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A Comprehensive Guide to WordPress Website Restoration

WordPress Website Restoration is an essential skill for any business owner, eCommerce specialist, marketer, entrepreneur or founder. A hacked or compromised website can have severe consequences on your online presence and revenue generation. In this guide, we’ll provide an in-depth look at the steps required to restore a WordPress website.

A Guide to Restoring WordPress

Restoring a WordPress website to a previous version may become necessary if it has been compromised by hackers or is malfunctioning. This article will provide you with an overview of the essential steps involved in restoring your WordPress site and getting it back online.

Restoring WordPress Requires a Backup

To restore a WordPress site, it is crucial to have a backup of your website. Without a backup, there is no way to recover your site in case of any mishap. A comprehensive WordPress backup should encompass all the components that constitute your site. It not only facilitates voluntary restoration (like moving hosts) but also serves as an essential safety net if unforeseen circumstances like database problems or security breaches arise and jeopardize your site’s functionality.

What are the Building Blocks of a WordPress Site?

Dissecting a WordPress site will give us the following components that are essential to any WordPress site and necessary for successfully restoring WordPress:

  • WordPress – The fundamental software that powers your website is known as the WordPress core software. It encompasses all the essential code and features required to operate a WordPress site, including the admin dashboard used for managing content, configuring site settings, and more.
  • A database –The database is where WordPress keeps all of its information and content, including posts, pages, categories, comments, users, settings and options.
  • A theme – Although WordPress includes a default theme, most users prefer to select their own theme or even create their own design.
  • Plugins –Your website’s functionality can be enhanced with the use of WordPress plugins. These plugins offer a wide range of features such as shopping carts, contact forms and more.

Requirements and Tools Needed to Restore Your WordPress Website

Restoring a WordPress site means that you should have access to the following:

  • A healthy copy of the items listed above (WordPress, database, theme and plugins). Maintaining a current backup of your database is crucial, especially for your content. It would be disastrous to restore your website and find that the latest post dates back to 2014.
  • Your Server. To access your server, you will need an FTP account provided by your hosting provider. The necessary login information and credentials can be obtained from them, allowing you to transfer files between the server and your computer. Alternatively, some hosting accounts offer a file manager feature within their control panel for copying files.
  • The Database. To access and manage your MySQL database, you will need to use a tool such as phpMyAdmin. Your hosting provider should provide you with the necessary login credentials to access this program.r.

What is FTP?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, which is a method of transferring files between computers. To connect to an FTP server, you need to use an FTP client. Your hosting account typically includes an FTP account, but you can also create one through your hosting provider’s control panel. When setting up your hosting account, your host should provide all the necessary information for accessing your FTP server. You will usually need a username and password, as well as the address of the FTP server on the host server. In most cases, this address will be based on your domain name (e.g., “ftp.mysite.com” if your domain is “mysite.com”). Once you’ve logged in to your FTP server using these credentials, it’s easy to transfer files back and forth between your computer and the server.Popular FTP clients are FileZilla , WinSCP  and Transmit (Mac OS X).

What is phpMyAdmin?

To manage its data, WordPress uses a database that can be accessed through MySQL. phpMyAdmin is a tool that allows access to these databases. However, it’s important to exercise caution when using this tool as it has the potential to cause significant damage if not used correctly. Nevertheless, you can use phpMyAdmin for creating backups of your database by utilizing the “export” function and restoring them via “import”. Typically found in your hosting control panel, phpMyAdmin saves exported databases as .sql files.

Restoring the WordPress Core Software on Your Site

On a few occasions, I have encountered issues with WordPress functions not working or errors appearing that are related to core WordPress functions. To resolve this problem, the first step is to refresh your WordPress installation. The simplest way to do this is by updating WordPress from within your dashboard. However, if you don’t have access to your dashboard for some reason, you will need to use FTP to gain access to the WordPress files. If you’re unsure about any of these steps or feel uncomfortable performing them yourself, it may be wise to seek assistance from a professional. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to create backups of folders and files before making any changes. Be sure to read through all instructions thoroughly before beginning the process.

