joomla - backup your website on a pc offline localhost with akeeba backup - simple tutorial

as the title says. my adventures with joomla started off on-line, since i was an almost complete noob and didn’t fully comprehend offline servers yet. after a while though, when i understood how things work more-less and my website has finally become stable, aaand before making a big leap forward with installing a new extension, i decided it’s way too much work to risk with more meddling without backing this whole mess up.

first of all, as we say here among more tech-savvy computer users here in poland, people cen be divided in two groups - those who do back their shit up and those who will back their shit up. i’ve already had enough experience to be smart enough to look for backup solutions as soon as i’ve achieved my first stable and nice looking website. like i said, i’m a relative newbie, so i’m going with the most popular, sure and default solutions now, therefore i used akeeba backup.

happy as a clam with that i’ve continued my work until i reached the point of the big leap to be made and the resolution to have some kind of a guinea-pig alike test site before i upload any new version of my website online - hence the offline server. this can be apparently achieved using a few dozen programs such as wamp, xampp, mov'amp or its newer version jamp (unfortunately im still a windows user, full list of amp package servers on wikipedia here). these programs take name form initials of all programs these packages bundle that you need to do the magic and make up a server to base your website on - be it joomladrupal, wordpress cms based (or whatever you might like actually) - apache, mysql and php.

my choice was mov'amp since it’s mobile - can be stored anywhere, copied, moved, and say, pendrive storage seems mobile enough for me. my website is made with joomla 1.5.

steps to be made to back your website up and restore it on an offline, pc based and wholly movable version of your website:

1. go to your website’s control panel (your website/administrator).
2. install akeeba backup.
3. make a backup (default option makes a full backup, that’s the one you want).
4. go to akeeba’s “administer backup files” and download the backup - usually it saves as a .jar file.
5. get an amp application (mov'amp or jamp if you want a mobile one).
6. extract/install it (doh.).
7. run it (.exe file) and open up your web browser, type in “localhost” and install joomla (in my case) normally, with default settings.
(important!! in mov'amp it tells you to use certain id (joomla), password (joomla) and database name (joomla) and admin’s name (admin) and password (admin) - use those, else it won’t install, and it is irrelevant later as you can alter it when restoring your backup file)
8. get an “akeeba kickstart” extension.
9. extract the kickstart.php to your website’s folder (the one with your joomla website, should be under it’s or any given name in “www” folder in mov'amp’s installation folder).
10. copy or move the backup file (.jar) to the same folder.
11. localhost/your-sites-name-here/kickstart.php 
12. choose the backup .jar file and hit “restore”.
13. after the file extracts you’ll see a warning stating your current website differs from the one you’re planning to install - true, you currently have the default id and pw of mov'amp (joomla/joomla and admin/admin) and an empty website, and the one you’re installing is your fancy website with whatever changes you made to it already. what to do with the warning: ignore it, and in the next step type in all your normal user data from your website - your username, password, the name of the database your website is currently using.
14. the rest of your website’s data should pop out automagically, fill in whatever altering/wrong or missing information.
15. ???????

easy huh. no pictures though! i’m too lazy for that. should you have any problems it’s most likely that you did not install mov'amp well. do it with default settings and do not fear that the username, password and database name is different, it really won’t matter when you “install” the backed up version of your website as it can be corrected during the said installation.
still if you have problems google up the keywords - the amp program you’re using and the akeeba backup and kickstarter (though the latter two are seriously easy to use! kickstarter is just a .php file that needs to be called upon from the localhost…)

have fun!
now after doing all the said things i’m enjoying 3 backups of my website, one running on an offline server on my pc, and another one on my pen drive. awesome. you should back yourself up too! easier to go back one step than to start off from a scratch… better safe than sorry :)