Many web site and Content Management Systems (CMS), such as DNN, Joomla, Wordpress and others consist of 2 components:
the file structure which contains the code which is the "framework" for running the site.
the database which contains settings, data, and content for the site.
When you add modules or plugins, you may add both files to the framework, as well as add or modify database table structure and data. As a result, it's important that when you back up a site, that you get a "point in time" snapshot of both files and database (i.e., both done at the same time).
Because our file system backup and our database backup solutions run asynchronously, they will not necessarily be captured at the same time. As such, if you need a point-in-time backup of your site, it it is strongly recommended you perform a backup of the site.
Right now, many of our managed hosting customers are unable to backup their MSSQL databses. Our support team can make a backup of your MSSQL database upon request and provide it as a zipped archive in your private directory. For MySQL databses, you can backup your database using phpMyAdmin. See our Knowledgebase article How-To Backup and Restore MySQL Databases using phpMyAdmin
For your site files, you have a couple options for backups:
On all servers, you can use FTP to copy your site's files locally to your computer.
Plesk Control Panel
On servers with Plesk 11.x you now have the aditional option of using the Add to Archive feature to zip your site's files. This feature is found in the Plesk File Manager. Once in the File Manager, check the box next to the httpdocs directory, which is your site's root directory. Then using the More drop down menu, select the Add to Archive feature. This will then prompt you for a file name to use and make a zipped archive of your site's files.
On servers with CPanel, you can open the file manager, right click the directory you wish to backup and choose Compress.
It is STRONGLY recommended that you obtain a complete backup of your site in this fashion:
if you intend to UPGRADE your CMS version, this will ensure you can quickly roll back to where you were.
if you intend to install modules or plugins or make other significant changes.