Here are the steps to restore the WordPress core software:

  • 1. Download the latest version of WordPress core software. 
  • 2. Locate the zip file you just downloaded, and unzip the files.
  • 3. Connect to your server using an FTP client.
  • 4. Transfer all files from the downloaded and unzipped WordPress version 
  • 5. When done, your WordPress install is refreshed and using the latest version of WordPress.

Restoring an Entire WordPress Site

To restore a WordPress site completely, which includes themes, plugins and database, there are some extra steps that need to be taken. It is necessary to have access to backups of your WordPress website as well as the associated database.

Restore WordPress, Your Themes and Plugins

To transfer your WordPress site, you need to have a backup that includes all the necessary files such as WordPress core software, database, themes and plugin files. Once you have the backup, connect to your FTP server and navigate to the location where you saved the files. Copy all of them including WordPress and theme files using FTP.

  • 1. Connect to your server using an FTP client.
  • 2. Transfer all files from the location where you saved them to your server.
  • 3. Proceed to restore your database.

Restoring Your Database

Restoring the database of your WordPress site requires a backup of the sql database. You can export the existing database using phpMyAdmin, which is available from your hosting cPanel. 

To begin, access phpMyAdmin and view all databases.

 It’s important to delete all tables before proceeding.

 Tables contain all information for your website such as posts, pages, comments, theme and plugin settings etc. 

Firstly open the correct database you want to replace and ensure that it’s selected. 

Tick “Check All” box then select “Drop” from “With selected”. 

Confirm by clicking on “Yes”. 

Once all tables are deleted (dropped), import your backup database by selecting the appropriate one from your computer under the “Import” tab in phpMyAdmin.

 Leave options at their default settings and click “go”. 

Wait for confirmation once done.

Well done! You have effectively recovered your WordPress database.


Successfully restoring your WordPress site requires a few key elements. Firstly, it’s essential to regularly create backups of both your WordPress files, themes and plugins, as well as your database. These backups should be stored in a secure location, preferably on two different platforms for added security (e.g. locally on your computer and using a cloud storage provider like Google Drive or Dropbox). Additionally, you’ll need access to FTP and phpMyAdmin – tools that are typically provided by hosting providers – along with the necessary skills to use them effectively. However, it’s important to exercise caution when working with these applications since they have the potential to cause damage if used improperly.

Restoring WordPress Using BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is a powerful WordPress backup plugin that simplifies the process of performing automatic backups at your convenience. With BackupBuddy, you can easily backup and restore your WordPress site without any complex or error-prone manual operations. This plugin allows you to create regular backups of either your database, files, or both on a schedule that suits you best. 

You can also send these backups to various remote storage locations such as email addresses, Google Drive, Dropbox, BackupBuddy Stash, Amazon S3 and more. If you need to restore your entire website or just a single file from the backup archive, BackupBuddy has got you covered. It also takes care of updating all the necessary settings and databases when transferring sites between domains.

 Moreover, BackupBuddy monitors any changes made on your site and captures snapshots of its content in real time so that you always have an up-to-date backup available. Restoring a BackupBuddy backup is simple – all it requires is access to the server, where you can upload the zip file containing the backup data along with the ImportBuddy tool provided by this plugin.

Backup & Recovery Strategies for WordPress Websites

Regularly backing up your website is a critical step in ensuring quick recovery if it gets hacked. In this section, we will explore the various backup techniques accessible for WordPress websites and how to construct an effective disaster recovery plan.

