backup – Web hosting, Domain names, Dedicated servers Fri, 29 Jan 2016 11:05:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 backup – 32 32 Closing Down a Server Fri, 30 Jul 2010 19:15:13 +0000 Everything comes to an end, and there are times when shutting down a server for the last time may just be the right thing to do. Whether the hardware is old and the websites need to be moved to a new server, or you have just decided to move on, there are certain steps you should take to make sure the process goes smoothly.

1. Keep backups of everything. Even if you have already made it clear to clients and users that the server will soon be gone, you should still keep backups around for a while, just in case.

2. Announce the shutdown well in advance. Do not wait until a few days before such a major change. Give anyone else involved time to prepare.

3. If you are migrating to a new server, have everything set up on the new server before you pull the plug on the old one. There should be minimal downtime.

4. Help customers adjust. If you were running some type of reseller or hosting business, refer your customers to another good host and help them move their sites. You never know when you may want to do business with those customers again.

5. If your website was particularly valuable in terms of content, consider selling it intact or passing off the content to someone who may want to use it and preserve it.

6. Keep or sell your domains. If they were at all valuable to you, they might be valuable to someone else or to you in the future. Do not just let them expire.

7. If you know of any places that recommended your site or advertised for you, make sure to notify them that you are closing.

8. Accept that change is part of life and move on with your life.

Photo Source: Flickr

Server Backup Tips Thu, 29 Jul 2010 23:13:06 +0000 Backing up your server may be the single most important thing you ever do. It could save your websites, your clients, and your business. We have covered quite a few backup issues on this blog. Here is a summary of some important points.

1. Always use a remote backup server. Although there are some benefits to local backup, it will be useless when the entire server crashes.

2. If possible, avoid using your home computer as your backup server. Use a dedicated backup server or lease backup space from a web host.

3. Use rsync or similar program to perform remote incremental backups.

4. Automate the backup process with a cron job.

5. Backup all website files and databases.

6. Periodically test your backups to make sure the process completed correctly.

7. Make sure users or clients also perform their own individual backups for added protection.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hosting Company Shuts Down Blogging Service Fri, 23 Jul 2010 19:00:21 +0000 The incident apparently began with the FBI monitoring certain web blogs for terrorist activity. Al-Qaeda is known to operate and spread their communication through the Internet, but the odd part about this shut down is that it was a community web service with many users.

The blogging service, Blogetery, reportedly hosted over 70,000 blogs, and most of those users had nothing to do with terrorism. Furthermore, the owner of the service is not being accused of terrorist activity either. The hosting company, sent a warning to Alexander Yusupov to take down the sites but did not supply any official evidence of the FBI investigation. The FBI says that it did not order the service to be shut down and that took that action on its own.

The sad part of all of this is that possibly thousands of blogs have just been erased from the Web with little regard for the innocent people who used them. The lesson to be learned, however, is that any website or service should have backups, even if the content is created by other users. Furthermore, with as many as 70,000 blogs, they also should have had some type of redundancy in place to prevent total data loss, even if it were accidental.

Source: Times Newsline

Don’t count on your computer for website backups Fri, 02 Jul 2010 16:43:17 +0000 It’s not uncommon that I hear someone say, “Sure, I have backups. Everything is saved on my computer.” Backing up your website files is important. While having copies on your computer is a smart idea, it’s not enough.

Computers fail too frequently to use them for your only backup. Of course, you can always download your site files from your host if your PC crashes, but that can take a while on some hosts. Additionally, it’s convenient to have an archive of every file you’ve ever edited. Pages under construction may not be available on your web server, either.

External hard drives and USB flash drives are very cheap these days. You can get a 4 GB USB drive for as little as £10. Most computers can burn files to CDs and DVDs as well. Considering how easy it is to make a second copy of your site files, why aren’t you doing it?

Secure File Transfer from SSH Mon, 17 May 2010 18:55:17 +0000 SSH secure iconIf you are accustomed to working with a graphical interface, such as Windows or Mac OS, having to manage your server from the command line can be arduous, but it is sometimes necessary. In some situations, for example, you might need to send a file directly from the server without jeopardizing security.

Assuming you are already logged into your server via SSH, you can also use the secure shell to send files. The command that handles this is called SCP, which stands for Secure Copy. SCP encrypts the file and any passwords, unlike FTP or RCP.

