You need to back up your Joomla website
There is no other option around this. Backups are so important and can break your whole business process if they aren't done properly.
There's an process for backing up that people don't often appreciate. It's not just a case of making a backup and leaving it at that, it's too risky. The process you need to use breaks down into these steps:
Backup - not just the file directory structure but any associated database(s) as well.
Verify - you need to make sure that the backup is correct and can be restored.
Store - don't just leave the backup sitting on your server, get it stored safely and remote from the site server.
So the next question is how do you actually do the backup.
FTP into the server and zip up the directory structure.
Use phpMyAdmin to export the database to an SQL file.
Download both to your pc or laptop.
Verify by installing on another server or a local server environment like XAMPP.
Upload it to somewhere safe and remote or onto recordable media.
It works but it's a lot of hassle, imagine you have 20 websites to backup?
Doing it automatically gives us a bit more choice. There are a number of Joomla addons that can deal with backups. Probably the best know is Akeeba Backup. Akeeba Backup is a highly regarded component that produces backups through a front-end CRON job. I used the free version for many years and once or twice it really has saved my bacon, and my customers' websites! The free version is well featured but does have some limitations, the most notable being that it will only create backups in the file directory and doesn't allow it to be automatically exported.
What I use now is the backup feature within Perfect Dashboard. This allows me to send all my website backups to the Amazon S3 storage service meaning they are safe from unforeseen circumstances. Using the Pro subscription I can backup, verify and store safely and confidently, covering all of the important points I outlined at the top of this article. Perfect Dashboard also works with Wordpress as well!
What do you use to backup your Joomla site? Let me know in the comments below!