Recovering Data From a WordPress Website

Backups are important, and are the most certain way of recovering from a hacked or severely broken WordPress site. But if you've neglected your backup strategy, there are several ways you can still recover much of your data and start with a fresh site. Data recovery expert Adrian Jeane from Evolution Business Data Recovery in Bath gives us several methods for extracting posts and settings from a damaged WordPress installation.

Take a Database Dump
This is hands-down the most effective recovery strategy. It won't preserve themes and plugins, which you must reinstall on a fresh site. But it will keep all posts and settings, so you'll be back in operation quickly when you've set up a new site.

Unfortunately, this method is quite technical, and requires your provider to expose access to your site's MySQL database. Check your control panel for a tab listing any databases on your account. When you've found the one most likely associated with your WordPress site, search for a link titled something like "Backup" or "Dump database." Advanced users with command line access to their host can use the mysqldump utility on the database listed in the site's wp-config.php file.

All-in-One WP Migration Plugin
While highly technical, the previous method works even if your site is completely corrupt. If you can still access your administrative interface and install plugins, you may be able to recover your site's data with the All-in-One WP Migration plugin.

Begin by installing this plugin via your administrative interface. Next, use the plugin to export your database, media, plugins, and themes. The file you've downloaded can then be imported into a new site using this same plugin. You'll then be back up and running with all of your content, media, configuration and plugins intact.

Export Via WordPress
If you can access the site's administrative interface but can't install extra plugins, you can still export some of your site's content. Once logged in, click "Tools", then "Export." You'll be given the option to download your site's content as a file that can be uploaded into a brand new WordPress installation.

While easiest, this method is the least desirable. It does not preserve plugins, themes, and many of your configuration settings. As such, you'll need to reinstall all of these from scratch, and make any necessary configuration changes again. Yet, if you need to recover your data, this method is most certain to work even on broken sites.

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