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How To Make a WordPress Database Backup Manually

Do you want to know how to make a WordPress database backup manually without using a WordPress plugin?

Knowing the manual method allows you to quickly create a database backup whenever you need it.

In this article, we will show you how to make a WordPress database backup manually.

WordPress Database Backup Manually

When and Why Make a WordPress Database Backup Manually

You should always install and setup a WordPress backup system for your site. This allows you to restore your site should something go wrong.

Many users lose access to their WordPress admin area after a hack attempt or some plugin error. In these cases, most tutorials recommend that you create a complete WordPress backup.

However, since you cannot access the admin area, it would be hard for you to use a plugin for backups. This is where knowing how to make a WordPress database backup manually comes in handy.

A manual database backup is exactly the same as the database backups created by a plugin.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to easily make a WordPress database backup manually.

Backing Up WordPress Database Manually Using phpMyAdmin

For this method, we will be using phpMyAdmin. It is an open source software that allows you to manage your MySQL database using a web based interface.

phpMyAdmin comes pre-installed on most WordPress hosting providers including Bluehost, the most popular web hosting service recommended by

First, you need to login to your WordPress hosting control panel. Upon login, click on phpMyAdmin under the ‘Advanced’ section.

Click on PhpMyAdmin in Bluehost

This will launch phpMyAdmin window. Make sure your WordPress database is selected inside phpMyAdmin. If it isn’t, then click on your WordPress database name to select it. You will be able to see the list of WordPress database tables when it is selected.

Once your database is selected, click on the ‘Export’ tab from the top menu bar.

phpMyAdmin Export Button

You will be asked to select the export method. You need to select ‘Custom’ as it will give you more options to explore.

phpMyAdmin Export Method

Once you choose the Custom option, it will show all your tables in your WordPress database as selected.

Sometimes WordPress plugins add their own tables to your database. If there are any tables that you would like to exclude from export, then you can deselect them. If you are unsure, then it is better to keep them all selected.

phpMyAdmin Custom Export

Scroll down to the ‘Output’ section. By default, phpMyAdmin will show you the output of the export process as text. You need to change that by selecting ‘Save output to a file’ option. For compression you need to select zipped or gzipped option.

Now you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the ‘Go’ button.

phpMyAdmin will now send you the database export as zip or gzip file.

That’s all, you have successfully made a manually WordPress database backup.

Creating a Manual WordPress Database Backup from cPanel

Most good WordPress hosting companies also offer easier ways to download on demand backups. Here is how you can use that to make a manual WordPress database backup.

Simply login to your hosting control panel and scroll down to the ‘Files’ section where you will see the ‘Backup’ button. Hosting providers like Bluehost, SiteGround, and HostGator all have similar options.

On the backups page, scroll down to partial backups section and click on your database name to download your database backup file.

Download a WordPress database backup using cPanel

You can also download your WordPress files backup from this page if you need to.

Editor’s Note: You can make WordPress database backups manually, but keep in mind that it is not an alternative to a proper backup solution for your WordPress site.

There are situations when you may not have access to your WordPress database at all. Like if your hosting company suspends your account, or loses your data.

Another possible scenario is when some hacker has injected data in your WordPress database, cleaning an infected database would be a lot more difficult.

Use a proper backup plugin to automatically store your WordPress database backups on the cloud. We recommend using Duplicator, it automatically creates and stores your backups on a cloud storage service like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and more.

See this guide on how to automatically back up WordPress for detailed instructions.

That’s all, we hope this article helped you learn how to make a WordPress database backup manually. You may also want to see our guide on how to restore your WordPress site with just a database backup or our expert picks of the best WordPress database plugins.

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21 CommentsLeave a Reply

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  2. Manually backing up the database is incredibly useful, especially when testing plugins locally.

  3. What is the difference between a database backup and a site backup performed by a plugin such as Duplicator Pro?

    • It varies from plugin to plugin but normally a site backup includes the theme and plugin files while a database backup is for your content.


  4. I dont see any Backup Buttons on my Bluehost account: there are only tabs: Home, My sites, Marketplace, e-mail, domains, advanced

  5. If I have a premium or business wordpress site, then wordpress is my host, correct? What can I do from besides an export?

  6. Hi. I have all folders from a wordpress site but i dont have any database backup. Is it possible to restore drom folders without sql backup?

  7. I have Finished the given all the steps, but i can’t backup my site, it shown be a Sever Error…And How to Rectify this error….

    • Not a good idea. The export file will be able to import your comments and posts into WordPress. However, it will not be able to import images if they have been removed or lost from original server. It will also be unable to restore any other data stored in WordPress database.


  8. Dear Syed,
    Many thanks for your wonderful posts. They are really doing miracles for me. Just one question – I have four or five sites running on one hosting account. One from main directory and rest from sub-directories. How do I go about backing them up all. My website is
    Should I back them up as one file or different files

    Thank you very much

    • Depends on your setup. If all of them are using the same database, then you can select tables for each site and then export them. Repeat for the next site.

      If they are using different databases then you need to export in different files.


  9. Hi WPBeginner,
    I use WP-DBManager and i would recommend it to anyone who wants some peace of mind it’s a wonderful plugin that you can backup your database, compress it into .gz file (my 70 mb SQL file became 5 mb after compression) and email it to you as schedueled. You can choose daily and weekly backup or you can do the backup manually.

    The plus other featues like optimisation which you can scheduel as well

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