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How To Take A Backup With Akeeba Backup

Article table of contents

In our last two articles we covered 'How To Install Joomla' and 'How To Install A Joomla Template'. In this article we will be covering how to 'backup your website', 'restoring your website from a backup (covered in a separate article found here)' and 'setting a backup regime'.

The worst situation that you could have is waking up in the morning to find your website has been hacked and you don't have any recent backups. You have a backup from 4 months ago but you have made to many changes since then. That's why making regular backups is important, keeping your software as up-to-date as possible increases security and limits 'hacking attempts / destroying your website'.

Security note: all version of Joomla prior to 2.5.6 (excluding Joomla 1.5) are vulnerable from a user privilege escalation hack, you should update as soon as possible.
2nd Security note: Joomla 1.6 and Joomla 1.7 have been discontinued, you should update to the latest version of the Joomla 2.5 branch as soon as possible.
Off topic slightly, running a Joomla 1.6 or Joomla 1.7 website is seriously discouraged and puts your website and potential customers at risk. Both Joomla 1.6 and Joomla 1.7 have been discontinued and no security updates (any updates in fact) will be released for these version of Joomla. You should update to the latest version of Joomla which at time of writing is Joomla 2.5.6. Along with security updates it also introduces a number of new features, you should read the following articles, 'Joomla 2.5 Released', Security Updates and the Release of Joomla 2.5.0 from the Joomla developers'.

Because Joomla is one of the largest growing Content Management Systems available more and more 'hackers' are trying to find 'loop-holes' within the CMS in order to hack websites that are powered by the Joomla CMS. A large amount of website owners have taken out our 'De-hack My Joomla Website' security service purely because they didn't keep their extensions up-to-date and they didn't take regular backups.

The extensions that we will be using in this 'How To Take A Backup' tutorial will be Akeeba Backup, developed and maintained by Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos. Nicholas develops a number of extensions for the Joomla CMS and within this tutorial we will be using two of them, 'Akeeba Backup Professional' and 'Akeeba Kickstart'.

The 'Akeeba Backup Professional' extension is a commercial extension, Nicholas offers a non-commercial release called 'Akeeba Backup Core' which is free for download.

How To Take A Backup - Installing Akeeba Backup Professional

This part we will cover installing Akeeba Backup Professional within our Joomla 2.5 powered website, if you already know how to install extensions please skip to 'How To Take A Backup - Taking A Backup'.

Log in to the Administrator area of your website and go to 'Extensions' -> 'Extension Manager'.

Click here to view the screen shot relating to browsing to the 'Extension Manager' within Joomla

Click here to view the 'Extension Manager'

Within the 'Extension Manager' you have three options available to you,

  1. Upload Package File - This option is used when you have a ZIP folder on your machine. For this tutorial we will be using this option.
  2. Install from Directory - If for some reason the ZIP file is to large you can upload the files to the server using an FTP client and this option to avoid any upload limits that are set on your server.
  3. Install from URL - If your extension is located externally, say on Joomla as an Update Package you could use this option.

Because we are using the first option (Upload Package File) you will first need to click the 'Browse' button, a dialog box will appear which allows you to browse your machine and find the extension ZIP folder.

Click here to view the dialog box to browse your machine

Once we have found our ZIP folder we will then click the 'Upload & Install' button located to the right of the 'Browse' button. After waiting a couple of seconds you should receive a confirmation message, if you don't then either you have:

  • Tried to install an un-allowed file extension
  • A ZIP folder that is larger then the 'max upload size' of the server
  • Tried to upload a ZIP folder that contains Joomla 1.5 contents
  • There is a mis-match with you 'tmp' folder path settings

This instance we received a successful message and our Akeeba Backup was installed.

Click here to see the successful message

How To Take A Backup - Taking A Backup

We will now need to browse to the 'Akeeba Backup' component by going to 'Components' -> 'Akeeba Backup'.

Click here to see how we browsed to the 'Akeeba Backup' component

By default there is already a backup profile which will backup everything, this includes your database (where everything is stored, content, users, extension information etc) and all the files within your web-space. To take a backup of your whole website (and database) just click the 'Backup Now' button, it's that simple. All you had to do was browse to the 'Akeeba Backup' component and click the 'Backup Now' button.

Click here to see the 'Backup Now' button

Once you click the 'Backup Now' button you will be taken to a progress screen which will outline all of the steps that are involved with the backup and will tell you what stage Akeeba Backup is currently at.

Click here to see the 'Akeeba Backup' progress screen

With just two clicks your website is backed-up, many people don't realise that with just two clicks they can backup their website and have a backup ready for any unfortunate event (ie; if you get hacked tomorrow you can restore the backup that you did a couple of days before).
Now that you have backed-up your website you should download / store the backup files off and away from your server. If your server is down for a long period of time you won't be able to access your backup so you wont be able to find alternative hosting for your website if needed.

There's a number of configuration settings that you can set within 'Akeeba Backup' from sending your backup to the 'cloud', from disallowing some folders within your web-space or even disallowing certain database tables. You should also read Nicholas's documentation about his extensions by clicking here.