Daily Tasks

undates available

Daily Tasks

There are a few tasks that I do almost every day. These are maintenance sorts of things that are meant to keep the site tidy and uncluttered, and to see that things are working as they should be.


Admin Login

Login to the administrator back end. On the Admin home page you should see a list of the the most recent 25 or so “active users” on the site.

Also, after a few seconds, if any extension needs updating, a notice will appear at the top of the admin home page.undates available (right image) With due caution, updating extensions us usually a low-risk proposition. ALWAYS do it on the “dev” site first and see if the update causes any problems. Usually OK to just refresh the home page, and maybe lookup someone in the Find People page. If you know the extension is used on a particular page, of ourse, check that page as well. If no problems are evident, apply the update to the main site. Always be prepared to restore the site from an Akeeba backup (see below), as accidents do happen.

To apply the update(s) click the “View Updates” button and you’ll open the Extensions Manager page (left image) Click the top check box to select all available updates (or click any one to select only that one), then click the “Upate” button as indicated. Some extensions are large and must be fetched from European sites, so be patient. After the update finishes, go back to the Admin home page. Refresh it (if you got there using the back button). The Updates Available message should go away and not return until another extension wants to update itself.install updates

An Akeeba backup of the site is done daily in the wee hours of the morning. Akeeba is set to retain the most recent five backups. When it deletes the oldest backup after creating a new one, it leaves a sort of stub around without the actual backup attached to it. I go to Components>Akeeba Backup>Manage Backups and delete the “empty” stub – sort of good housekeeping, as I think of it. Also, you can eyeball the backups to be sure they do have backup files and the files are reasonably sized – more than 500MBytes and usually each one slightly larger than the last.

Note that restoring an Akeeba backup is another procedure covered elsewhere. Restoration via Akeeba has saved a corrupted website more than once, and is also useful to “refresh” the dev site by restoring a recent Akeeba backup of the main site onto the dev site. But Akeeba is a blunt tool.

As part of SiteGround’s service package, there is a “Site Backup” taken daily on the server by SiteGround. Using the SiteGround cPanel (control panel) you can restore individual files and/or tables from the database. SiteGround backups are kept for 30 days, so you can usually find a “good” backup of a file or table if needed. This, too, is a topic covered elsewhere.

Front-End Login

Of course, you should login to the front-end (the stuff seen by website visitors) every day. This serves to let you confirm that the site is operational, and to check that all the things that should be available and working are in fact available and working: Front Page content available, Bulletin Board available and populated by user comments.

The Bulletin Board uses Javascript and AJAX to load itself and retreive comments from the database. If you see a problem on the Front Page or the Bulletin Board, open the browser’s debugger (F12, usually), make sure the Console is showing in the debug window, and refresh the page. If you see Javascript errors in the debugging console, you’ll have a clue about where to start looking for the cause of the problem. Fortunately, this sort of thing happens only rarely after a) a bad Joomla extension is installed, b) an extension’s update was bad, or c) your code caused a problem. You need to figure out “whodunit” and fix it.