As the name suggests, the Backup option in the Softaculous WordPress Manager lets you make a backup of your website.
There are other ways to make a backup of your website, and we don’t recommend using Softaculous for backups. The reason is that Softaculous backups are always stored on your hosting account (in the softaculous_backups folder in your home directory). The backups can use a lot of space, in particular if your website has lots of images. There is a risk that making a backup via Softaculous causes your account to run out of disk space.
Because Softaculous backups have a habit of causing disk space issues we limit the number of Softaculous backups on most of our servers. If you reach the limit backups jobs will fail. So, instead of using Softaculous we recommend making backups via cPanel’s Backup feature.
If you still want to make a backup using Softaculous, simply click on the Backup button. By default, Softaculous backs up both the website files and database but you can exclude either the files or database. You can also add a backup note, which can be useful to keep your backups organised. The Backup Location field has no special purpose – Softaculous backups are always stored in the softaculous_backups directory on your cPanel account.
All backups are listed on the Backups and Restore page in Softaculous. The option is the fifth icon from the right in the horizontal navigation menu (the image of an archive folder). For each backup you got three options: you can download backups; restore backups and delete them.
Image: a list with backups made via Softaculous.
To restore a backup, click on the restore button for the backup you want to restore. On the next page you got a couple of options.
The backup file includes the website files and database (unless you excluded either when you made the backup). If you want to just restore the database – and not the website files – then you need to make sure that this box is not ticked.
When you restore website files any existing files are overwritten. That is fine, of course – it is exactly what a restore is supposed to do. But what happens if there are new files on live website that don’t exist in the backup?
By default, the new files are kept. If you prefer you can opt to let Softaculous remove all existing website files before it restores the backup. If in doubt, leave the box unticked. However, if you are restoring a website because it has been compromised then you always want to enable the option. Doing so ensures that any malicious files added since you made the backup are removed.
When you restore the database any content changes made since the backup date are lost. You can exclude the database from the restore, and often it is fine to do so. For instance, if you are restoring a website to fix an error then you may want to untick the restore database option. There is a good change that restoring only the website files solves the issue. And if it doesn’t then you can always go back and restore the database.
This article is part of a series of articles about Softaculous and WordPress. The other articles are: