I wanted a simple way to backup a Joomla site, and so I installed Akeeba. This was the free version. I have a dedicated server which I was replacing so having set up the new server I ftp'd all the files etc across , great it all worked. The site had also been backed up using Akeeba before the move just in case. The site worked all was good until a problem appeared. Not a problem as I had an backup from Akeeba prior to the move that i could just install so away I went.
I followed the manual, I got Kickstart I tried to use it, I got lots of error messages most about it couldn't create this file, I tred different chmods inc 777 which i hate as it can leave a system open and still errors, i even tried creating files maunally and assigning 777 just so I knew they were full read and writable. Still no joy, after ages looking at the manual and how to's forums and all manner of sites mentioning Akeeba, i finally had to admit defeat.
Akeeba does have another route to restore though so I thought ok lets use that. I did and I got an interface where it allowed an install of files and database. I used it I restored my site, except when trying to access the site after all i got was code 500 error messages, both front and backend. The site was unaccessable. I turned of this that and the other in the database and still nothing.
Since then I have found that the plugins part of the database had errors and that login details were also corrupted.
The problems have resulted in my slowly rebuilding the site, and once all features are reinstalled I will manually compare database table information and import information a bit at a time backing up along the way so i can reverse something if needed.
Akeeba did not work for me and the backup obviously had flaws as it was taken from a fully operational site. I am an experienced computer user and not a novice. In future the easiest route for me will be to upload and create the site then once created backup the files. As Joomla is driven by the database and it is the database that controls everything it is then just a matter of backing that up regularly on its own. I can then just simply restore the files and the most recent database, only time to backup the files would be after an update as if nothing changes they don't need to be touched.
Some tools can help, but if this experience has taught me anything, do not rely on them if it is mission critical, rely on yourself.
Thank you for your review, but I have to strongly disagree to each and every of its points because they are misinformed, misguided, unfounded allegations or just plain wrong. You didn't follow the documentation, despite your assurances to the cotrary, and you didn't ask for support. The tool did what you told it to do, which wasn't what you meant to do because you couldn't diagnose an unrelated problem with your database. Let me take your points one be one.
"I followed the manual […] I tred different chmods inc 777"
In other words you didn't follow the manual which tells you that you need to use Kickstart's FTP mode and NEVER give 0777 permissions! Please remember that I've written an article which is called "777: The number of the beast". If my documentation told you to give 777 permissions to files so that you can write to them I'd commit harakiri without a second thought. It does tell you that you may have to give a temporary directory 0777 permissions and delete it after the restoration is over, but you didn't try that.
"all i got was code 500 error messages, both front and backend. The site was unaccessable. I turned of this that and the other in the database and still nothing."
So you still didn't read the documentation. FYI, our post-restoration troubleshooting page: https://www.akeebabackup.com/documentation/troubleshooter/prbasicts.html Furthermore, "turning off this that and the other" is not part of our instructions. These are –presumambly wrong and unrealted– things you tried, i.e. shotgun debugging to a problem you didn't care to frame adequately in order to solve. As becomes apparent further down the 500 errors were due to issues on your database which are unrelated to the backup and restoration.
"Since then I have found that the plugins part of the database had errors and that login details were also corrupted."
So far this doesn't sound like a problem related to my component. It sounds like you had a crashed table (the plugins table). Overwriting a crashed table is not possible. You have to repair the table first and then try to overwrite it, e.g. by doing a site restoration. Regarding the login details, you are asked for a new password when restoring your site. But of course you would have known HAD YOU READ THE DOCUMENTATION. OK, maybe you've read the documentation. But there's a huge difference between sifting thorugh a document and *reading* it. Sifting through it gives you the illusion that you know what you're doing. Reading it gets you to follow its instructions. Huge difference indeed.
"I am an experienced computer user and not a novice."
I am an experienced driver and not a novice. This doesn't mean I can drive a truck. Are you an experienced PHP developer who knows how Joomla! works? Did you ask for my support before concluding that something in my software "obviously had flaws"? For all I know, you had a corrupt database table and just couldn't diagnose it. Your random attempts seem to have included rebuilding the database, in which case you simply got over the problem because you got rid of the crashed table.
"As Joomla is driven by the database and it is the database that controls everything it is then just a matter of backing that up regularly on its own."
I could begin to comment in how many ways this statement is false, but I digress. Just don't state you personal opinion as a fact. It may be misleading to people reading this.
"Some tools can help, but if this experience has taught me anything, do not rely on them if it is mission critical, rely on yourself."
So yo got your free tool, you didn't do your due dilligence to test the backup before disaster stroke, you didn't follow the documentation (even though you falsely imply that you did and as a result you tried doing something as insecure as using 0777 permissions), you didn't read the troubleshooting guide, you didn't ask for support and somehow you decided that the tool is broken. Obviously the other 1160 users who gave it five star reviews are on my payroll. I rest my case.
People, we have a support service for a reason. For 7.79 Euros you could have asked for my support and I would, as with all similar cases, have provided support directly on your server. It would have saved you all the effort and dispel any doubts as to what was really going on. Think about it. 7.79 Euros versus God knows how many hours you wasted doing uncorrelated actions which ultimately lead you to rebuilding your site for absolutely no good reason.
At the end of the day it is a free extension so a few minor bugs are expected.