How to Backup WordPress Database – Manual & Plugin Method

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to backup WordPress database using two methods – manually by using phpMyAdmin in cPanel, as well as the plugin method.

Why should you backup your WordPress database?

It’s always a good idea to have a backup of your WordPress site so that in case something goes wrong, you can restore your site using the backup.

You can backup your complete site along with all themes, plugins, images and database, or you can just take a backup of your WordPress database. This article will focus only on performing a database backup. However, we would highly suggest our readers to regularly perform a full backup of WordPress site.

Method #1: How to backup WordPress database manually using phpMyAdmin

For this method, you will need to use phpMyAdmin, which allows you to manage your MySQL database using a proper web based interface. Using phpMyAdmin is easy once you know where to look for proper options.

Login to your web hosting control panel (also known as cPanel), from where you can perform many functions. Once you are logged in to your cPanel, scroll down a bit and click on phpMyAdmin which would be under the Database section.

This will instantly launch your phpMyAdmin. From the left sidebar, ensure that you have selected the proper WordPress database for the site that you want to backup. For example, if you are hosting two different sites, then you will find two database here and that’s why you will need to select the proper database from here.

Once the database is selected, you will be able to see the database tables. From here, click on the Export link from the top.

You will be presented with two options for exporting a database. Quick as well as Custom.

If you click on Custom and then click on “Go”, then you will be presented with options for tables where you can select/de-select a table. If you want to exclude a table from here which a plugin has created which you are no longer using, then you can de-select it from here, however, if you are unsure then I would suggest you to keep all tables selected.

Scroll down a bit to the output section. Now, select ‘Save output to a file’ option, enter a file name of the exported file, select a compression and when you’re done, click on the “Go” button.

You will now be presented an option to download the file and based on your selection, you will have a zip or gzip file.

That’s all you need to do to make a database backup for your WordPress site.

Method #2: Creating a WordPress database backup using cPanel

If you think that using the above method to use phpMyAdmin to backup WordPress database is a bit complex, then here’s another way to do it.

Login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel), and from the Files section, click on “Backups”.

On this Backup page, you will find a heading for “Download a MySQL Database Backup” and from there you just need to click on the database name to download the database file to your computer.

Tip: From this page, you can also generate a full website backup and then download it once the process is completed.

Method #3: Generate a WordPress database backup using a Plugin

You can choose this method if you don’t have access to cPanel for any reason, or you just don’t want to manually backup your WordPress database. You can choose this plugin which is really easy to use and gets the job done in no time.

Install and activate WP-DB-Backup plugin from here. This is a really simple plugin that will allow you to backup your WordPress database.

Once activated, go to Tools > Backup.

On this page, you will be able to see core WordPress tables that will always be backed-up, and optionally you can select to exclude certain tables which are related to some other plugins.

Scroll down a bit, select “Download to your computer” and click on “Backup Now.” Alternatively, you can also select the option to email you the database backup to your email address.

This plugin also has the option to schedule backup if you don’t want to backup every time manually.

Hope this article will help you in taking a backup of WordPress database manually, as well as using a plugin.

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