Trying to find the best way to export your WordPress site?
Exporting your site is useful when you want to migrate your site or create a backup.
But when you do a WordPress export, there are important factors to consider: if it will hamper your site’s functioning in any way, for instance. You also need to make sure that the exported copy of your site actually works for its intended purpose.
In this guide, we cover the different ways you can export your WordPress site, safely and effectively.
The most efficient way to export your WordPress site is to use a WordPress export and migration plugin. Our plugin BlogVault is easy to set up and will export your entire site within minutes. You can use the plugin to create backups, as well as to migrate your site to a new host or new domain.
How To Export Your WordPress Site
Note: In this article, we showcase how to export your website, which means you’ll be creating a copy of your site. If you’re looking to migrate your WordPress site, we have an article that focuses on the entire migration process.
Exporting your site means you’ll be creating a copy of your site’s content and downloading that copy. There are multiple ways to do this:
1. A WordPress plugin like BlogVault enables you to export your entire website which is great for migration purposes. It also gives you options to export only sections of your site such as your files or database. It can be used to create a backup of your site and to download a copy of your site. It is the most effective and efficient WordPress export solution.
2. WordPress.org allows you to export only the contents of your site. You can export posts, pages, templates, forms, products, variations, orders, refunds, coupons, jobs, and media. It works for data management and statistical projections. However, this is usually insufficient for migration and backup purposes.
3. The manual WordPress export method enables you to export your entire site or any element of your choice. However, it requires technical knowledge and can prove to be tedious and time-consuming. Plus, manually exported files are known to fail most of the time.
Each method serves a different purpose and has its own pros and cons. Once you decide on what parts of your website you want to export and why, you can select the right solution for you:
1. WordPress Export Using a WordPress Plugin
There are plenty of WordPress backup and migration plugins that you can use to export your WordPress site.
Our BlogVault plugin is fast and efficient. Most of all, it’s easy to use and you can complete the entire process in just a few clicks.
1. Log into your website and install the BlogVault plugin from the WordPress repository.
2. Once you activate the plugin, it will appear in the left-hand panel. Select the plugin, enter your email address, select backup, and Get Started.
BlogVault will automatically take a backup of your site. This will only take a few minutes.
3. Once complete, on the BlogVault dashboard, you’ll see a tab called Backup. Click on the arrow at the bottom-right corner.
2. From the top menu, select the downward arrow to download your backup.
Note: BlogVault gives you the option to upload your backup directly to Google Drive and Dropbox.
3. Next, BlogVault will auto-select your database credentials. We recommend leaving this section as is.
4. Now, BlogVault gives you an option to download your entire site, or selectively download only your files or only your database.
By expanding Selective Download by clicking on the plus sign next to it, you’ll see these options.
4. Once you’ve made your selection, click on Download Link and a zip file of your website will download to your computer.
That’s it! You’ve successfully carried out a WordPress export.
You can use BlogVault to backup and restore your site easily. It also serves as a WordPress migration plugin. You can also use the plugin to migrate your site to a different host and a new domain name.
Next, we show you how to export only the contents of your site using the inbuilt option in WordPress.
2. WordPress Export Using WordPress.org
WordPress has a quick and easy solution to export your site. What’s extremely important to note here is that this doesn’t copy your entire WordPress website. It merely makes copies of content, such as the posts and pages.
When you import the file on another site, you will still need to reset your homepage, menus, settings, and widgets, among a long list of other things. There are chances that you’ll also lose media that isn’t supported.
If you’re looking to migrate your site, this WordPress export isn’t good option. If you want to create a backup that you can easily restore in case things go wrong, again, this isn’t recommended.
This method only serves well if you want to copy some of the contents of your site, especially pages and posts in order to duplicate the same on another site.
You can also download your orders, media files, products, donations, and more.
To export the contents of your site, follow these steps:
1. Log into your wp-admin and access Tools in the toolbar on the left-hand side.
2. Here, you’ll see the WordPress Export option.
3. Under this option, you can create an XML file that will automatically save to your computer.
4. You can either choose to export All Content or selectively choose what elements of your website you’d like to export.
5. When you click on Download Export File, an XML of your site’s content will download to your computer in a few seconds.
That’s it. You’ve successfully exported your WordPress site. You can use this XML file to import the contents of this site onto another site, or store it safely as a backup copy of the contents of your site.
As we mentioned, this method is very limited in what it can do.
If you want to export your entire site – content, settings, configurations, and everything else – you are better off using a WordPress backup plugin.
