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Backup website: Best practice

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After searching the forum I have found different discussions and modules but am still clueless.

What is the best way to backup my site? I would like to be able to rebuild the complete site in case disaster strikes. 

Things to backup:
-Files on server including template (manually by FTP?)
-Databases (PhpAdmin?)
-Structure of pages, fields and templates that have been added within PW
-Settings site and modules PW

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I backup everything in the root folder and do a mysqldump. In case of an emergency I can easily import db and extract files and we are good to go. 

Flydev is working on imo the best solution: Duplicator. I've got a beta running on several websites.

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I download everything to my pc with rsync, I'm on Windows 10 so I use Bash on Ubuntu on Windows, for Windows 7 there's cygwin.

ssh root@ip /var/www/clients/client1/web1/web/script.sh && rsync -av -e ssh root@ip:/var/www/clients/client1 /mnt/e/zBackup/www --exclude-from '/mnt/e/zBackup/www/exclude.txt' --delete

ssh root@ip /var/www/clients/client1/web1/web/script.sh - runs a script that backups all databases

rsync -av -e ssh root@ip:/var/www/clients/client1 /mnt/e/zBackup/www - downloads everything from /var/www/clients/client1 on my vps to E:\zBackup\www on my pc

--exclude-from '/mnt/e/zBackup/www/exclude.txt' - text file with paths to exclude from downloading 

Database backup script

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I use SmartBackup (a codecanyon script) in a subfolder and have it set to backup the /site/ folder and the database; it runs on a cron job, and creates the zip file in wherever you specify.
All you need to re-create the site is your site folder and the database; unless you have placed some other custom stuff above /site/

Once Duplicator is released, i will switch to using that for backups, and drop the SmartBackup; SmartBackup is very good, but Duplicator will be a native module, and supports more options, like Amazon S3;

For sites with massive assets files, like audio, i set the backup to exclude images and other media like audio and video. The i have a Forklift 'synclet' that i can run and that syncs the entire site/assets folder with an Amazon s3 account, with 1 click.

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I've read people talking about how painless ottomatik.io is to restore so I decided to give it a try.

Prior to it I was using a local script and also backing up the entire DigitalOcean droplet but decided to use another system, after reading about DigitalOcean losing an entire server backup history. My sanity deserves the $10/month. ;)

Edited by Sérgio
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30 minutes ago, tooth-paste said:

@flydev: Thank you for the script but it is way out of my league for a non-coder like me.:(

You can just install it like any other module. Once installed, click on the save button then the "Backup Now" button, no other steps required ;)

If you still have problem using it, please feel free to post your issue in the dev topic  or PM me, I will help you with pleasure.


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I have to say I find Codeguard quite amazing. Independently of which method you will chose to backup locally, it won't hurt to have an extra backup in the cloud, and Codegard does backups for one website, with one database, until 1GB, for free.

ps: I mentioned it on another thread already 


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Hi @diogo

1 hour ago, diogo said:

Codegard does backups for one website, with one database, until 1GB, for free

Have you been using this feature? https://www.codeguard.com/monitor/
Does it also monitor database changes? How reliable is it? Amount of false positives? Also available in the free plan?

So many questions, sorry! But I think such a feature can be powerful if properly implemented. I'm a great fan of all sorts of monitoring solutions as long as they work reliably and easy to setup :)

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The alerts work great, every time I edit some files I get an email. Until now I've never had false positives. I don't get any alerts for database changes, and I'm not sure you can do that. Their site is in maintenance right now, so I can't check that out.

The alerts are available on the free version.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 months later...
On 11/1/2018 at 12:45 AM, quickjeff said:

Hi Guys, for some reason duplicator is not saving the entire directory. I only am able to backup the database. 


On 2/11/2019 at 6:53 PM, a-ok said:

Any thoughts?


Hello guys, 

Which version are you using ?

I just tested it with Duplicator 1.2.9 and everything works fine on my side a part an issue already reported in dev thread which is related to the "restore" procedure.

Is there anything in the Duplicator logs ? Or maybe something in the ProcessWire logs (errors or exceptions) and at least in the PHP error log file ?

Please, feel free to post/report things there :



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