The Joomla! Community Magazine™

Backup Now! - You know you should!

Written by | Saturday, 01 January 2011 00:00 | Published in 2011 January
In Joomla! we are exceedingly lucky with the quality of extensions provided to make backing up your site easy - just a few parameters and the job is done. In this article Team EaSE shows you three free backup extensions, one plugin and two components.

Backup, backup, backup - we say that but do we do it?

Akeeba Backup

Akeeba BackupAkeeba Backup installs the component as well as a backend module and a plugin. The installation confirmation not only offers direct links to the documentation and the support, but also a link to the component’s configuration page. The module will place a button in the administrator’s control panel that enables you to perform a backup straight away and informs you of your backup status. The developer has given a lot of attention to usability. All configuration parameters have tooltipped labels that provide good explanatory descriptions on all configurable options. In addition, each page provides a help button that links to the online documentation.

Babs Gosgens from Team EaSE discusses Akeeba Backup with Nicholas Dionysopoulos

Backup

Besides the more basic parameters like storage paths and backup types, Akeeba Backup also let’s you specify more advanced MySQL settings and archive engines. Some engines, such as DirectFTP, do not actually produce archives, but take care of actually transferring your files to other servers. In addition, you can specify backup profiles. This very useful feature allows you to alter the settings for each profile so that you can customize the backups for different purposes. For instance, you may want to perform daily backups from your database only, but monthly backups of your entire site. Backups can be performed manually or by setting up a cron job. Akeeba Backup also comes with a plugin that let’s your site perform automated backups every number of days.

Restore

The restoration process in very much like the Joomla installer. The extracted archive will contain an installation script that leads you through the entire restoration in a step-by-step fashion. You are give the same options when installing Joomla, from setting the MySQL account information all the way to your administrator password. This is extremely useful when migrating from one site to another, as it also writes the configuration file for the server that you are restoring your backup to.

Support

Akeeba Backup has an actively maintained free support forum. There is also a professional support subscription that offers private ticket support as well as domain support. There is online documentation available, as well as a PDF manual. The consolidated version of the manual, the Quick Start Guide, gives step-by-step instructions for backing up and restoring your site and is especially useful for first time users. Video tutorials and walkthroughs are also found among the online documentation.

akeebabackup-installerakeebabackup-configurationakeebabackup-filesakeebabackup-liveupdateakeebabackup-lazyscheduling

Check out Issue 7 Comparison Spreadsheet .pdf below

jBackup

jbackup-article

The jBackup system plugin, provided by Yoshiki Kozaki of Joomler!.net in Japan is a simple yet feature-rich plugin that performs backups of your MySQL database. It installed smoothly. The plugin parameters have tooltips, but they could have been a little more descriptive. In all, the plugin is easily configured and works as described.

Backup

Backups can be performed via cron at timed intervals or at a specified time daily. There is no need to configure your server, the jBackup plugin handles the cron implementation for you. The archive files (in GZip format) are stored on the server (inside the plugin’s directory) but can be send to a preset E-mail address. You can specify whether or not to keep the archive on the server after sending it. A nice feature is the password secured link that is sent with the E-mail. Archives can also be removed via the plugin parameters.

Restore

The plugin parameters holds a link to the dump file.

jbackup-admin-params

Support

The support forum is maintained in English. There is an online manual in English and Japanese.

Check out Issue 7 Comparison Spreadsheet .pdf below

xCloner

xcloner

XCloner, a 1.5 Native Joomla! Component, has it’s own interface. It is clean and easy to navigate. Configuration is reasonably easy. The user is presented with ample help throughout all features of XCloner’s backend. There is also an option to translate the backend into your own language. XCloner comes with German, Dutch, English and Spanish by default.

Bo Astrup from Team EaSE discusses XCloner with Ovidiu Liuta

Backup

XCloner allows you to either backup your entire Joomla site including all of your database schema’s tables, as well as backup specified directories and tables by excluding those that you do not want to back up. You can choose to backup manually or create a cron file that your server can execute automatically at timed intervals. Cron files are easily setup via the ‘Cron’ tab in the configuration panel. XCloner also provides manuals on setting up cron jobs on various control panels (CPanel, Plesk).

xcloner-general-optionsxcloner-database-optionsxcloner-files-optionsxcloner-translator

Restore

You can restore an XCloner backup from within another Joomla site that has XCloner installed. You can also restore a site through a restore script. This script consists of two files that are located in a directory called ‘restore’ in any Joomla XCloner installation. The entire restoration process is well documented within XCloner’s Admin: Actions > Restore

Support

The backend provides links to the support forum and the online documentation. The forum is actively maintained. PDF Documentation is available, as well as an XCloner wiki. The PDF documentation is well presented and very complete. XCloner natively supports Wordpress backup plugin and a standalone PHP/MySQL application.

Check out Issue 7 Comparison Spreadsheet .pdf below 

 Summary

These are three different backup methods each with their own strengths - a database backup plugin, a component with the added bonus of the translation tools and a major backup component with many features. All have their uses. We encourage you to visit their sites and learn more - also to perhaps support all these devs by purchasing their very reasonably priced support or professional versions.  

Issue 8

All backed up and securely passworded? Excellent! Team EaSE is currently researching Joomla! Extensions and Services designed to intrigue, delight and maybe educate you in Joomla! Community Magazine 2011. 

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Team EaSE

Team EaSE

Current Team EaSE Members: Bo Astrup, Babs Gösgens, Brian 'Sully' Sullivan (Team Lead), Miljan Vujosevic

Grateful thanks also to Steve Burge

Past Members: Hilary Cheyne, Amy Stephen, Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos, Neri Valentin-Macias