How to fully backup your WordPress site

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Wordpress-BackupsEvery website should be backed up on a regular basis. The importance of backup is significant. If anything goes wrong with your site, if you get hacked or your hosting server goes down, you’ll always have a backup files that you can restore and bring your site back to life without losing any precious data.

I do not recommend backup plugins that are available on the net, doing backup manually is the best way to preserve all files, images and the database.

Each WordPress website consist of 2 parts. First part are the files such as WP installation files, images, theme files, plugins and everything else within your file manager. Second part is the database that is used to communicate with your site files and store all the content such as posts, pages, settings etc…

So, in order to completely backup your WordPress site, you need to download the database and all site files. I’ll show you now how to it.

Every hosting panel has the file manager and database management tool (such as phpMyAdmin). If your hosting panel is based on a Cpanel, you can download a complete backup with few clicks only.

Cpanel WordPress Backup

If your hosting account includes Cpanel, log in to your account and click “Backup Wizard” and then follow the image instructions below.

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cpanel-2

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After you’re done with these 4 steps above, go back to “Backup Wizard” and the download link will show up after a few minutes or less, depending on how big your site is.

Servers with different hosting panels

Beside Cpanel, hosting companies are using various website administration panels, third-party panels or custom made ones to suit their needs. What is common for all panels is that each and every one has the file manager and the database management tool as I mentioned above. Most common database management tool is the phpMyAdmin.

In order to determine how to make a backup of your site, log in to your panel using the credentials you received by your hosting provider and see does your panel have any kind of backup tool (like the Backup Wizard in the cPanel).

1. Files backup:

If not, go to File Manager inside your panel and see is there an option to compress the files (to zip them, create an archive). Usually the compress feature is visible on the top or if you select multiple files and then do the right mouse click.

If you are able to compress the files, be sure that you are located in the root directory where are all your WordPress files. You can recognize the root directory by file and folder names such as WP-Content, WP-Admin, WP-Includes. See the image below:

wordpress-root-files-2

Now select all files and folder and click “Compress files”, .ZIP files or “Create an archive” depending on how this feature is named inside your hosting panel. After you’re done with file compression, refresh the current page in the file manager and download the compressed file (backup.zip or any other name with a .zip extension).

2. Database backup:

In order to download a WordPress database backup, go back to your panel homepage and see is there any Database Management tool. If there is, click the link and see is there an option to automatically download the DB. If there’s not, you’ll have to manually do the backup via phpMyAdmin that is located either within DB Management Tool or on the panel homepage.

When you enter the phpMyAdmin, click on your database name that is always located on the left side menu under the “information_schema”. After that, click “Export” from the top menu. As a Export Method choose “Quick”, click “Go” and the backup file will show up so you can download it. See the images below.

phpmyadmin1

phpmyadmin2

If you cannot access the phpMyAdmin without log in credentials, go back to the File Manager and from the root directory download the wp-config.php file, opet it with a notepad and use a database username and db password as your phpMyAdmin credentials.

More ways to do a WordPress website backup

FTP – File Transfer Protocol

Some hosting servers do not have an option to compress the site files. In that case you’ll have to download the files manually, “one by one” by using the FTP protocol.
Download and install the FilleZila FTP client by clicking here. Then go to your hosting panel homepage and see is there an FTP option in the menu. If there is, click FTP and look for the FTP username and password.

Run the FilleZila on your PC, click the first icon from the top left menu (Site Manager) and use the credentials provided in your hosting panel. Some FTP credentials and settings may be different from example below. For instance, some hosts use FTP protocol, some use SFTP or the “host” is not your site name etc…

ftp

After you’re logged in to your FTP account, find the root directory, select all files and move them to some folder on your desktop by holding the left mouse click.

If you need a professional WordPress backup service, just let me know, I’ll be glad to assist.