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  1. #1

    Confused by Hosting Options

    I am a website administrator/graphic designer for a 50 person company. I was hired this year, experienced with HTML, but still learning WordPress. The site was developed and is hosted by a very small company, essentially one guy. He is nice, smart, but not reliable. So it is time to move on. I'm growing more comfortable with installing plugins and modifying code -- but I need a backup system. I manually copy key folders on his server to our on premise server. So I know how to backup, but I have not restored a site, nor have I migrated a site. What hosting options are there which offer some support in case of issues beyond my expertise?

  2. #2
    The site is pretty small, about 30 viewable pages and less than 1GB in size.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Any shared hosting provider should be able to help you out with no problem on backups and related tasks.

    Do you have a budget for a provider?
    Any specific location?
    Operating system preference, control panel?

    I suggest looking through the shared hosting offers forum: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=4

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    You say you're copying folders, but are you also making backups of the database that WordPress runs on? If not, you're not backing up the site fully. To restore a WP site, you need all the files and the database.

    Pretty much any shared host would assist in moving the site, and potentially in helping you with restoration if something goes wrong later. Best to ask some providers you're interested in about their policy for this.

  5. #5
    Can use a plugin within WP to get a backup or config it via Cpanel, it's not just a folder. more important you need to have backup from your DB

  6. #6
    I back up the database using a plugin. (WordPress Database Backup)

    Then I manually copy all WP folders and relevant files from the server. I had an experienced WP developer help me with this.

    the "wp-content" folder and its contents
    .htaccess
    wp-config

    are the must haves, am I right? (The developer had me copy many more files than that, but I have read all other files can be restored with a fresh install of WP.)
    Last edited by ernstpete; 10-27-2013 at 12:44 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    If you have cpanel access, you can also set some cron job on daily,weekly,monthly to backup database,folders.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    If your host offers Softaculous, it has a very handy feature. It isn't expensive (you might already have it). You can import an existing site into Softaculous. Then you can use it to either backup the DB, Files or both. We use this feature prior to upgrading any plugins, prior to tweaking themes etc. Within 3 minutes you can rollup everything into a nice gzip, that you can append notes to like: "Prior to upgrading the green theme to version 2.3.1". Don't like what just happened. Restoring is one click. This handy feature makes life so uncomplicated. Sure we have R1Soft, local backups, and WP plugins, but there is nothing quite as easy as this.

    Yes the wp-content folder is what you likely need, but attaching a DB to a full set of files is nice.
    Last edited by gPowerHost; 10-27-2013 at 01:26 PM. Reason: typo

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    If you have access to cPanel, you can just click "Backups" and generate a backup that you can get your web host to extract for you.

    Softaculous is a nice suggestion as well, but if he doesn't have Softaculous, cPanel will work nicely too

  10. #10
    I have access to the dashboard and the server (via Filezilla).

    I am not sure what the cPanel is.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    If you post a screenshot of the control panel here we can most likely figure that out for you

    Quote Originally Posted by ernstpete View Post
    I have access to the dashboard and the server (via Filezilla).

    I am not sure what the cPanel is.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernstpete View Post
    I have access to the dashboard and the server (via Filezilla).

    I am not sure what the cPanel is.
    Is your dashboard your control panel? You may not have cPanel (a brand of control panel). Post a screenshot.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    122
    I think what OP meant by dashboard is the Wordpress dashboard.

    What you're looking for is definitely provided by most shared hosting providers.
    As for backup, most hosts give you access to cPanel, which is a control panel. You can easily make back ups of everything including websites, databases and emails.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    You say you have worked out how to take a backup, but never restored one. As has been said, many good shared hosts would help you with that.

    In your shoes, I would definitely make sure that you know how to restore the backup, and that it works. A backup that is not tested (by doing a restore) is not a backup that will let you sleep easy knowing it is there if ever you need it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernstpete View Post
    I am a website administrator/graphic designer for a 50 person company. I was hired this year, experienced with HTML, but still learning WordPress. The site was developed and is hosted by a very small company, essentially one guy. He is nice, smart, but not reliable. So it is time to move on. I'm growing more comfortable with installing plugins and modifying code -- but I need a backup system. I manually copy key folders on his server to our on premise server. So I know how to backup, but I have not restored a site, nor have I migrated a site. What hosting options are there which offer some support in case of issues beyond my expertise?
    Here is a bit of a roadmap:
    -You should go with a Fully Managed Host
    -If you have any idea of how busy your site is we can direct you to the right kind of managed hosting: Shared, VPS, Dedicated
    -Then you can shop in the Managed Service Provider Offers Section: http://www.webhostingtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=201 or one of the other offer sections
    -A fully managed host should do this:
    ----setup a backup plan and manage it, with tools for you to download backups as well.
    ----setup firewall security and harden your WP installation
    ----give you responsive, reliable support
    ----be willing to sometimes explain webmaster functions to you
    ----know WP and how to optimize it
    ----be able to transfer your current site for you to their server
    -optionally, I'm not sure about your email needs, a 50 person company might have extensive needs, if you fill us in we can give more detail to ensure email is not an afterthought.

