If you don’t make regular backups of your Joomla website, you are like a person with no health insurance: you’re fine until a disaster hits you. Don’t get caught without site insurance: Make regular, complete backups of your website.
A few of my clients have had their Joomla website hacked. In one case, the hacker got the client’s ftp and cpanel login info. She hadn’t changed it in several years. If the other cases, I think the hacker found a vulnerability in a Joomla extension. In all cases, the website was down and they were losing business and traffic every minute their site was down.
Some of these clients had a clean backup of their site, and some didn’t. The clients who didn’t have a clean backup of their site were in for a LOT OF PAIN. Without a clean backup of your site, you might be forced to completely rebuild your website. This could put your website out of commission for weeks.
A clean backup of your website is a backup of all your files, including the Joomla database, when everything was working correctly. Whenever you make significant changes to your website, you should make a backup, and store these backups on your computer. I recommend keeping several backups. For example, if you backup once a week, keep 10 weeks of backups. And remember, the more frequently you backup your site, the less work you will lose if you have to restore your website.
If you don’t know how to use your cPanel to create backups, you can install a free, easy-to-use backup extension for Joomla: Joomlapack. Joomlapack allows you to easily create a complete backup of your Joomla website files and Joomla database with one click. Plus, the backup includes an installation script that makes is very easy to completely re-install your website.
In addition to regular backups of your website, there are several other things you can do to prevent hackers from destroying your website:
- Download and install the latest version of Joomla. Joomla continually creates security updates that will help keep your site more secure.
- Regularly change your passwords to Joomla, your hosting cpanel, your ftp, and any other accounts that can access your web site.
- Make sure your file and folder permissions are set correctly (see the Joomla Security Checklist).
- Review the Joomla Security Checklist. Some of the stuff is pretty technical, but follow as many of the recommendations as you can. If you don’t understand the security recommendations, you might need to hire a website professional to help you.
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