How to Do a Complete WordPress Website and MySQL Database Back up - Guide for World4You Customers Pinterest

in Administration, WordPress

How to Do a Complete WordPress Website and MySQL Database Back up – Guide for World4You Customers

Taking time each week and month to back up your website it’s not a bother – it’s a potential life-saver when a new WordPress update goes wrong and wreaks havoc with your plugins or when someone, unfortunately, hacks your website.

In this quick step by step guide, I will show you how to export your WordPress data, save a copy of your MySQL database from a World4You client perspective and finally, how to back up the complete set of your WordPress files off your server.

How often should you back up your WordPress site?

The best way to go about any administrative task is to establish regular routines.

  1. You should export your WordPress data every week.
  2. You should back up your WordPress MySQL database every week.
  3. You should back up your entire WordPress site every quarter.

If you are a client of World4You they automatically create monthly website backups and MySQL database backups from the last 4 days, both of which you can recover for a small fee in case of emergency. Just go to ‘Webspace’ and then ‘Backup’ in your World4You admin.

Where should I store my WordPress backups?

I would strongly advise you that you do not keep your backups on a system that can be easily compromised or lost (an external drive or your personal computer). The best and safest place for your back up is cloud storage, for example, Google Drive, Dropbox, or your server provider. For example, World4You offers free cloud storage for domain + hosting packages, storage capacity depending on your service package. 

I would also suggest that you keep two copies of your back up files. If you are confused about folder organisation, read my article The Simple Guide to Organised and Safe Folder Structure on Windows. I suggest the following folder tree:

  • MySQL Database [date]
  • WordPress [date]
  • WordPress Server Mirror [date]

Step 1: Export your WordPress data

  1. Login to your WordPress.
  2. Go to ‘Tools’ and then ‘Export’.
  3. Make sure ‘All content’ option is selected.
  4. Click on ‘Download Export File’ and save it in a safe location.

Step 2: Export your MySQL WordPress database via World4You admin

Okay, wait… What’s MySQL??

MySQL is an open source relational database management system, one of the elements behind your WordPress website’s facade (and Facebook, Twitter, and countless other CMS systems) that make it run efficiently.

You do not touch your MySQL because once you mess with it, many things can get irreversibly wrong. 

Before you faint, make sure to follow the steps below to back up your database manually:

  1. Login to your World4You account on
  2. Go to ‘Webspace’ and then ‘Database’.
  3. Click ‘Login’ located next to the name of your WordPress site.
  4. A new window will open – click on’Export’
Your World4You admin view. 
Your online MySQL view.

Step 3: Manually back up your WordPress server files

The reason you should think about manually backing up your server file is because this is the only way to back up your theme, plugins and widgets the way they are. Even if you will be forced to reinstall WordPress manually, you will be able to drop your theme and plugin back in (provided they were not tampered with).

To back up your server files, you need an FTP client. ‘FTP’ stands for File Transfer Protocol and is used for the transfer of computer files between a client and server on a computer network.

The one I use and recommend is Filezilla. Download it here and follow instructions for a standard installation.

As the installation is running, you need to find your FTP/Webserver login details. All World4You customers receive a welcome e-mail with a PDF that includes these details. If you cannot find it:

  1. Login to your World4You account on
  2. Go to ‘Webspace’ and then ‘FTP Accounts’.
  3. Note down the (a) server, (b) user and (c) set a new password to access your server.
This is the FTP Accounts view in your World4You admin.

Now, let’s launch Filezilla. Don’t worry if it looks complex – it’s not!

  1. Input your details into the strip under the menu: your server name is your hostname, then your username and password. Click ‘Quickconnect’.
  2. On the right side, you will see your server file. On the left – your computer. Make sure to navigate to the target file you want your back up to be in the left window – just click on the folder tree until you find the backup folder and access it. When you are sure you are ‘inside’ that folder on the left hand side, move to the next step.
  3. Select all the files on the right (you can do it by selecting one line and then clicking Ctrl + A). Then simply double-click or drag the filer from the right window to the left window. The transfer will take a while. Once finished, your FTP client will automatically disconnect.

Congratulations! You have survived your first complete WordPress backup!

Now repeat it regularly for a healthy & happy WordPress site 🙂 

This article contains World4You affiliate links but was not sponsored by World4You. I have been using World4You for a couple of years now and I am confident in recommending their services. They have nifty domain and hosting packages every year so if you are moving for a new hosting company, visit their website!

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  1. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything
    I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?

    • Actually, to protect your WP against hackers, you need to do the opposite.
      1) don’t use plugins that are not tested with your version of WordPress
      2) don’t use new plugins that have not been trialled long enough to indicate their level of security
      3) I advise installing as few plugins in your WP admin panel as possible – plugins ‘inject’ code to your website’s original source code and often can create security loopholes
      4) generate a strong WP password and keep it secure with a password manager
      5) keep a regular backup routine of your website and database

      If you do all this and still get hacked, I quit consulting and become a farmer.

  2. Superb blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there
    that I’m completely confused .. Any tips? Thanks a

    • Hi!

      How exciting! Regarding the platform, I always recommend buying your own domain and installing content management system. It gives you more control over your website, as well as more possibilities to customize your blog and play with it. There are plenty of tutorials guiding through the installation process.

      If you feel that it’s too much for a start and just want to write & publish, is a good option as you don’t have to pay for the basic option and the setup is very easy. Alternatively, you could consider joining which is designed specifically for writers and already has a very big and active community (which makes outreach much easier).

      I hope this helps! 🙂

  3. Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but
    I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about crewating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any
    tips or suggestions? Many thanks