Video by MarionBlack
Added Dec 12, 2018

Author MarionBlack
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Backup Your Website With FTP

In this video you’re going to learn how to use FTP to back up your website.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It’s a way to transfer files from your computer to your website and from your website to your computer. So it’s a really good way to back up your website, especially if a backup plugin doesn’t seem to work for you.

One of the drawbacks with using FTP is that it doesn’t backup your database. But you can use a plugin to take care of that. I use WP Database Backup.

Download FileZilla from https://filezilla-project.org/ but please take care when you install as it may have unwanted programs bundled with it.

You can also use FTP to verify your website in Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo and Bing Webmaster Tools How to Submit Your Website to Google, Yahoo and Bing Using FTP

If you have any problems connecting then please check out my other video Training: Fix FTP Connection Issues

More Training by Marion Black - Sorted


As always I'm here to help you,


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Recent messages
JoePlale Premium
Just a quick question:
What is the difference (and difference in usage)
between the httpdocs and httpsdocs folder?

Far as I can see, they mirror each other.

I uploaded html and .jpg files to a folder I made in httpsdocs,
and shortly thereafter, the files showed up in the
httpdocs folder too.

Thank You

JOE
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MarionBlack Premium
I don't know the complete answer to your question, Joe. To me, it looks like the "httpSdocs" is a shortcut, not a folder so I stay out of it.
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JoePlale Premium
Nope - It Is a Folder ..
When I FTP there, I see 2 Complete Folders (HTTPDOCS and HTTPSDOCS) and the contents of "Both" are, as far as I can see, Identical
.. and, like I said - I Created a sub-folder (JoeStuff) within the HTTPSDOCS folder, and added an html file and a .jpg picture .. and when I go to https://mydomain/JoeStuff/index.html the expected webpage including image shows up.
yet, If I try and go to the http:// version, it just defaults to https:// **

** "Maybe if I had SSL "OFF", it would default to the http:// page .. which is perhaps why there are 2 seemingly identical folders ??

Fun Stuff, huh?

Thank You So Much

Joe
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JoePlale Premium
I am using Android Tablet, so No FileZilla
But, for File Manager I use "ES File Explorer Pro", which has FTP Client built in, and works Great.

Very easy to upload, download, and Edit files on your Hosted Domain ..
Just be Really careful, and Know what you are doing, if messing with program files.

Regards

Joe
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MarionBlack Premium
It's great that you've found a workaround for your tablet.
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FarrBetter Premium
You are wonderful putting this together for us. I was able to get the whole way but the drop and drag part. It didn't allow me to do that. Is there a workaround? I clicked add files to queue and it's downloading stuff but not on the left side where you were dropping the copied files. Please advise.
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FarrBetter Premium
I figured it out - I hit download and that sends the files to the left side. Yay!
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keishalina9 Premium
Wonderful! ... Success and you are super friends! .... all the very best, cheerio .. :)
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MarionBlack Premium
I'm glad you got it working.
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FarrBetter Premium
Thank you so much!!
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bpais1 Premium
Hi Marion,

While trying to use FileZilla to download my WordPress website, I was getting the famous “fail to connect” errors:

Error: Connection timed out after 20 seconds of inactivity
Error: Could not connect to server

After revisiting , I went through all the steps to try and fix it.

Doublechecking username and password – ensuring no spaces.
Changing between Passive and active modes.
Disabling my computer firewall.
Disabling my anti-virus software.

All this to no avail.

Then, I tried one more thing. I changed my router firewall security to a lower setting and – ouila! That did the trick. You may want to include that additional check in your future “fixing FTP connection issue” updates!

Stay well and Happy New Year!

Jim
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MarionBlack Premium
Perseverance finally paid off for you. Thanks for sharing.
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lakbar12 Premium
Oh my, I have been trying to do this for the last week or so. Thank you, so much Marion. I always love watching your training videos. This was a really easy step by step method. I noticed what I was doing wrong the entire time was I was not accepting the message where it states something like this can be aired...I do not remember the exact words but, I took a risk and selected I understood and I finally got a connection...Thank you so much, Mario! I really appreciate it. Is this FTTP the same file that we can make changes in such a footer credits? Oh is this just for a backup of our website?

