How to Restore WordPress from Backup: Nuts-and-Bolts Guide for Beginners

If you’re aware of WordPress backup, you must have an idea of Restoration as your own. But having mastery to restore WordPress from backup is not an easy job. This is not because Complete Restoration is a complicated process; but because, there is hardly any scope to practically do a site-restoration unless one’s site is damaged or hacked

In this context, this article might be a great equipment for many to have a clear conception to restore WordPress from Backup as we’ve tested almost all of our discussed restoration methods practically by restoring or migrating on another remote site or Local-Server WordPress site. So you can completely rely on the processes.

How you’ll restore WordPress form Backup mostly depends on how you Backedup or what backup method you followed. We know there are two ways to Backup WordPress site- Manual and with Plugin.

Restore WordPress from backup focus image

If you backup manually, your restoration process must be manual. And in case of plugin-based backup, you need to restore through that plugin or sometimes manually.

However, if you’ve not already given a sincere study on Backup, here are the complete guide on both manual and plugin-based backup—

Simple understanding of WordPress Restoration process

Now, we assume that you have at least simple understanding of both manual and plugin related backups.

Before we start focusing on each restoration process separately, we need to fix up what we should restore that we backedup previously. May be your site is affected partially by any reason or other and you need only to repair or restore your database. It may be required to restore only your post. But here, in this article, we’re pinpointing the complete restoration process.

For a complete restoration, All your recoverable things can be categorized in two—

  • Files or Uploaded elements
  • MySQL Database
FILES include—
  • Themes
  • Plugins
  • All Settings and Configurations
  • Madia- Image, Audio, Video etc.
DATABASE includes—
  • Posts
  • Pages
  • Users
  • Comments

Now you may question, isn’t there one click restoration system for all the backups?

Reasonable question. Yes, there is and should be. Pro version of different Backup plugins offers such restoration model. You might do that by one or two free plugins also. But how efficiently a free version can do so is a question. Reaching the bottom of this article, you yourself can discover whether  one-click restoration is applicable for you or not.

However, whether you use free or paid version and try to restore everything on one click, you may encounter difficulty or might not be successful if you’re not knowledgeable of restoring all the elements separately or group-wise.

When you backup, you don’t do so quite separately or altogether. Each manual and plugin-based backup has its own standard to do so. So has the Restoration process.

So, let’s study on WordPress restoration by Backup perspective one by one. We suggest you to follow the ones that best suit your need.

Multiple ways to Restore WordPress from Backup

If you’ve read our previous articles on backup (Link above), you saw we  presented all backup methods in two parts- Manual backup and Backup with Plugin.

In this step, we’re going to bring out the restoration solution of the most important backup methods among them.

We expect our following work-outs will certainly cover up everything.

Manually restore by using Hosting C-panel

Many a WordPresser may choose to backup WordPress site by using Hosting C-panel. Through C-panel Dashboard, you can download partial backup or a full backup to your PC’s Hard Drive. But all hosting providers don’t have necessary features in their C-panel to restore the full backup.

However, you can restore the backup partially from C-panel such as Database, Email Forwarder and others backups. Hopefully, you’ll always have scope to restore other backups from your HDD by other means.

To restore database from C-panel, do the followings—

  • Log in to C-panel Dashboard.
  • Go to Files→ Backup.
Restore WordPress from backup C-panel
  • Scroll to Restore MySQL Database Backup. Click Browse, select file from HDD and hit Open.
  • Now click Upload. And you’re done.
Bonus Tips:

In case of Backup by C-panel; remember, firstly C-panel backup is stored on your Server. It is not a backup at all unless you download it to your Hard Drive. Because, if your Server fails, your backup will also be lost.

Restore Database through phpMyAdmin

You can easily Backup and Restore your Database from phpMyAdmin tab under Database section of C-panel.

If your database is hacked or damaged anyhow and you have proper backup of that database through phpMyAdmin, you can attempt to restore it with a simple step. It is wise practice to delete the old database and create a new one connecting with a new User.

You can create new database, create new user and add database with user from C-panel→ Database→ MySQL database.

On creation of new database, restore your backedup database into new database following these steps—

  • Log in to C-panel Dashboard.
  • Click phpMyAdmin icon under Database section.
  • phpMyAdmin page appears. Here all of your created Databases are listed in left panel. Click your new Database name where your backedup database will be stored. As it is new database, you see Table area shown blank.
Restore WordPress from backup phpMyAdmin
  • Now click Import from menu list above.
  • Click Browse. You;ll be directed to Hard Disc. Select your backedup database file and click Open.
  • Lastly, Click Go and your database will start Uploading.

From here your next step is to Install WordPress newly and add your new database with new WordPress Installation. New database info will be stored in wp-config.php file. Alternatively, you can insert your database information manually in the relevant field of wp-config.php file by following the below paths—

C-panel→ Files→ File Manager→ public_html→ wp-config.php.

Thus you’ll be able to connect your database with WordPress files.

Restore WordPress files through FTP channel

You can conveniently upload WordPress files via FTP if they are hacked or gets corrupted and need to be restored.
FTP is a fast medium of transferring files between FTP Server and FTP Client.

To get a lucid understanding of FTP, check out following link—

  • Using FTP Server: File Transfer channel you might not be conscious of

To restore WordPress files, you first need to clean or delete the existing files of your public_html folder in Home Directory.
To do this, Connect to your site’s FTP Server with an FTP Client like FileZilla. Just do the followings—

  • Open FileZilla
  • Provide Host name, Username and Password in the relevant field and confirm connection to your server.
  • Once successfully connected, appeared window will show two parts: Left-your computer Hard Drive (Local site) and Right– your site’s FTP server (Remote site)
Restore WordPress from backup FTP
  • Now From upper right, select public_html. All WordPress files and Folders will be shown below. Now that you’re going to clean up everything, select all of them and Delete. Now below right panel is blank.
  • Now to upload the WordPress files, you first need to download the latest fresh copy of it from wordpress.org and keep unzipped in HDD. If you did so, find the WordPress files form left panel. Now move all the files one by one or altogether to the blank space (right-down) of public_html. And you’re done.
  • Now go to C-panel→ Files→ File Manager→ public_html to check if all are OK.
  • If so, it is time to connect your database with WordPress. For this find wp-config.php file, download it and edit to insert database information in the relevant field. Now Save and Upload it again. And if you did it properly, your WordPress is connected with database.
  • Now open your site and Admin panel to check if everything is working.
  • In the Next step, attempt to restore other backups that goes inside WordPress files and folders such as Theme, plugins, media etc.
Restore with WordPress Import tool

You can also backup your WordPress Posts, Pages, Media, Comments, Tags, Categories etc. with WordPress Export tool very easily. And for a small volume site, this method works best. WordPress Export tool store backup files in XML format.
So if you backedup your site by using Export tool, you can easily restore them with Import tool.
For this, do the followings—

  • Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
  • Go to ToolImport. The Import page will open.
  • Select Import type WordPress from the list and click Install Now. Importer tool will be installed. Actually WordPress Import tool is a plugin. So, after installation it will be listed in Plugin page. On finishing the work, you can delete this tool from Plugin page.
Restore WordPress from backup W tool
  • Now click Run Importer. You will be directed to Import WordPress page.
  • From this page, click Browse. Select the backedup XML file from Hard Drive. Click Open.
  • Now click Upload file and Import.
  • Wait a minute or two. If upload completes; explore your site and check if everything is OK.
Restore WordPress form UpdraftPlus backup

UpfraftPlus is one of the most responsible free plugins in the market to Backup WordPress site. This plugin generously offers you scheduled backup along with privilege of Cloud Storage Backup totally free of cost.
However, we presented a complete backup process of UpdraftPlus plugin in our previous article. If you’ve not already read it, check out here. We’re not briefing here of any sort about backup with UpdraftPlus.

Rather, we’re walking you through the step by step pictorial guideline on how to restore WordPress from UpdraftPlus backup.

Backedup with UpdraftPlus must be restored via this plugin. So enter WordPress Dashboard→ Setting→ UpdraftPlus backup→ Backup/Restore.

Restore WordPress from Backup UpdraftPlus 3

Below the screen, under Existing Backups, last two scheduled backups are kept stored. You can restore any of these by clicking restore button.

Alternatively, you can upload UpdraftPlus backup here from your remote Cloud Storage  and Restore the same way.

To upload backup, do the followings—

  • Log in to your Cloud Storage, say, Google Drive.
  • Find your backup folder
  • Download it. Downloaded folder will be stored in HDD in zip format.
  • Unzip the folder and click it. You’ll find five files- Uploads, Theme, Plugins, Others, Database.
  • Come back to UpdraftPlus Backup/Resoter page.
  • Click Upload Backup Files link just under Existing Backup option and then Select. From Hard Drive, select the five backedup downloaded files. Click Open.

Files will be uploaded in UpdraftPlus Restore page as shown in screenshot below–

Restore WordPress from Backup files 2

In both case, click Restore button right to Backup you like to recover. You’ll be directed to a popup window asking you what to include in restoration.

Restore WordPress from backup RS

Plugins, Themes, Uploads, Others, Database- you can check all of them if you need or check partially. On checking, Click Restore button. Next window comes with instructions and alert. Click Restore again.

Your Restoration will start. It will take a few minutes to finish depending on your selection and machine speed.

Once Restoration finished successfully, visit your website to check if everything is working up to the mark.

Hey friends, that’s all my offering to you of how to restore WordPress from backup clarified from different methods and perspective. Hope you enjoyed this post. We’ll also enjoy your reading if you share which method you do think most convenient and relevant for you. Also share which other backup and Restoration methods you have experienced so far. Thanks!

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