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Once you have a Drupal site that you like, you'll want a quick and easy way to back it up for safekeeping or to save a copy to migrate to another server. Fortunately, the process is fairly painless, thanks to the MySQL utility, phpMyAdmin. But first, we're going to have to save the files that are in the Drupal directory. Drupal stores information in two ways, first as those files and second as the information in the MySQL database. First, we go up to where we have our Drupal directory, in our case it's in Users/tomgeller/Sites/drupal.
Backing this up is amazingly easy, just Command+C or Ctrl+C. Go to wherever you want to back it up, Command+V or Ctrl+V on a PC. And there we are, we've made a copy of the entire directory. These files can also be backed up using a standard backup program such as Time Machine or Intego Personal Backup on the Mac, or as part of your regular computer backup discipline. If your files are on a server, you'll have to use an FTP program. In truth, you don't have to back up the entire Drupal directory, and if in fact you've built a Drupal site that has a lot of large movie files or large graphics. You might decide to only backup certain sub folders, inside there where things change frequently.
But the default Drupal installation is extremely small; it's about five megabytes. So unless you start adding large files, there is no reason not to back-up the entire folder. Once you have the folder, I would suggest renaming it with the date of the backup and possibly any other information that you want to add. For example, I am going to say 20080714 and this is Underwater Realty. And I am just going to call it underwater-drupal. Good. That will be the name of our backup. I am going to give a similar backup name, to the MySQL file, which we are going to back up now. To get there, go up to MAMP or to WAMP if you are running Windows and click on OPEN Start Page or the similar button that's on the WAMP Administration Interface.
Then go to phpMyAdmin and scroll down, until you get to Export. We are going to export the entire database. Once again, you don't really need to export the whole database if you are a very good MySQL administrator. You could just export individual tables, but why not do the whole thing. It will make a lot easier when it's time to restore. Click on Drupal, go down here. You have a choice of either just saying Go, which will bring up the SQL commands in a plain text file, which you can copy somewhere and put somewhere or more easy is to say, Save as File. We'll do that, say Go, once it's downloaded, you can go back to where it has downloaded, in this case to the desktop, and give it the name that you want.
Again, since I use this name for the files themselves, I'll give a similar name to the SQL file. One last step as a good idea, when you have all of these files in a folder I would suggest one more step. Instead of leaving all of these files in a folder, I would compress it using whatever compression utility is on your computer. On the Mac, you can do that by holding down the Control key, clicking on the folder, and saying Compress. On the PC, you would right click and issue a similar command, and there you have it. You now have two individual files that you can use to restore your Drupal installation back to the point where you backed it up.
We'll show you how to do that restore in another video in this series.
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