For instance, before I make a major update to a WordPress website, I will do a manual backup and store the files to my computer. That way, if anything goes wrong, I can quickly restore the site.
Or, if I plan to move the website from one server to another, I will use this manual backup process as well.
There are two steps to making a manual backup of your site. Back up the database and back up the files.
First, we shall back up the database.
1. Log in to phpMyAdmin
Log in to your hosting control panel and find a program called phpMyAdmin.
It is included with most popular hosting accounts and allows us an easy way to manage our databases.
In the image below, I’m using the cPanel included with BlueHost to open phpMyAdmin.
Enter your database login information.
To find the database login information, open the wp-config.php file and find your DB_USER and DB_PASSWORD entries, as seen in the screenshot below.
You can either use the File Manager from your control panel or log in to your FTP through FileZilla to find the file.
2. Export Database
Once you are logged in, click on the Databases tab at the top and select the database name (it will be the same name as used in the wp-config.php file, in the DB_NAME entry).
Then, click on the Export tab.
You can select the Quick option. Then click Go.
Seen the screenshot below.
Now that we have the database backed up, it’s time to backup the files.
There are a number of ways to download your files to your computer, but I prefer using FTP.
1. Log in to FTP through FileZilla
First, you need to log into your server’s FTP.
To do this, we’ll be using a free program called FileZilla.
If you’ve never used FTP before, see our tutorial: How To Use FTP with WordPress.
Once you are logged in to FileZilla, find the directory folder where your website files are located.
2. Download files to computer
Once you have found the directory for your website’s files, you can select all the files using the “Shift” key.
Then, Right Click and select Download. (Be sure to select the folder on your computer where you’d like to store it in the left side navigator)
It may take a little while for the files to complete downloading.
Once they are completed, your backup is complete.
Where to Store Downloads
You always have the option to keep backups on your computer.
However, I prefer to keep them on a safe online storage service.