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Simple Backup

Developed by

Intermediate
Intermediate
The add-on works well for me on a 8.2.1 installation. I tested the database backup and it runs smooth and easy. The …

A3020

What It’s Good For

Simple Backup can be used to back up your site’s database and customised files for recovery purposes, or to help with transferring your site to another server.

Because Simple Backup does not copy the concrete5 system files, and because it compresses your other files into a single archive, it can save time compared to copying your whole directory tree using ftp or equivalent.

What It Does

Simple Backup can create a .zip file that contains all of your site’s non-system files. To reduce demand on server resources and avoid possible conflicts, it excludes the following directories:

  • /concrete
  • /updates
  • /application/files/cache

The .zip file will include any non-concrete5 directories or files that exist within your site’s base directory.

Simple Backup can also create a compressed version of the contents of your site's database.

How To Use It

Simple Backup can only be run by a site administrator, so you’ll need to log in to your concrete5 site using an account with administrator permissions.

After installation, Backup Files and Backup Database will be listed as ‘automated jobs’. ‘Automated jobs’ are found in your site’s dashboard under ‘System & Settings’, ‘Optimization’.

To run a job, click ‘Run’. :) When the job finishes, click on the 'Download' link to obtain a copy of the backed-up data, which you should store safely.

If your site is large, the jobs can take a while to run. If a job stops prematurely or never finishes, you may need to extend your server’s php execution time limits (max_execution_time).

To maximise your prospects of obtaining robust backups, run the two jobs when nobody else is using your site (eg, by placing the site in 'maintenance mode'). If that isn't feasible, run the jobs one after the other as quickly as possible. To understand why this is important, see the 'Consistency' section (below).

Backup Files

After the Backup Files job has been run successfully, a .zip file will be stored in your site’s application/files/gond_backup_[xyz] directory (where [xyz] is a random string of characters). The file will be named ‘[base_directory] files.zip’ (eg, ‘public_html files.zip’)—unless the name of the base directory can't be determined, in which case it will be named 'site files.zip'.

A link to the .zip file is provided in the ‘Automated Jobs’ list. You can download the file using this link. Alternatively, you can access it using ftp, CPanel’s File Manager, etc.

Because the .zip file created by the Backup Files job doesn’t contain the core concrete5 files (/concrete/* and /updates/*), you’ll need to make other arrangements to obtain them if you need them (eg, for transferring your site to a different server). See the official documentation for an explanation of the /updates directory.

Backup Database

By default, the Backup Database job creates a file named ‘[base_directory] database.sql.gz’. If a .gz version can't be created, .zip will be used; failing that, the uncompressed .sql file will be made available. The database backup is stored in the same directory as the files backup.

Warnings

Disclaimer

Backup Files hasn't been tested in your particular environment. Therefore, before relying on it, you should verify that the backups it creates can be used to restore your site. This can be done by attempting to create a completely separate new installation of your site. You may need to get help from a developer for this.

Security

Your site’s files and database can contain confidential information, such as email addresses, restricted pages, private documents, and so on. For ease of restoration, Simple Backup doesn’t encrypt the backups it makes. Instead, it provides security by storing its backups in a directory with a randomly-chosen name. Only people who know the name of the directory will be able to access the backups contained within.

By default, web browsers keep a history of your activities, and this would include the directory name of your downloaded backups. If you’re using a private and secure computer, that isn’t a problem. However, if you’re using a shared computer, you should employ your browser’s ‘private browsing’ feature, or thoroughly clean your browser’s history when you’ve finished downloading your backups.

Consistency

Your site comprises both your files and your database. Make sure you keep backup copies of both of those. Without one or the other you will not be able to restore or transfer your site.

Because your site’s database contains references to your site’s files, it’s critical that the Backup Files job and the Backup Database job are both run while your site is in the same state. Otherwise, errors can occur, such as the database referring to deleted files, or newly-added files not being referenced in the database.

If you are the only one who can add/edit/delete your site’s files, the risk of inconsistent backups is reduced.

Scope

Backup Files doesn't take copies of system files, such as .htaccess. If you've enabled pretty URLs, your .htaccess could be useful when restoring or transferring your site.

When developing your site, you should not have changed the contents of your /concrete or /updates directories. If you have done so, your changes will not be saved in the Backup Files .zip archive.

Backup Database only makes a copy of your site's default database. If your site uses more than one database, you'll need to make other arrangements to backup the other databases.

‘Can’t backup database’

If you get the ‘Can’t backup database’ error message, it probably means that your web hosting environment does not allow access to the mysqldump program required by the Backup Database job. This seems most likely to occur when your database server is not localhost.

Inability to access mysqldump is usually a consequence of web host security arrangements. It is possible that your web host may relax such requirements to allow Backup Database to run successfully, although this is unlikely. If you can’t use Backup Database, you should make other arrangements to back up your site.

Persistence

Some web hosting companies don’t permit backups to be retained on their servers. In this case, make sure you delete the backup files after copying them elsewhere.

When you re-run the jobs subsequently, they will delete the previously-created files without asking. If you want to retain the previous files, rename them or move them elsewhere before running the jobs.

If you uninstall Simple Backup, the backup directory (gond_backup-[xyz]) will not be deleted. This is to avoid deleting backup files that you may be relying on (although you should always copy your backups off your server). If you no longer require this directory, you should delete it (eg, using a ftp program).

Restoration

There is no automatic way to restore the file and database copies created by these jobs. This needs to be done manually; the best guidance is here. Since this is more difficult than backing up, you may need help from a developer.

Current Version: 2.2.0
Fully Translatable: Yes
Needs External Libraries: No
Compatible 5.7.5+
License: Standard
Support Response: Replies to tickets every few days.
Support Hosted: On concrete5.org
Needs extra server permissions: No
Needs Internet: No
Marketplace Tests:
Passed Automated Tests
Passed PRB Review