Creating a local Backup of a Hostpapa WordPress site

Here’s my personal notes (with an intro) on creating a local backup of a Hostpapa wordpress site. Maybe they’ll be useful to you too.

It is a good idea to always keep a recent local back up copy of your Hostpapa website. You can use Hostpapa’s remote backup facility for convenience as well, but if you have a recent local copy sitting there on your hard drive you know exactly where you stand.

A local copy also gives you the opportunity to run a local clone of your site which makes debugging and testing much less fraught. You can for example completely change your theme and try it out without touching the running version. If you wreck your local site its just irritating, not catastrophic.


Or you can if you so wish independently move your website to another host without relying on any “auto” set-up that may (or may not) work.

A local back-up really loads the dice in your favour.

Here I will deal with copying the site to your local hard-drive. In a future post I will explain how to set up a local host and detail the relatively straightforward changes to have to make to the database and file-set.

Backing up a Hostpapa wordpress site is a two stage operation. Each stage can be actioned in several different ways using plugins or tools like filezilla as well as doing it using cpanel. Here I will avoid plugins and focus on doing it by using the hostpapa control panel associated with a Hostpapa website alone.Even if you decide to use a plugin, knowing how to do it manually is a good idea and really, it is not difficult.

1. Copy the database to your local machine.

The database is the most important of the two stage backup process. The database holds all of your posts and pages on the site. Try and backup the database on a regular basis. The file system will not necessarily change often. But the database will change every time you post an article, change or add a page or even when somebody makes a comment on one of your posts.

Without the file-set you can rebuild your site even though it is tedious and difficult (especially if you have tailored the theme in some way) but without the database all your posts/pages/comments are lost.

Copying the Database

Using your Hostpapa control panel and phpmyadmin. (You can also log into your cpanel directly instead if you so wish. )

Login to your hostpapa account. Then click cpanel.

Hostpapa login page
Hostpapa login page

You should get to a page that looks a bit like this

Hostpapa cpanel

Go to the databases section and click phpmyadmin

you end up on a page like this.

hostpapa phpmyadmin page

Notice I have two wordpress databases (both names blacked out on the left) This is simply because I run two wordpress sites from this hosting package. If you run only one site you will only have one – as well as the information-schema (whatever that is!)

The database name will have some similarity to your website name. Click on the database you want to back up. You end up on the tables page

Typical phpmyadmin display of wordpress database

This is a list of all the tables in your database. This is what we want to back-up.

Look along the menu bar at the top and click export. You end up on a page like this.

hostpapa phpmyadmin export page

You can change the format of the file you are about to export from sql to or to sql.gzip but unless you know you have a humongous database just leave it all alone and click go.

You database will be exported. You web-browser will ask what you want to do with this file – tell it to save it.

Thats it. You have backed up the existing wordpress database from your hostpapa site. You data is safe.

Now we need to backup the file-set

Close the phpmyadmin webpage. And open the cpanel page (it should still be there. If it isn’t re-login and go to it as above)

click on filemanager. You get to a page that looks like this:

Hostpapa cpanel filemanager page

Now you are presented with a list of directories and files in your hostpapa filesystem.

Usually, if this is a hosting package you bought with a domain name then the primary domain (i.e. the one you bought with it) is serviced by files in public_html directory.

(If the website is an “addon” website it will probably be in its own directory at the same level as the public_html directory. (that’s what the blacked out lines are in the image above) In that case action that directory instead of public_html.)

Assuming this is the primary domain right click the globe icon associated with public_html. From the box that opens select compress. Then select the compression type of your choice (zip is always a good choice).

hostpapa filemanager file compression

After a while you will find a new file at the bottom of the file list called Single click this file. Then at the top of the page locate the download button

Hostpapa filemanager file download

If prompted by you browser select save.

Firefox download file prompt

The compress file-set of your site will be downloaded to you PC.

Put the database file and the zipped file-set somewhere safe. You now have a full back-up of your current website on your PC.

If you want to build a local copy of this site then first you need to install a webserver and database. More on that in another post.

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