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How to Back Up Your WordPress Site Manually

Learning how to back up your WordPress site is an integral skill needed for running and managing a website. A backup of your website can come in handy in case something goes wrong. If you want to transfer or migrate to a new hosting account, you will need your backup files as well. There are lots of WordPress backup plugins that you can use to accomplish this, but here’s how to back up your WordPress site manually.

There are two general steps needed to back up your whole WordPress website. One is to back up your files and the other is to back up the database. Here are the steps for both: 

How to Backup WordPress Site Database Using phpMyAdmin

The steps below will create a backup of your database. The database contains your posts and the data created on your website. 

  1. Log into the phpMyAdmin on your server. You can access this by logging into cPanel and clicking phpMyAdmin under Database.
  2. Select your WordPress database in the left window panel.
  3. Select the tables you want to back up by ticking the boxes. You can select all by scrolling below the list and checking the box next to “Check All.”
  4. Click Export from the tabs in the upper window and click Go. Your backup file will then be downloaded to your computer. Download time will depend on the size of your database. 
How to Backup WordPress Site Database Using phpMyAdmin

How to Back Up Your WordPress Site using a File Manager

The steps below will create a backup of your site or your files. The files will include your WordPress core installation, WordPress plugins, WordPress themes, images, files, and static web pages. These are not included in your database backup. 

  1. Download and install an FTP file manager, such as Filezilla, on your computer. For the purposes of this guide, we are using FileZilla. You can download Filezilla for free here.
  2. Launch the file manager and connect to your hosting provider. To find the information you need to connect, go to cPanel and check under General information on the right You will need to enter the Shared IP Address, Current User, and your password into the FTP file manager. Then click connect.

    Once connected, you will see two panels. The left shows your computer and the right is your server.

  3. Create a folder to download your files to.
  4. Click the public_html directory from the right panel. 
  5. Find the wp_content folder on the bottom right panel. 
  6. Drag the wp_content folder to the left bottom panel, to the desktop folder you created. 
How to Back Up Your WordPress Site using a File Manager

Make sure to create these backups regularly. You should have several copies available for safekeeping. Save one in your hard drive, but also upload copies to cloud storage. 

If you would like an easier way to backup your WordPress site, check out our blog on the best WordPress plugins here.

Updated on January 29, 2020

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