Kevin's Papers

Technical Papers by Kevin Morrison

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How to Backup a Joomla Site without Akeeba Backup

There are situations where using Akeeba Backup is not an option. One such event would be if you neglected to keep you site updated but updated Akeeba itself. While the developer does keep older versions available if you are not prepaired and keep backups of these older versions you may be left high and dry. Before there was great tools like Akeeba Backup we had to perform these backups manually. While different website control panels offer different ways of getting to the required features I will only be describing how to do it on cPanel.


There are a few different ways you can backup a Joomla site and really any database driven site can be done with these methods. The easiest of these methods is to login to your cPanel control and use the automated backup feature. I have found this unreliable with some sites and I do not use it myself but it is really straight forward and all you need to do is select Backups in the files section of your control panel.

The first choice to use if the first one that generates a full backup of your website along with any databases that it uses. Note that cPanel is not capable of knowing what database goes with what site (if you say have a sub domain) and will backup all the files and all the databases on your account. Using this method you are given a few choices of what to do with the backup, you can back it up to the home directory, use remote FTP (either secure or none secure), or using Secure Copy (SCP) which creates the backup and then creates a secure link between cPanel and your download location. Regardless of what method you use it is very important that you delete the backup as soon as you have copied it or move it outside the root directory using an FTP client or your cPanel file manager as soon as you are finished. Leaving this backup available on your site is a huge security risk and you do so at your own peril.

The other way and the way that I choose to do is to open your file manager, select all the files and compress them. Then using binary mode download the backup package to my local storage device. Once that is done I open phpMyAdmin and download the databases to the same location. 

In a followup article I will show you how to restore a backup using these methods to the same site or to a completely new location.


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