Jomatu Wiki: Documentation

Jomatu Wiki: Backing up your website

Introduction

This manual presents a guide to backing up your website files that you create, edit and upload to your website via Jomatu.

Why you need to take backup copies

In a perfect world we wouldn't need to backup anything; our computers would never crash, our websites would never get hacked and computer viruses wouldn't exist. In the real world, however, these things can happen, and the consequences can be sever if you don't have an up-to-date backup copy of your website to restore the situation quickly.

Jomatu works by allowing you to update and upload your website files directly on the web server where your website is hosted. Whilst most web hosting companies regularly take backup copies of your website as part of their standard service, these backup files are often stored on the same physical computer as the original. This represents a single point-of-failure: if the computer running your web server suffers a catastrophic failure, you could lose everything.

So what precautions can you take as a website owner? There are four options, described as follows.

Option 1: Do nothing

This can be a real option, but only if (a) you have at least one complete copy of your website, and (b) you are prepared to re-apply all changes made to your live website, and re-upload all the files you've uploaded to your website, since that copy was made. Some websites change very little, and the time for [b] above may in fact be very acceptable; therefore in such cases this can be a suitable option; and certainly the easiest and cheapest.

Option 2: Let Jomatu backup your website automatically

The Jomatu backup service maintains a single off-site mirror-copy of your website†. Backups are taken weekly and cost just £0.99 per month‡. If you ever need to restore your website, just raise a high-priority support ticket and we'll get your website back online with the minimum delay. To start backing up your website files, please raise a support ticket from within your Members' Area.

Option 3: Employ the services of a third-party backup provider

There are many website backup services on the web (just Google something like 'website backup service'). Prices and features vary, as does the backup frequency and storage space available, so pick a service that best suits your requirements. In addition, your website hosting company may offer an off-site backup service themselves (either first- or third-party), so it's worth enquiring.

Option 4: Take your own regular copies of your website

To access your website via Jomatu you need the FTP* credentials for your live website. These credentials can also allow you to access your website directly from your own computer through a program known as an 'FTP Client' (internet connection required, obviously). Accessing your website in this way will allow you to take a complete copy of all your website files, which are then downloaded and stored on your own computer.

There are many such programs available online, some of them free (just Google something like 'free ftp client'). Downloading, installing and setting up an FTP Client should be fairly straightforward if you're comfortable with such things, although we appreciate that some may view this option as being too technical (although you could always ask someone technical whom you trust to do this for you). You should then backup your website as often as you feel necessary; this will of course depend on how often, and to what extent, you update your website.

Whatever FTP Client you choose, make sure you keep your FTP credentials and website backup files safe: at a minimum, make sure you have a firewall installed, have up-to-date virus and malware protection on your computer, and encrypt the files containing your FTP credentials and backup copies of your website.

This completes the 'Backing up your website' documentation.


* FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol.

† Includes all physical website files that can be copied using FTP* but excludes databases and database data. For websites utilizing databases, please select another option, or backup your database data independently.

‡ Prices quoted in Pound Sterling and paid as a simple annual fee of £11.88 (equivalent to just £0.99 per month).