We've spoken a lot lately about backing up your site using Akeeba Backup. By now you should understand why we are obsessed with backups and data protection. The potential outcomes following a disaster couldn't be more polar opposite, especially when it comes to your backup scenario. For instance, a really good backup solution can leave you absolutely relieved when the worst happens. On the other hand, if you've have a site go down or get hacked and you don't have a good backup, the feeling is dreadful.
Regardless of what software you use to take your backups, it's up to you to make sure that you have a solid backup AND restore strategy in place. If you can't restore your site when and where you need to, your backups are worthless. Always include a test restore in your backup and restore strategy.
Akeeba is widely used as the backup solution of choice in the Joomla! community because it is that good. The free version itself is exceptional, so why would you consider the Pro version? Well, the info page boasts nine extra features, and we'll look at what we consider to be the five (or six) most important.
Cloud Backup – We've all heard plenty about the "Cloud" lately, and while many services offered in the cloud fail to live up to their hype, certain others go beyond the definition of useful. This feature of the Pro version is the latter of those. There are some exceptional Joomla hosts; however, it is always vital that you keep your own backups. Storing these on a "cloud" service such as Amazon S3, RackSpace CloudFiles or Dropbox is possible in the Pro version. And while this feature adds convenience, security and saves space, most site owners will still probably want to have a recent local backup just in case.
Encryption – The great thing about the all in one backup file produced by Akeeba Backup is that it's truly all you need to restore your website. This also means that if someone were to get a hold of your backup file, they have your site. If you're transmitting your backups over the Internet, it's possible that the files could fall into the wrong hands. Akeeba Backup Pro includes the option to encrypt the backup file, making it very difficult for the bad guys to do anything with your file even if they do intercept it.
Include them all – If you have additional databases or files stored in directories on your account, these can be included in the backup file as well with Akeeba Pro. This is a great feature if you ever need to move hosts and don't want to bundle everything up separately.
Native CRON Script - Backing up your site can get very tedious. If you are managing several sites, chances are you may occasionally forget to perform all your backup routines. The Pro version of the software includes a native CRON script that you can use to set automatic backups. Many extensions have tried to make this work, but most CRON jobs are based on user traffic and tend to be unreliable. The Akeeba job process doesn't work this way. There are good directions for control panel setups, and when you have it working, it tends to stay working.
Integrated Restoration - As mentioned, a backup strategy is worthless if you can't restore quickly and easily in case of emergency. With the Pro version, you can easily restore your site from within Akeeba itself. This is yet another feature that makes relocating very easy.
The beauty of how all of these features work is seen best when they are all used together. When you get your CRON job setup to kick off encrypted backup files to your cloud service, including any files and directories you'd like, you really start to see the power and usefulness of this amazing tool. And that sixth important feature we mentioned...when set up properly, it will all save you valuable space on your hosting plan, which can even save you some money.
Our recommendation – buy it. The relatively small investment of €40 is tiny compared to what it would cost if something goes wrong. You can subscribe here