How to Backup Your Joomla Database

How to Backup Your Joomla Database

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Sarojini Devi Nagappan
19 November 2020

Joomla is a popular content management system used by organisations to create their online presence and allow them to develop, manage, and publish content easily. Since its first version in 2005, Joomla has been improved by hundreds of developers to make it a stable and secure tool. Joomla comes with thousands of templates and plugins to customize a website to suit one’s requirements. Many organisations have selected Joomla for its noted benefits like below:

  • Joomla is forever free and supported by a large number of technical expert volunteers, dedicated to making it a perfect tool.
  • Architecture with SEO tools which makes it search engine friendly.
  • Flexible and easily customizable with the available extensions and support materials available online.
  • Built in with 2 factor authentication and extensive access control for maximum security.
  • Joomla comes with 70 translation packs for multilingual content management.
  • Joomla framework is built upon stable PHP frameworks and allows you to write web and command line applications in PHP.
  • Joomla offers professional support via forums, an integrated help system, and extended documentation.

Over 2 million active websites are running on Joomla, which indirectly means the platform is managing a massive amount of business critical data for individual organisations. This blog discusses an overview of Joomla, the backup of Joomla on MySQL database, and finally, how to use automated backup tools like Backup Ninja to take Joomla database backups effortlessly.

What are the Databases Supported by Joomla?

Joomla works well with MySQL, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL databases. The minimum database version requirement depends on the Joomla version, and this information is detailed out in the Joomla Technical Requirements page. The current Joomla 3.X version supported databases and its version are given in the table below.


Recommended  Version (Joomla 3.X)

Minimum Version (Joomla 3.X)


5.5.3 +



9.1 +


SQL Server

10.50.1600.1 +


How to Backup Joomla MySQL Database?

There are two parts to backup a full Joomla site; files and folders, and its database.  You will need to backup both files and database for a full backup of your Joomla site. A simple method to backup the files and folders is to use either the FTP client or File Manager available on your hosting site. Using the FTP method is relatively slow and can be interrupted, therefore it is better to use the file manager tool provided in the control panel to backup the file system into a compressed zip file.

The steps to backup the Joomla’s MySQL database follows the steps from the phpMyAdmin documentation. Following are the steps to successfully backup your Joomla website’s MySQL database.

  1. Go to Joomla Administrator → Global Configuration → Site tab, set Site Offline = Yes. This will change the configuration.php file in the Joomla root directory. You can download this file and look for the name of the database for backup.
  2. Open the phpMyAdmin tool, and your databases are listed on the left menu. 
How to Backup Joomla MySQL Database?
  1. Select the database you want to backup and click Export from the top menu in phpMyadmin.

How to Backup Joomla MySQL Database?
  1. Leave to the default settings and press the Go button to complete the database backup.

How to Backup the Joomla Database Using Backup Ninja

Joomla website backup is a two-step process and would require a dedicated resource to monitor backup management. If your organisation is small, having a resource can be expensive. Also, manual backups have many disadvantages like the hassle to take daily backups, checking the validity of backups. Besides this, the method described in the official Joomla documentation mainly talks about having the backups stored on local storage. Backup on local storage is more accessible for restoration, but it is expensive to maintain the backup infrastructure cost, and it is also open to various security threats. Having backups stored on the cloud allows you to have the backups on multiple locations with better security. To avoid these identified pitfalls, it is ideally suitable to have an automated backup management tool like Backup Ninja to manage your Joomla files, directories, and databases backup management.

Backup Ninja is a reliable automated backup management service to backup files, directories, and databases securely using a single console. You can use Backup Ninja to backup open source databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, Percona, MongoDB, and MariaDB, and store them locally or on the cloud in just a few steps. You can easily schedule backups for your Joomla websites files, directories, and the database, and create backups on the configured frequency to your preferred destination; it could be cloud, local server, or even both. You can also monitor the backups for each scheduled backup and get notified via email on the critical backup events. With Backup Ninja, you no longer need to dedicate resources to take manual backups or monitor them; the backup agent will take care of creating secure incremental, partial, or full backups of databases quickly without any technical skills required.

Scheduling Joomla Database Backup on Multiple Storage with Backup Ninja

Installing a Backup Ninja agent will be your first step to schedule any automated backups on Backup Ninja. Once you have successfully installed the agent, your server will be listed as the host on the server. Upcoming steps will show you how to schedule backups for a MySQL database server both locally and on the cloud.

Step 1: Complete the schedule details.

Give a name for the backup schedule and select the server you want to backup. The backup method will list the backup tools installed in the server automatically. Backup type allows you to choose either a full or partial backup type.

How to Backup the Joomla Database Using Backup Ninja

Step 2: Configure the backup storage.

Next select where you would like to store the backup. You can have a combination of local and cloud storage configured on the same screen. If you would like to add more storage locations, simply click on the Add New Storage button and fill in the next storage location. Retention here is the duration of how long you would want to keep the backup.

How to Backup the Joomla Database Using Backup Ninja

Step 3: Backup name, compression, and encryption setting

Give a name to your backup, or you can choose to leave it at the default setting. If you are concerned about the backup size, enable the compression toggle and the backup will be compressed using the gzip compression. You can also enable the encryption to have encrypted backups.

How to Backup the Joomla Database Using Backup Ninja

Step 4: Set the backup frequency.

The last step is to set the frequency of the backup task, and the backups will be scheduled to run according to the database server settings.

How to Backup the Joomla Database Using Backup Ninja

View the created schedule on the scheduled listing. Click on the play button to start or pause the schedule. The storage shows you the two storage locations for the backup.

How to Backup the Joomla Database Using Backup Ninja


Organisations using Joomla or any other content management system should invest in a proper backup management tool or service as part of their backup and recovery strategy. With automated backup management services like Backup Ninja, you get peace of mind,  knowing your backups for your Joomla databases and files is executed on a defined frequency in an automated way. Your Joomla site can be on MySQL or PostgreSQL database; Backup Ninja takes backups of these databases using native methods allowing you to migrate your database to another platform or restore them efficiently.