because a Joomla backup will save your ass when things go wrong
One of the missing links in Joomla, is the lack of a core backup mechanism. The internet is a war zone, with all kinds of attacks going on, from hacking to SQL injection attacks to cross-site scripting, your website is constantly under attack. A complete backup solution is a must for any website.
There are a number of solutions that one might implement as a free Joomla backup solution, and we have outlined these in a separate article. However this solution has a number of critical missing features.
The number of attacks that a website experiences is huge. An incorrectly configured Joomla site is a very easy target. 3rd party components might have vulnerabilities which go undetected for a while, but once they are exposed, unless your site is patched, you will surely get hit eventually. Some people say that hacking is not a question of if, but a question of when.
So how do you prevent loss of face? First of all you make sure your website has been secured. Second, you implement a backup strategy such that if the worst happens, you can fix the problem and be back in business in as little time as possible, with no / minimal loss of information.
The XCloner component is a backup component for Joomla with a number of essential features. The features which we found to be extremely valuable are:
- Scheduled backups - Rather than have to initiate backups manually (with the probability of skipping backups) you can define a backup schedule for your backups to run automatically using a CRON job
- Storing of backups off site - again typical backup solutions create a file, which is left on the same server where your website resides. This presents a number of problems, if your server dies, the backup dies with it. If the site gets hacked, the file will probably be deleted. Therefore, the file has to manually deleted and stored in a safe place. XCloner is different, it allows you to store the backups off site. You have a variety of options for sending the file to a different server (automatic file transfer, email). Ideally, you have a remote server (which is in a completely different site so that a server being compromized does not affect the other), and the files are sent to this file. Otherwise you can setup an email address for your backups to be sent to (again you have to make sure that the email server is a different server than the one being backed up).
- Files backup vs database backup vs both - the requirements of the kinds of backups required varies according to the content of the site. XCloner ( 1) files backup - backs up only the phyical joomla files, images, and other physical files, 2) database backups - backs up the Joomla database, i.e. all content articles, sections, categories and your joomla setup, 3) full backups - files and database). One should implement a backup strategy based on the content site. If you publish frequent textual articles, you should take an occasional full backup, and a daily database backup. If you have setup fairly static textual content once but have ever changing physical files (e.g. pictures etc), you should take frequent file backups. If you have frequent file and content changes, you should take frequent full backups.
- Deleting of previous file backups - if you are taking frequent full backups of a site which contains a large amount of pictures or other large content, you may exhaust your physical storage quickly if you don't delete old backups. XCloner gives you the option of the deleting old backups automatically.
- Exclude directories - if you have certain directories which are stored safely and can be excluded from the backup, XCloner gives you the option of excluding certain files.
- Easy Restore - with XCloner you can easily restore any backups you have using the component. Besides being able to restore the backup to your current site, you can also quickly and easily move your site to a different server. Moving a site from one site to another is usually not an easy job, but XCloner make this easy to do.
The XCloner component is a highly recommended component. One feature we would like to see in future developments is a scheduling wizard, rather than having to manually perform the scheduling of backups, but apart from this, XCloner is the complete backup and restore solution for Joomla.
One more thing...Do you have friends or a Facebook group who you think would find this useful? Share this with them and then let me know what they think.
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