Joomla is a CMS (content management system) and uses a MySQL database to store the actual 'data' of your website. As well as your database, various files are also critical to the operation of your site. It's no good only taking a backup of you files, but also your database, as here is where actual data resides. Files are basically for layout and logical part of the site.
So, when you should consider to take a website backup ? Under some of the following situations:
- You are about to install a new Extension for Joomla
- You are about to patch/upgrade Joomla
- Your regular daily, weekly or monthly backup strategy
- Various other times
Now, how do you do it.. easily? We've found the best success using a free tool Akeeba Backup.
The component is simple to use as well as install. Taking backup is super easy and so is restoring site from a backup. Download it from here.
To know more about taking backup, restoring site from backup and more, here is a good starting point, a quick book.
Besides Akeeba, serverside/hosting backups are also a must when it comes to a backup strategy. You can read more about the pitfalls and choices to make in a host by taking a look at host's backup plans.
Again, it cannot be stressed more, how important regular backups are. Akeeba is a component designed to assist you in this regard. Make it one of your must have components as well. These backups can also be used to assist you in migrating/moving your Joomla websites across hosts.