Anyways thank you again Marion. You are a life saver.
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MarionBlack Premium
It's a file transfer method, Lakisha. You can use it to upload and download files between your computer and your website.
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lakbar12 Premium
Okay thank you, just checking.
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Paul90 Premium
Nice tutorial Marion. I have used Filezilla in de past privately and it never failed me. So I enjoyed and learned from your tutorial. I thought I saw you backup to the folder "MarionBackOnline". It was misspelled by me, nonetheless a suitable name for my main backup folder "PaulBackOnline" :)

Paul.
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MarionBlack Premium
MarionBlackOnline dot com is the name of my main website. I name the backup folders the same name as my dot coms.
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Paul90 Premium
Yes, I've just visited it now! That's a nice niche :). One thing I did notice in the video is dat Filezilla wasn't able to transfer your files by a secure connection. Maybe that has changed since (can't tell because I'm within my 30 days of Premium and my FTP password is because of that not yet visible).

Paul
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MarionBlack Premium
That's something that's set at server level, Paul. WA still uses FTP, not SFTP which is a more secure connection. I would ask Site Support to give you access to FTP now instead of waiting until you've been a premium member for a given length of time. Siterubix subdomains don't have FTP access.
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BSurla Premium
Hi it's me again, First thanks for this training. I'm having trouble backing up my site. It is giving me errors messages. "Connection timed out after 20 seconds of inactivity and Failed to retrieve directory listing. Thanks. I hope you can help me. Was it a WIFI issue?

And How did you set up your local site for your website? Because after I downloaded FileZilla, all my drives (desktop, documents, this pc and Drive D & E) in my computer was downloaded . I created a new folder for my back up and when I created a directory just like in the video, the date (2019-19-04) went down to the second box.
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MarionBlack Premium
Double-click on the folder you've just created to enter it. If you're having problems connecting then this video should help
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BSurla Premium
OMG, Thanks a lot Marion. You again fixed my problem. I watched the video you attached on your message and followed your instructions and I finally found the issue. I went to the edit section and changed it to active. And IT WORKS PERFECTLY! Do you think it went well ran, right? Any next move to do after backing up? Please check my attachment. Thanks again Marion Mwah!

I'm loving you Marion! You've helped me a lot.
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MarionBlack Premium
Directory listing of "/" successful! Way to go, Bien.
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BSurla Premium
Thank you
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lvsysop Premium
Thanks, Marion, using your FTP Procedure and FileZilla which I use every day for work, I was able to backup my website. I have a few pages and about 18 posts. Is it normal to have 7845 files in 1261 folder and use 247MB of disk space? I have since deleted all the themes I had download, which should reduce those numbers. Thanks for your help as always. ..Chip..
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MarionBlack Premium
Yes, that sounds about 'normal'. There are thousands of files which we virtually know nothing about that make up a website. They are all important. Some websites get to be a lot bigger than 247MB over time.
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lvsysop Premium
Thanks Marion for getting back to me. I removed all the themes I had acquired so that should reduce it some, not that it matters. I am also looking into the program Kyle suggested to back up the database,
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Pernilla Premium
Hello Marion!

1.
I'm a bit confused. I have understood that WP Clone is not quite reliable since the latest WordPress version - that when using WP Clone it can stirr up my website settings. I have remarked that WP Clone have not been updated since long and therefore it is not compatible with WordPress, is this correct?

Marion, I have read below that you still use WP Clone. Then you haven't had any issues?

2.
I don't understand the difference between FTP, WP Clone and WP Database Backup. What exactly does each one of these backup?

3.
Can I deactivate WP Database Backup after I have used it (just like WP Clone). Don't want my website get to heavy with Plugins?

4.
Do you have a WP Database Backup Training?


Very grateful for your help!
:-)
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MarionBlack Premium
Some people have had problems using WP Clone but I think it's because they didn't follow the instructions. I'm still using it 3 times a week and the last site I migrated from one hosting company to another using WP Clone (about 2 weeks ago) I had no issues with backing up or restoring.

WP Clone backs up everything but it fails on large websites. The developers even warn that it fails 10% of the time. That's why I don't rely on only one backup method.

WP Database Backup backs up the database but not the files. FTP backs up the entire website except the database.

I leave both WP Clone and WP Database Backup activated between uses. You can deactivate either of them when you're not using them.

I have much more comprehensive instructions at http://marionblackonline.com/move
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Pernilla Premium
Thank you Marion for your immediate answer.
It's such a wonderful service.
What would I do without you - you make online life so much easier.

For the moment I'm trying out the ftp backup - I have some issues there.
I'll look at your Fix ftp-training first. Perhaps I'll need some more advices.
If so, you'll hear from me again.

I'll also check out your instructions at your Website!

