Straight Forward Backup and Migration with Akeeba

Here is what you need to do to get Akeeba running on your site and to start backing up and making clones for migration purposes.

  1. Download and install Akeeba backup.
  2. Download kickstart. Extract the folder and look for the file called “kickstart.php” this is all you will need.
  3. Once it is installed go to components> akeeba backup and press the icon that says “backup now”. I usually just use the default however, you can tweak some of the back up configurations that you want.. Make sure to check under configuration that the backup is being stored as .jpa file. I have had trouble using other compression formats in the past.
  4. The backup will start. Don’t close the page or browser until it says that the backup is complete.
  5. The backup will compress all the files in your Joomla! folder as well as the database. It will also embed a bit of  installer magic automatically which will come in handly later on.
  6. Once the backup is complete you have the option under manage my backups to download your compressed site through the browser. However, this should only be used in a pinch since sometimes it results in corrupted data. I find it best to FTP to my root folder and extract the file that way. By default Akeeba will store your backups in adminstrator> components>com_akeeba>backups. Look for the .jpa file, this is the file that represents your entire site. FTP it to your local computer and keep there as a backup.
  7. Go to your webserver and create a new MySQL database for your site. Make sure to add a user to that database and give that user full permissions. Also make sure to note down your username and password for later.
  8. Now that you have downloaded  your .jpa file you will need to upload your Kickstart.php file and the .jpa file to the new directory on your server where you want to install the clone site.
  9. Once both files are uploaded navigate in your web browser to where kickstart.php resides. This would be something like this: http://your-domain/kickstart.php.
  10. Opening up kickstart.php in your browser will take you to your site restoration page. Follow the prompts on the page. The script should auto-magically find your .jpa file.
  11. At this point two things are going to happen. The installer is going to take you  through extracting your actual site files to your new directory. Second, once the files are extracted Akeeba will walk you through the steps of setting up your database. Enter your database settings from the database you just set up in step 7.
  12. Once your site has extracted and your database has been restored you can use the Akeeba clean up button (which is open in another tab of your browser) to delete the installation files that could compromise your site. Once you hit clean go ahead and check to make sure that the site came over OK.

And that is it! Your site should be working. If it isn’t take a look at the Akeeba site for pointers or follow some of my troubleshooting steps below:

1. The installer cannot connect to my database– Make sure to check to see if you have added the user to the database and have given the user permissions. Also double and triple check your password.

2. The installer displays browser errors or won’t complete- Sometimes the type of browser you use when you are using the Akeeba installer matters. Try running the installer on a different browser.

3. I get a whitepage or 404 errors on my pages

a) Make sure to check your .htaccess file. Sometimes I find the best way to resolve these errors is to rebuild the .htaccess file. To see if it is the .htaccess file which is causing you a problem go to your site directory and rename the .htaccess file then refresh your site. If the site works then you know something in the .htaccess file was causing the issue.

b) Check your global configuration. If you still have admin access then you should see if SEF and rewrite is on. Most of the time toggeling these on and off after the site has been migrated resolves URL type problems.