If you’ve ever had a hard drive failure, you’ll know that a backup can be the ultimate life-saver.

If you’ve built your website with an online website builder, all your data is stored in the “cloud”. Your provider will take great care to make sure nothing ever gets lost. But sometimes unfortunate things happen: for example, you may delete a page on your site only to realize that this was a big mistake. In some cases your provider might be able to recover the data – but do not solely rely on this!

I’ve heard of a case where a 1&1 MyWebsite user deleted one main page from her navigation menu, which resulted in the deletion of 100 sub-pages. Unfortunately 1&1 was not able to recover those files.

But you don’t need to be afraid, because there is a simple and free tool that creates backups for you.


Tutorial: Using HTTrack to backup your website

Just one word upfront for users of WeeblySquarespace or Yola: these tools provide a convenient built-in backup feature. Webnode does too but not in their free plan.

Please note: HTTrack does not have a version for Mac OS yet. For a free Mac alternative you can check out sitesucker.us.

Step 1: Download HTTrack – it’s free!

Go to HTTrack.com and download the right software for your computer.

Step 2: Install it and open HTTrack

This will be your starting screen:

HTTrack starting page

Step 3: Choose a name for your project and select a backup location on your computer

HTTrack backup location

Step 4: Add the URL(s) of your website and hit “next”

HTTrack enter URL

Step 5: The connection settings should be fine. Click on “Finish”.

HTTrack finish

Step 6: This is what the progress screen looks like – it will now download all pages that can be freely accessed. Password protected areas will not be backed up!

HTTrack progress

Step 7: Your backup: to access the offline version of your website just open the “index” file.

Backup files

Tip: put a recurring event in your calendar to remind yourself to create backups.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any feedback or questions, please do leave a comment!

Icon: Shiny Icon Maker / Screenshots taken by Fabian

About Robert Brandl, BA (Hons) Munich University MUAS

robert brandl

Hi, my name is Robert Brandl, and I am the founder of Tooltester. I used to work in a digital marketing agency where I managed website and email marketing projects. To optimize my client's campaigns, I always had to find the optimal web tools. Tooltester (founded in 2010) opens this knowledge to you, hopefully saving you endless hours of research. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. You can also find me on LinkedIn.

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