How-to 6 min read

How to backup your website and restore backup

In order to restore a website in case of problems, it's necessary to regularly backup the files and database. There are several ways to do this. In case there are no backups, it will be impossible to restore a broken website.

How to backup a website

Any paid hosting service provides automatic backup of website files. Website backup contains page design, including scripts, logos, and styles.

Database with text website content is stored separately from the files. Most often, the backup is created once a day; it contains partial or complete information about the resource. You can create a backup yourself, if necessary.

If you plan maintenance on your website, changing the template, or hosting provider, it's better to manually backup the website and save it on your computer to be on the safe side.There are two ways to backup the website on your PC:
Create a new backup or upload the latest backup in the hosting admin panel.
Creating a backup of the site
Transfer the downloaded folder to the local computer via an FTP client, for example, FileZilla.
How to make a copy of a site in FileZilla
Your computer folders are placed left, and the website files are on the right side. You need to download them. If you are a tech-savvy user, you can select which files to download, since you won't need them all. Make sure the backup files or folders are saved on your computer.

How to make your website up and running again through backup

You checked the Internet connection, contacted your hosting provider support for possible reasons why the website is down, and you didn't get any feedback. In this case, you can start recovery through the website backup.

How to recover your website through a backup? Let's have a look at the three easiest ways to do this.

Through the hosting admin panel

Log in to the admin panel. You can get a link from your hosting provider. Select the domain you need and go to the backup manager. In some panels, you will immediately see the "Restore" button.
Site recovery on hosting
Sometimes you just need to press it and wait until the files are completely restored. Then delete the website cookies and try to go to the website. If there is no restore button, you will have to manually download the backup. To do this, go to the site file manager and rename the folder with the files in such a way that it's clear that the folder contains old files. For instance, rename it as "old".

If there is not enough memory, download the folder with old files directly to your computer. Then, upload the folder with the copy that you created earlier to the root directory.

After recovery, check if the site is up and running. Saving the old folder is necessary in case the backup files don't work.


Through FTP client

Connect to the remote server through a file manager, for example, FileZilla. Find the folder with files in the root directory and rename it or download it to your computer.
Restore site through FTP-client
Replace this folder with the new one created earlier as a backup. You can find it in the left column on your computer. After downloading the recovered files, go to your website to make sure it's up and running.

Through SSH-access

Connect to the website hosting through the Putty utility and start the file manager with the mc command. Open the copy folder on the left and the folder with the current website files that you need to replace on the right.
Site folders in Putty utility
Your task is to restore the backup of the docs folder. To do this, you need to rename the old folder to "old" or some other name. This can be done by hovering over it and pressing Shift + F6. Press F6 to move the folder from the left side, and F5 to copy.
Transfer site files using Putty

How to recover a database

If your website has a database, you will need to restore it as well. You can do this in the hosting panel. Go to the "Database" section and download a MySQL Database Backup. Enter the data to connect.
How to make a backup of the site database
Depending on the type of hosting admin panel, find the Import or Restore button. When done, try to go to the website and check if it's working.


Restoring a website from backup is required if the pages are not accessible. Usually, backup and website restoration are done through the hosting panel.

You can also make a manual backup of all site files and save them on your computer. First, make sure that you have a working Internet connection and ask the hosting support about the reasons for server down.

To restore your website, you must upload the backup files to the root directory of the website through the hosting panel, FTP client, or SSH. If the site has a database, you also need to restore it through the MySQL database panel.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
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Checklist is a ready-to-do list that helps to keep reporting of the work progress on a specific project. The tool contains templates with an extensive list of project development parameters where you can also add your own items and plans.
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