How to back up your hosted WordPress site

When was the last time you backed up your hosted WordPress site? Your host likely backs up the entire server on a regular basis, but it's a good idea to keep your own local backups, just in case. We'll show you how.

When was the last time you backed up your hosted WordPress site? Your host likely backs up the entire server on a regular basis, but it's a good idea to keep your own local backups, just in case.

To properly back up your WordPress site, you need to back up all your WordPress files and your database. Here's how to manually back up your hosted WordPress site:


WordPress files

Step 1:
Using an FTP program like FileZilla, connect to your blog host (GoDaddy, BlueHost, DreamHost, etc.) with your FTP username and password.

Step 2:
After establishing a connection, select a local directory to save your backups to (left pane) and then select all the files on your host (right pane).

FileZilla select files
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 3:
Transfer the files from your host to your local directory. In FileZilla, right-click on the selected files and select "Download" or simply drag the selected files over from the right pane, to the left pane.

FileZilla transfer files
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 4:
After your host files have completed downloading, you can compress the files using your favorite compression program, like 7-Zip. This step is not necessary, but it can save you lots of disk space if you store several backups or more.

Compress backups with 7-Zip
Screenshot by Ed Rhee


mySQL database

Step 1:
Log in to phpMyAdmin. phpMyAdmin is a Web interface for mySQL administration. If you don't know how to get to phpMyAdmin, your host should be able to direct you. For GoDaddy, go to your Hosting Dashboard, Databases, then mySQL.

phpMyAdmin login
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 2:
The left column of phpMyAdmin lists one or more databases. Select your WordPress database from the list.

phpMyAdmin choose db
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 3:
In the Export tab:
A. Click "Select All"
B. Select "SQL"
C. Check the boxes next to, "Add DROP TABLE / VIEW / PROCEDURE / FUNCTION", "Add IF NOT EXISTS", "Add AUTO_INCREMENT value" and "Enclose table and field names with backquotes"
D. Check the box next to "Complete inserts"
E. Check the box next to "Save file as"
F. Click the "Go" button to start the export.

phpMyAdmin export
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 4:
When prompted, select a location to save the .sql file on your local computer and save it.

Caution: Do not poke around other areas of phpMyAdmin and make changes unless you know what you're doing. Changes made to your database in phpMyAdmin cannot be undone.

Congratulations--you've successfully backed your WordPress site! The next time you need to upgrade WordPress, you'll know how to quickly back it up before upgrading. Consider burning your backups onto a CD or DVD as well, for safe keeping.

About the author

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Tech industry's high-flying 2014
Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)