This article was formerly for Joomlapack. Joomlapack has been changed to Akeeba so this tutorial has been revised for Akeeba but it can still be used as a Joomlapack tutorial.
Part 1 - Make your Akeeba Backup File
There are a few different ways to back up a Joomla site but Akeeba is by far the easiest. Akeeba is a multipurpose, cloning component specially designed for the Joomla CMS. Where Akeeba is a cloning tool, it allows your site to be restored on any server not just the server of the current site.
Akeeba is often used for..
- Security Backups
- Building the site off line and uploading to a live server on completion
- Testing Locally
- Debugging Locally
- Moving a site to a new host
There are many advantages of using Akeeba. It saves tons of time and it is also free which is always a plus.
Download & Install Akeeba
The first step is to download Akeeba. You can get the latest version here
Download the component and install just as you would any other Joomla extension. If you don’t know how to do this, just login to your Joomla site backend and click Extensions->Install/Uninstall, click browse and load the Joomlapack zip file that you just downloaded, then click “Upload file and install”.
Run The BackupNow your Akeeba/Joomlapack component is installed. Now while in your Joomla backend, click on Components->Akeeba Backup->Backup Now. You will now come to a screen with a large "Backup Now" button. You can create backup profiles choosing specific things to back up with Akeeba and choose them here but we are not going to create any profiles we are just simply backing everything in the site up so just leave default profile. You can also add comments here to remind yourself of what this backup contains, etc.
Now you will be taken to a progess screen while your files and database is being backed up. This process can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 4 or 5 hours. It all depends on the size of your website.
Downloading The Backup File
Hopefully your backup completed without any erros. Once the backup is complete it is stored on the web server. You want to download the backup to your local machine. There are instances where your site could crash or you cant access your server and having the backup stay where it is will not be much use to you.
From Joomla: You can download from your sites backend by clicking on administer backup files. This is the easiest method but Akeeba nor myself reccomend this method for larger website (500mb+) because your download archive can easily get corrupted or not fully download through your browser. If you dont want to deal with the next method which is FTP, then just click administer backup file and save it to your computer.
FTP: If your site is a pretty good size then I reccomend using FTP. I am not going to go into how to use FTP in this particular tutorial but you need to log into your site with an FTP client such as Filezilla and navigate to the joomla root/administrator/components/com_joomlapack/backup directory and there you will see your .jpa file. Transfer it to your local machine.
Thats it, now you have a full backup of your website on your local computer. I would reccomend doing this process at least every 2 weeks and also after EVERY major update on your website.
Part 2 - Restoring Your Akeeba Backup
There might be a time when you will need to restore your site from a backup. This could be because of a site crash, moving your site to a new host or any other reason.
When restoring, it is similar to the regular Joomla installation process. Some people will install a fresh copy of Joomla before restoration. Please do not do that. The point of having an automated backup utility is that it is able to produce a self restoring backup set.
In order for us to extract the .jpa file that we created in part 1, we need to download a special php script that will do that for us. This script is called Kickstart. You can download the Kickstart script here
Open up your FTP client to the root of the website where you want to restore your Akeeba/Joomlapack backup file. This could be on the same host as your original site or a new web host. Put your .jpa file that we just backed up and kickstart.php into the directory where you want to restore your backup. These 2 files should be all that is there. There are some language files in the Kickstart zip that you downloaded but you only need to include them if you need another language than English.
In your web browser, navigate to www.yourdomain.com/kickstart.php. Choose your jpa file and click Start. FTP and other info is not mandatory.
Another installation window will open. This process is much like the regular Joomla installation process. Make sure you meet the right system requirements for Joomla, which you should especially if you have had a joomla site on the same host.
Enter your NEW database fields. The old database info does not matter. You will need a fresh database for restoration. After creating a new database, go back to the installer and enter the
- database name
If your restoration is sucessfull with no errors then your site is restored. Visit the site to make sure everything is working and in order.