Backing Up Site Content on the Grid

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  • Applies to: Grid
    • Difficulty: Medium
    • Time Needed: 20
    • Tools Required: FTP, SSH


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 outside the scope of support provided by (mt) Media Temple. Please take a moment to review the Statement of Support.



  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.


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 the one below, then you have entered an incorrect password.

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

    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.