How to Back Up WordPress

The Easy Way (Automated Backup)

The simplest way to back up your WordPress site, including the database, media files, plugins and theme is using the All-in-One WP Migration plugin by ServMask.

All-in-One WP Migration makes it super easy to export everything all at once, without the need for a manual FTP transfer or database export. Keep reading to learn how to use it for your backup.

First, you’ll need to install the All-in-One WP Migration tool via your Plugins panel or through FTP, and activate the plugin.

NOTE – If you’re unable to access your admin panel or install plugins, jump to the manual backup method

If you notice any errors during activation, such as:

All in One WP Migration is not able to create wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-wp-migration/storage folder. You will need to create this folder and grant it read/write/execute permissions (0777) for the All in One WP Migration plugin to function properly.

then you’ll need to apply the permissions mentioned (0777) to the appropriate folder. Run this to apply the right permissions:

mkdir wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-wp-migration/storage
chmod -R 777 wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-wp-migration/storage
mkdir wp-content/ai1wm-backups
chmod -R 777 wp-content/ai1wm-backups

That should resolve any permission errors.

Click the ‘All-in-One WP Migration’ link in the side menu of your WordPress admin panel:

How to Back Up WordPress

Click the green ‘Export To’ button and the click ‘File’ (or any other format you’d prefer). A window will pop up (it may take a little while!) that lets you download the file:

Download WordPress Site Backup

Click the green ‘Download’ button, and you’ve successfully backed up your WordPress site!

The Hard Way (Manual Backup)

If you’re unable to access your admin panel, your site isn’t working, or you just want to do things the old fashioned way and avoid messing around with backup plugins, this is your guide.

The backup process is two-part: Files and Database.


To back up the site files, you’ll want to connect to your site via FTP or SFTP. Navigate to the site root – often found in /var/www or /var/www/html. From there, you want to download all the files into a local folder labeled with the date.

Be patient, as the download may take a while depending on how complex your site is.


Many database tools offer the ability to export the database. There are too many to cover here, so we’ll focus on the primary web tool that shared hosting panels off: phpMyAdmin


If your webhost runs cPanel as your hosting panel, log into cPanel and look for the ‘Databases’ section. There will be a link to phpMyAdmin there:

phpmyadmin in cpanel


If your webhost runs Plesk as your hosting panel, log into Plesk, open the control panel, and click on Websites and Domains > Databases. From there you can access individual databases, such as your WordPress database, which will open in phpMyAdmin.

Once you’ve got phpMyAdmin open, you can select the site and database on the left:

phpmyadmin database screenshot

In the screenshot above, I’ve selected the ‘course’ database within ‘mysite’

Once you’ve got the right database open, the ‘Export’ button in the top right will bring up the panel where you can export all your important data:

phpmyadmin exporting as sql

Quick method, SQL format, and then Go! You’re all set, your database will be exported and download automatically. Keep this in a safe place.

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