Backup WordPress Site and Files Manually Without FTP

I thought doing backup WordPress site entirely was difficult because we have to go to our database, but I have done so many times as I moved this blog to many hosts before, and it was not so difficult as in the first time.

I hope you won’t need to restore your website, but besides on backing up the whole site, knowing how to restore is also very important.

Why do you have to know how to backup WordPress Site?

Since many years blogging so far, there are many reasons why you need to do the complete backup of your WP site. Moving server, being hacked, etc. So I think it’s really useful to be able to make backup of your cool site and restore it back when you need to.

I can imagine how terrible it is, after working on our blog for a long time, and spend time or money on it, and suddenly, when disaster occurs, we can’t do anything about it. Of course we all don’t want this bad thing happened.

I always try everything in my local WordPress website (if I installed WordPress locally and do what I want by trying stuff).

If you want to install it in your PC or Mac, my two videos will guide you how. For mac users, visit this page, and for windows user check this post.

Besides doing manual backup, I am also using a useful backup plugin which can be found here.

The plugin is called WP-DB-Backup. This plugin is useful since you don’t need to backup your database manually. I mean it can be scheduled.

My tips is automatically and regularly backup the database with the plugin, and send it to my email, and doing exporting database from PHP manually at least once a month, together backing up your whole website files.

What are things to manually backup?

These are the most important files you need to backup, definitely:

1. Database. This is where your post or pages stored, comments, and many plugin or theme settings.

2. Images inside uploads folder inside wp-content folder.

3. Premium themes or plugins and its configurations if there are any.

4. Important files, as wp-config.php, .htaccess, or any folders like download folders, affiliate links folders, and some other verification files if there are any.

How do I backup my WordPress Site?

Related: Export WordPress Database using phpMyAdmin

I personally would backup the whole files in your root, so you’ll have everything backup.

The reason is, I have many verification files from Yahoo, Google, and other folders like downloads besides .htaccess files, so I would just backed up everything.

Let’s get started it. I recommend you to do this whole process at least once a month, and if you post more frequently, like once a day, you should do it more often too.

1. Export your database manually from phpMyAdmin. Follow this tutorial first.
Once it is downloaded in your computer I will save it in a folder, let’s say, my site is so the folder will be named and structured as below. (just an example)

Where database will be stored - Folder structure example
Where database will be stored – Folder structure example
the month
the database saved here.

2. Go back to cPanel Home, navigate to File – File Manager, and check the checkbox that says “Show hidden files” because we also want to download .htaccess file. I personally have my .htaccess full of codes, example, to prevent hotlinking images, the redirect, etc.

File - File Manager in cPanel
File – File Manager in cPanel
Show hidden files option
Show hidden files option

3. Once you see your WordPress files, you can click on “Select All” icon, and then click “Compress” icon. This will generate .zip file of your whole site which is downloadable.

Select all icon
Select all icon
After Selecting all your files, click "Compress" icon.
After Selecting all your files, click “Compress” icon.

Actually, you can also transfer the files via FTP, but in my opinion, it takes a lot slower, and we are not 100% sure if the files are all downloaded properly.

4. Name the file anything you like, but I would name it as my site description and the date when I download it.

Name of compressed folder
Name of compressed folder, as an example.

You should in your host, if you don’t, you can click on Reload button on the top.

5. Download the .zip file to your computer, once you’re done, delete it from your server, very important since you don’t want people downloading your site files.

To delete, select the file name, and click on “Delete” icon.

Delete the zip file after download the backup.
Delete the zip file after download the backup.

Also depends on how big your site is, the download process may need forever, but we need to do this if we want to backup our site ourselves.

I hope this helps.

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  1. Sueli says

    Kimmy, isn’t it enough to make a database backup and a wp-content backup?
    Should I backup anything else?

    NOTE: I think your tutorials are very good. I have been reading them for years.

    • says

      Hey Sueli :)

      isn’t it enough to make a database backup and a wp-content backup?

      It depends on what files your blog have, if the blog is new, then yes, but if you have other redirections code in .htaccess, like what I did in this post, then I will need to backup .htaccess file. Also in the video, and in this blog, I verified Google and Yahoo with a html files, which is also need to backup, and don’t forget to backup the wp-config.php.

      Should I backup anything else?

      Yes, to be safe. At least once in a few months, just to be sure you have everything synced in your backup.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and reading my blog all these years, I do really appreciate it :D

      Have a nice week ahead, Sueli

      Kindly, Kim.