Backup Options

  • Applies to: Grid
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time Needed: 20
    • Tools Required: FTP, SSH, or CloudTech
  • Applies to: DV
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time Needed: 20
    • Tools Required: Plesk administrator access
  • Applies to: DV Developer
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time Needed: 20
    • Tools Required: Plesk administrator access
  • Applies to: DV 4.0
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time Needed: 20
    • Tools Required: Plesk administrator access
  • Applies to: VE
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: Power Panel login credentials


Part of keeping your data safe means backing it up often. Often, site related issues may be resolved by simply restoring your site's data from a recent backup. This article outlines several options for backing up your Media Temple DV.


The Grid doesn't come with built-in backup functionality. In general, you'll want to backup your website data using a third-party FTP client or a specialized backup tool. Below you'll find a list of some common applications you can use. This list is not comprehensive; there are other tools available that would work equally well. These can range from manual to fully automated.


This article is provided as a courtesy. Installing, configuring, and troubleshooting third-party applications is unsupported by (mt) Media Temple. Please take a moment to review the Statement of Support.

Backing Up Files


  1. FileZilla -
    A free and easy FTP client you can use to download your website data.
  2. Cobian Backup -
    A backup utility with some very advanced functionality.
  3. SmartFTP -
    A stable FTP client with plenty of advanced features.
  4. WinSCP -
    A robust GUI frontend for the SFTP/SCP protocol for secure file transfers.

Macintosh OS X

  1. FileZilla -
    This free and easy FTP client is also available for Mac OS X.
  2. Transmit -
    An FTP client that is very POPular with OS X users.
  3. Cyberduck -
    A popular freeware FTP client.


Although there are very different ways you can backup your data in a *NIX environment, most choices are based on rsync. The rsync command is a very powerful shell tool that can be coupled with cron to provide an automated backup solution. We suggest looking at the wealth of online resources available for using rsync.

Backing Up Databases

More and more sites are database-driven these days. If your website relies on a database, then you have more to do than simply backing up your html files. There are several ways to backup a MySQL database; the most common are phpMyAdmin and MySQLDump. We go over these methods below.

METHOD 1 - phpMyAdmin (Web GUI)

You can use phpMyAdmin to backup/restore your database if it is relatively small (~10MBs).

If your database is larger than 10MBs, please skip to METHOD 2 below.

Once logged into the Admin tool of the "Manage Databases" section of the AccountCenter, perform the following steps:

  1. Select the database you'd like to back up from the column on the left.
  2. Click on Export from the top set of tabs.
  3. Select the tables from the list that you would like to backup. If you want to backup the entire database hit "Select All."
  4. Select Structure and data from the bullet list.
  5. Selection boxes:
    1. Check the Add drop table box if you are moving the database to a new location and don't want to merge the old table with an existing one.
    2. Click the Save as file box.
    3. Use the Save as file zipped if you want to compress the backup before downloading it from the server.
  6. Click the "Go" button. When prompted, save the file to your local computer.


This method works regardless of the size of your database. You must have SSH enabled for the serveradmin user.

  1. Log into your server via SSH and cd into a directory where you have write access such as:
  2. Enter the following command:

    mysqldump --add-drop-table -h -u username -p dbname > dbname.sql

    * omit the '--add-drop-table' argument if you'll want to merge this backup with an existing database upon restore.
    * Where 'username' is replaced by the MySQL username.
    * Replace 'db00000' with the name of the database to be backed up.
    * Replace dbname.sql with what you'd like to name the backup file.

  3. Enter your MySQL password at the prompt. If you do not know your password, you can reset it in your AccountCenter.

    * If you get an error that looks like this:

    ERROR 1045: Access denied for user: 'username@localhost' (Using password: YES)

    You have entered an incorrect password. Please retype it carefully or change it in the AccountCenter.

  4. Use your FTP client or other means to download the file to your local computer.


Please do not keep copies of your database in any of your Domains/html directories as that content is accessible to your site visitors.

Snapshot Backup

The Snapshot Backup preserves the entire state of your server, from the core configuration files down to the emails. Recommended uses include the following.

  • Preserve a working version of your server before making system-level changes, like upgrading PHP or MySQL
  • Keep an off-server backup in (mt) Media Temple's secure Data Center in case your machine gets hacked or becomes corrupted
  • Make a new backup weekly or monthly so your data stays current

Feature Summary

  • Complete Backup. This includes customizations to the server configuration, all Plesk data, domains, emails, databases - every single file on the server.
  • Allows you to roll back to an earlier server state, should you have no other available backups of critical data.
  • You can pick and choose what files get restored. Or, you can roll the entire server back to its exact state at the time of the backup.
  • Peace of mind that your backup is safely housed in our Data Center for quick and easy recovery through Plesk.
  • Off-Server Storage - even if your server's host machine fails, your backup will be safe.
  • Create a new backup at any time of your choosing.
  • Hold multiple backups, up to 5, by purchasing additional slots. Each slot costs $20 monthly, and can be purchased via the AccountCenter. For instructions, please read this article: Purchase a Snapshot Backup.

