One of the most common questions I receive is ‘How do I back up my database?’.

Unfortunately a small number of people do back up their websites. There have been quite a few cases recently where people have lost their entire website with no back up.

So I wanted to provide you with instructions on how to do this to prevent or minimise the damage if something goes wrong.

There are two steps to backing up your site;

  1. Copying your wordpress files (this means your theme, uploaded media files and plugins)
    2.  Backing up your database (which includes all of your page and blog post content)

NOTE: These instructions are only for those who are using cpanel webhosting.

Backing Up Your WordPress Files

To do this you will need an FTP client (I highly recommend FileZilla which is free to download).

  • Open up File Zilla and enter in your FTP details (your webhost should provide these to you) but as a rule they are generally the same password for your cpanel access.  On the right side of the FTP client you will see all files live in your website and on the left are files that are stored on your PC.
  • Create a file on your PC (called backup). This is where you will copy your files to.  Be sure that you select this file within the left hand side of your page
  • Your website is usually hosted under the folder Public HTML so all the files that are relevant to your site are stored under this.
  • If you files are saved in the root directory of your website – you can just download all files underneath Public HTML.  Or if your files are saved under a sub-directory such as Blog then you would just download all files under that directory.
  • To download highlight all files and then right click. Select the download option.
  • The FTP client will then start downloading all your files to your PC.
  • Once that is completed you can go onto the next step of Backing up your Database.

FTP Backup

Backing up you database

For this section you will need to login to your website’s cpanel area.

1.  Go to the myPHP option

2.  Select Database from the main options

3.  Then from here you select the database you want to back up. For example “test_wordpress”

4.  This will bring up a lot of different files that are in the database.
Click  the Export tab, generally the 5th tab across.

5. In the Export box you will need to select all of the files that are to be copied.
(NB: If you have other programs that use the same database please unselect these files).  All files to do with wordpress files should be wp_file name.

6. Ensure that SQL is checked!

The SQL section – Tick the following boxes:

  • Structure
  • ‘Add DROP TABLE / VIEW / PROCEDURE / FUNCTION’
  • ‘Add IF NOT EXISTS”Add AUTO_INCREMENT’ and
  • ‘Enclose table and field names with backquotes’

7. The DATA section
Leave the boxes inside this section unticked, but make sure to keep the checkbox next to the “DATA” heading checked.

8. Tick the ‘Save as file’ option, and leave the template name as is.

9. Now click ‘Go’ and you should be prompted for a file to download. Save the file to your computer. Depending on the database size, this may take a few moments. 

If you don’t want to risk doing this yourself ask Little Miss Useful how we can help you. We can back up and store a copy of your website in case of emergency.

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