A backup is critical to your website’s health and security. If something were to go wrong with your site, the backup is your safety net to fall back on. It enables you to restore your entire WordPress site quickly and not have to worry about it!
Thus, having a reliable backup is so important, but in reality, it isn’t given due attention. We’ve seen many clients who rely on their hosting provider’s backup only to find out later that it was a mistake.
Some hosts only offer a backup copy but don’t provide you with a restore option. So if something were to go wrong with your website, you’d have a copy of it but not know how to use it to get your website back! Other hosting providers charge high amounts for their backup services which are simply not worth it.
Generally, WordPress site owners face a number of issues with host backups. So today, we took a look at the backup options available with one of the best WordPress hosting providers out there – SiteGround.
The web host caters to over 2 million websites and is well-known for its performance, uptime and overall features. But are their backup services just as good? By distilling it’s pros and cons, we hope this article is helpful in deciding whether you should rely on SiteGrounds backups or not.
SiteGround Backup Options
You have four options to backup your site if you’re hosting your WordPress website on SiteGround. We’ll take you through all of them and detail the pros and cons.
A) SiteGround System Backup
SiteGround launched its own backup system in October 2015. This takes a backup of SiteGround’s entire network of websites and operations.
It is possible for SiteGround to provide you with a copy of your individual site from this system, but you should note that this isn’t sufficient for your website.
If your website goes down and you’re relying on this type of system backup, there are a number of problems that pursue:
- You need to contact SiteGround and request for a copy of your website.
- It could take days or weeks till they respond to you.
- It may not be a recent copy and you will stand to lose a significant amount of data.
- They may not find a copy of your website at all.
- The SiteGround backup restore process is very technical and could leave you with no other option but to spend exorbitant sums on hiring someone to fix your website.
Except for the fact that it’s free and done automatically for you, we find no pros to this kind of backup. Remember, this backup is for your host to safeguard their operations. If the web hosting server goes down, this system backup enables them to restore all sites on the network with minimal data loss.
It isn’t tailored to take a complete and reliable backup of your website. More often than not, this method simply doesn’t work for individual sites.
We don’t recommend relying on a system backup.
B) Create An Instant Backup
Users of SiteGround have to option to create up to 5 backup copies of their website. You can do this by using the Backup Tool in cPanel hosting.
This option comes free with the WordPress hosting plan only in GrowBig, GoGeek and Cloud accounts. For those on the StartUp plan, you can avail of this backup option as an additional add-on purchase.
- The process to create a backup is quite simple and we’ll illustrate this in the next section.
- This backup copy will cover your entire SiteGround hosting account. This means the backup will include your website’s files and database, and emails (with Siteground mail backup tool).
- You can download a zip file of your backup to your local computer.
- You can take a full backup of your site which means your website’s files and configurations will be copied.
- There is an option to create a selective backup as well. In a selective backup, you can choose to backup only your home page, your email configurations, and other settings.
- These backup copies are kept only for a limited period after which it is automatically deleted:
- Startup, Growbig, and GoGeek – 30 days
- Cloud Backups – 7 days
- There is no option to automatically schedule backups.
- You can take only up to 5 backups. If you want to take another backup, you would need to manually delete an old backup first.
- These backup copies are kept only for a limited period after which it is automatically deleted:
How To Create An Instant Backup With SiteGround
Creating a backup of your WordPress site on SiteGround is easy. You need to access cPanel account in your SiteGround hosting dashboard. Here, you’ll see a tab called Backups Manager. You need to click on ‘Backup Tool’ under this tab.
On the next page, switch to SiteGround’s ‘Create Backup’ tab. Here, you can name your backup copy for easy reference.
Once you click on ‘Create Backup’, SiteGround will create a backup of your whole hosting account. This may take a few minutes or longer depending on the size of your website.
How To Restore An Instant Backup With SiteGround
So, we can see that creating a backup is quite simple. But we need to know if the restore process works. If you wish to restore your backup, SiteGround gives you a ‘Restore button’ next to your backup copies.
Upon clicking restore, you’ll get a prompt like so:
You have the option to replace all current files and WordPress database. In case you want to do a selective restore, there’s a link that you can click to select specific files. The backup restore process takes time. Once you restore your site, check to see if everything is functioning fine.
C) Create A Backup Using cPanel
This method allows you to create your own backup manually through cPanel. Here, you can choose to download full website backups or create a partial backup of your WordPress site. This option is useful if you want to store a copy of your website on your own computer or cloud hosting accounts like Google Drive or Dropbox.
