The tool we use is Akeeba Backup - http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/access-a-security/site-security/backup/1606
Once you have downloaded the component package – its name being something like com_akeeba-3.1-core.zip – login to your site’s administrative back-end. Once in there, click on the Extensions, Install/Uninstall menu item.
Taking your first backup
After installing the component, click on the Components, Akeeba Backup menu item in the main Joomla administrator menu:
This will take you to the component’s Control Panel page:
In order to take a simple backup, you don’t need to configure anything else. Yeap, that’s right! The factory default settings are adequate to get you started on the vast majority of web hosts. All you have to do is click on the “Backup Now” button. This will open the eponymous page of the component:
By default, a short description including the date and time of the backup is included. You can change it if you want and you might even type in a longer comment. Then, simply click on that big “Backup Now” button. The backup progress page shows up
Depending on the speed of your server and the size of your site, this will take anywhere between half a minute to several minutes. Once Akeeba Backup is done backing up your site, it presents you the final backup page.
The recommended – and guaranteed – method of downloading backup archives is using FTP in Binary transfer mode. In this example we are going to use the FileZilla FTP client. First, connect to your server and navigate to the backup output directory (by default this is administrator/components/com_akeeba/backup). Before transferring a file, click on the Transfer menu, expand the Transfer type submenu and select Binary from the list. This step is extremely important! If you leave it to the default setting (Auto) or choose ASCII the transferred archive will be corrupt and you cannot restore it!
Using a regular CRON job
The front-end backup feature is intended to provide the capability to perform an unattended, scheduled backup of your site. The front-end backup URL performs a single backup step and sends a redirection (HTTP 302) header to force the client to advance to the next page, which performs the next step and so forth. This is specially designed to be used in CRON jobs.
In order to enable it, please log in as a Super Adminsitrator and go to the Control Panel page of the component. Click on the Parameters icon in the toolbar:
In the page which opens, you will need to modify two settings:
First, set “Enable front-end and remote backup” to “Yes”. Then, type in a Secret Word. This is a password, used for launching front-end backups from a CRON job. 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.
Our next step is to actually configure the CRON job itself. Most hosts offer a CPanel of some kind. There has to be a section for something like "CRON Jobs", "scheduled tasks" and the like. The help screen in there describes how to set up a scheduled job. One missing part for you would be the command to issue. Simply putting the URL in there is not going to work. This also means that if your host only allows you to put a URL to run as a “CRON job” this method will not work for you. It’s best to use the plugin method described in the previous section.
If you are on a UNIX-style OS host (usually, a Linux host) you most probably have access to a command line utility called wget. It's almost trivial to use:
wget --max-redirect=10000 --output-document=/dev/null "http://www.yoursite.com/index2.php?option=com_akeeba&view=backup&key=YourSecretKey&format=raw"
This command goes in a single line. Replace www.yoursite.com with the real domain of your site and YourSecretKey with the Secret Key you set up in the previous step. If your host doesn’t support wget, it might support the curl command. This is especially true for the SiteGround host. In this case, use the following command
curl -b /tmp/cookies.txt -c /tmp/cookies.txt -L --max-redirs 1000 -v "http://www.yoursite.com/index2.php?option=com_akeeba&view=backup&key=YourSecretKey&format=raw"
This command also goes in a single line.