Simple Steps to Import a Backup Copy of Blog Files on a Self-Hosted WordPress Site

Disclaimer: I’m not a techie person and I didn’t take this course in college 😛 This post was prompted due to the forgetfulness of a friend 😆

So I’m deviating from my usual posts and will turn techie on this instance to give you a quick fix on how to import a backup copy of your website files on your self-hosted WordPress site in case you move to a different hosting provider or when something goes wrong with your website.

Before I proceed, let me tell you that it is VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY important to add a plug-in called WordPress Database Backup by Austin Matzko to your WordPress site in order to schedule a backup of your files on your preferred time. You can choose from an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly backups if you want. If this plugin doesn’t work on your site, you probably need to either change your theme, look for another plugin that works or sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” 😆 joke! Honestly, I dunno. Maybe you can try and remove all your plugins and themes and install them one by one to determine who the culprit is.

Your back up file will be sent to your email and you need to secure them or else risk loosing those years of blogging.

Also remember that normally, web hosting providers DO NOT secure a backup copy of your website. They only do this in random and it is your responsibility to back up your files (unless of course you are paying your hosting provider crazy money to backup your files for you).

And when something happens to your website, or you decide to transfer them to a different hosting provider, here are simple steps to follow when importing a copy of your backup files on your website.

***Before anything else, be sure you have a fresh install of WordPress on the domain name you are working on. If you are transferring to a different hosting provider or simply doing a clean install, be sure to install the WordPress Database Backup by Austin Matzko and send a test backup on your email which you will use to determine the name of your database as mentioned on Step #2.

Now, you are ready to begin the transfer/import.

Look for your Back Up email and download the file to your computer

(the files that you’ll be transferring, ok?)

database backup email
a backup file email looks something like this

Go to your cPanel and find the phpMyAdmin button

database buttons in cPanel

Follow the simple steps on the next image

how to import backups to phpMyAdmin
click the image to enlarge

1) Find phpMyAdmin in cPanel

2) Be sure you install the backup file on the correct database

In this example, the back up filename is undersv1_wrd17_wp_20110313_780.sql.gz. You need to look for undersv1_wrd17 since this is the name of your database and select this database on the phpMyAdmin screen. Other hosting providers may have other ways of naming their databases.

3) Click the Import Tab

4) Click the “Choose File” button and find the email file you downloaded in your computer which was mentioned above

Be sure that you select the right format of the file being imported. Select .SQL if the extension filename is sql.gz. Select .XML if the extension filename has .xml

5) Click the “Go” button on the lower right side and wait for the import to be complete

6) When the import is successful, you will see a message on top that the “Import has been successfully finished…”

Alright! That’s It. After this, you’re all set! Go to your WordPress site and check it out!

Wait, something went wrong? You see a blank space staring back at you in your site? Try changing your theme and check your site again. If all’s good, revert back to the original theme you are using. If that won’t still work or if the import in phpMyAdmin wasn’t a success, then I would suggest you contact your hosting provider’s tech support to help you identify the issue. This could be related to a compatibility issue of your old hosting provider’s database and the new one. I’ve experienced that when I transferred this site to Bluehost last year. I was paying for a cheap hosting provider ($1/month and I got my money’s worth. pft!) prior to that and had issues with the transfer since their Database version is older than what BlueHost was using. I’m just glad that the tech support folks from BlueHost immediately helped me out with my problem when I contacted them to seek assistance. Now, I also had issues transferring my other sites and the issues were different and the tech support at Bluehost was still able to help me out. I also made sure I asked them what the problem was and how to fix it so that I can fix them on my own when I encounter more issues since I have quite a few sites to transfer over to Bluehost.

Anyway, the simple steps to import a backup copy of blog files on a self-hosted WordPress site which I just discussed are tried and tested steps that I continue following whenever I need to do an import/transfer and those simple steps never failed to give me the results I needed. So goodluck with your import and happy blogging! 🙂

Did I forget something else here? Do let me know, ok?  😀


Updated: June 6, 2011.


  1. there is an easier way to keep your website and account trouble free and that is to be a friend of doispeaks hahahahha thanks doy for all the help from setting up to everything! i know sometimes nituyok na imong mata kay di ko ka g! hehehhe

    • hahaha. pina basa pa ko and na shock ko knowing na you know an easier way. LOL. abi nako unsay mas sayon 😆 daghan na kag utang nako cille! maningil lang nya kog tagaktak!

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