For every website, no matter how big or small, security is of utmost importance, especially if you’re running an e-commerce page. To properly maintain some form of protection, it’s necessary to keep it up-to-date, regularly back up data and take additional measures to prevent unauthorized access. And whenever any issues arise with the site or the server itself, it’s crucial to have proper automated backups in a separate storage VPS. Without them, sensitive data that was lost or corrupted may stay that way forever, resulting in the loss of visitors, their trust and even financial issues.

Global settings

When you’re running a website on VPS, you maintain it through a control panel, usually cPanel&WHM. In this control panel, there is a “Backup Configuration” option that allows you to set up automated backups. Set up the “Backup Status” to enabled.

If you choose to store these on the same server, take note of the different types listed in the “Global Settings”:

  • Compressed. This option saves all data, uses less disk space, but is an overall slower process.
  • Uncompressed. This option saves all data and is faster but uses up more disk space.
  • Incremental. This option only saves data that has been modified since the last backup.

Generally, it’s suggested to do a mixture of these and to store them in different storage VPS to ensure the safety of the information. It’s also recommended to check the “Minimum Free Disk Space” option if you want to control the storage usage on your server. If this setting isn’t changed, then backups will be created no matter how much free disk space is left and you might run out of space.

“Maximum Destination Timeout” can be used to specify the time you want your backup to be generated. Enough time should be allowed to handle the largest files or the whole process will not be executed, and a backup won’t be created on your chosen storage VPS.

Scheduling and retention

Then create a backup schedule via cPanel’s “Scheduling and Retention” menu. There are several options:

  • Daily. These allow you to specify which day of the week the backups will be done.
  • Weekly. With this, backups are done every 7 days starting from the time this option was enabled.
  • Monthly. It creates a backup once a month.

Most users choose daily or weekly backups with retention of 1-2 copies. It’s recommended to disable the option called “Strictly enforce retention, regardless of backup success”. It may overwrite the older working backups on your server or storage VPS.


Here you can choose what data will be saved. Two options that should be selected at all times: “Backup Accounts” and “Backup System Files”. These will be very useful if you ever need to restore your control panel and the whole server.


In this section, you can create backups of the whole MySQL server directory or just separate .sql files. You can choose to back up:

  • Per Account Only,
  • An Entire MySQL Directory,
  • Or Per Account and Entire MySQL Directory.

Choosing the first option allows you to restore individual accounts and the Entire MySQL Directory contains everything related to this service. It’s advised to select both of these options because it will protect your website and server if this software goes down.

Configuring the backup directory

The “Configure the Backup Directory” allows users to specify where the backups will be saved. Here you can choose an external location for them, like a storage VPS. By default, the /backup directory is located on the server and it cannot be accessed through a control panel for safety reasons. But it is available through SSH or in the “Backup Restoration” menu.

Additional destinations

Automated backups can be stored in several different external devices and this can be done via this section. Click the “Create New Destination” button from the drop-down menu and select “Custom”. Here you can configure as many destinations as you want.

After you go through this checklist, your automated backups should be fully configured and working without any issues. You can always change certain settings on cPanel&WHM to better suit your backup needs. Remember to also regularly test your backups to make sure that they’re saved fully and correctly, that no files are missing or are corrupted.


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