FAQ applies to:
ezimerchant Professional version 4
It is disappointing how often we get a call from a distressed client that has had a catastrophic hard drive crash leading to total data loss. The tragedy is not the crash itself; it is the loss of data which could so easily have been avoided. So we have put together this document to help you understand the importance of backing up your web site data and to provide you with the information you need to ensure all your data is backed up.
Important note: The new web based version of ezimerchant eliminates the need to worry about backups.
There are several ways to backup your web site data, including using ezimerchant's built in backup feature - however this doesn't backup everything that is required in the case of a complete system failure, so in this document we will show you all the different pieces of data you need to backup to ensure you wont loose anything in the case of a system crash.
What do you need to backup?
As mentioned above there are several pieces of data stored in different locations that need to be backed up. The list below contains all of the important pieces...
- Actual Store data - Stored in c:\program files\ezimercpro\websites\online store x
- Template data - Stored in c:\program files\ezimercpro\themes
- Product Style data - Stored in c:\program files\ezimercpro\styles
- Custom buttons - Stored in c:\program files\ezimercpro\buttons
- Product Images - These are stored somewhere on your PC. When you insert your small and large images into ezimerchant, it remembers the location of the files and ezimerchant needs them to be there. Hopefully you have a central location for all your images like c:\mysiteimages that you can backup as well.
What should I backup to?
An ideal backup media is a USB Flash Disk. At the time of writing they were available for as little as $28.00 for a 2GB model which should be more than adequate for your ezimerchant data. Alternatively you could backup to CD, DVD or even a shared networked drive. Many clients have backed up their data but stored it on the desktop or somewhere on the hard drive. You should never keep your backups on your own PC, even if its on another hard drive in the same machine. If your PC gets struck by lightning or something goes wrong and the hard drives fail your data will be lost forever. Always backup to media that you can disconnect or remove from your PC.
How often should I backup?
It is not necessary to backup your data everyday, especially if you haven't done any changes to your website - but if you have spent many hours adding products and making changes to your site that you don't want to loose then its a good idea to backup your data.
Do I need to back everything up every time?
If you have backed up all the data as mentioned above and have it stored on CD or DVD then it will be likely that the only data that will change on a daily basis will be the web site data stored in the c:\program files\ezimercpro\websites\online store x folder. This can be backed up on a per web site basis by copying the contents of the websites folder yourself or using the built in backup feature in ezimerchant. (If you run multiple web sites then you would need to use the backup feature in each of the sites.
Naming your backups
Give the backup file(s) a name that allows you to distinguish which backup is for which site. As an additional precaution it may be worthwhile to time stamp your backups so that you can go back a few days or weeks if you need to. I personally use the format YYYYMMDD (e.g. 20070416 for 16th April 2007). I find this approach allows me to quickly find the appropriate version.
As in the above example, you may wish to create a folder with today's date and then in it, place copies off all the relevant data.
Using the ezimerchant backup
If you want to backup just the contents of the c:\program files\ezimercpro\websites\online store x folder then the ezimerchant backup can be used. The backup feature will create a single zip file for you as well to save you space.
To create the backup go to the Utilities menu and select 'Backup Database'...
Choose your removable media and select the folder you would like the backup to go into...
Give the backup a useful name and click 'Save'...
ezimerchant will now create the backup and display the following confirmation screen. Click OK to finish...
You can now check your removable media to make sure the backup zip file exists...
Now remove your removable USB drive and keep it somewhere safe - Don't leave it plugged into your machine.