This How To post is designed to help you understand how to safely create a backup of your website database through your hosting control panel.
NOTE: Please use caution while following this How To Tutorial. Follow the steps very carefully as making changes in the database can cause major issues with any associated website if not done correctly!
Ready to get started?
Step 1 – Log in to your Hosting Account
This one is pretty simple. Just need your hosting login information…
Step 2 – Find phpMyAdmin
phpMyAdmin is the database manager that will allow you to manipulate the database files, including backing up the file. Again, this is a powerful program that will allow you to make changes to the database, so please follow along carefully to prevent accidentally breaking a website!
Step 3 – Choose the Appropriate Database
In most cases, you may only have one database for your website. However, you will typically see 2 options at a minimum, one being the “information_schema”. This is NOT the one you want. When only given 2 options, the other choice is the database you want to choose. Regardless, you should know which database you need to ensure you are backing up the right one. Of course, you could back up all of them by just repeating these steps.
Step 4 – Export the Database
Once you have selected the appropriate database, click on the Export tab. You will be given a screen with options to export the file.
You will want to choose the “Custom Export Method.” Be sure to “select all” for the Tables. Further down, you will be give the option to choose a compression for the Output. For a simple backup, we recommend the gzipped option, but of course you can also choose the standard zipped option. GZip is just a smaller compressed file. Even further down the page, you will want to check the box that says to “Add Drop Table / View / Proceedure / Function/ Event statement.”
Step 5 – Save the file ( SQL Format )
Once you have made the selections, you will simply click on Go. This will generate an .sql file in a compressed file that you can download to your local computer.
Step 6 – All Done!
Now you have downloaded a version of the database, so if you have any issues you can easily re-import the file at a later date. This is quite helpful when you are upgrading website software and run into problems that may require you to restore a backup. Most software updates will make minor changes to the database, so having that good copy is important.