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A typical backup/restoration work flow

[Tip]Tip

If you are looking for a quick start to using the component please watch our video tutorials.

As stated, Akeeba Backup is designed to make your life easier. It does that by streamlining the work flow of backing up and restoring (or migrating) your site. From Akeeba Backup's perspective, restoring to the same host and location, copying your site in a subdirectory / subdomain of the same host or transferring your site to a completely new host is identical. That's right, Akeeba Backup doesn't care if you are restoring, copying, cloning or migrating your site! The process is always the same, so you only have to learn it once. The learning curve is very smooth, too!

[Warning]Warning

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESTORE TO A DIFFERENT DATABASE TECHNOLOGY. IT WILL NOT WORK, IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO WORK AND IT CANNOT BE MADE TO WORK. For example if you took a backup from a site using a MySQL database you CANNOT restore this database on a PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server or Windows Azure SQL database.

For your information: the structure of tables is extremely different between different database server technologies. There is no one-to-one correspondence between the structures among two different database server technologies. As a result the conversion process is a very manual and tedious job which involves a lot of trial and error and knowing the code which is going to be using this database. To give you an idea, converting the tiny and easy database structure of Akeeba Backup to MS SQL Server and PostgreSQL took about 20 hours and involved making a lot of changes to our code to cater for the new databases. That was the preparatory BEFORE we started working on the actual database backup code. This is something which cannot be automated.

The typical work flow involves using two utilities from the Akeeba Backup suite: the Akeeba Backup component itself, and Akeeba Kickstart. Here is the overview:

  1. Install Akeeba Backup and configure it to taste. Or use the automated Configuration Wizard to automatically configure it with the perfect settings for your server. Hit on the Backup Now button and let your site back up. When it finishes up, click on the Manage Backups button. Click on the download links on the far-right of the only backup entry from the list - or, better yet, use FTP to do that - saving all parts of the backup archive somewhere on your local PC.

  2. Extract the kickstart- VERSION .zip file you downloaded from our Downloads repository. The only contained files are kickstart.php and the translation INI files. Upload them to the server on which you want to restore your site to.

  3. Upload all parts of the backup archive (do not extract it yet, just upload the files) to the server on which you want to restore your site to (called here forth the target server ). Your server's directory should now contain the kickstart.php and the parts of the backup archive (.jpa, .j01, etc).

  4. Fire up your browser and visit the Kickstart URL on your target server, for example http://www.example.com/kickstart.php .

  5. Change any option - if necessary - and hit the Start button. Sit back while Kickstart extracts the backup archive directly on the server! It's ultra-fast too (when compared to FTP uploading all those 4000+ files!). If it fails with an error, go back, select the Upload using FTP option and supply your FTP connection information, then click on Start again.

  6. A new window pops up. It's the Akeeba Backup Installer (ABI), the site restoration script which was embedded inside your archive. Do not close the Kickstart window yet!

  7. Follow the prompts of the Akeeba Backup Installer, filling in the details of the new server (most importantly, the new database connection and FTP connection information).

  8. When the Akeeba Backup Installer is done, it prompts you to delete the installation directory. Ignore this prompt and simply close the ABI window.

  9. Back to the Kickstart window, click the button titled Clean Up. Kickstart removes the installation directory, restores your .htaccess file (if you had one in the first place), removes the backup archive and itself.

  10. Believe it or not, you have a working site! Honestly! Click on the View the front-end button to visit your new site.

If you are restoring to a different subdirectory on the same server as the original site, or to a whole different host, you might need to edit your .htaccess file for your site to work properly. Also note that some third party extensions which store absolute filesystem paths, absolute URLs or contain host- or directory-specific settings may require manual reconfiguration after the restoration is complete. This is all described in the restoration section of this guide. If you need help backing up your site, take a look in the Backup Now section of this guide.