Hello there, welcome to the first part of my tutorial – Migrating WordPress site from one server to another. Or if you just want to back up your site, this tutorial applies to that as wall (considering that it is necessary process for the migration anyway). This part of the tutorial will concentrate on How to Download WordPress WebSite from your current host.
Let’s start by sketching the whole process on the paper (blog post) so you can hold the bigger picture in your mind while reading this part of the tutorial. The main components that are included in this process are:
- Your Site
- Your Site’s database
- Your (now) old hosting provider’s cPanel
- FilleZilla Client
So, first thing that you have to do is to move your site from the current server to your PC’s hard disk, or in other words – download it. To complete this process you will need some FTP client like FilleZilla – the one I will be using in this tutorial. Off course there are some other clients if you prefer not to use this one. But if you choose to use it, just search for FilleZilla in your browser and open the first result. It is a free software, hence it can be easily downloaded from the official site.
After you have downloaded and installed FileZilla (I won’t be covering that part, I guess you know how to install simple piece of software) , advance to the first step.
Now you have armed yourself with the essential tool that will be used to download your site. Before the actual action can take it’s place, first you need to acquire some basic information that will be used to access your hosting account via this FTP Client.
Acquiring Necessary Information
To collect your account info that will be used later on, go to your host’s cPanel and Log In. In case you are migrating your site from localhost (built using wamp or xamp), you do not have to follow this step, just skip to the next part.
When logged in, go find the the option that says FTP Manager (in most cases), but it can be called FTP Access, or similar, you get the point I guess. Now to make it more simpler I will demonstrate it on three different hosting panels, first two are from the free hosting plan, and the third one is from paid one. I hope it can throw some light on the process and make whole process easier. Besides I will present you three different methods on three different cPanels that will lead you to the same goal, so you can be in control of the process in case you get stuck somewhere (you can always try to find some alternative approach demonstrated here).
Now, the first one:
Go to cPanel and after logging in, find this icon that says FTP Manager:
After that new window will be opened.
You should see the name of your account (157184) in my case. After clicking the plus sign that is placed next to the FTP username you should see new blue buttons that will appear bellow. First Click the one that says Password and change the current FTP password (it is usually a default one assigned to you randomly). Change it to something you will remember and then after saving it, click the FTP information button. New panel will be opened bellow:
Here you need to download FilleZilla’s Config File . It should be finished in few seconds because what you are downloading is a small .xml file with the FTP information written in it. That’s all considering this part. Now I will repeat it on different hosting companies, comparing different cPanels so you get the essence of this process.
Log in to your cPanel, and find the option that says FTP Access:
This will lead you to the new window that holds your FTP information. First thing to do here is to change your FTP Password by clicking the Change account password button. Enter some new password that you will remember (you will need it later.).
That’s all from here. Don’t forget to write down these information: FTP Host, FTP IP, FTP username and FTP password.
The reason I choose this hosting is because they have the most common cPanel that you can find at many other companies. In case the two examples above didn’t help you, I hope this one will.
After logging to your cPanel go to FTP Accounts
This will lead you to the new window that should look like this:
You should find there already made special FTP Account. By clicking configure FTP Client you will receive all the necessary information:
By clicking on FTP Configuration file you will start downloading your xml file that will hold all the needed information for the FileZilla to connect to your account.
To accomplish this find the option FTP Accounts. There you need to create new FTP Account. As you can see on the pictures above there is a section Add FTP Account:
Here you have to enter Login info, password and choose the directory to which you are alowing this FTP Account to have access to. Usually it is the upload directory public_html. If this is the case with your account too, type or select that directory (90% of the cases this one is the default one). When you have finished entering the necessary information hit Create FTP account.
Now write down these information you just entered, and proceed to the next step.
Download WordPress WebSite using FilleZilla
Now finally, the Action! Let’s go through both methods: Importing the downloaded .xml file, and manually setting the connection.
Importing the downloaded FTP Configuration file
Open the FileZilla Client. Go to File tab and click the Import option.
New window will appear:
Search through downloaded files and select the FTP configuration file (in .xml format) that you downloaded previously. Then click Open button. New window will prompt you to confirm the action (check the Site Manager entries if not already) and click OK.
If you have done everything right, you should see a success window.
That’s it, you can access your site now, by clicking the Site Manager icon:
This will open new window that will hold your added website:
I guess you’re eager to hit that connect button right? I won’t discourage you to that that, but in most cases if you do that, it will fail to connect, there would be probably famous failed to connect message. Why? Because you didn’t entered the right password, and that’s why I asked you to change it in previous section of Acquiring the necessary information. Don’t get me wrong, there is possibility that you will get the right one in your first attempt, but to shorten the way of getting back to cPanel to do that after getting the error, wasting some time on dull looking into monitor, frustrating, spitting the monitor and cursing me for giving you the wrong tutorial, it is much easier to that in the beginning (the password changing part, not the cursing and spitting 😛 ).
Ok, after you enter the password (I told you to remember it, didn’t I? ) you can finally hit that Connect button. This should be the result:
If you get some error message instead, don’t curse me, go again through tutorial, you must have missed something. Otherwise congrats!! You have done a great job, and now the sky is the limit! You just learned How to Download WordPress WebSite 🙂
Now let’s move on. The second (alternative) method to download wordpress website is by:
Setting Up The FTP Information Manually
The process is pretty similar. Open the FileZilla, and click on the Site Manager icon in the top left corner (already illustrated on the pictures few lines above). Now the only difference is that you will have blank field, unlike the one above where you will find your site’s info and url.
Click on the New Site button and name your site somehow. Then go to the right section and fill in the marked fields.
For Host enter your website address. This is most common mistake that beginners made, they usually put address of the hosting company. It won’t work, unless you don’t put your website’s address. Also, you have to put ftp. before your domain name (also, do not forget to put dot after the ftp).
Leave Protocol and Encryption as it is, you don’t have to change anything there. You may enter number 21 for a port, or leave it blank.
For a Logon Type, you have to choose Normal from the drop-menu. Anonymous option is selected as default, so you have to change it to normal.
For a user type username that is given to your account by your web hosting company. It differs from your account username, that you set up when registering. Remember it is a username (or login) info you set up in the third example(ContraTeam) when creating new FTP Account, or the info I told you to write down in the second example (Hostinger) that you could find under FTP Account option.
Enter the password you changed previously, or created, depending on which example you followed. Hit the connect button, and you’r done. You should be connecting to your site and see a success message “Directory listing of ‘/’ successful”.
The rest is easy. In the bottom right corner you should see your site’s root and at the bottom left corner you should see your hard disk partitions.
From your Remote Site window select public_html (in 99% this is the place where your site is located).
Select all files and folders from that folder(from public_html) Click the ctrl + a buttons for shortcut and then drag the selected files to the left window to the folder you previously selected to be the one to hold the backup of your site. Drop them there and wait some time to download. Download speed will vary from your internet connection speed and the size of your site (bigger the size, more it will take to download).
You’r done! Great job, your site is now Downloaded/Backed Up to your hard, but it is only the 50% of the job. You still need to download the database (your site’s soul, it’s core). Don’t panic, it ain’t that hard, you will see at the next part of the tutorial – Download (Back Up) Your Database