This is probably one of the most important tutorials that I have written so far. When it comes to backing up your sites I simply can not stress the importance enough. I have had first hand experience with losing sites completely due to my lack of backing them up. You think that nothing will happen to your server, think again. I have actually had a hosting provider send me an e-mail saying that my server had somehow gotten smashed. ....Anyway, enough of my ranting. The bottom line is....backup is IMPORTANT!!!
So you have your Joomla site and you are looking at the many number of free and commercial backup extensions available and wondering, which one is the least amount of work? The one that I have found to work and be consistent is Akeeba Backup (This component was formerly known as Joomla Pack). You can download it at http://www.akeebabackup.com/download/akeeba-backup-core-for-joomla/index.html or you can find it at the Joomla Extension Directory. There is free version and a commercial version, we will be using the free extension for this tutorial.
Lets get started:
How to download your Akeeba Backup
1. You need to upload and install Akeeba Backup
2. Once installed, in the backend of your site go to the menu item Components and go down to and click on Akeeba Backup
3. Now you may see a big warning at the top of your page saying jQuery is not loaded, all you need to do is click on Parameters in the right hand corner and change the jQuery source and the jQuery UI source to use Google AJAX API libraries. Before we do anything else we need to make sure that it is configured the way we want it to. So go ahead and click on Configuration.
4. The first thing that you need to configure is Output Directory, where you want the backup file to be saved on your server. You also need to decide which Archiver Engine, or file type, you want your backup to be. For this tutorial we are going to change it to a .zip file and hit save.
5. Once you hit save you should br brought back to the Akeeba control panel. There you will want to click on Backup Now.
6. You should now see a screen with a text box, where you can leave notes about your backup, you will also see a warning message above that. The warning message is simply because we are using a .zip file, everything should work fine it just prefers you to use their file format.
7. Go ahead and click Backup Now to the right to begin your backup.
8. This step will take a few minutes as it backs and zips everything up. Note: Do not navigate away from this screen while inside of that browser tab or else it will lose the backup.
9. Once your backup is complete you should see a screen that says that your backup was successful. Underneath that you should a button that says Administer Backup Files. Go ahead and click on that.
10. After you click on Administer Backup Files you should see a file that is your backup (it will have a description of that file as well as any other files that you have backed up). Go ahead and check the box next to your file. In the right hand corner of the page you should see a button labeled download, go ahead and click on that.
11. Now you just have to figure out where you want to save your backup on your computer.
Now you have a complete and full backup of your Joomla site! Now lets put it back up.
How to administer your Akeeba Backup
So now lets get your site either in another part of your server or you actually lost your site.
1. First you need to go to your Cpanel server (or ftp) and go to file manager. Upload your backup file to the public_html folder (or a different folder inside of public_html).
2. You now need to extract your backup inside of that folder.
3. Before we do anything else we need to make sure that we have a MySQL database that is set up for our site. Note: You do not have to use the same database name or user that you had on your previous server.
4. So to set this up you need to go to your Cpanel and click on MySQL Database Wizard. You then follow the steps to make your database. Note: You need to make sure that you write down all names and passwords that made as we will be referring to them in a bit.
5. Once you have that complete go ahead and type in your browser url your website (if you put in a different folder inside of public_html then put http://wwww.yoursite.com/yourfoldername). What you will see is Akeeba's own installer.
6. The first screen you should see is the server set up check. If your server meets the requirements for Joomla then you should see green yes's next to each box. Go ahead and hit next in the top right hand corner.
7. Now you are to your database restore (looks kinda like when you first installed Joomla, right?) all that info you copied down form when you went through the database wizard is what you are going to put in. Note: Your database server host name will always be 'localhost'.
8. If you put in all the information correctly you should see a progress bar that restores the database. Click OK to continue.
9. You are now to the site info part of the installation. You should see your ftp options (I never use them, you can just leave it blank) but if you look down and to the left of your page you will see a few other options. If you click on Site Parameters you should see that you can change your site name and a few other options. Now, if you go one below that to Super Administrator Settings, you can see that you can change the passwords to any of the users on the site. Note: You can actually leave this as is if you wanted to, it is not crucial information. Click next.
10. Now it should tell you that your site had been configured and the last step is deleting the installation folder in your file manager.
11. Go back to your Cpanel>>File Manager>>public_html(or whatever folder you put it in). Just find the folder labeled installation and delete it for good.
12. In your browser type in the url of your site! Wow it is all there, all your settings and everything that you had before is right where you left it.
*Whew* a lot of steps but the finished result, utter relief. You now can backup any Joomla site no problem.
Thanks for listening if you have any questions or comments, well you know where they go.