There are certain things that we usually do after creating a Joomla website such as configuring the settings, customizing the templates, re-arranging the modules to our liking and adding some content. However once you’re done and satisfied with the results, it is very important to back up your Joomla website.
What is a website back up?
A website backup is a copy or snapshot of all your website contents. It may be stored either locally or on an external server. It may also contain all the scripts, media files and your database.
Why is a back up important?
When we manage a website, a million things can go wrong. There could be times when an extension or an update may break certain functionalities and there is no easy way to revert back the changes. Likewise, there have been incidents of data loss due to hardware failure. Moreover, there is also the possibility of hackers breaking into your website and damaging the files there in. Whenever, these events unfold, a back up will come to your rescue.
There are two methods to back up your Joomla website. You can either use a Backup Component such as Akeeba Backup or create your backup manually.
Back up your Joomla website using Akeeba Backup
The first and the easier method to back up your Joomla website is to use the award-winning Backup Component by Akeeba. With Akeeba Backup you can create backups of your entire website or a part there in with ease. Restoring a complete website backup is as easy as extracting the backup file unto your Joomla root directory and proceeding as you would normally install Joomla.
Akeeba Backup Professional, which is the paid version, comes with more features such as backing up to an external server but for this tutorial, we will stick to the free version.
How to install, configure, create backups and restore using Akeeba Backup
- Download Akeeba Backup.
- Upload and install the component from the Extensions Manager as any other extension.
- Navigate to Extensions > Manage > Install.
- Select ‘Install from Web’ tab.
- Search for Akeeba Backup.
- Select and install the component.
- The first time you open Akeeba Backup, you’ll be prompted with the self-configuration wizard. So, let it run.
- After the self-configuration and bench-marking is complete, click on Configuration.
- Under Basic Configuration, set your Output Directory i-e, where you want your backups to be created. The default Out Directory is yourdomain.com/administrator/components/com_akeeba/backup.
- Under Advanced Configuration, set the format of your backup file. The jpa format is recommended by the developers but it will require the Akeeba Kickstart script for restoring from your backup. Meanwhile, if you select zip as your format, you can simply extract the backup file using your File Manager and proceed with the restoration.
- Under Quota Management, set the maximum number of backups to be created before deleting the older backups.
- Navigate to Components > Akeeba Backup.
- Click on Backup Now – this will create a complete backup of your website including the corresponding database.
Depending on the format of your backup file, there are two methods to restore from it.
- Zip format
- Copy or upload the backup file via FTP to your Joomla root directory.
- Extract the file using your File Manager.
- Open a new browser window and visit your Joomla site URL.
- Proceed with the restoration which is pretty much self-explanatory.
- JPA format
- Copy or upload the backup file to your Joomla root directory.
- Upload the Akeeba Kickstart script to the same directory where you have the backup file. Please note that you only need to upload kickstart.php from the downloaded package.
- Launch the Kickstart from a new browser window by visiting yourdomain.com/kickstart.php.
- Proceed with the restoration. While you’re at it, you’ll be prompted for the backup file name and so on but they’re all self-explanatory.
Manually backing up your Joomla website
Before the backup scripts were released people had resort to this method. The manual backup consists of archiving your website into two part separately – every Joomla-related file inside your root folder and the database.
Backing up your Joomla files
- Select the folders and files inside your Joomla root directory.
- Zip or compress the files suing the File Manager.
- Copy the archive to a different location or download it to your computer.
Backing up the database
- Open phpMyAdmin from your Control Panel and login.
- Select your database.
- Click export to download it to your computer.
Manually restoring your Joomla website
- Extract the archived file to your Joomla root directory.
- Remove any existing table from the database you’re importing into.
- Import the database via phpMyAdmin.
- If you’re importing to a new database then you need to edit the configuration.php to match the new database name, username and password.
- The size of the database that you import via phpMyAdmin is limited by the php.ini upload limit. Follow this guide to import larger databases.