:-)
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AdeRobinson Premium
Hi, Marion. I've done your tutorial, as well as the one of fixing connection errors. But it wasn't successful.
This is the log of the connection trial (I changed my site name to examplesite.com for this comment)

Status: Resolving address of examplesite.com
Status: Connecting to 107.20.187.1:21...
Status: Connection established, waiting for welcome message...
Response: 220 ProFTPD 1.3.4a Server (Debian) [10.158.178.49]
Command: AUTH TLS
Error: Could not connect to server
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MarionBlack Premium
Ask Site Support to help Ade. Or send me a private message with your FTP login details and I'll see if I can connect.
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JBond1 Premium
Hi Marion, I followed your fantastic tutorial and then somehow managed to totally mess it up! I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I do know it went wrong from the 'highlighting' files and drag and drop, I"m using a mac and nothing would highlight (your tutorial said highlight all and then drag and drop to the left of the screen) anyway, from there onwards I lost the plot! and now I have closed the whole program because I have to go offline.

It told me that 5 items where transferred successfully but two weren't and of course there where loads more files still needing to be transferred.

What I want to know is, can I just start again somehow tomorrow? can I delete it all? restart it all? or, is there some way I can pick up where I left off?

What would your advice be re I have totally lost track of what I was supposed to be doing?

Sorry to be a real pain in the backside, your tutorial is fantastic, but right now, I am not! : (
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MarionBlack Premium
Please make sure you have plenty of time to do the backup. Depending on the size of your website it can take an hour or more.

I would start again and create a new folder on your computer to save the backup otherwise your won't know whether to overwrite the files you've transferred or not.

So just start afresh as if today hadn't happened :)
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JBond1 Premium
lol Thanks Marion : )
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My-Mate-Bert Premium
Hiya, Marion - great job, thanks.

Hadda slight chuckle as I watched as I just posted a reply in your data backup training post saying how long FTP download can take.

Loved it when your video here finished at the downloading point and said take a break.

Years ago companies paid me by the hour to do downloads for them and setup data backup rotation systems - 3 daily backups sets rotated & 1 monthly stored away safely. While the backups were downloading for an hour at a time I went down the cafe.

But I STILL GOT PAID WHILE IN THE CAFE!! - nice work when ya can get it, eh?

Catch ya soon & thanks again. - Andre
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MarionBlack Premium
Nice work if you can get it Andre.
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DrChristine Premium
Turned setting to active, turned off firewall and anti virus still get:

Status: Resolving address of drchristineroserecommends.com
Status: Connecting to 54.83.37.195:21...
Status: Connection established, waiting for welcome message...
Status: Insecure server, it does not support FTP over TLS.
Command: USER ftp_xxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: 331 Password required for ftp-xxxxxxxxxxx
Command: PASS *********
Response: 530 Login incorrect.
Error: Critical error: Could not connect to server

The message INsecure server, it does not support FTP over TLS, is this something important?
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MarionBlack Premium
The insecure server message is not relevant to the connection error. The error you need to address is "Response: 530 Login incorrect."

Make sure you have the correct username and password (use copy and paste) and make sure there are no spaces before or after.
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ThomasPaul Premium
Yes, try changing to just using insecure FTP. Not my favorite way of doing things, but sometimes you just have to work with what they give you.
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DrChristine Premium
I have to ask, how do I use insecure FTP
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DrChristine Premium
I did all that I think my computer hates me!!! I have been working on the same project for two weeks and every time I get one step worked out the then one is a new problem.
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MozMary Premium
Marion, sitesupport have asked me to use ftp to upload images from now on because of a bug in wordpress [!] and pointed me to Welshy's training, which is back in 2014 with a ton of added notes and people still asking questions - do you have a training on ftp and images specifically?
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MarionBlack Premium
No. I haven't done a training on that but, as usual, there's a plugin that can help it's called "Add From Server".

You'll need to upload the images into httpdocs > wp-content > uploads then create a folder called images.

Put the images into the images folder and use Add From Server to add them to your media library.

I had to use that plugin on one of my sites very recently.
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MozMary Premium
Thanks Marion! Great information!!
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Alphonsus Premium
Marion that was awesome... though I could not complete my site download because on FileZilla, because my FTP password is not available for the next 30 days, my site is quit new.
I just requested for the password, I will complete the process once I have the password.

Just one quick question please: do I always need come to FileZilla to do an update whenever I have new stuff on my site or its just a one thing.
Thank you Marion.
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MarionBlack Premium
The site rubix subdomains don't have FTP access. You can only use FTP on a domain that you own.

