How to back up your hosted WordPress site

This article is a little on the techie side but if any of you know me you know how fanatical I am about making back ups.  Over the years I have seen too many people lose critical data and not have a reliable back up to fall back on.  So as I always say, Back Up, Back Up and Back Up again.

…And here’s how for your WordPress websites.

Happy Computing,
Vivienne Porter


How to back up your hosted WordPress site

July 12, 2011 11:09 AM PDT

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(Credit: 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(Credit: 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(Credit: 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(Credit: 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(Credit: 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(Credit: 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.

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