How to make a complete back up of you WordPress website with phpmyadmin and why?

No more chaos back up tipsWe have all been there, you made a beautiful website and all of a sudden BAM the website stops working: blank screen, you are hacked or an awful update just destroys your site. Now luckily there is something you can do to keep all your files safe! Whenever your website stops working you can just upload your website back up and  you are ready to go again. No more chaos explains how you can make a complete back up of your WordPress website while using Filezilla and phpmyadmin.


So when do you make a back up of your website? Does the website need a back up every day or only when you change a lot of themes? We always advice our customers to make a website back up at least once a month and to make extra back ups while doing one of the following things:

  • Before and after updating your websites theme;
  • Before and after updating your plugins;
  • After adding a new page;
  • After big changes on your website such as maintenance true a lot of texts.

Can’t i just use a plugin to do my website back up?

There are a lot of plugins available which claim to make a complete back up of your website, but in reality they do not copy all your files. A WordPress website is based on two things, the first is a folder in FTP which you can find in Filezilla for example, with your web-address and all the programs you use to make your website work. The second is a database where you store all your content such as texts, images, video’s, settings etc. Most of the plugins make a back up of the FTP files but not of your database! So what happens? You re-upload your back up from the plugin and see that the programs are there but all your content is missing.

How can i make a complete website back up my self?

First get all your login details together, so your FTP login details as well as your phpmyadmin details. Then make a folder on your computer and call it “Back up website + Date”. It is always good to give your back up folder the current date so you will remember the last time you made a back up. 

No more chaos always uses Filezilla as a FTP program so open Filezilla to start with your first back up of the FTP files. If you don’t have any experience using Filezilla then you probably shouldn’t touch these files. We will try to write a blog about how to use Filezilla in the future, but for now we will just explain how to make a back up. Ok now we are ready to go!

Filezilla Step 1 

On the left side of the screen of Filezilla you see all the files on your computer, so go ahead and look for the Back up folder you just created. On the right side of the screen you see all the files which are online, your website is in one of these files. Most of the time the file where you can find your website is called “Httpdocs” or “sites”, just go and look for a folder which has your websites address and to be sure open it to see if you see a lot of files starting their names with “wp”, this means WordPress.

Filezilla Step 2

Now drag the whole website folder from the right side of the screen into your back up folder you made earlier on the left side of the screen. Filezilla will now start to copy all the files from your websites folder into your back up folder on your computer. On the bottom of the screen you will see how many files there have been copied already and how many files still have to be copied on to your computer. On the bottom of the screen you also see a tab saying failed transfers make sure that stays on zero. It may take a while to copy all the files so don’t worry.

Phpmyadmin Step 3

While Filezilla is busy copying all your files you can now start making the second back up of your website which is the back up of your database in phpmyadmin. So lets get started, go to your phpmyadmin address in one of your browsers. You got your address from your hosting company and it probably looks something like:

When you arrive at the phpmyadmin site you should see a screen which asks for login details. Now fill in the phpmyadmin login details you got from your hosting company as well. If you can’t login to phpmyadmin but you are sure you filled in the right login details try using an other browser like Firefox for example which will work with phpmyadmin for sure.

Phpmyadmin Step 4

Once logged in to your phpmyadmin area look on the left side of the screen and you will see the database name on top and in the color blue and behind the database name you see the number of files included in the database itself, click on this name. If you have multiple databases, make sure you click on the right one.
After clicking on your database name you will see a screen with all the files included in the database. On top of this screen you can see several tabs such as “Structure, search, SQL, Export and Import” for example. Now we want to export the database which will be our back up so go ahead and click on the tab Export.

Phpmyadmin Step 5

Now comes the important part on the new screen which opened after you clicked on “Export” you see a lot of settings. There are a few settings which need to be enabled. So lets go:

  1. On the left side of the new screen with settings you can see all your database files again, these need to be set on select all.
  2. Under the selection of all your files you see a list of choices, make sure only “SQL” is selected.
  3. If you look on the right side of your settings page, you will see other options available. There is one option which needs to be selected here called “Comment”.
  4. Under the first options you see a label called “Structure”, here we need to enable a few options such as:
  • “Add IF NOT EXISTS”;
  • “Add AUTO_INCREMENT value”;
  • “Use backticks(‘) with table- and fieldnames”

        5. Now look at the next option list called “Data”, enable the following settings here:

  • Insert completed;
  • Use hexadecimal for BLOB.

        6. After enabling these settings go to the bottom of the screen and look at the final settings called “Sending”.
            You can see that there is a spot available to type your back up name, so just fill in a name so you know this
            is the database back up. 
            After creating a name just enable the compression type “gzipt”. Now press “Start” on the right side and
            your back up of the database will be made!

Final Steps

You can now check back into Filezilla if all files have been copied to your computer and no failures have appeared. Finally drag the SQL database file you just made into your back up folder on your computer and your done!

No more chaos is happy to make a complete back up for you! If you are interested in a website back up but you don’t have the time to make one your self, just send us an e-mail or fill in our Contact Form. Or take a look at our maintenance packages for more information about our services.