In this tutorial, I will show you how to manually backup a WordPress database. I do have Backup Buddy from iThemes scheduled to automate the task of backing up my site. Backup Buddy is scheduled to do a full backup weekly and a daily schedule to backup the database. However, you may not have access to Backup Buddy or any of the other plugins to backup the database. To manually backup the database you will be able to use PHPMyAdmin, which will usually be made available to you via your hosting company.
Why would you want to manually backup a WordPress database?
If for any reason you are unable to login to the WordPress admin area to use a plugin to backup your database then being able to manually backup a WordPress database will come in handy.
Manually backup WordPress using PHPMyAdmin
Firstly you will need to login to your hosting Control Panel and find the icons, which will normally be under the database section, which will give you access to PHPMyAdmin section. Once you are in the PHPMyAdmin section, you will want to select the export tab.
Once the Export tab opens you will see a message at the top “Exporting tables from ‘database name’ database. The default export method is “Quick – display only minimal options and the default format is SQL.
You simply need to click on the Go button and the finder window will open to allow you to save the database to your local drive.
Manually backup WordPress using WP-CLI
If you have access to WP-CLI through your hosting company, then there is an even simpler way to manually backup a WordPress database. Connect to your website using a terminal window and type in the following command
wp db export
You will now have a backup file in the root of your website with a file extension of .SQL .
As we mentioned manually backing up a WordPress database would be done if you cannot access your WordPress admin area. However, it is a better idea to use a plugin like Backup Buddy to schedule backups of your database and website. These backups could be stored on cloud platforms like Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive or Stash.