How to Configure your Website Backup Product

Website Backup Setup

SiteLock’s Backup tool is a way to get a full backup of your site files and database at the click of a button. This is a great tool for people who need to update their CMS, but want a backup to roll out in the event of an issue. It’s also a great way to periodically take automated backups of your site, so customers do not need to rely on host backups, which often have a price tag attached to each restore.

The backups are stored outside of the hosting server where the site is, so it’s much more secure than the common process of duplicating a folder in the control panel and considering that a backup, which leads to live sites getting infected.


To access the Backup configuration settings in your SiteLock dashboard, simply click on “Settings”, and then “Backup Settings”. From here, you can configure the file backup system and the database backup system.

a. File Backup Settings:

Configuring Backups is very similar to configuring SMART or SMARTDB. You will need to create an FTP user with full access to the files you want to be backed up. Then, select Files Backup Settings and enter all the requested information.

Backup Files: [Daily / Weekly / Monthly / Quarterly] Allows you to select the interval of backups.

Method for File Transfers: [FTP / FTPS / SFTP] Configure the connection method SiteLock Backups will make to the hosting server. Unless otherwise directed, “FTP” is most likely the correct option.

FTP Host or IP Address: This should be the hosting IP, or the FTP address provided by the host. This should not be the naked domain, as the SiteLock WAF blocks FTP access to the domain.

(S)FTP Port Number: This can be left blank for default configurations (Default Ports: FTP = 21, SFTP = 22, FTPS = 990). This is required if the server uses a non-standard port.

User ID: This is the full FTP user. Note that if the FTP user is an email address that’s created, the full email address needs to be added here (ex. [email protected]).

Password: The FTP password, which is case-sensitive.

Select Speed for File Downloads: [Normal (1 connection) / Faster (2 connections) / Fastest (3 connections] This allows you to select the number of connections our SMART can make to the server. This allows scans to finish faster, but takes more resources to do so. Typically, servers throttle the number of these active connections, so if multiple sites are hosted on the same server with SMART running, setting all of them to 3 connections could potentially cause a connection to time out. In this case, our SMART IPs may need to be whitelisted at the server level to allow more thn the normal number of connections.

Maximum Download Time: [30 minutes per day / 60 minutes per day / 90 minutes per day / 120 minutes per day] This allows the time limit for SMART connections to be defined, from 30 minutes to 120 minutes.

Once all these above settings have been configured, click the Test Connection button. If there is something wrong, an error will be displayed. Correct the error and try again. Once the connection has been confirmed, you’ll see the following:

Once you have successfully configured the FTP settings, you can now select the folder to be backed up and add any custom exclusions.

First, you will need to define the Backup Root. This is defined as the top-level folder to be backed up. For example, in a very simple situation like our test account, the site’s default root is the “public_html” folder. Click on the yellow Browse button.

Next, select the correct Backup Root. You can expand folders to find the correct root by clicking the “+” icon next to the folder name. You will need to click the correct folder (red arrow), and see it listed at the bottom of the page as the Backup Root folder (green arrow). If the backup root is listed where the green arrow is, you can select the “This is It” button to complete the process of defining the backup root.

I. Setting Exclusions

With the Backup Root correctly defined, you can now add the exclusions. Due to the data limit of the SiteLock Backup, it may be necessary to exclude additional website installs, or files over a certain size from the backup. You may also want to exclude files that are typically larger, like “.zip” files

Specific Files and Folders

Here’s an example of a folder being excluded. Fortunately, it’s conveniently named “”. Note that the folder is highlighted red and on the exclusions list on the right. This folder has successfully been excluded. You need to hit save at the bottom to save any changes to these exclusions.

Exclude Files by Type & Size

Here’s an example of exclusions based on file extension and file size. As you can see, we’ve excluded any files with the extension “.zip” (common for creating backups of folders, so a bit redundant to back up a backup in the backup). We’ve also excluded any file over 15MB from the scan, to conserve space.

b. Database Backup Settings:

The first half of the configuration of the database is just FTP settings, so the steps are identical to above. Enter the FTP information in and then select “Test Connection” once you’re done. You should get to the same green “Successfully Updated” notification once it’s configured correctly. At this point, we need to enter the database credentials.

Database Type: The only option here is MySQL, as this is the only database compatible with the Backup services.

URL: This needs to be the full URL of the site. This should include the “http(s)://” and “www” if that’s what the site uses. I’d recommend entering the domain into a browser and then copying the full path to this field (the browser will determine the protocol and sub-domain necessary).

Root Directory: Similar to defining the Backup Root in previous steps, use the “Browse” function to identify the website’s root directory.

Host: This is the database server hostname. When the database is on the same server as the files, which is typical of most hosts, “localhost” should work fine. Some hosts do have a custom database hostname, which will need to be added here. If there is any non-standard port (standard port: 3306), it will need to be appended to the hostname (ex. Localhost:3307 or

Username: This is the database username.

Password: This is the database password.

Schemas: A database schema refers to the organization of data as a blueprint for how the database is constructed. This should be determined and input automatically while validating credentials.

Once you’ve added all required information, hit the “Validate Credentials” button. Resolve any errors if the credentials can’t be validated. Once successful, you’ll see a message similar to the following:

Select the database schema and hit “Save”. You should see “Successfully Updated” once you’ve finished the process.

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