Sending files only involves a single line of commands. For example, if you wanted to send a file called “database.sql” to your backup server at “”, you would enter the following:

scp database.sql

Replace “username” with your actual username on the backup server, and the path after the “:” should match the actual path on the backup server where you want the copied file stored.

After you finish, you do not even need to disconnect. The connection will only stay open as long as SCP is sending the file. For more advanced SCP tips, type “man scp” from the command line.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

New Web Site Shopping List Fri, 14 May 2010 17:11:59 +0000 Woman with shopping bag in mall
You have purchased your domain and a hosting account. Now what do you do? You are ready to get your website started, so here are a few things you might need along the way.

1.Content Management System – Whether you have a blog or a shop, a CMS is pretty much the way to go these days. It is the easiest way to update your site and have a steady flow of dynamic content.

2.SSL certificate – If you are planning to make any sales, accept donations, require user logins, or anything else that involves the exchange of personal user information, SSL encryption is essential.

3.Support app – Unless your website is just a calling card, you will need to offer some type of support to your customers. The more methods of contact you make available to visitors, the better informed and willing to work with you they will be. A help desk and/or live chat app can go a long way in customer satisfaction.

4.Backup storage – You need to backup your data somewhere. There are many services that will handle this, or you can use a local computer.

5.Cloud services – If you would rather not manage your own email, groupware, or other systems, you can let a cloud computing service host those applications for you.

6.Web design – While a content management system gives you functionality, it will not give you style out of the box. You should hire a web designer or purchase a good template.

7.Site monitoring – Some web hosts will offer you decent web services monitoring. If not, you can find many free and paid for offerings on the web.

Photo Source: Flickr

Linux server backup to Amazon S3 Wed, 10 Feb 2010 22:28:31 +0000 Amazon Web Services logo

Amazon S3 is a storage service provided by It is part of Amazon’s cloud computing offering, and it used by all sorts of individuals and businesses. Although anyone with a Linux server can theoretically backup their server manually to S3 storage, it helps to have a tool to do it for you.

S3cmd is a command-line S3 client for Linux. It can be used with cron to create automated backups of your data.

“S3cmd is a command line tool for uploading, retrieving and managing data in Amazon S3. It is best suited for power users who don’t fear command line. It is also ideal for scripts, automated backups triggered from cron, etc.”

S3cmd is available for download from the project’s website in both source code packages and binaries for major Linux distributions. It is free and open source software released under the GNU General Public License.

Source: S3cmd

Backup Server Files with Rsync Wed, 04 Nov 2009 16:30:40 +0000 backup drive
Few tasks are more important on a dedicated server than backing up crucial data. Many businesses and individuals have suffered financial loss and even emotional breakdowns because they failed to backup their servers.

Rsync is a remote syncing tool that you can use to backup data without needing third-party software. It comes with a ton of options and can be quite overwhelming when you are using it for the first time. But rest assured, there is a large community of Linux users who offer support documents and articles about making backups work for your situation.

Rsync can make use of SSH to securely backup your information. It will also make the backups incremental. This means that rsync will copy new files, found on the server, to the backup destination, but it will only recopy the old files if they have been changed. That way, you are not wasting bandwidth overwriting files that have not changed. For a complete guide to backing up your server with rsync, read this article.

Lesson learned: pay your host on time Wed, 14 Oct 2009 15:08:15 +0000 payment
Paying for any service in a timely manner is always a good idea, but as a VPS user on a web hosting forum discovered, not paying your host could mean losing your data.

In this particular case, the individual was 40 days late on his VPS payment. The host terminated the account, but the person had not been making backups and lost all of his site data. The provider was willing to reactivate the account and restore the files, but only if the customer signed up again at a price $30/month higher than before.

It is never a good idea to pay your hosting fee late, and an even worse idea to trust your host to make backups for you.

Prevent data disasters with a RAID array Thu, 01 Oct 2009 15:04:42 +0000 dedicated server
Do you make regular backups of your data? Even if you do, you will always experience significant downtime in the event of a hard disk failure on your dedicated server.

One solution to this problem is to upgrade from a single drive to a RAID array. Simply put, the technology involves running two hard drives in tandem. One is used by the server, while the other keeps a constant backup of everything. In the event the main drive fails, the backup takes over.

After experiencing two hard drive failures on my dedicated server, I paid my provider around £100 to have a second hard drive installed for RAID. While a bit pricey up front, the cost of downtime for me was much greater. I not only lost revenue when my sites were down, but also had to spend a significant chunk of time reconfiguring my server and uploading my data. A RAID array was a no-brainer.