Backup Basics for a Joomla! Web Site
Backing up data is vital for businesses; lost information can cause a major crisis or worse, lead to business failure. Individuals who don't backup computer data run the same risk. While this may not cause financial ruin, it can certainly be frustrating and even heartbreaking. Computers aren't perfect. Servers malfunction or are open to vulnerabilities, files become corrupt due to script kiddies or malware bots, motherboards malfunction, CPUs call it quits taking our precious data with them. Data backup can mean the difference between a slight computer setback and living through your own electronic apocalypse.
Backing up data is vital for businesses; lost information can cause a major crisis or worse, lead to business failure. Individuals who don't backup their Joomla site run the same risk. While this may not cause financial ruin, it can certainly be frustrating and even heartbreaking.
Backing up your site involves the storing of files/folders and database information from your server in another location. In this way, if there is ever any loss of data on your server, you still have your data in backup in order to restore those files. In the world of computers, loss of data can be devastating, and while there are possibilities for recovery of data after a disaster it is far easier to restore your files/db from backup than having to restore manually your entire Joomla website. So make regular backups and store them on different media i.e. a flash disk (or 2 to make sure you still have one if your flash disk gives up on you!) or a commercial Cloud storage provider such as Amazon S3
Check always that the backup you make is not corrupt and contains the actual data! You can create a copy of your site on a local installed server to test the backup and/or practice restoring your site.(see link below " Copying a Joomla website ")
To backup your webesite you will need to backup:
a) Your Joomla database [and]
b) The files and folders of your website
Manual System Backup
How to backup the database and site is well documented in [Copying a Joomla website
For the database back-up we use phpMyadmin and a good tutorial can be found at Joomlatutorials
For backing up your files and folders you need to use an FTP-client such as the very popular Filezilla or any of the dozens described in this wiki-entry but check the Joomla forum what is widely used if your are not sure what ftp-client is suitable for you!
Automated system backup
Several automated backup extensions for Joomla 1.5 are available and highly sophisticated is the free backup and restore extension Akeebabackup which offers in its commercial version several interesting and helpful features as fully automated backups via cronjobs.
If you use cPanel as Control Panel and your host has enabled daily/weekly/monthly backups you will be able to download these backups from your CTRL-panel, tab "backups". A full backup includes all of the files in your home directory, your MySQL databases, and your email forwarders and filters. You can back up your account and move your account to another cPanel server via server-server ftp.
More Backup and Restore Documentation
Frequent backups are the best way to make sure you can recover if your site has a problem. This video entitled How to backup and restore a Joomla! database using phpMyAdmin by kristofdb explains also the steps.
More info on phpMyAdmin can be found at the homepage of PhpMyAdmin
Never store the backup on your own server (!) Also do not backup your site(s) on a mirror disk (VPS/Dedi server) on the same server only since the entire server or datacentre might burn out!