Backup & Recovery

Backup & Recovery

Just like with any important document system, it's important to have a critical backup infrastructure in place.  Be it your paper records at home, or backing up your personal computer.  Sitemason® is no different.  Backup and recovery with Sitemason® can be as simple as a couple of clicks, but there are some disaster events that require significant recovery work and should be explained so you are prepared. 

Before going into details, it's important to note that Sitemason CMS is a database-driven platform and makes use of multiple storage systems.  The number of backup options varies depending on where the data in question was stored.  Our backup system is designed to allow us to recover from some sort of complete system meltdow

Tool Deletion

Sitemason tools are specially treated so that if you delete any tool intentionally or accidentally, it is always recoverable.  Simply go to the Site Builder of the section where you deleted that tool, and in the Setup & Information tab, there is a "Deleted Pages" section.  Simply select the page you wish to restore, and click the "Restore" button.  That's it! Your work has been recovered, and the tool will appear as it did prior to deletion in the section it was deleted from.

Content Deletion (Within a Tool)

If you are editing a page, article, or similar element in Sitemason and delete some content you've been working on, or overwrite existing content, there are some variations to recovery.  Just like if you are working in a word processor, if you accidentally overwrite something you can always simply Undo.  Sitemason also supports Undo, so you can easily use CTRL + z (Command + z for Macintosh) on your keyboard, and the paragraph editor will undo up to as many changes as have been created since you opened the document. 

Also just like a word processor, if you overwrite work, save the page and close the application, the work is very likely unrecoverable.  If you find yourself in this situation, you have a few options for recourse. Unfortunately, recovering data stored in a Sitemason tool is tough, since that's stored within a database and requires significant effort to retrieve (without affecting the entire system).  You do have options to contact us to recover such content in a cataclysmic event, which will be explained below, however your simplest and least expensive (e.g. free) options are elsewhere on the web. 

Google Cached

For starters, Google and other search engines cache copies of your website.  This Google Help Document (linked here) explains what Google Cache is, and how it works.  You can begin by searching for the page you are trying to recover, then click "cached" beneath the search result and more often than not, Google will have an older copy of your page, and you can recover this by just copying the content on the cached page, and plugging it back into Sitemason.

Internet Archive

Another great option is the Internet Archive at  It's a non-profit which was founded, explains by their website, "to build an Internet library, with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format." By using their tool aptly named the "Wayback Machine" you can search past archived versions of your website in chronological order.  Often times you will be able to recover multiple versions of a page or site.  The process from there is the same. Copy the desired archived content and paste it into the appropriate Sitemason page.

It's also a great resource to look back at websites even 5 and 10 years ago to poke fun at the early internet.  Try a search for Yahoo from 1996!

File Deletion (From Your FTP Space)

Retrieving deleted files is generally easier than retrieving data from a Sitemason tool, though action must be taken quickly, since we don't keep backups around for forever.  See the next section for more information on how long we keep backups.

Sitemason Backup Details

All of the Sitemason services are built upon Amazon's EC2 cloud computing platform.  Our critical server storage is located on high-availability volumes.  In addition to these, routine snapshots are made (at least once per day) and are replicated across multiple networks.  We keep a handful of these backups, including the current day, the previous day, and even some from the previous month(s).  These backups are used for our purposes in case of catastrophic infrastructure failures, but if something is critical enough, we can use one of these snapshots to recover your lost data.

Costs for Recovering Lost Data

If you've deleted or otherwise lost a file that needs to be recovered, contact Sitemason Support with the specifics and we can review the options.  For such recovery, we charge $185/hr.  If files are lost in storage (FTP) space, it generally takes one hour to recover the file(s).  If data is lost from the Sitemason CMS (you've deleted content from a Page or News tool), then it could be much more complex, meaning it could take much more time and be much more expensive.  Please contact Sitemason® Support with the specifics and we can review the options


Tips & Words to Live By

Again, just like with any important documents, backup is always necessary.  There are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong in a digital world.  If your computer crashes, if your browser goes down in the middle of work, or even if a natural disaster strikes when you are unprepared.  With all of the great backup and recovery services Sitemason offers, it's still a good idea to backup as much as possible in multiple places.  That means keeping copies of your web pages in external documents, it means backing up all files in your FTP space, and it means backups of your entire computer system.  Sitemason is not liable for any lost content regardless of cause, per our Terms of Use, so updated and frequent backups are always recommended. If you have any further questions about our backup systems, or find yourself in need of recovery, please don't hesitate to contact our support team.

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