I discovered SuiteCRM by means of searching through my web host’s cpanel softaculous thing – that thing that allows one click installs of ‘apps’ for your server. Over time, I became a heavy believer in and user of SuiteCRM. Eventually, I installed an instance for my company on my shared host and the company started using it more and more. Finally, today, I realized that I better figure out how to back this bad boy up. I thought it would be as simple as going to the SuiteCRM documentation, but I guess I’m not smart enough for that. I also tried the SuiteCRM user guides which, for everything else, are very excellent. However, couldn’t seem to figure it out there, either. There is also this ‘backup feature’ in the Admin area which also I couldn’t figure out on my own or by searching. I even posted this post in the forum and it seems as though I had asked a question that was too easy for anyone to answer.
I’m just a standard, shared host, cpanel user, not a database guy or even web host guy, although I’ve got a small server running at home. How is it that I cannot figure out how to do a simple back up of SuiteCRM so that I can protect it as well as move it from host to host should I choose? So, with all that background, I will now begin to find the answer and document it here for my future benefit and hopefully help a few others along the way.
What I have learned from reading most stuff online is that If I want to be sure something like SuiteCRM is backed up safely I have to do the following two things:
- backup the SuiteCRM folder/directories/files
- back up the mysql database
Sounds easy except that when I went into cpanel, there was no ‘download’ button to get all my directory stuff! Although I’m shocked that there doesn’t seem to be a web-based download button, I also assume there must be a security reason for that so I won’t kick up a storm. I now assume that I have to do it the old FTP client way. So, I will now perform the following two steps in an attempt to download the directory parts of SuiteCRM:
- create an FTP account from the home page area of cpanel so that I can login with FTP client and
- download and install Filezilla on my computer
I went to the Ubuntu software centre and downloaded Filezilla successfully.
I entered in my credentials. It turns out that I did not have to create a new FTP user since my main cpanel login credentials/passwords worked perfectly to get in. However, if this is for someone else to login, obviously you’ll want to create a new FTP user/password for them and restrict them to the areas they are permitted to go.
Since my website wasn’t the ‘main’ website of my shared hosting, I had to go into the ‘public_html’ directory to find my SuiteCRM directory. Found it!
I learned the hard way that I must *first* choose the local machine directory to where the files must be downloaded. The first time I didn’t specify so it started running errors for five minutes while I sat there and drooled on my desk. Once I figured it out, I cancelled, started again by stating the local directory (in fact, I created a new directory just in case and to help me remember where it was) and then right clicked on the ‘remote server’ folder (my SuiteCRM install folder) and clicked ‘download’ and now everything appears to be downloading successfully to my machine.
The next step will be the second step which is to download/backup the mysql database… Of course, I’ve never done this so I am going to find this tutorial by Siteground which looks pretty solid. Siteground (whoever they are) seem pretty cool, by the way and has killer SEO results with Duck Duck Go. Let’s see if this tutorial works. You will probably have lots of time to study this tutorial if your FTP download is as big as mine. My SuiteCRM has nearly 10,000 files to download. It appears also, that this tutorial will show how to restore this mysql database for the next part of this tutorial which I’ll probably have to write for myself… In this tutorial, the only thing that seems ‘unknown’ to me is the ‘drop table’ option. Good thing I didn’t choose this option, I believe, because this tutorial shows that ‘drop table’ means to delete tables. I am quite certain that I will want to *keep* all the tables in this database so that I can import the database perfectly into the server to match the SuiteCRM stuff…. but I don’t know anything so we’ll see as we move forward 🙁
The above tutorial was good except that they claimed there was an ‘add drop table’ option in their screenshot example but it wasn’t there. They also didn’t mention that you have to choose ‘custom’ instead of ‘quick’ in order to view those options. And it turns out that the ‘add drop table’ option is just a recommended feature to add in while exporting which I chose to do. Otherwise, click ‘go’ and it worked. I have an .sql file on my hard drive now.
I think I’ve now backed everything up, but now I have to try to move it onto another server to test it out. Hopefully I will have a link to that tutorial soon but for now, stand by.