Worry-Free Website Backups
When we talked about our Free Live Drive accounts, I explained how to do a manual backup to LiveDrive Briefcase. What we're doing here is a little different! Here I'm going to explain how to set these backups automatically. That's kind of exciting, right? As I said, this is in beta, so we're not charging for the use of the cPanel plugin. It's on an "as is" basis, but so far in testing, it has gone really well. You should always double-check your LiveDrive account to be sure that your backups are running.
Why Do I Need Briefcase?
Automated backups require FTP access, and standard LiveDrive PC Backups don't offer that as a service; however, Earth Girl Hosting offers this as an affordable upgrade. If you already have our Unlimited Service, just shoot a ticket over to our billing department and we'll get you set up for Briefcase at $80/yr. If you don't have the unlimited service, you can purchase Briefcase here. That's a $220 discount off of the regular annual price, you can't beat it (get it while you can!)
What You'll Need
- Your cPanel Username & Password
- Your LiveDrive Briefcase username and password
Configuring Your Backups
The configuration process creates two files on your hosting account. One file is used to run the backups, the other file is placed above the root (out of public view) and will hold your logins and passwords. If your cPanel or LiveDrive details ever change, you'll need to run the configuration process again to update those files.
- Login to your cPanel (http://yoursite.com/cpanel)
- Click the LiveDrive Backup icon
- Complete all of the fields on the Configuration screen:
- cPanel Hostname: This is filled out for you
- cPanel Username: This is filled out for you
- cPanel Password: This is the password you used to get into your cPanel. If it's not correct, backups will fail.
- LiveDrive Hostname: This is filled out for you
- LiveDrive Username: This will be the email address you use to login to LiveDrive.com
- LiveDrive Password: The password you use to log in to LiveDrive.com
- LiveDrive Directory: This is the folder where your backup files will reside. If it doesn't exist, the system will attempt to create it.
- Notification Email: Where do you want an email notification when a backup completes?
- Once you fill everything out, click Update Files
- You should get a notification if the LiveDrive remote directory was created successfully.
Testing the Setup
After you've configured your files, you'll see four buttons. This is what they're for:
TEST SAVED LIVEDRIVECONNECTION
This button will take your LiveDrive username and password. It will appear in a pop-up, so be sure you allow it. It may take several seconds to complete the test and you'll see a simple text reading "Connection was Successful"
CHECK IF THE /DIRECTORY DIRECTORY EXISTS
The button will differ depending on the name of the directory you chose. If you entered "backups as your LiveDrive directory, then this button will read Check if the /backups Directory Exists. This test will determine if the folder specified exists, and will attempt to create it if it doesn't.
CHECK CONTENTS OF /DIRECTORY
Again, if you entered "backups as your LiveDrive directory, then this button will read Check Contents of /backups. This is an easy way to see if you have any backups saved and which ones. It will appear as a pop-up, so please make sure you're allowing those.
RUN BACKUP SCRIPT NOW
This button is red for a reason - use it sparingly. This will run the full backup script and upload it to LiveDrive, providing all of your usernames/passwords are correct. If you click it 5 times, it will run 5 times. It will use space and bandwidth each time. If you click it, wait until you get an email stating that your backup is complete, then check the directory to make sure the backup file exists. If you use a lot of disc space, this will take a long time
Setting Up Your Cron Job
A cron job is an automated process you can set up in cPanel. In this case, we have a file that will execute a backup, now we just need to tell it when. Once your configuration files are set up, you'll see a string of code that has been generated.
- Copy the cron code, as show in the image to the right.
- Now, head over to the Cron Jobs area in cPanel. There's a link on this configuration page, or you can use the search features (top right of cPanel) to find it.
- Under Common Settings, choose the frequency at which you'd like the backups to run.
As stated on the configuration screen, I do not recommend doing auto-backups more than once per week. Frequent backups can potentially slow your site down and will increase your bandwidth usage. Running these once per week, at most, should be plenty.
- Find the Command field and paste your code in
- Click Add New Cron Job
You're ready to go! Your backups should run automatically moving forward. Once the backup is transferred to LiveDrive, it will be removed from your hosting account, saving you space and money.