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Configuring remote backups for Joomla

If your Joomla web site is configured properly, it is possible to remotely manage backups right from the Watchful dashboard. 

This is particularly useful when, for example, you want to install Joomla updates since we advise that you always perform a backup before making any changes to your site.

In addition, Watchful allows you to trigger remote backups each day, week or month. Again, this is highly recommended for all Joomla web sites that have moved to production status.

Watchful backups are powered by the popular Akeeba Backup extension. Complete the following steps to configure your Joomla site for remote backups and enable remote backup management in the Watchful dashboard.

Note: Before proceeding, ensure that the Watchful client has been installed on your Joomla site.

Part A — Install Akeeba Backup

1. Login to the administrative backend of your Joomla web site and install Akeeba Backup or Akeeba Backup Pro.


We highly recommend the Pro version, though the free version will also suffice (compare versions).

2. After installing Akeeba Backup, be sure that you can create a backup on your Joomla web site. This will ensure that Akeeba is working correctly on the client site. 

Full documentation for Akeeba Backup is available and Pro subscribers also have access to the excellent Akeeba support area. Short-term support plans are also available if you are having problems with the free version of Akeeba Backup. 

3. Once you have confirmed that Akeeba Backup is working as expected, you need to enable remote management. In the Joomla backend, go to Akeeba Backup > and on top right corner click on Options button.


4. Move to the Frontend backup tab, enable the first option, Enable front-end and remote backup and enter a Secret word.

In order to avoid any problems, please only use alphanumeric characters (a-z, A-Z and 0-9) in the secret word. Do note that it is case sensitive, i.e. ABC, abc and Abc are three different secret words.

Note: The Akeeba Secret word is not to be confused with the Secret Key generated by the Watchful client. 


Complete the Akeeba configuration by selecting Save & Close.

Enabling a remote Akeeba backup

Part B — Configure Watchful.li 

5. Log in to your account at Watchful.li and view your Dashboard. Find the site you want to edit click and click the site name to open the drawer and reveal the Tools and Insights area.

6.  In the Tools area, click the Edit button (shown in blue in the screenshot below) corresponding to the site you configured above for remote backups. This opens the Site Edit dialog.

support watchful dashboard edit site button 2017

7. In the Akeeba Backup's Secret word field, enter the secret word you configured above on your website.

support watchful dashboard configure akeeba backup secret word 2017

8. If you have multiple Akeeba Backup Profiles, select the desired one from the drop-down list. 

9. Configure the Task scheduler for daily, weekly or monthly backups. If you choose a weekly schedule, you can select specific days to backup. 

10. Complete the process by selecting the Save & Close button at the bottom of the Site Edit dialog. This returns you to the open drawer for the site. 

11. In the tools section, test the remote backup process by selecting the Start Backup button (shown in blue in the screenshot below) in the site drawer. You may also view the existing backups by selecting the Backups link in the Insights area (also shown in blue below). 

support watchful dashboard backup site buttons 2017