How to Use cPanel For Backing up and Restoring WordPress Site?

Despite spending a considerable amount of time and efforts into developing and maintaining a WordPress site, it might still contain loopholes that can affect its performance. However, you can deal with such a situation by running a backup of your website and restoring it.

Though there are many backup plugins available online that can help you in creating a backup of your site. But through this post, I’ll explain the process of backing up and restoring a WordPress site manually using cPanel. In case, none of the plugins is able to meet your needs, you can follow the manual process to get the job done.

Moreover, a manual process will give you better control over backing up your website, something you may not achieve using a built-in plugin. Before proceeding further and understanding how to perform backup and restoration of your WordPress site, you must have to familiarize yourself with which files to backup.

What All You Need to Backup For Your WordPress Site?

Every WordPress website is divided into two parts, namely: files and a database. While all your website files and directories that get added to a WordPress site as soon as it is installed. The website content and settings are stored in the database. Without files, there won’t be any site, and without a database, your site will be empty and won’t contain any data. Hence, both your files and your database are important and must be backed up regulatory.

Let us now look at what files you need to back up and how you can back up the database:

Backing up Files: You must keep a backup of all the files that are stored in your WordPress website directory (which includes sub-directories as well). In addition, it is very important to back up the .htaccess configuration file – that is used for altering and setting up the configuration settings of your server.

Also, you must look for all files and folders with “wp-” prefix (such as wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes). These folders are important as they help in setting up your WordPress installation, and so you must copy all those folders and files.

Note: Keep in mind that backups should be carried out prior to making any changes to the core WordPress files, plugin(s), or before updating your website theme.

Backing up WordPress Database

You can access your WordPress website database from cPanel. Your database contains important content of your site, including website content, settings, and data related to the theme and plugins.

How to Back up WordPress Website?

In this section, we’ll talk about how you can take a backup of your site as well as the database.

  1. Taking a Back up of WordPress Files

Step 1: First, you’ll have to access your site’s cPanel using the login credentials (i.e. username and password).

Step 2: Next, browse your cPanel and click on ‘Files Manager’.

Step 3: Inside the Files Manager option, you’ll see a list of your WordPress website files and directories. Simply select the files you need to backup (including wp-includes, wp-admin, wp-content, etc.) and compress them.

Step 4: Select a suitable location wherein you would store all the compressed files. You can even choose to replace the name of your compressed files with the ones you like.

Step 5: Once all the compressed files are stored, start downloading them.

Step 6: Lastly, upload all of the compressed files to Dropbox or to some other location of your choice. Once all the files are uploaded to the desired location, make sure to delete the zip folder from where the WordPress files were compressed to, using the cPanel.

  1. Taking a Back up of WordPress Database

Step 1: Get logged-in into your WordPress site’s cPanel

Step 2: Before getting started with the process of backing up your database, it is imperative to know about the current database your site is using. It’s good if you know about it. If not, just head towards ‘Files Manager’ and access the wp-config.php file to know your database name that is currently active.

Step 3: Search for “phpMyAdmin” in your cPanel.

Step 4: Once you’ve accessed your PHPMyAdmin, from the left side of the screen choose the database indicated in the wp-config.php file. After selecting the database, you’ll see a list of tables and tabs on the left of the screen, simply click on the “Export” tab located at the top of the screen:

Step 5: When you’ll click on the Export option, you’ll be taken to a new window, from where you have to select an export method and format:

As you can see, there are two types of export methods that helps export WordPress database quickly, named: Quick and Custom. Choose the first option, if you’ve fewer posts or minimal options on your site. But if you have too many options to display, then select the Custom method.

After selecting the export method, you’ll have to choose the format as SQL, for exporting your database in the form of an SQL file.

Step 6: Finally, hit the “Go button”, and phpMyAdmin will export your WordPress website database automatically.

Understanding the Process of Restoring WordPress Files

Backing up your WordPress site is a good practice and helps safeguard your website data. But, the backup you’ve created won’t prove useful if you don’t know how it can be used and restored. It is very important for you to know how you can restore your website, as it will help you act fast to lessen the damage caused to your site or server.

First off, you’ll have to restore all your WordPress files, as without them there is no use of the database. Choosing how you’ll restore your files will rely on how the back up for the files was created in the first place.

If you’ve successfully created a backup of all the WordPress files (including the core files), then simply upload all the files at once. If not, then you should download a WordPress archive prior to sending it to your server. Remember to change the name of your newly created wp-config-test.php file with an original wp-config.php file that you backed up.

And now, let us look at the steps you need to follow to restore your WordPress database:

Step 1: Enter your cPanel by logging into it, and then move down to the “Files” section. From that section, click on Backups:

Step 2: From the ‘Backups’ page, navigate towards the “Database Backup” tab. Corresponding to the tab, you’ll see an option labeled as “ Restore a MySQL Database”. You just need to click on ‘Choose File’ and select the file you want to back up. After completing this step, hit the “Upload” button.

That’s it, your database backup will be restored.


Do you fear the loss of your WordPress website data? Are you looking for ways that can help safeguard your website data and restore it if something goes wrong? In that case, you must learn how to create a backup of your WordPress site files and database. Additionally, you’ll need to know the process to restore your backed up files and database. Hope that this post will provide you required knowledge regarding backing up and restoring a WordPress site.

Author Bio: Arya Stark is a web developer working for an Offshore CMS Web Development Company, Xicom which offers portal cms and website content management services at affordable rates. So if you are looking to avail of the best content management service, you can get in touch with her.




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