Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Create a Joomla Backup?

updated on Apr 13, 2015
How to Create a Joomla Backup? Making a regular backup of your Joomla site is quite necessary, and this tutorial is designed to give a step-by-step guide for doing local backups of your Joomla 3 website. Note that, we will cover both the manual and automated backup methods here. Now, let's further down and access the main body of this guide.

Why Back up a Joomla Site?

Powerful as Joomla is, it can easily be malfunctioned by a change of permissions or just a server update. If you don't set up a backup schedule in advance, then the upshot is that you will suffer a great loss in both revenue and credit once a site goes offline.

Besides that, for whatever reasons, there are many hackers out there to attack websites at any hour of the day. To fix a hacked Joomla website can not only annoy yourself, but also can keep your potential customers away. In this case, an updated back-up of Joomla site will be a live safer, and you can set up your own backups by referring to the following simple steps.

How to Back up a Joomla 3 Website Manually?

As you can see, we'd like to start with how to create a manual backup of your Joomla 3 website. Pay attention that, the whole process requires you to backup all Joomla files and databases. More details are available in below.

Make an Offline Copy of Joomla Files
In most cases, you can take full advantage of an FTP program to transfer all needed Joomla folders and files to your personal computer. However, the fact is that Joomla consists of over 3000 core files by default. More importantly, once you've made up your mind to transfer all files through a FTP client like FileZilla, it will take quite a bit time to transfer those smaller files.

Allowing for simplicity and convenience, the best practice to make a working backup of Joomla files is to compress your files into a single .zip file. To achieve this goal, you may consider using the "File Manager" tool that is provided by the most easy-to-follow cPanel control panel. As for details, login to the cPanel account and you will be able to notice this "File Manager" function within this "Files" section.

Joomla Backup - File Manager Option

Now, make a hit on it and go to the Joomla installation folder by choosing the "Web Root" directory in the above pop-up. If done correctly, you will be displayed with all Joomla related files as below. Just press the "Ctrl" and "A" buttons from your keyboard to select all those files, and in the meantime, click the top button labelled as "Compress."

Joomla Backup - Select All Files

Once clicked, there will be a new window, from which you are able to specify the "Compression Type" for all selected files and folders. As is shown, there are four different types for you to choose from, including "Zip Archive", "Tar Archive", "GZiped Tar Archive" and "Bzip2ed Tar Archive." Since you've done setting the archived files, do not forget to click the bottom "Compress File(s)" button.

Joomla Backup - Click Compress Files

Given that you have already created the archive of your Joomla files, you can download it directly through a FTP program. Alternatively, you can choose to download this compressed file to your local computer by typing its address like in a web browser.

Make a Back-up of Joomla Database
To back up your Joomla database, there are two different ways – one is through the inbuilt phpMyAdmin option in the cPanel, and one is through the SSH access. Whichever way you decide to use, you will have to know your MySQL database name, username and password. To get that information, right-click your configuration.php file and choose the "Edit" option within the same installation directory.

Joomla Backup - Open Configuration File

Upon entering, scroll down to the following lines that include your database credentials as follows. If done, you can go on with the backup creation process. Note that, the much easier phpMyAdmin method is instanced in below.

Joomla Backup - Find Database Credentials

To have a local backup of Joomla database through phpMyAdmin, firstly you should go back to the homepage of the cPanel. In the next snapshot, you are required to hit this "phpMyAdmin" within this "Databases" section.

Joomla Backup - Select phpMyAdmin Option

Once entered, there will be a set of your databases in the following left menu. All you need to do is select the very database you're going to back up by searching the previously-found database name in the configuration.php file. If completed, select the database of your own, and in the meantime, click on the "Export" button located at the top of this phpMyAdmin page.

Joomla Backup - Click Export Option

And then, you will be asked to select the "Export Format" and make a choice between "Quick" and "Custom" export methods. Here, just leave the options as they are and press the bottom "Go" button to proceed with this backup process. Please note that, phpMyAdmin itself would automatically generate a backup of Joomla database, and you can download and save it locally on your hard drive.

Joomla Backup - Click Go Option

How to Make a Full Joomla 3 Backup with Akeeba Backup Component?

In a nutshell, Akeeba Backup is an extremely-useful backup component for your Joomla site, and it is the successor to the noticeable JoomlaPack component. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this Joomla component is that it can create a complete backup of your site in one single archive file that includes a database snapshot, all the files and an installer. By the way, the whole restore or backup process is totally Ajax powered so as to avoid server timeouts.

Download URL:

Joomla Backup - About Akeeba Backup Component

Step 1 – Download & Install the Akeeba Backup Extension
To start using the Akeeba Backup, you shall firstly download it from the above-mentioned URL. Once downloaded, log onto your Joomla administrator panel and navigate to "Extensions" > "Extension Manager." From here, you will be able to get this component installed, which is the same as the installation process of any other Joomla extensions. At this place, just hit the "Choose File" button to upload the newly-downloaded file in .zip format.

Joomla Backup - Choose Unpacked File

Then, click on the above "Upload & Install" button and you will be taken to a new "Extension Manager: Install" page if this installation process is accomplished successfully. If so, go directly to "Components" > "Akeeba Backup" as follows. Before performing your backup, you'd better read the "post-installation messages" in below.

Joomla Backup - Component Akeeba Backup

Step 2 – Back up Joomla Site with Akeeba
As is displayed, there are many selectable options within the main page of "Akeeba Backup", and you only need to click this "Backup now" button to go on with this copy process.

Joomla Backup - Click Backup Now

In the following screenshot, it is possible to add "Short description" and write "Backup comment" within the respective blank sections. Remember to click the blue "Backup Now!" button at last.

Joomla Backup - Short Description & Comment

If nothing goes wrong, this backup creation process will start in no time. In the meantime, you can monitor the whole progress, but it is not recommendable to close the current browser window to interrupt the backup process. Wait patiently until this backup is totally completed.

Joomla Backup - Backup Creation Process

After the completion of this backup process, your screen will automatically refresh, and you can be transferred to a new "Backup Now" page saying that the backup completed successfully. Just click the blue "Manage Backups" option to proceed.

Joomla Backup - Click the Manage Backups

Step 3 – Download Your Backup File to PC
In this page, you will be displayed with a full list of all Joomla backups created by the Akeeba component. Just select out the one that you've created and hit this "Download" button within the "Manage & Download" column. If you're running a big Joomla site, this Akeeba Backup will automatically split your backup into several archive parts. If this is the case, you will have to download all needed parts for your backup.

Joomla Backup - Download Joomla Backups

Till now, you've already done with the entire backup creation process, and a full backup of your Joomla site has been successfully stored on your local computer now!