After many hours, days, weeks, months . . . years of working on your pride and joy a must-have is a backup package that will backup your Joomla!® powered website.
In no particular order there are many benefits to taking regular backups of your working website:
- An update goes wrong - you need to restore the last known working copy of your website;
- An accidental deletion of one or more articles, or one or more extensions gets deleted;
- Sever failure leading to a non-retrievable site;
- Moving your website from one server to another - either with a new web-host or the same web-host;
- Creating a "clone" of your live website in order to test new extensions or test existing extensions before that extension is updated / upgraded;
UsingJoomla.com highly recommends using Akeeba Backup for Joomla
Akeeba Backup for Joomla is a multi-award winning Joomla extension.
You have a choice between two versions:
- Core - the free version;
- Professional - the for-a-fee (aka: paid for) version.
There are differences in what you get with each version which can be seen in the Akeeba Backup for Joomla table below which refers to Akeeba Backup Core versus Akeeba Backup Pro version 6.1.0 which is the latest version as at 22nd May 2018.
* The table below is produced here with kindness of Akeeba Limited for allowing usage of such a comparison table.
|One Click Backup - Backup your entire website and its database with a single click||Yes||Yes|
|Restoration script included in backup archive||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic Configuration Wizard - Fine tune the configuration to your server set-up||Yes||Yes|
|Multiple formats available - including jpa and zip||Yes||Yes|
|Front-end backups - allows CRON scheduled backups and remote backups||Yes||Yes|
|Manage Backups - allows you to download and / or delete backups||Yes||Yes|
|Exclusions - Allows you to select directories and/or files to exclude from your backup||Yes||Yes|
|Restore a backup from within the component||Yes||Yes|
|Create multiple Profiles - useful when wanting to configure different backups. For example one profile to create jpa backup and another profile to create zip backup||Yes||Yes|
|Cloud backups - send Backup archives to any: SFTP, FTP, or FTPS server. Store backup at storage providers including DropBox, Amazon S3, Box.com and many more||No||Yes|
|Remote quota management - prevents your Cloud Server from getting too full||No||Yes|
|Receive backup archives via email||No||Yes|
|Backup archive encrypting - with 128-bit AES encryption||No||Yes|
|Backup ONLY your site database, or ONLY your files||No||Yes|
|Incremental files-only backup||No||Yes|
|Regular Expressions (PCRE) file, directory and database filters||No||Yes|
|Automatically exclude non-Joomla database tables||No||Yes|
|Include extra MySQL databases in backup set||No||Yes|
|Include off-site directories in backup set||No||Yes|
|Import arbitrary backup archives||No||Yes|
UsingJoomla.com suggests trying the Core version - this will give you a feel for how Akeeba Backup for Joomla works - please bear in mind though that "professional version only" features will be missing.
If you want to read up on official documentation you can read the very thorough Akeeba Backup for Joomla guide.
Any questions, before purchasing the Professional version, can be asked via the Akeeba Contact Us Page.
Akeeba Backup for Joomla is a website installable extension - simply downloading the package to your computer or laptop does not install Akeeba Backup onto your website - so you can safely select the download button knowing that you are not (yet) doing anything on your website.
The Akeeba Backup for Joomla guide mentioned above includes instructions on installation - I shall not repeat the perfect documentation in this article.
On deciding to purchase a Professional subscription of Akeeba Backup for your Joomla powered website - if you have read this far we think it is a fair conclusion that you are, or will be, using Joomla then perhaps it might be wise to choose the Akeeba Backup for Joomla package - there is a separate package for WordPress and a further separate Standalone package.
An additional item from the same developer is useful when restoring, or transferring a backup: Akeeba Kickstart.
Akeeba Kickstart does not restore your site - kickstart simply extracts your backup archive, while Akeeba Backup for Joomla creates a backup of your site plus includes a restoration script inside the backup archive, once the archive is extracted by Kickstart, the archive inbuilt restoration script takes over.
Kickstart is also available in two versions: Core and Professional.
The core version is free, access to the Professional version of kickstart is included in your Akeeba Backup Professional for Joomla subscription.
You can read an overview of Akeeba kickstart.
And for a more in-depth read there is the kickstart guide.
If you decide to buy a subscription to Akeeba Backup Professional for Joomla - once logged in to the akeebabackup.com site, you will see a "My Downloads" link in your user menu - the "My Downloads" section should show a link to download your "Pro" version of Akeeba Backup for Joomla and a separate download link for Akeeba Kickstart professional.
Akeeba Kickstart is not a package that gets installed within Joomla! - Kickstart has to be extracted locally (on your computer or laptop for example), and at least one specific file from the extracted package transferred to your server site location when a site restore or transfer is imminent.
There is good news for loyal Akeeba customers - when you come to renew your subscription at the end of your 1 year period - there is a healthy renewal discount - so long as you renew in the last few days of your current subscription.
When you have taken your website backup, usingjoomla.com recommends taking the following steps:
Download your backup file(s): via ftp to your local PC (computer) or laptop, always use "Binary" mode of transfer/download - using ASCII can cause backup corruption;
"Copy" your downloaded backup to another physically different location: this can be an internal hard-drive or external (portable) hard-drive. Here at usingjoomla.com we store each backup on five physically different hard-drives. Multiple copies stored in physically separate locations helps cover your bases if you experience local hard-drive failure or backup deletion. If you are using Akeeba Backup for Joomla there are even options to "Post-Process" which involves Akeeba Backup uploading your backup to your Dropbox or Amazon storage account;
Delete the backup stored within your website: this achieves two things: 1)You are not consuming a large amount of your Hosting account disk space with one or more backups. 2) If the worst happens - someone else gets access to your backup;
Test your backup: make sure it works - trying to restore your backup to your live site location is not the time to find out there are issues with your backup. Carry out a backup restore in a test/development directory, or locally using a package such as XAMPP which allows you to create a server environment on your local PC or laptop;
Keep backups from as long a period as you can: here at usingjoomla.com we keep backups from at least the last 12 months.
Akeeba Contact Us Page (Pre-sales questions can be asked via the Akeeba Contact Us page).