is www.example.com, type www.example.com/MyWebSite.cab
   2. You will be prompted with Do you want to run or save this file?  Click Save and save the file to the desired folder.
   3. When the file is finished downloading, navigate to the saved file and double-click on the file name to open it with your default file archive program and then follow the onscreen instructions to extract the .tlx file inside.
   4. Double-click on the extracted Web site data file to open it with CuteSITE Builder.
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 01:25:51 PM »
By the way.... if you can not see your file extensions (.tlx, .cab .swf, .jpg, .gif, etc) on the end of the file names, I highly recommend you take the time to TURN ON THAT OPTION so you can see them!  Simply go to your MY DOCUMENTS folder and choose TOOLS, FOLDER OPTIONS and uncheck the box for HIDE EXTENSIONS FOR KNOWN FILE TYPES as shown in the image below.  This makes it EASIER to identify files!!!  Also using VIEW, DETAILS gives a very nice list of file names.

-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 04:09:54 AM »
This is great! Thanks Sammy!  :clapping:
Success is a way of life found moment by moment

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 08:34:29 AM »
Glad you like it.
Tried to be as through as I could.  Hope I did not miss anything.
(Easier to point someone to a thread than repeat the same info over and over.)
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2009, 09:14:16 PM »
Not sure if this backup program has been reported here before, but I got a tip on the Xara forum for an excellent free backup/sync program, Allway Sync http://allwaysync.com/.

Among other things, it can automatically copy a backup of your file (eg tlx file), to another location (another hard drive on your PC, network drive, external drive, USB stick, SD card etc), within 1 minute of you saving that file (the time is adjustable).

I installed it and it works well.

Rick
:rick:  Follow me, it's better if we are lost together!

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2009, 10:12:34 PM »
Thanks for the tip.  I have never heard of that backup software.  Looks interesting.  Always a good thing to get a user's reference.
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2009, 08:33:14 AM »
 :thankyousign: Rick.
 :agree: Sami. Just Do It!
:dogwalksm: Ed

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 11:44:32 AM »
Since 2011, I have used SyncBack SE for my backup needs.
They offer a free version, a paid SE version and a paid PRO version.

The free version offers many choices, but for me, the SE version fits my needs much better.  I can choose to select only certain files/folders.
We have a LONG thread about backing up on this thread, complete with screen prints, directions, explanations, suggestions..
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 05:41:11 PM »
i endorse your comments Sami. I have been using SyncBack SE for several years and it works seamlessly and reliably.

Just want to add the comment to be sure to save your backup files to somewhere other than on your PC itself, such as an external hard drive. Maybe I am paranoid but I also use SyncBack SE to backup the backup files on a second hard drive, as hard drives do fail sometimes!
:rick:  Follow me, it's better if we are lost together!

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2013, 06:30:53 PM »
I am glad you said that Rick.

I backup my little drives to a big drive, just in case the little ones develop issues I won't lose everything.   :TUP:


I recently helped someone with a computer backed up with a software that compresses and puts the backup into a proprietary format.  That's fine as long as you have the software to unlock/decompress the backup.  But what if the software is no longer available, or can not be installed on a new system.  Suddenly the backup becomes unusable.  I told her to consider switching methods so the files would be stored in a way that she could access them without that software!
-Samantha
TNG: "Sometimes, you can make no mistakes, do everything right, and still lose" - Capt Picard to Data
(:turtle: In memory of Turtle: May 22, 1944 - Nov 24, 2007  GURU, mentor, and really nice guy! :turtleleft: )

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Re: BACK UP YOUR WEBSITE FILES!
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2013, 04:30:52 PM »
Yep. Storage media is much less expensive these days, so I don't see the need to compress the backup. Just save it as is, and you can use the backup whenever needed, without fuss.
:rick:  Follow me, it's better if we are lost together!