How to manually backup WordPress site (using cPanel and PhpMyAdmin)?

How to backup wp manually

A backup of your WordPress site is very important. This saves you from losing your important files and databases.

You can backup your WordPress site manually or using a WordPress backup plugin. Plugins like UpdraftPlus are available for free for automatic backups in WordPress.

In this post, I will show you how you can manually backup your WordPress site.

So basically, when you take a manual backup, you need to make a copy of two components – files and databases.

Files can be backed up via the cPanel control panel provided by your hosting provider. Another way to manually back up files is by using file transfer protocols like File Zila software. The following certificates are required for FTP:

FTP Certificate

Your WordPress site database can only be accessed through phpMyAdmin which is available inside cPanel. Control Panel cPanel comes free with most web hosting providers. If your hosting company doesn’t offer cPanel, you don’t have to worry. You can Download phpMyAdmin Direct

Now that you know the requirements for manual backup, you should create a separate folder on your computer to save the backup. This backup can be used to restore your WordPress site in case of an accident.

How to backup WordPress site manually?

So by now, you must have understood the manual method of backing up WordPress. Let me explain in detail step by step. As you already know, there are two methods of manual backup – cPanel or FTP. Let us adopt both methods one by one.

Backup using cPanel

cPanel is the most common and widely used control panel available to hosting providers. The easiest way is to backup your WordPress site using cPanel, because you do not need any external software to download.

cPanel is the same for each host, so the steps will be the same. Only some hosts may differ.

Step 1

To access cPanel, you must first log in to your hosting account and navigate to your website. To navigate your website or product, you need to thoroughly examine your cPanel.

If you use managed WordPress hosting, you won’t find cPanel because they provide their own control panel. In this case, instead of cPanel, you can use FTP method.

Step 2

Now search for the file manager inside cPanel. You can either scroll down or search for the word directly in the search box at the top of the cPanel.

Click File Manager, and cPanel will show your website files and folders. You can click + to expand the folders, and on the right, you can see a detailed view of all the files.

cpanel file manager

Step 3

On the left, you will see multiple folders and your website. Locate the public_html folder and you will find the name of your website. It should be something like public_html> website name.

The public_html folder contains three important folders, viz Includes wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-. These folders contain files from all your WordPress sites, including logins, themes, plugins, and more.

Public HTML cpanel

Step 4

Now you need to download all the files inside public_html. So click Select all options Above the dashboard. Right click on Documents And select the compress option.

Compress the file

You can choose from multiple options to compress files. The best alternative is the zip archive. This will give you a few options to compress. We have selected the zip archive.

Compression option cpanel

Creating a zip file speeds up the backup process as the files are compressed. The required storage space is low and the server does not take too much load.

Download the compressed file

You can now download the zip file to a specific folder created on your computer.

Backup using FTP

To use the FTP method for backing up WordPress files, you need to have the FTP certificate and the FileZilla software installed. This method requires a connection between your hosting server and FTP. It takes more time and, therefore, is the second choice for backing up your WordPress site.

The FTP method is an option and should only be used if you do not have cPanel on your hosting account.

Step 1

Download and install FileZilla on your computer. Open it, and at the top, you’ll see the details to enter. All you need is a host, username, password and port.

Below this, you will see a local site that shows the folders on your computer On the right, the software shows a remote site that will pop up once the connection is made.

Enter your FTP credentials so that you can make a connection between FTP and your site server

Filezilla Dashboard

Step 2

Once the connection between FTP and the server is established, you will see the files and folders of your WordPress site under Remote Side.

Filezilla Remote Side

As you navigated to public_html in cPanel, here you need to repeat that step.

Step 3

You can choose to download entire folders or specific files. You can drag and drop files from the remote side to the left.

Download FileZilla

Right click on the folder or files that need to be downloaded and click download. Once downloaded, create a zip file to take up less space on your computer.

By now you must have learned the steps to backup files. Now I will show you how to backup database with phpMyAdmin.

2. Backup database via phpMyAdmin

You’ve backed up your WordPress files, now you need to back up your database. Inside cPanel, you can navigate to phpMyAdmin.

Step 1

Just login to your hosting account and open cPanel. Now locate phpMyAdmin under the database or search directly in the search box.

phpmyadmin cpanel

Step 2

Click on phpMyAdmin, and you will see Database, SQL and many more options.

phpmyadmin database

Step 3

Click on Database and the complete list will populate to the right. If you have no idea about your database, you should download wp_config.php using FTP containing database information.

Database list

After selecting the database, select the tables and export it. To export all tables, click Export above.

Export table

You can choose the export method in fast and custom. If you are not tech-savvy, choose the format as SQL and the database will be downloaded in .sql format.

Export method

You can now move the database file to the folder on your computer where you saved the WordPress files.


We’ve worked on a manual backup of your WordPress site. If the site crashes, you can use the downloaded files and databases to recover your WordPress site.

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