On modern websites, most information is stored within databases rather than in directories on the server. Therefore, simply backing up the web directories of your website will not back up all of your data. Instead, you need to perform a database backup. If you are using a MySQL database, you can use phpMyAdmin to backup your database from within a graphical interface.
To backup your MySQL database with phpMyAdmin, follow these steps:
1. Login to phpMyAdmin – You can usually find it at yourdomain.tld/phpmyadmin or through your hosting control panel, such as cPanel.
2. Click on the database name on the left column of the page
3. Click the “Export” tab at the top
4. Select either “quick” to display minimal options or “custom” to display all options
5. If you chose custom, select the tables you want to backup and set other options. Otherwise, skip to step 6
6. Choose the output format. The default is SQL and sufficient for most backups
7. Click “Go”
8. Save the SQL or other file to the folder of your choice.
The benefit of this method of backup are that you get immediate access to your SQL data right on your computer. The disadvantage is also that it is on your computer. Ideally, you should have critical data backed up in a more secure location. You can either transfer your backups to an external device or use some form of remote backup system to copy backed up data directly from your server, usually for an additional fee.