A backup is the action of saving the content of your database into files that you store in a safe place. The point is that you can revert to them in case your database fails on you.
You must perform regular backups of your shop, so that in case of a crash, you can reboot your shop quickly and in the best conditions. The database contains all the information in your shop, many of which are indispensable for PrestaShop to work correctly – including your products, categories and other data you added since the installation, but not your images for instance.
The more often you perform backup, the safer you are. Once a week is a minimal frequency.
To create database backups of your shop, you have several solutions. You can use tools such as phpMyAdmin (reserved for advanced users), or use the one integrated into PrestaShop: the "DB backup" page.
The page starts with two big notices. You should read both completely in order to have a better idea of what the page does:
The table below the notices lists all the backups that have already been made, indicating the date of creation, age, file name and size.
At the right of each row are the available actions:
After each backup process, you should download the generated backup file by clicking on its "View" icon, or simply by using the link in the notification box at the top. Put your backup file in a safe place, for you might need it at any given time. Furthermore, you can find these backups directly on your server, in the
/backup folder, under your custom-named
Your database is saved using the standard SQL format and its
.sql file extension, and compressed using the BZip2 algorithm (simply put, a variant of the popular Zip format. Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bzip2) and its
.bz2 file extension. That gives a file archive with the
.sql.bz2 file extension
At the bottom of the screen, two options are available: