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Backups are quite crucial for any website. They save you from loss, repeated hard work, and extra time that you would have to spend to recover your WordPress website data.
There have been many cases where hackers defaced websites beyond maintenance. And, the website owners weren’t having any backups of the websites. It led to a lot of financial loss for the site owners. Similarly, there have been situations where a WordPress site user with admin access accidentally messed up the data on the live server.
Sometimes, plugins and themes can also cause conflict in website themes that can lead to conflict and data loss. In short, there are many logical reasons why you should be keeping safe backups of your website to avoid any unfortunate situation in the long-term. You can also do your research and opt for some of the best and reliable backup and restore plugins for your website to refrain from experiencing any issues.
But what do you do when you have a site backup available? How do you restore the data on your website without a problem? That’s what this article is all about. In this article, we will discuss how you can quickly restore your WordPress website data in five different ways.
We will be restoring WordPress website data with WordPress plugins, through website hosting backups, and using FTP and SSH. So, let’s learn how to restore your website data quickly.
When to restore your WordPress website data?
Hush! Just keep reading!
There are a few things you should do when you observe that your website is down and that you have lost website data! Here’s checklist:
- Check if your website is down using the ‘isthiswebsitedown’ tool. If the website is down, the status will show that.
- Make sure that you have lost data, and the only way to get it back is through a WordPress website restore process.
- Find out what data your website has missed so that you only restore that back to your site.
- You will have to restore all your website data when you migrate your website from one hosting solution to the next.
Steps to Restore Your WordPress Website Data
Restoring WordPress website data is quite easy then other Content Management Systems (CMS) because of the multiple methods it offers. Learn about each one of them in detail below.
DIY Restore WordPress Data
You can restore your WordPress website data by following tutorials available online. Or, you can use plugins to restore website data. Some of the top backup plugins to restore your WordPress website data are UpdraftPlus, BackWPup, WPvivid. We have detailed the process of how to restore data to your WordPress website using these plugins.
Get Help from Hosting Support Team
If you are unsure that you will be able to restore website data by yourself, then you can get help from a professional WordPress management service to support you. Some website hosting solutions offer to restore website data for free. However, some may charge a nominal fee of $15 to restore your WordPress website data.
Hire a WordPress Maintenance Expert
You can also get help from WordPress maintenance experts to restore your website data. Most WordPress maintenance companies like The WPHelp allow you to get extended packages that include support, migration, restoration, performance optimizations, SEO, and backups. They charge a small fee for the whole package. See the complete list of WordPress maintenance packages!
Here is a list of methods that you can use to restore WordPress website data without any problem.
Restoring WordPress Website Backups With Plugins
We will be using WordPress plugins to restore your site data. If you are a beginner, then using the backup and restore plugins is the best way to restore your site data. It is not only safe but completely automated. You just have to upload the restore file, and it will take care of everything else.
The first plugin on our list is the UpdraftPlus WordPress plugin. Numerous WordPress users use the plugin, and it has active installs of over 2 million. It mostly has a five-star rating, and most people love it because of its free nature. UpdraftPlus also offers a simple way to restore website data.
First, install the UpdraftPlus plugin on your WordPress website. You need to have the backup of the UpdraftPlus plugin already available. Here is how you can create the WordPress backup using the UpdraftPlus plugin.
To restore the UpdraftPlus WordPress data, search for existing backups available in the backup plugin.
You can either select a backup that’s already available on the list. However, if you are trying to restore data on a new WordPress installation, you won’t see the backup in the list. So, click on ‘Upload backup files’ to select the backup from the personal computer and then add it to the list. That’s how you can quickly restore WordPress data on your website.
When you restore the plugin, it will ask for plugins, themes, uploads, and databases.
You can either restore everything on the website or only the components that you want to restore.
Once the WordPress data is restored, you will see a success message from the UpdraftPlus plugin.
Once the restored files have been successfully restored on the website, you will see the prompt on the plugin’s homepage. It will start with ‘Your backup has been restored.’
You can now delete old directories from the list. Once the old directories are successfully removed, you will get the following message ‘old directories have been successfully deleted.’
That’s it. Restoring a backup with UpdraftPlus plugin is relatively easy, and anyone who doesn’t have technical expertise can use this plugin to store content and data on their WordPress website.
Another plugin that we can use to restore the WordPress website on search engines is with WPvivid Backup. It has over 20,000 active installations and is a five-star plugin. You can use the WPBackItUp plugin with your WordPress installation to take it to the next level. The plugin also allows you to automate WordPress backup creation.
Here is a backup of the WPvivid plugin. You can create and save backups locally, or you can create them on an off-site drive.
The WPvivid backup works manually and with a schedule. You can create a manual backup with the WPvivid Backup plugin, or you can use the WordPress cron job to create a WordPress backup.
To restore the plugin with the WPBackItUp, simply upload the restore file on your new WordPress installation.
To restore a WordPress backup, click on the ‘Select Files’ option and add the selected WordPress backup file.
Once the file is uploaded, you can restore it on the new WordPress installation.
Here is how the restored file will show your WordPress website. Once you click on the ‘Restore’ button in the list, it will automatically start the restoration process.
Once the plugin has restored your website, you will see a message saying, ‘Wpvivid has successfully restored your website.’
This way, you can restore plugins, themes, files, and even databases on your WordPress website.
In the same way, you can migrate your WordPress data to another hosting solution. Simply use the key provided by the WPvivid plugin. This key is different for each migration, and it shows that you are authorized to upload the data to the website.
Xcloner is a great plugin to restore WordPress website data free of cost. Most other plugins like BackupBuddy, BackWPUp, and many others require you to buy the paid plugin to restore data to the WordPress website, which is unjust. Restoring WordPress data should not be restricted to paid plugins only. But this is another debate. Here is how you can use the Xcloner plugin to backup WordPress data on your website.
Simply click on ‘Generate Backups,’ and it will create a backup of your WordPress website. You need to keep this backup secure as you will need it later to restore the data you lost.
Once you have the backup file available, it will be available for download.
Once the backup is available, you can download it on your personal computer. Or, you can upload it to a third-party storage medium like Google Drive for safekeeping.
Now let’s restore the backup using the Xcloner plugin. First, click on the ‘List Backup Content’ option to list all the files that you can backup.
The WordPress backup will appear in the ‘Restore Backup Archive.’ From here, you can restore the data on your new WordPress installation.
Once the restore process is finished, the plugin will mention ‘Restore Process Finished.’ That’s it. You can now restore the backup of your website successfully below using Xcloner WordPress plugin for free.
Restoring Website Backups With WordPress Import Tool
You can also directly export WordPress website data and then restore it when necessary. However, the process of manually restoring WordPress website data is relatively a bit more complexed but if that’s something you’d want to opt for, check this simple beginners guide for manually backing up a WordPress website. You will need to download the following items:
- WordPress settings in XML format
- Database from PhpMyAdmin
- WordPress uploads folder using FTP
Once these items are downloaded – or if you have these available, you can restore your WordPress website data. Here is how you can do that.
Restoring WordPress XML Files
Before you can restore the WordPress XML file, you will need to import and save the contents of WordPress separately. However, the WordPress XML files can only restore data, content, and settings. They can’t restore databases and media files. To restore those, you will need to take separate backups of the database and media library.
Click on WordPress dashboard > Tools > Import > Import WordPress.
Now, click on the ‘Upload file and import’ WordPress file to import the SQL file that you have available.
Note: For this process to work, you need to have an import file available from your previous WordPress installation.
Restoring WordPress Backups Using Cpanel
If you are using WordPress, you can restore a backup file using the Cpanel hosting solution. Cpanel offers its site backup option. Here is how you can use the Cpanel backup for restoring data on your website.
Go to your Cpanel wizard by entering credentials on the login screen.
Once you are on the Cpanel dashboard, you will see the ‘backup’ option available.
Click on the backup option to open its window.
The backup option will have both backup and restore options available. Use the ‘Restore’ option to restore the website data.
You can create a backup of your home directory, or you can create a backup of the MySQL directory using PhpMyAdmin. The home directory will allow you to backup everything within the WordPress folder. However, the PhpMyAdmin will enable you to create a complete backup of your site database.
Restoring WordPress Website Backups Using FTP
Last but not least. We can also restore our website using an FTP server. Just as you can use the FTP server to copy all the data on the local drive. You can also use the FTP server to copy all the data from the local drive to the public_html folder.
To do so, connect to the FTP server using the IP address and FTP credentials provided by your hosting provider.
Once you are connected to the FTP server, locate the directory where you have WordPress installed. The WordPress directory is usually available in the public_html or www folder. Once you have the directory located, you will find the following folders inside the directory.
Both wp-admin and wp-includes folder can be replaced with a new installation of the WordPress folder. Your important data is available inside the wp-content folder. If you have a media library, it will be available in the wp-content/uploads folder.
Similarly, your theme settings will be available in the wp-content/themes, and the plugin setting will be available in the wp-content/plugins folders, respectively.
To replace the wp-content folder, simply locate the wp-content folder in your WordPress installation and replace the ‘uploads’ folder with the backup that you have available.
Since the wp-content/uploads folder doesn’t include a functions file, it won’t affect your WordPress core functionality.
Once the media library is restored on your WordPress website, you will see the images available in the media library.
That’s it. You have successfully restored the media library.
You can restore the WordPress posts by importing the SQL database, as we have already discussed in the above section.
Restoring WordPress Website Backups Using SSH Server
The good thing about WordPress is that you can restore the data of your website through many methods provided that you have the backup available.
Let’s learn how you can easily restore the WordPress website backup using SSH commands on the server.
First, connect to SSH with the credentials provided by your hosting provider. You can also use any other SSH connecting software available. Some hosting solutions also have their SSH launchers like the one we are using in the images below.
Once you are connected, locate the public_html folder and create a WordPress backup. If you already have a backup available, then that is fine.
In a real-world scenario, you won’t be able to take a backup. So, it is recommended that you have a backup already available.
Here, we have the backup available. The ‘WordPress.tar.gz’ file is the backup that we created on our WordPress website.
Since the file is not in a Gzipped format, you can restore the file by running the following function:
tar xvf wordpress.tar.gz
This function will restore the zipped archive that you created earlier of your backup.
Tip: Make sure that the backup file is available in a different folder; otherwise, if the folder gets deleted, your backup file will also vanish with it.
To create a separate copy of your backup, type the following command in SSH:
cp wordpress.tar.gz /public_html/backup
Here, we have created a backup of our zipped file. We can move this folder to a separate place on the server. Or, we can download the backup folder using FTP. It is recommended to download the backup folder and store it on an off-site location such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
That’s all you need to know about restoring WordPress data using SSH on your server. Just remember that you can only restore data if you have an active backup available. So, make sure to backup your website data at the earliest.
Tip: A point of caution for those who are not into server management. We recommend that only those who have experience in handling servers create backups/restore WordPress data. Because even if you remove a file by accident, the whole server will get corrupted. This can be devastating for your website if you don’t have previous backup instances available.
Which WordPress Website Data Restore Method Is Best?
All of these methods are super effective in restoring your deleted data on the WordPress website. However, if you are a layman with little knowledge of WordPress data restoring, then you should stick with plugins. The best plugin on our list is UpdraftPlus. It is easy to manage, and you can easily use it to create multiple instances of the backups on an off-site location. Similarly, you can use the plugin for restoring your WordPress website data for absolutely free.
On the other hand, if you know how to backup WordPress data and are not afraid of getting your hands dirty with technicalities, then go the manual way. First, use the WordPress export feature to copy all the data and settings (plugin and theme settings) to your local computer. Now, create a copy of your SQL database. You can use the PhpMyAdmin export SQL feature to create a copy of the database tables in a zipped format on your local computer. Finally, don’t forget the uploads folder in the wp-content folder of WordPress. This is where your media library will be available.
Your last resort is to restore your WordPress website data by using the tar.gz file available on your server. We recommend that you should have a backup of the tar.gz file created every month (or regularly) on a separate folder on the server. So that you can restore this data if you run out of options.
So the bottom line is…
The purpose of this article is to educate you about all the ways that are available to you to restore WordPress websites with ease. Yes, some of these methods are daunting, but that doesn’t mean you are left out of options. If you fear that you won’t be able to restore your website data yourself, then get help from WordPress experts that can do it for you. For a small fee, you can hire the services of The WPHelp, WordPress maintenance experts, that deal with these kinds of issues daily. The WPHelp team can take care of your WordPress data and restore it within a matter of hours. Moreover, they will help you easily plan out your backup strategy so that you always remain safe and secure.
Need help securing your WordPress data? Get in touch with BionicWP WordPress maintenance team!