It can also be used to migrate your site to another hosting company. But we don’t recommend this method as the risks are high. You could lose essential data in the process or end up with a broken website. If you need to migrate your website, use a tool like BlogVault to move all your files and databases safely, securely without any risks.
- Complete files and database backup of your website.
- You can store it in a location of your choice.
- You need to take care of the security of your backup copy.
- Storage is your responsibility.
- You can only take a backup of up to 5000MB. So, this option is not viable for larger sites.
- If your website crashes and you need to restore the entire site, the SiteGround system’s interface cannot restore a full backup. You would need to do this manually or contact a third-party service.
How To Create A cPanel Backup With SiteGround
Access the same ‘Backups Manager’ in cPanel. Instead of choosing ‘Backup Tool’ like we did earlier, choose ‘cPanel Backup’. Here, you’ll get an option to ‘Download a full website backup’.
You need to set the location of your backup. Enter an email address to receive a notification when the backup is complete.
Once you click on ‘Generate Backup’, the backup process will start. This may take a while which is why SiteGround gives you the option to get an email notification when it’s done. When your backup is done, you’ll see the zip file in the folder you selected.
How To Restore A cPanel Backup With SiteGround
The SiteGround restore backup process is easy in this case. If you want to restore your cPanel backup, you need to use File Manager in cPanel.
In File Manager, there is an option ‘Upload’ your backup copy here:
Unzip your backup copy file and upload it here. You’ll have to overwrite your current files. Alternatively, you can also use an FTP client like FileZilla to upload your backup copy. Refer to this guide for details on manually restoring your website using your SiteGround backup WordPress copy: See how to Manually Restore a WordPress Site from a WordPress Backup step by step.
Caution: We don’t recommend using the manual method of restoring your WordPress website. It’s difficult if you’re tech-savvy, it can be a nightmare if you’re not.
The risks associated with meddling with the backend of your WordPress installation are extremely high. You can break your website, cause it to malfunction, lose vital data, the list goes on.
D) Create a SiteGround Backup Service with Softaculous
Softaculous is a software that enables auto-installation of apps directly on your website control panel. You can use Softaculous to manually backup your WordPress site if you host it on SiteGround. Note, Softaculous backups are no different from making backups with the cPanel. The pros and cons remain the same. Access Softaculous on your cPanel and go to ‘All installations”.
Here, you can see your domains listed. From the icons on the right, choose the backup option:
Once you click on the backup icon, you’ll be directed to a new page. Here, you can enter a backup note, select your backup location, and then click on ‘Backup Installation’.
Softaculous will backup your site and you can then access it from the backups page. The link is provided on the same screen.
Now, whenever you visit Softaculous, you’ll see your backups on the homepage itself.
By clicking on backups, you’ll be directed to a list of all the backups made for your website. Here, you can either download, restore or delete your backup.
Here too, there’s no way to schedule backups. You’d need to keep track on your own and make sure you take regular backups.
Conclusion: Should you depend on SiteGround Backups?
From our experience of backing up and restoring our website with SiteGround, we would recommend it only as a secondary backup option. You cannot rely solely on any host backup for that matter.
It might be a viable option if you’re just starting out and cannot afford a good backup solution. Small-time websites where data loss or downtime wouldn’t affect their business might find that such a solution is sufficient.
But the truth is, it takes time to establish an online presence. Big or small, your website is a valuable online asset. We recommend using a reliable backup solution that is easy to use and guaranteed to work.
You can choose from a range of WordPress backup plugins available. Here, we’ll take you through what BlogVault has to offer:
- It’s easy-to-use and only requires a click from your end to create an automatic backup.
- The restore process is quick and guaranteed to work without breaking your website.
- You can schedule backups. You can choose frequencies like daily, weekly or even real-time.
- A backup process puts a load on your server and can slow down your website. BlogVault uses an incremental sync technology to minimize the load on your site.
- Plus, this means a full backup of your site is taken the first time. Subsequently, only changes made on your site are copied. This reduces the amount of storage space required.
- It stores your backups in encrypted form on secure offsite dedicated servers of BlogVault. So you don’t have to worry about storage.
- It stores multiple copies so you don’t have to rely on just one copy.
- WordPress staging sites to test changes and a test restore option as well.
Your website resides in a digital world where it is prone to issues like hacks, downtime, malfunctions and so on. A backup comes to your rescue in such situations. Having a backup that is guaranteed to work will make it easy to recover.
Try our BlogVault Backup Solution Now.