Update June 25, 2011: Seems the WP PHPMyAdmin Plugin may pose a security risk. Don’t use the plugin and in fact, delete it. Instead, use the PHP My Admin tool available through your web host’s control panel.
A frequent question I hear from beginning WordPress users is how to back up WordPress. They’ve heard that before they upgrade to a new version of WordPress, they should do a backup. And of course they are right, backing up your WordPress database is very important and is highly recommended by the folks at WordPress prior to performing an upgrade. According to the WordPress codex:
Your WordPress database contains every post, every comment and every link you have on your blog. If your database gets erased or corrupted, you stand to lose everything you have written. There are many reasons why this could happen and not all are things you can control.
So here’s a short video tutorial screencast outlining how to back up your WordPress database using a simple and easy-to-use plugin, the WP PHP MyAdmin plugin. Expand the video to Full Screen mode to see the details more clearly.
There are other options for backing up your WordPress database, including services that will do it for you automatically, but I still think it’s important to know how to do manual backups.
Backing up your database is essential, but remember that the WordPress database is only part of what you need to backup. There are two parts to backing up your WordPress site: Database and Files.
The following is the transcript from the video tutorial.
Video Tutorial Transcript
Backing up your WordPress database is an essential task you need perform before upgrading or moving your WordPress site.
The WordPress export tool will back up your core WordPress database tables, but it won’t include any additional database tables that some plugins add.
A very useful plugin for backing up your whole WordPress database is the WP-phpMyAdmin plugin.
Let’s take a look.
Log into WordPress and go to Plugins > Add New
Type in phpmyadmin in the search box and click the Search Plugins button
On the resulting page, you should see a plugin title WP-phpMyAdmin by Roland Rust and Christopher Hwang.
Click the Install Now link and then click the OK button in the pop up window
After the plugin installs, activate the plugin
Once the plugin is installed and activated, you’ll find a phpMyAdmin menu item in your Tools section. Go to Tools > phpMyAdmin.
The main PHP MyAdmin page shows you all your database tables that are in your WordPress database.
There are several tabs at the top of the page.
Click on the Export tab.
The resulting page lets you select what tables you want to export and in what format. For our purposes, we’re going to just keep all the default selections. All tables are already selected by default and the default export format is a .sql file.
Near the bottom of the page is a Save as File checkbox. Select this checkbox.
Next in the File name template field, enter a name that you’ll be able to remember.
Finally, click the Go button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
Once you click the Go button, the export file will be saved to your computer as a .sql file.
If anything goes wrong with your back up during an upgrade or site change, you can just import this file back into your database using the Import tab at the top of the PHP MyAdmin page.
So that’s backing up your WordPress database with the PHP MyAdmin plugin. A simple and quick way to back up your WordPress database, giving you peace of mind to upgrade your version of WordPress or move you WordPress site to a new host.