I use FTP for a total backup about once a month and I use a plugin to backup whenever I add new content.
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Alphonsus Premium
Thanks for your response Marion.
My site is not a Rubix's site, its a paid site, I was told the FTP password for a new domain is always kept for 30 days for security reasons. but I can request for it if I do need it before the 30 days.
Thanks
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letsrock Premium
Hi, Marion
Great post as always
I just tried to upload a httpdocs.tar.gz to a host, the file size was
570,606 KB and the host limit was 500 meg I think the file expands
out to 1.11G so the upload went good until I hit my the 500 meg limit.
So I used Core FTP to send the file to the host, went well for about
12 minutes then the transfer was stopped, it should have went, without a problem the host has an unlimited FTP transfer limit.
After doing a lot of internet reading about Core FTP, looked like Core FTP was one of the safest to use, but might have problems with large file transfers, I'm not quite sure what the problem is
Maybe you can shed some light on things
Thanks
Jim
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MarionBlack Premium
I know it takes longer to upload unzipped files but that would most likely solve the problem. So unzip the file and upload all the inner files and folders. Or make smaller zip files out of them.
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letsrock Premium
Thanks, Marion
I'm sure this would save me a lot of grief.
What program would you recommend to extract the httpdocs.tar.gz to my windows 7 computer also wondering
what files would be safe to extract to my windows pc

Thanks much for your support
Jim
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MarionBlack Premium
7Zip is open source (free) http://www.7-zip.org/ always take care when installing free software as sometimes they come bundled with extra potentially unwanted programs. (PUPs).
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MattinaM Premium
i did this to transfer my stuff to my website here since WA is now hosting it but i dont know how to do that. i dont know if i should pick a new theme for my site or how to move my content over. i had hostgator point my domain name to WA. when i put the address in the browser it says its under new hosting. i am so clueless and confused right now
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MarionBlack Premium
You'll need to install WordPress on your empty website so go to Site Rubix > Site Builder > On a Domain I Own. Then you can contact Site Support and ask them to help with the move
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MattinaM Premium
thank you so much, Marion. I greatly appreciate that. I had been stressing about it all day yesterday
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BeMyExpert Premium
Marion,

Awesome, simple tutorial and I thank you for it!!

As a newbie I was having trouble with the back-page editor style of building and had ruined my website more than once playing with headers, changing themes, etc.

I ended up buying a front-page editor (beaver builder) and had to use FileZilla to add it onto my site, so I was a little familiar with this process.

With the front end page builder I am now progressing much better. Until I played with a header again in CSS and almost completely lost my site a 3rd time....

After much stress and re-loading templates and themes I cheated the system a bit and I DID get it straightened out!

So... I will be more than happy to keep backups going using FileZilla on a weekly basis.

Thanks again for this tutorial, it means the world to newbies like me!

Christian
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MarionBlack Premium
FTP can be a little slow for weekly backups I usually do it once a month and use WP Clone twice a week. But then I have a lot of websites.
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HighPlaces Premium
Hi Marion!

I just tried this back-up exercise and got all the way through but, when it tried to connect to my remote site (I guess that's what it was doing) it kept showing the following status:
"Insecure server, it does not support FTP over TLS" and then eventually it timed out and gave this error message:
"Failed to retrieve directory listing"

When I was in the Firezilla Site Manager box I entered the host name (i.e. my website URL) but in order to enter the username it first required me to select a Logon Type so, on first try, I entered 'Normal' and, when that didn't work, I used 'Interactive' and supplied the password when it prompted me. Either way it hasn't worked and, as I say, gives me the above error message.

Any ideas?
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MarionBlack Premium
Yes, here's my ideas :)
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HighPlaces Premium
Wonderful! It took a bit of fiddling about with the different suggestions you made but, in the end, once I'd turned off all my protections (!) it transferred the files. I've turned protection back on right after though!

Thanks ever so much :)
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Rob105 Premium
Your tutorials are great, Marion. Thanks so much :)
I have a question. After I add a new post, should I go through this same back up again? I mean do I back up the whole website after I add a new post or do I just back up the new post?
Also can I delete my Backup plugin from my dashboard as it is kind of not needed if I am manually backing my website up through FTP, right?
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MarionBlack Premium
When you add a new post or page you can just use Tools > Export to back up. I use FTP for a thorough backup of everything once in a while and I use WP Clone before I install or update themes and plugins. You don't need to delete your backup plugin you can just leave it there in case you want to have more than one way to back up. I do deactivate it between uses. The plugin is much quicker.
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Rob105 Premium
Great, I am happy I don't have to back it up everyday because it takes over an hour.
Thanks again :)
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