My backup took too long, what do I do?

February 10, 2021 in Website Backup

When we back up your website, we set a cap on how long we allow the backup to run. If it is running for too long, it is more likely that the files may be in an inconsistent state if a lot of changes are being made at the time of the backup. There are a few different reasons the backups take too long to run.

1. It is taking too long to list all of the files.

  • If you are using FTP to connect your site, the best way to resolve this would be to switch your connection protocol from FTP to SFTP. SFTP is a much more reliable and secure connection protocol. If this is something you are interested in, I would first suggest that you contact your hosting provider to determine if you are able to use an SFTP connection and what the correct connection credentials would be. If your host does allow you to connect using SFTP, please take a look at this support article for instructions on making that switch.
  • If you are already connecting via SFTP, you may have some symlinks that are pointing to files already being backed up which would cause it to take too long to list your files. Excluding those symlinks from your backups should resolve this issue. To exclude files from your backups, take a look at this support article.
  • If you are already connecting via SFTP, and there are no symlinks to exclude, then there is likely a large number of files to back up, and the solution is to find files that do not need to be saved and exclude them from your backups. You may want to start with any cache/log folders or any other folders that you do not need backed up.

2. It is taking too long to download all of the files.

  • This is typically caused by either a large number of files, regardless of size, or large sized files, regardless of how many. One way to resolve this is to exclude any files that do not need to be backed up. If you have large files that are important and need to be backed up, if you have a multi-site plan, you may want to exclude them from this backup and add them as a separate website to your account only backing up those large folders.
  • As with the issue of taking too long to list the files, it is also a good idea to switch to SFTP if you are currently using FTP.

If you've followed the steps in this support article, but your website backups continue to fail because it is taking too long, let us know, and we will be happy to look into this further for you.