Different Backup Methods Available for WordPress Websites

There are several ways to back up your WordPress site, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some popular options:

  • Manual backups: You can manually download all files from your server using FTP clients like FileZilla, as well as export the database through tools such as phpMyAdmin. This technique is quite tedious but provides you with absolute power over the operation.
  • cPanel backups: Many hosting providers offer cPanel access, which includes a built-in backup feature that allows you to generate full or partial backups of your site. Check with your hosting provider for specific instructions on using their cPanel backup tool.
  • WordPress plugins: There are numerous free and premium plugins available that automate the backup process, such as UpdraftPlus, VaultPress, and BackupBuddy. These plugins typically provide easy-to-use interfaces for scheduling regular backups and storing them offsite (e.g., cloud storage services).
  • Managed WordPress hosting: Some managed WordPress hosting providers, like WP Engine, include automatic daily backups as part of their service. Convenience comes at a price, however.

Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan

A well-thought-out disaster recovery plan can save you valuable time and resources in case your website gets hacked or encounters other issues. Here are some steps to create an effective plan:

  • Analyze risks: Identify potential threats to your site, such as hacking attempts, server failures, or human errors. Assess the likelihood and impact of each risk on your business operations.
  • Select backup methods: Choose one or more backup methods that best suit your needs and resources. Ensure that they provide comprehensive coverage for all critical components (files, databases) and allow easy restoration when needed.
  • Determine backup frequency: Based on the importance of your website’s content and its update frequency, decide how often you should perform backups (e.g., daily, weekly). More frequent backups offer better protection but require more storage space.
  • Create offsite copies: Store at least one copy of each backup offsite (e.g., cloud storage services), so it remains safe even if something happens to your primary server location.
  • Maintain documentation & communication channels: Document every aspect of your disaster recovery plan clearly and keep all stakeholders informed about their roles/responsibilities during an emergency situation. Regularly review/update this information as needed.

Implementing these backup and recovery strategies for your WordPress website will help you minimize downtime and data loss in case of future attacks or other unforeseen events. By being proactive, you can safeguard your online presence and ensure the continuity of your business operations.

FAQs in Relation to WordPress Website Restoration

Yes, a WordPress site can be recovered if it has been hacked or damaged. You can restore your website by removing infected files, updating the installation, replacing themes and plugins with fresh copies, regaining access to the admin dashboard, and implementing security measures. Having a backup of your site makes recovery easier.

To restore a broken WordPress site, follow these steps:

  • Identify the issue causing problems.
  • Remove any infected files.
  • Update your entire WordPress installation.
  • Replace corrupted themes/plugins with fresh copies from trusted sources.
  • Regain access to your admin dashboard and check functionality across different pages/sections.
  • Implement security measures such as strong passwords and two-factor authentication.

To restore a WordPress site using only a database backup, follow these steps:

  1. Import the backed-up SQL file into an empty database on your server.
  2. Update the wp-config.php file in your new WordPress installation, ensuring the correct database credentials are used.

This process restores content but not theme/plugin customizations. Reinstall those separately for full restoration.

To restore your website to an earlier date, follow these steps:

  • Locate the backup plugin’s stored backups or use the hosting provider’s backup service.
  • Select the desired date for restoration.
  • Follow the plugin or hosting provider instructions to restore your site, which typically involves importing the database and files from that date.

Restoring a WordPress site without a backup is challenging but possible. You may need to:

  • Manually remove infected files and malware.
  • Reinstall core WordPress files, themes, and plugins.
  • Repair the database, if necessary.
  • Seek professional help if you’re unable to resolve issues on your own.


In conclusion, restoring a hacked WordPress website requires identifying the issue, removing infected files, and updating your installation. It also involves replacing infected themes and plugins with fresh copies, regaining access to your admin dashboard, and checking functionality. Changing login information regularly, protecting your website from future attacks by implementing firewalls, and utilizing security plugins are also essential. Additionally, backup and recovery strategies are crucial for ensuring that you can recover quickly in case of an attack.

At Amadeus Consulting Services LLC., we specialize in WordPress Website Restoration services that help businesses get back online after a hack or malware infection. Reach out to us today for help in protecting your website from future cyber-attacks and restoring it after a hack or malware infection.

Get in touch now for expert assistance with all of your WordPress restoration needs!

Contact us now for expert assistance with all of your WordPress restoration needs!

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