How do I make a backup of the forum and restore? Can I store the backup and restore it from an external hard drive? I just purchased the software a few days ago. Is there also any way to check what version of Xenforo I have?
I’m not an expert and I’m sure someone will give you better advice soon.
But if you’re using cPanel for your host (or the other options), there is an area in there to back up your site. You can tell it exactly what you want backed up, or just do everything on the server.
It’s also good to set up automatic backups of your database. To do that, it involves setting up a basic cron job. But I’m not going to give you what I use just in case it doesn’t exactly apply to your needs.
My host (shared hosting) has automatic daily backups using Acronis and accessed via cPanel. There's also capability for manual backups so I can do a "snapshot" right before making a change or doing an upgrade.
I can download those backups to a local drive and restore from those copies. The downloads are zipped.
But, as @sixlxvi says, that's all dependent on what the host offers. And if you run your own server, then you would have to deal with it yourself.