The Difference Between cPanel and WordPress Backups

Cpanel

 

This is followed on from a conversation I had on Facebook the other day and was getting my wires crossed a bit about which was better  Cpanel backup or WordPress backup plugin.  As I thought I read and heard somewhere about the negatives of cpanel backup   so I decided to do a bit more research on it and this is what I found.

You should have heard that it’s a very good idea to keep a backup of your website in case something goes wrong with it, and you end up losing all your hard-earned work , so it’s better to be safe than sorry in case the inevitable does happen . It’s well worth it to  spend a few seconds clicking that backup button on a regular basis instead of a few years trying to get back to where you were.

But then you might have your doubts about should you run a Cpanel backup of your entire website or a WordPress backup just of your single blog.

The difference is that with a Cpanel backup you’re backing up the whole account. With WordPress you’re backing up just a blog and you should backup your cPanel on a monthly basis and WordPress on a weekly basis. Your cPanel web host has the ability to back up your entire site in one click. This includes all of your email accounts, databases, files, blogs, forums, everything on your site can be backed up with one click.

But  the problem with this is that if you have a large website this can take up a lot of time and a lot of space. If you have a 20 gb website making this backup will cost you 20 gb every time you do it. If you backed up your entire 20 gb website every single week then after 5 weeks you need a terabyte. After 10 weeks you need 2 terabytes and so on. It would take up tons of space. It doesn’t make sense to back up those same video files over and over and over again if those aren’t changing. You should only be backing up the stuff that’s really changing, the most recent information. That’s why a cPanel backup is good to take some times but you should really take a WordPress backup more on a regular basis.

Where as a WordPress backup  stores your WordPress database including all your settings and your content, as well as your files which include WordPress itself and any images or audios, or videos that happen to be within your WordPress folder. You should back up your WordPress site on a more frequent basis than your entire cPanel account because it’s faster and it’s smaller. You can use a WordPress backup plugin to do this and all you have to do is install the plugin, click the backup button and now you have a file that you can save immediately to your hard drive, Dropbox or even send to your email and even an external hard drive, really you can use that anywhere you want.

Basically if you’re concerned or worried about should you use a cPanel backup or a WordPress backup. Backup up your entire cPanel account on a monthly basis and your WordPress account on a weekly basis. That way you have the best of both worlds, you have everything stored somewhere but your most recent, your most frequently changing stuff is easier to find.

14 Comments

  • Sky Nealon

    Reply Reply March 21, 2014

    Hi Darren

    Really great advice here and certainly doing both the cPanel backup and wordpress backup is a win-win situation and the best of both worlds. It might also be useful to store the interim cpanel backups on an external drive or location like you mentioned.

    Just wondering, what do you think about cloud storage, would this be a good location to store our blog backup as well, and in terms of backing things up, and would it be advisable that when backing up, to only keep the last 2 working updates rather than keeping multiple backups from when you first started which may not be relevant anymore?

    Kind regards
    Sky

    • darrenhudson

      Reply Reply March 22, 2014

      Hi Sky ,
      Yeh your right about keeping only last 2 working updates , as for my views on cloud storage I personally wouldn’t as I think tempting fate and leaving too much to chance , what if the cloud gets hacked ?

      Cheers

      Darren

  • Pauline

    Reply Reply March 21, 2014

    Hi Darren,

    This is a great post. It explains a lot that was confusing me. I have actually used bother methods but did not know the difference.

    I shall enter backup dates in my diary so that I will not forget the monthly and the weekly backups. I also backup before any updates to WordPress or plugins.

    I think Sky has the right idea about some sought of cloud storage. I am using dropbox just now but only the free version, so not a lot a space.

    Just keeping the last 2 or 3 working update is also another great idea from Sky.

    Tack care
    pAULINE

    • darrenhudson

      Reply Reply March 22, 2014

      Hi Pauline ,

      To be honest I personally don’t rate the Cloud as I think you could be leaving too much to chance, what if that gets hacked ? just my opinion though . Also have you never thought of buying an external hard drive and storing them on there ?

      Cheers

      Darren

  • Richard G M Taylor

    Reply Reply March 21, 2014

    Useful post Darren,

    I have just used the full backup from cPanel, which took a while to complete. Because I’m using a shared hosting account. I’m seriously thinking about moving to a reseller account with d9, so that I can assign each of my blogs and sites to a separate account. Not only does this make it easier to backup specific accounts, but also gives a higher level of security.

    I also use WP Backup to Dropbox and set it to do a backup every week. Pauline is right to point out that this costs money for the extra space needed, but at the minimum $9 per month, I think it’s worth it for the peace of mind.

    Richard
    http://richardgmtaylor.com

    • darrenhudson

      Reply Reply March 22, 2014

      Hi Richard ,
      Have you never thought about backing them up to an external hard drive , as that would save you money or could even just be an extra place to store them .

      Regards

      Darren

      • Richard G M Taylor

        Reply Reply March 22, 2014

        Hi Darren,

        I understand what you say, but I like it all to be automated so I don’t have to even think about it. The dropbox backup is a set up and forget option. Let’s not get too hung up on this…someone even asked, what if the cloud gets hacked!!! Come on…..

        Richard
        http://richardgmtaylor.com

  • Matt Brown

    Reply Reply March 21, 2014

    Sound advice. I’ve had an entire hosting account hacked in the past. It was a complete nightmare getting all the sites sorted out. You only need to have that happen to you once for you to realise just how important backing up your sites is!

    • darrenhudson

      Reply Reply March 22, 2014

      Hi Matt ,
      I wouldn’t want to wish that on anyone , I dread to think what must have been going through your head at the time full of anguish and despair probably .

      Cheers

      Darren

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply March 22, 2014

    Hi Darren

    Thanks for sharing this information, useful to know about the WP back up plugin as well.

    Andrew

  • igor Griffiths

    Reply Reply March 24, 2014

    Well hello Darren backing up the WordPress installation via the admin area is now on my weekly to do list, although all too often the do is lacking.

    But this is a great reminder to ensure it is done.

    igor

  • Gaby

    Reply Reply April 23, 2014

    Hi Darren

    that was just the information I was looking for this morning. Thanks a lot, you saved me a lot of research time and cleared some confusion.
    I did a backup this morning for the WP blog only via the cpanel and Softaculous. The backup is now accessible via cpanel which should be alright – I guess. What do you think? I mean when the cpanel is down, the blog is down.
    On the other hand I used to have an automated backup, unfortunately I can’t remember how I installed it. Guess I’ll just get a WPplugin 😉

    Cheers
    Gaby

    • darrenhudson

      Reply Reply May 11, 2014

      Hi Gaby ,

      Well I use the plugin in all the time and it’s great quick and easy to use with simplicity, a few clicks and its done plus you can save it then store it anywhere you want to .

      Regards

      Darren

  • Paul Wallace

    Reply Reply November 11, 2014

    Hi Darren,

    this is just the post I was hoping to bump into as I do my round of blogs for the night!

    I too was unsure on the best way to back up and I do like the automated way that Richard describes, so I think I will research this method some more.

    Thanks

    Paul :-)

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