Joomla backup - how to set up a reliable solution

Akeeba backup logoLast week, I published a post about my hard disk crash and backup problems. This is definitely not something I would wish on others.

Even though the hard disk was not recoverable (without a spending a LOT of cash), I was rather lucky. With emphazis on lucky! There was not too much information lost and I've been able to recover from the crash with minor real damage. It could have been a lot worse!

This week, I would like to focus on backup - what you can do to secure yourself from losing your Joomla web site.

There are several reasons for backing up your Joomla site regularly:

  • Server crash
  • Hacker attack
  • Extensions breaking your site
  • User errors (deleting files and databases)

So, here are my recommendations regarding Joomla backup:

Reliable Joomla hosting

  • Pick a great web hosting company
    There are a lot of companies offering hosting for Joomla out there. Not all of them are trustworthy. Nor are all of the Joomla savvy at all. They just add Joomla to their portfolio to increase their potential market. You will benefit from choosing a host who specialize in Joomla hosting. Backup is just one factor. If you are not sure what to look for in a Joomla host, or how they compare, check out the Joomla Hosting Reviews site.
  • Make sure the hosting provider has off-server (and/or off-site) backup
    Serious hosting providers offer frequent off-server backups of your database and files. Even better would be if the information is also brought off-site, in case of fire etc.

Automatic backup

  • Install and configure Akeeba Backup
    In addition to the backup provided by the hosting provider, you should do your own backups. These backups are easier to restore in case of a smaller mishap. A restore from your hosting provider might cost you a lot of money. Install the Akeeba Backup extension to do full backups of your site and database. You can even set it up to back up your site to another server via FTP. This last feature is great for moving your site to a new server or to set up a copy of your site for testing purposes. If you backup your site to a folder in your site root, make sure you adjust the file size quota for Akeeba Backup to avoid filling your disk completely.
  • Install and configure LazyBackup
    I am lazy. And so are probably you ;) That's why LazyBackup was invented. This neat little plug-in will do a backup of your database and send it to you at set intervals. Very easy and convenient.
    You can also install LazyBackup Checker. This extension allows to display a backup checker for LazyBackup. Install the module, publish it and change the position to "menu". You'll have always the status of your backups. If something wrong appends the status will be red.
    Akeeba Backup also has a function like this, so if you use Akeeba, you won't need LazyBackup.

Manual Joomla backup

  • Download your full site via FTP
    If you have only one or a few sites, a solution can also be to download your entire site via FTP. It's easier to use Akeeba Backup, but you might want to download the site manually as well.
  • Export your Joomla database from phpmyadmin
    The same goes for your database. You can do a Joomla database backup by exporting the database and tables from phpmyadmin:
    • Go to 'Databases'.
    • Choose your database.
    • Click the 'Export' tab. 
    • Click 'Select All' to select all tables
    • Check the 'Save as file' checkbox
    • Click 'Go' - your database is now downloaded as a .sql file which can be imported when needed.
Save database from phpmyadmin as file

The ideal Joomla backup solution

There has been said a lot about backup being important. For me, the most important things to look for in a backup solution are:

  • It's frequent
  • It's redundant
  • It's reliable (meaning I don't have to check it all the time)

I hope this has given you some ideas on how you can set up a reliable backup solution for your Joomla site.

Have any other ideas? Please share in the comments!

Read 13994 times Originally published on Monday, 18 January 2010 09:00
Last modified on Wednesday, 24 November 2010 12:04
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