Snapshot Backup Limitations

  • You cannot schedule automated backups. It's only one button to click, but you do need to manually click it to make a backup. See Backing up your server using the Snapshot Backup tool for details.
  • You cannot download the backup locally. Due to the large size of these backups (ranging anywhere from 4 GB to 60 GB), they cannot be sent to you. They can only be recovered through Plesk and are not available for direct download.

How to Purchase a Snapshot Backup

Please see Purchase a Snapshot Backup for details and screenshots.

Plesk Backup Utility for the DV

  1. If you are in the Service Provider view (you have a left nav panel), complete the following.
    • Under Server Management, click Tools & Settings. Under Tools & Resources, click Backup Manager.
    • The Backup Manager displays.
  2. If you are in the Power User view, complete the following.
    • On the Server tab, under Tools & Resources, click Backup Manager.
    • The Backup Manager displays.
  3. You can click Back Up or Scheduled Backup Settings, depending on whether you want to do a backup right now or set up a schedule. You can also set up a remote repository to store your data.

WHM/cPanel Backup Utilities for the DV

Backing up in WHM

You can use WHM to schedule a global backup of the entire server or individual backups for each account. Use the steps below to configure a backup in WHM.

  1. Log into WHM as the root user.
  2. From the Home screen, click on Backup.
  3. Click on Backup Configuration.
  4. Click on Enable to turn on and start configuring your backups.
  5. Choose a backup type and configure a timeout.
  6. Next, you can set the schedule for your backups and choose how many backups to retain.
  7. The next section is where you will choose what you want to backup. You can choose to backup everything or just individual accounts. If you wish to just backup one or two specific accounts, click on Select Users.
  8. If you chose to click on Select Users to only backup specific accounts, you will be able to choose to turn on and off backups for each user. If you chose to backup everything, continue to the next step.
  9. At this stage you can enable or disable backups for your DV's system files.
  10. You will also be able to choose to backup your entire MySQL directory, databases on a per account basis, or the entire directory as well as a per account basis.
  11. In the next section you can configure the destination(s) of your backups.whm_backup_config_destination 
  12. You may also configure external backups to locations using sAmazon S3, FTPWebDAV, etc...
  13. When everything is configured, click Save Configuration to activate your new backup schedule.

Plesk Backup Utility for DV 4.0 & DV 3.5

The Plesk Backup Utility will back up all of the data associated with a single domain, including website files, databases, and email. Recommended uses include the following.

  • Automate backups of important data
  • Protect against data loss
  • Restore content for one domain without affecting the rest of the server (if a single-domain backup is made)

Feature Summary

  • Choose all-server or domain-level backup: includes website files, databases, and email
  • Store on the server or a remote FTP location of your choice
  • Schedule automatic backups
  • Free



This backup does NOT back up everything on your server, such as high-level configuration files. It backs up Reseller and Customer settings in addition to domain content.

From the Control Panel

  1. Log into the Plesk Control Panel for your domain.

    The Plesk Control Panel.

  2. Click the Server tab.

  3. Under Tools & Resources, click Backup Manager.

    Click Backup Manager.

  4. Then, you can click on Back Up or Scheduled Backup Settings, depending on whether you want to do a backup right now or set up a schedule. You can also set up a remote repository to store your data.

From the Server Administration Panel

You must have the Server Administration Panel enabled. For instructions, please see: How can I change my Plesk interface?

  1. Log into the Plesk Server Administration Panel.

    The Plesk Server Administration Panel

  2. Click Tools & Settings in the left panel.

    Click Tools & Settings.

  3. Click Backup Manager.

    Click Backup Manager.

  4. Then, you can click Back Up or Scheduled Backup Settings, depending on whether you want to do a backup right now or set up a schedule. You can also set up a remote repository to store your data.


    If the Back Up option is grayed out, please open a request from the AccountCenter to have us set it up for you.

  5. Now, you will be able to choose which type of backup you want to make or set up a remote backup repository.

Other Plesk Options

There are quite a few ways to do batches of backups or single backups. For complete instructions, see the Plesk Documentation.


  • This backup does not back up your high-level configuration files.
  • The files are stored in a special Plesk format, which makes them less than ideal for migrations. See Manually extract Plesk backup files for a possible workaround.