Backing Up and Restoring Your Website Using cPanel

As someone who maintains and tweaks a website constantly, I understand the anxiety that comes with the possibility of losing data. Believe me, it’s not fun at all. Thankfully, having a tool like cPanel makes backing up and restoring a website simpler than you might think. Here’s a comprehensive guide to safeguarding your website using cPanel.

A Little Bit About cPanel

If you’re new to this, let’s demystify cPanel. Essentially, it’s a control panel that simplifies managing a website. Through it, you can handle a ton of tasks like creating emails, managing domains, and, importantly for this post, backing up and restoring your website.

Why Bother Backing Up?

Think of website backups as the lifejacket to your digital ship. They’re the lifesaver you hope you never need but are extremely grateful for when you do. They’re essential for when things go haywire – think server issues, hacks, or those “oops” moments when you delete something crucial. Hence, having a solid backup system is a must.

Backing Up Your Website with cPanel

Now we begin to go into the steps to back up your website.

Step 1: The Login

First, log into your cPanel account. You can usually do this by typing your website URL and adding “/cpanel” at the end (like this:

Step 2: Finding the Backup Section

Once you’re in, locate the “Files” section and click on the “Backup” icon.

Step 3: Picking Your Backup

Here, you’ll have two options: Full Backup and Partial Backup.

  • Full Backup – As the name implies, it’s a complete backup of everything – website files, emails, databases. The catch is, you can’t restore this type of backup through your cPanel dashboard. It’s mainly used when migrating your website to a different server.
  • Partial Backup – This option lets you backup specific parts of your website, such as the Home Directory, MySQL databases, or Email Forwarders & Filters. The upside is, these can be restored using cPanel.

Step 4: Generating a Full Backup

For a Full Backup, click on that option, decide where you want to store the backup (I usually go with “Home Directory”), and enter your email address to get notified when the backup is ready. Then hit “Generate Backup”.

Step 5: Downloading Your Backup

When the backup is done, you’ll find it in the “Backups Available for Download” section. Click the link there to download your backup file.

Step 6: Safely Stashing Your Backup

Don’t leave your backup lying around! Make sure you store it somewhere safe and off-site. I usually use cloud storage like Google Drive, but Dropbox or an external hard drive works just as well. And remember, redundancy is key – always have multiple copies in different places.

Restoring Your Website with cPanel

Restoring your website from a backup depends on whether you’ve got a full or partial backup.

Partial Backup Restoration

  1. Access your cPanel account.
  2. Click on the “Backup” icon.
  3. Under “Restore a Home Directory Backup”, hit “Choose File”.
  4. Find your backup file, select it, then click on the “Upload” button.
  5. Rinse and repeat for MySQL databases and Email Forwarders & Filters if you’ve backed these up too.

Full Backup Restoration

The limitation with Full Backups is that you can’t restore them directly via cPanel. In this case, get in touch with your hosting provider, hand them the backup file, and they should be able to do the restoration for you.


Ensuring your website is backed up regularly is a non-negotiable part of maintaining your website. Luckily, with cPanel, backing up and restoring them is a relatively straightforward process. Trust me, having that peace of mind is worth it.

If you’re looking for a web hosting service that comes with cPanel, check our web hosting plans here. You may also read our blog about best practices to secure your cPanel account. Here’s to secure and worry-free website tinkering!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *