This document is valid for the current version of Plone.

Where is my site actually stored? How can I move my Plone instance between different servers? What should I back up?

In which directories on the local host are the elements of the site actually stored? Which files do I need to back up? How do I move my Plone instance to a different server?

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Plone stores objects in a Zope Object Database (ZODB).

Approches to ZODB storage include:

  • FileStorage — a single .fs file
  • binary large objects (BLOBs).

Plone 3 always uses:

  • FileStorage, normally var/filestorage/Data.fs

In addition, Plone 3 may use:

Plone 4 uses:

  • BLOBs for file and image content, normally within var/blobstorage
  • FileStorage for all other content types.


Backup of FileStorage and BLOBs is critical.

For sane backup of FileStorage whilst Plone is running, a script is provided. To simplify scripted backups, recent versions of Plone use a recipe: collective.recipe.backup.

In addition, to ensure correct versions should you need to restore, you may back up:

  • your buildout.cfg file
  • products and src directories.

For details, see Backup Plone.

Moving content

To move from one server to another (for example, from a local Windows-based laptop to a centrally hosted Linux server), with identical product versions on each server, you should move:

  • at least, Data.fs
  • plus, any BLOBS.

If you have a locally hosted Plone site and want to transfer it to your ISP, please be aware that your ISP has to support Plone hosting. It is possible to render a Plone site to static HTML using tools like CMFDeployment, but it is not recommended, as you lose a lot of the advantage of Plone's dynamic nature - and it is also a non-trivial setup exercise.

For details, see Upgrading and moving.