It’s good to have a backup service that will allow you to automatically restore your WordPress site when it goes down. However, if you’ve manually backed up your WordPress site or depend on a WordPress backup plugin for backups, you’ll need to know how to manually restore your site. [Learn more about why ‘automatic WordPress restores’ by backup plugins are actually manual restorations here].
Since every WordPress site consists of two parts: WordPress files and a database, when manually restoring your site, you will have to restore both these parts individually. Sites that have custom tables (such as WooCommerce sites) usually have continuous changes being recorded in the database, so manual restoration is not a feasible option for them.
While restoring a backup to your site manually, you will need to to:
- Install WordPress if it involves a new site
Restore the database (this includes your posts, user data, links, comments on your site, etc.)
Restore your WordPress files (this includes your themes, plugins, and other files)
If you choose to delete all the files and re-install WordPress before you restore your site, it saves you the effort of tracking lingering, unwanted files or permission issues during file overwrites. You can do this using your FTP client such as FileZilla, or choose the File Manager within the cPanel to access the files on your hosting provider.
Manually Restoring a WordPress Site Using a Backup
Downloading a Backup
To restore your site, you will first need a backup (i.e. copy) of your site to restore it from.
- If you use a good WordPress backup service like BlogVault, you will have an easy one-click way to download backups (in BlogVault, this is the Download Backup feature).
- If you have manually backed up your WordPress site, check if you’ve used this process for files, and this one for your database.
Once you have a usable backup of your entire site (both files and database), you can proceed to restore the site.
Restoring the Database
The next important step is to import the database to your hosting provider. This can be done using phpMyAdmin of your host’s cPanel.
To restore your database:
Login to cPanel
Open phpMyAdmin under the Databases section
Select the database name corresponding to your site from the left panel and click Import.
Ensure that the bvfulldump.sql file is ready in the .sql.zip format. Upload this file using the Choose File option and click Go.
Uploading (or Restoring) your Files
The last step to restoring your site is copying all your files to the host using FTP. You can do this either by using an FTP client such as FileZilla or the File Manager from within the cPanel. Ensure that all files are copied to the folder on your host from where the site is to be served.
Congratulations! You have successfully restored your site from a backup using phpMyAdmin and FTP. Although this process of restoring a site is more cumbersome than BlogVault’s migration, it is handy to know it in case of emergencies. A word of caution through: manual restoration are error-prone which is why we advise you to use a backup plugin that’ll enable you to automatically restore your site back to normal.