    You need a fully managed host because a firewall has to be maintained, plugins need to be reviewed (for know risky ones), email will require spam filtering and there should be virus removal. Someday you might learn these, but you could easily get into a situation where these things don't happen. Just as you are now saying, "hey I need backups", if you knew all of the work involved in keeping the WP installation safe you would be surprised. I recommend you use a company that does a good deal of WordPress, as that is your platform.
    Last edited by gPowerHost; 10-27-2013 at 02:40 PM. Reason: typos

  16. #16
    Our site is less than 1 Gig in size and we get less than 100 visits in a day. (99 was our peak this past month.)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernstpete View Post
    Our site is less than 1 Gig in size and we get less than 100 visits in a day. (99 was our peak this past month.)
    Ok so shared, managed hosting should do just fine. Again, ask them if they will do the things I mentioned. Talking to a host about your expectations is an excellent way to gauge their willingness to meet your needs and their level of support. Once you have several candidates, check here to see if there any reviews. Unless you need enterprise email, I'd say a plan for no more than $10-15 per month would suffice.

  18. #18
    $10-15 per month is too much I think.

    As mentioned, with those site stats, Shared Hosting sounds definitely enough to cover your needs. And there are plenty of quality hosts that can accomodate your website on half the price, easily.

    My advice would be more towards testing the hosts, instead of researching reviews, as this can be misleading. Simply write down some WP related questions or functions you are interested in and contact the host via chat/phone/mail. Confirm their knowledgeability with your questions and also check the services they can offer towards your specific project - website transfer included? backups and restoring easy? tutorials and level of support? additional advice they can give you?

    All in all, trust not only reputation but ability to support your exact project.

  19. #19
    I am leaning towards DreamHost. They have different options ranging from $10-20 month. They are recommended by a Web Professional I know and I have read only good things so far.

    Not sure if their "DreamPress" option qualifies as managed hosting.

    Even though we are a small company, this is not my personal site. We can pay a little more for reliability.

    Researching potential hosts is overwhelming as there are many of them -- and reputations seem to rise and fall.
    Last edited by bear; 10-27-2013 at 05:42 PM.

  20. #20
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    The need for enterprise backups is strong. That is why I was quoting more. When you add in backups, say daily with 30 day retention you spend more.

    Yes DreamHost was once good, but not since they were bought up by the consolidator EIG. Now their service is lacking from what I read.

    Good luck!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by gPowerHost View Post
    Yes DreamHost was once good, but not since they were bought up by the consolidator EIG. Now their service is lacking from what I read.
    EIG did not buy DreamHost. I researched the EIG site and other sources.

    DreamHost did an April Fools Joke in 2011.
    http://www.dreamhost.com/dreamscape/...ational-group/

    A bad idea as many people now believe it to be true.

    I know that Wikipedia is not always accurate, but I've read in other places how DreamHost is still a private company, while HostGator and other companies are not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DreamHost
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enduran...national_Group
    Last edited by ernstpete; 10-27-2013 at 05:12 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernstpete View Post
    EIG did not buy DreamHost. I researched the EIG site and other sources.

    DreamHost did an April Fools Joke in 2011.
    http://www.dreamhost.com/dreamscape/...ational-group/

    A bad idea as many people now believe it to be true.
    I humbly apologize! Yes, i remember that and it stuck in my mind and I am in error. I won't be doing that again. If I don't have an experience with someone I will not comment. Having experience with EIG I wrongly jumped to the wrong conclusion, thinking they are now one in the same.

  23. #23
    No worries. The web hosting world appears to be highly fluid.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ernstpete View Post
    No worries. The web hosting world appears to be highly fluid.
    It is highly controversial it seems as well, from my experience over the many years, it would indicate so.

  25. #25
    I was convinced that Dreamhost is EIG too. I guess their April fool's joke didn't do any good at all to their business.

    Managed Wordpress hosting is usually a bit expensive. I would say a standard shared host should be fine for you. The best way to backup a site is to copy folders with Filezilla and export the database with phpMyAdmin. It's very simple and I've written a fool proof step by step tutorial on that (it's the one on "migrating to a new host" - the first part is about creating backups). Most hosts also provide full instructions in their knowledgebases and you can ask for help on a live chat.

  26. #26
    Add cpanel option right into your hosting plan and then do back wizard for take back of your whole site including databases and each and every thing, i got this a few month ago when i was dealing with some SEO companies. so that is the most effective way i think. stay blessed.

    edifer

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