3. Manual WordPress Export
Your WordPress site is made up of two components: Files and Database. You do a WordPress export of your site manually by accessing the backend of your WordPress site. Here, you can create a copy of your files and database, and download it.
This process is time-consuming and requires technical knowhow. You need to approach this method with caution because if you accidentally modify or delete any files or components of your database, you could end up breaking your site.
PRO TIP: The manual WordPress export process can slow down your website. When carrying out this process, choose a time when you have low traffic to your site.
A. Export Your WordPress Files
There are two ways to export your WordPress files:
i. Export Your WordPress Files Using cPanel
a. Log into your web hosting account and access cPanel. Go to File Manager > public_html. Your website’s files reside in this folder. In case you named your website’s folder something else, select that one.
b. Right-click on the folder and select Compress. This will create a zip file.
c. Now, select the zip file and Download it.
ii. Export Your WordPress Files Using FTP
If you don’t have access to cPanel, you can use FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
a. Download an FTP client on your computer. We recommend FileZilla.
c. Once you click on QuickConnect, FileZilla will establish a connection with your web server. Your website’s directory will populate on the right panel. Here, you’ll see the folder public_html.
d. Right-click on this folder, compress it. This will create a zip file. You can then download the zip file to your computer.
B. Export Your WordPress Database
To access your database, you need to use phpMyAdmin. Once inside, you can download your database. To make it easier to follow, we’ve segmented the process into two steps:
Step 1: Access phpMyAdmin
There are two ways to access phpMyAdmin: using cPanel and using FTP.
Most hosts grant you access to cPanel. These hosts include Bluehost, Kinsta, Namecheap, InMotion, SiteGround, and HostGator, to name a few.
However, if you have a Managed WordPress plan, you won’t have access to cPanel. Under these plans, your web host manages backend functions for you. Therefore, they restrict your access to internal site settings like your files and database. If you don’t have access to cPanel, you can use FTP.
a. Access phpMyAdmin Using your web host via cPanel
Accessing phpMyAdmin using cPanel is the easiest way to do so. Log into your hosting account and go to cPanel. Under Databases, you’ll see phpMyAdmin. Once here, click on phpMyAdmin and you can skip ahead to the next step.
b. Access phpMyAdmin Manually Via FTP
If you don’t have access to cPanel, you can use FTP or File Transfer Protocol.
1. Download the latest version of phpMyAdmin from phpmyadmin.net.
A zip file will download to your computer. Unzip this file to keep it ready for the next step.
Once a connection is established, you’ll see two panels. On the left is your local computer and on the right is your website.
3. On the right-hand panel, open the folder called public_html. Right-click and Create New Directory and enter it. You can name this new folder phpMyAdmin.
4. On the left-hand panel, locate the phpMyAdmin zip file you downloaded in the previous step. Right-click and select Upload.
5. Now, open a browser and visit phpMyAdmin using your website’s URL like so: https://www.example.com/phpMyAdmin. Replace ‘example.com’ with your domain name.
To login, you need to enter your database credentials. You can find these credentials in your wp-config file. You can find this file either using cPanel or FTP like we showed you earlier.
Inside, you’ll find your database name, along with your database username and database password, like so:
Once you’ve logged in to phpMyAdmin, you can move onto the next step.
Step 2: Export Your WordPress Database
1. From the left-hand panel, select your database and a list of tables will populate on the right-hand panel.
Note: If you see multiple databases and you’re not sure which is the right one, you can find your database name in your wp-config file just as we detailed in the previous step.
2. Now exporting your database is easy. Select Export from the top menu.
3. On the next page, you can customize the WordPress export settings. You can leave the default settings as is:
Export method – Quick
Format – SQL
4. When you click on Go, a .mysql file will automatically download to your computer.
That’s it! You’ve successfully downloaded your WordPress files and database manually! For more details checkout our detailed guide on exporting WordPress Databases here.
IMPORTANT: Your WordPress files and database contains all your website’s data. If it were to fall in the wrong hands, it can be used to hack into your WordPress site. We strongly advise you to encrypt it and store it safely.
Now that you’ve exported your website, you may require more direction on how to use your exported files. You may have exported your site to create a backup or to create a package of your site to migrate it over to another place.
Here are a few guides you may find handy:
In most cases, manually exporting your site leads to errors. But when you use a reliable plugin like BlogVault that automates the process, the process is faster and flawless.
Try BlogVault’s Backup and Migration Solution!