Why and how to back up your WordPress database

WordPress database

A guest post by Jason Daszkewicz. 

WordPress is the best. There is no doubt about that. Probably you have heard this a lot and therefore I am not going to go on about WordPress because everyone knows it’s awesome.

However, let’s talk about its database. WordPress database is an important set of data related to your WordPress website. Here’s some of them:

  • Layout and theme templates
  • User accounts
  • Custom menus
  • Custom Theme settings
  • Plugin Settings
  • Sidebar content
  • Widgets setting
  • And much more than that

Do you really want to risk losing all this important data if something goes wrong?

Of course not.

However, what if someone hacks into your WordPress account or if an incompatibility issue arises if you update something. These are some factors that will be at stake which I’m sure you don’t want to lose.

This is why you need to backup your WordPress database.

There are many ways to backup your WordPress files. If you are a developer with a complete knowledge of WordPress and its coding terms, you can opt to back up manually. And if you’re not a developer, there are always WordPress plugins you can use to back everything up.

I am going to show you how to back up using manual coding and then I will tell you which plugins will help you to easily back up your WordPress database.

Let’s get started.

Creating backup via phpMyAdmin.

phpMyAdmin is an open source software to manage your website’s MySQL database. You will find it in your cPanel of your hosting provider. If this isn’t available, ask your hosting company to give it to you straight away.

In order to create a database backup, follow these steps and follow them with extra attention as it is crucial for your website.

1. Login to your website’s hosting provider’s cPanel. You’ll see a section of “Databases”. There you will find an icon named as “phpMyAdmin”.

Databases option in C-panel

2. When you click on phpMyAdmin, you’ll see another option as WordPress database.

Creating Backup via phpMyAdmin

3. After clicking there you’ll see a WordPress database table.

PhpMyAdmin dashboard

4. On that table, you’ll see an option to select the database.

5. Select the databases for which you want to create a backup and then at top right corner, you’ll see an option “Export”. Click the option.

phpMyAdmin WordPress Backup

6. Then it will ask you to select the type of export. I recommend selecting the custom option there.

7. This custom option gives you another option, so you must select that to create an effective backup of your WordPress database.

8. Since you’re doing it for the first time, I recommend you to select the all options.

9. After this, you will see two options, and by default, the option “View output as text” is selected.

10. You have to check the option just above that, which is “Save output to a file”.

11. Under that, you’ll have to select compression as zipped file.

12. Now you’re all set. Now click on the “Go” Button down below and phpMyAdmin will back up your WordPress database.

Backup using the cPanel

Now, if you have a good web hosting company like SiteGround, Bluehost or HostGator, you can also use this method to backup your WordPress database.

1. Login to your cPanel of your hosting account.

2. These three hosting service providers usually have the same option as “Backup”.

Backup using the cPanel

3. Simply click on it and then you’ll see a lot of option such as “Full Backup” and “Partial Backup”.

4. You’ll see an option of “Download a MySQL Database Backup” under partial backup option.

5. You just have to select that and you’re done.

As a cautionary note, I don’t recommend this way of backup as it has many flaws which might affect you and your backup.

First, if your service provider lost your data then there is nothing you can do about it. And second, if someone hacks in your website, you’ll be unable to login to your account that will eliminate the condition where you can retrieve your backup database.

So this is the reason why I do not recommend it.

Backup using WordPress plugins

If you are not comfortable with manually backing up your WordPress website, there are many WordPress plugins to do this for you.

I’m mentioning a couple of them with some features worth noting:


BackupBuddy logo

BackupBuddy is one of the most loved WordPress plugins for backups. It not only offers you efficient backup strategy, but also provides you with secure backup storage. Let’s see some of its core features:

  • Enables you to create customised backup contents
  • Easy to download the backup as .zip files
  • Automatic scheduled backup plans
  • Allows you to store your backup files to remote backup storages such as DropBox or Google Drive
  • Email notifications to keep you posted on the backup information
  • Easy restore option with its tool named as “ImportBuddy

I recommend this WordPress plugin to all my readers.


BackupWordPress logo

BackupWordPress is a very effective tool to backup your entire WordPress website, including your WordPress database files. Some of its features are:

  • You don’t need any setup to install this plugin and it is very easy to use as well
  • Incredible shared host environment. It even works in low memory
  • It also enables you to send yourself an email of every backup file

In a nutshell, it is an ideal WordPress backup plugin for those who are not a technical geek.

These are the ways you can have a backup for your WordPress database files. These tips and tricks will help you to keep you safe from all kinds of data loss issues.

I hope you liked this post. Please do share it on social media and if you have any questions, feel free to contact via the comments below. I would love it if you have any other additional information. Until then, be safe.

About the author:

Jason DaszkewiczJason Daszkewicz is a WordPress enthusiast. He is associated with WordSuccor, a leading WordPress website development company, which develops custom WordPress websites for various industries like online stores, membership websites, startups and established businesses. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook!

Alice Elliott
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