In the end, I managed to fix the website, but it was too late. Working on a customer site for 4 hours, not finding the solution, ruined Sunday for me. It’s easy to say that I “shouldn’t have made the mistake(s) in the first place”, and you’re probably right. But what frustrates me the most, is that I realized that making a backup regularly would’ve “saved” my Sunday. I’ve certainly learned my lesson…
Yesterday, we posted the story of a webmaster who thought little of making backups. And when it turned out that he didn’t have any when he needed them, it ruined his Sunday. You can read the “tragic story” by clicking the link above.
Don’t make the mistake to think that ‘you’ll never need a backup’. Everyone running a Joomla website might, at some point, need a back-up. We’ve already devoted a few articles to this subject. No point in back-linking; because we’ve moved on to better methods.
Today, we’re going to review Akeeba Backup Core, a free Joomla! component, or rather a set of Joomla! components and plug-ins and even a (windows) program.
We don’t remember who brought Akeeba Backup to our attention, but we’re grateful for whoever it was that did. If you’re looking for the best back-up solution for your Joomla! websites, look no further. Akeeba is the real deal.
The core of Akeeba is the component, which you can manage from your back-end. Akeeba is pretty easy to use: create a back-up profile (or more than one, should you feel the need to) and you’re ready to create back-ups. Should the configuration options be a bit overwhelming, just do what we did during our tests: leave everything as is, and don’t look back; it’ll work just fine for you.
You’re also given a few tools to manage your back-ups, like the option to delete back-ups stored on your server, the option to read your logs; or even the option to exclude files or database tables from your back-up. If you’re somewhat Joomla! savvy, none of this will be unfamiliar. And it not… just leave things “as is.”
THE RED BUTTON
Okay, so there’s no red button. To back-up all you have to do is click the… blue button. Akeeba will then create an archive which contains all your files and your database. There’s no tedious downloading of your folders or extracting your database; Akeeba does all this for you after a click on the button.
But, what if you forget about making back-ups? How about a little reminder? You can download an Akeeba Button which will nestle amongst the other buttons of your admin panel. This button will indicate whether you’ve made a back-up recently – you can configure what you consider to be “recent” – a day, a week, a month? Just name it, and after some time has expired, Akeeba will warn you.
Kickstart isn’t a motorcycle thing
One of the great things of Akeeba, is that it’s not only super easy to backup your website. It’s also extremely easy to recover from a backup. The Kickstart Script, which is also available for free, will help you with the recovery. Simply upload your Akeeba Archive to a folder, upload the Kickstart script and use your web browser to to go http://whateverthepathtoyourfolderis/kickstart.php. The script will then help you to reinstall the Joomla website. If you don’t change any of the options the site will be recovered “as is”, but you can also change the settings; e.g if you want to recover the site on another server.
We had fun testing this module: We created five clones of the Toralko.info blog which we named Akeeba One, Akeeba Two, Akeeba Three, Akeeba Four and Akeeba Five. Recovering / recreating five sites in an hour must be some kind of record, right? The website claims that Kickstart can extract any kind of ZIP or JPA archive; and we’ll take their word on it, as we’ve only tried to recover our website.
Websites, I command thee.
I can hear some of you moan, already. “But I don’t want to go to all of my sites ,and click the back-up button.” Good point, neither do I. That’s where the Akeeba Remote Control comes into play. The name probably gives it all away, right? After installing a Joomla! plug-in, you can use a free windows / Mac / Linux program, called Akeeba Remote Control.
With this program, you can start back-ups right from your desktop! All you do, is add your Joomla websites and provide the necessary password, and you can create backups for multiple sites, with the click of a button. The icing on the cake is two-fold:
- Akeeba RC can download the backups straight to your desktop.
- You can SCHEDULE backups in Akeeba RC, and the backups will be made for you!
Some time ago, I tweeted something that would’ve made a fine conclusion:
Why haven’t I tried Akeeba before? It’s like… a gift from the Joomla gods. I could almost cry now. Almost.
Of course, there’s going to be no crying – it’s already bad enough that this message got retweeted accompanied with an “aaaaaaw”… and then got retweeted again. But I still believe that Akeeba is one kick-ass tool.
Anyone working with Joomla! should put this on his must-install list. Don’t take MY word for it; there’s plenty of people who swear by this component. And if you’re an “I don’t believe it, until I try it myself” guy, go ahead and try it. It’s FREE, after all.
How about you, people? Any positive / negative experiences with Akeeba? Any alternatives we should discuss in the future? Comment, and be heard; or contact us.