How to successfully back up an e-commerce store

If you own or manage an e-commerce store, your website is your biggest asset.
Without it, your business is doomed.
If something would happen to it, you would panic and probably pay thousands of dollars to get it fixed. .
A couple of weeks ago, hackers took over several businesses around the world. They hijacked all the files in the affected computers and were asking for ransom payments to give it back.

Don’t let it happen to you.
Take control.

Backing up your website regularly must be on top of your to-do tasks. But can you do it effectively?
I strongly believe that every owner of e-commerce stores should have a recent back up of their store, safe and easy to access. A busy business owner can delegate the task of getting the back up done, but all owners should keep a copy with them, which they have checked and made sure all files are there.

After doing a bit of research, I found out that there aren’t many sites or blogs explaining how to back up an e-commerce store effectively.

I will start covering some basics, which most people probably know.

All websites are hosted on servers. This means that each image, text, code, everything in your website is stored there in the server. When somebody types the address of a certain page on your website, the files relating to that page, which are stored in the server will load and show the page to the person who typed the address.
Everything related to your website is stored in the server, so you want to have access to it. Make sure your server gives you a cpanel log in and the server’s address information. Keep in control.

An e-commerce store has 2 distinct parts to it. As all websites, e-commerce stores have html pages, and styling codes. Some sites have php pages or other coding formats.
They all have to be backed up.
But e-commerce stores also have something very important, which must be backed up. The database.
A database is a system that organises data. The database organises the pictures, client lists, orders, everything based on settings you define.

Because the e-commerce store has 2 parts to it, there are 2 different processes which must be followed in order to successfully back up a website.
The first step is to back up all the pages and styling sheets. The second step is to back up the databases.
I would suggest doing this at least once a month and storing the back ups on an external hard drive.

Before you start:

* You need to have the name of your server, the port used by the server and your cpanel long in details (username and password)
* You must have access to phpMyAdmin in the control panel
* You must have or install a FTP client, such as Filezilla or Cyberduck.

1 – How to back up files, pages, styling sheets from your website:
Open your FTP client. If you haven’t done so, add your server’s details, your user name and password. The program will load all the folders and files that are on your server.
Then you will add the folder located in your computer where you want the back up to be located.
On Filezilla, all you have to do is to drag any files from the server into the local site (where you want to back it up). It will start coping the files right away.

2- Back up your website’s database
You need to get into the cpanel, phpMyAdmin to be able to perform this task.
Get into phpMyAdmin, choose the database and click on “Export”.
Choose format SQL and it will download the database to your computer.

Make sure you keep a copy of the databases back and the files back up safe somewhere.
If something would ever happen to your website or the server, all you need it to restore it from the back ups.