Want to export a WordPress site content, your database, or everything? Whether you self-host WordPress or have a WordPress.com site, exporting is useful if you need to migrate to a different hosting provider, server, or from a hosted WordPress website to a self-hosted one.
When you export a WordPress website, it means you’re saving and moving your site in part or in whole to be sent elsewhere. You can save it to your computer so you can migrate your website or keep what you have saved as a redundant backup.
There are multiple ways you can export your WordPress site. Let’s dive in!
How to Export a WordPress Site from WordPress.com
If you have a managed WordPress.com site and you want to know how to export a WordPress site content – in part or entirely – to a new host, you can follow the steps below.
Exporting All or Specific Content
There are certain types of content you can export:
- Posts and pages
- Media library content
- Links (blogroll)
When you’re ready to export your WordPress site, be sure you have logged into your WordPress.com account. Once you’re logged in, start by choosing the website where you want to export content.
Click on My Sites at the top left-hand corner. If you have multiple sites, but don’t see the one you want to export listed toward the top of the menu on the left, click Switch Site.
Then, click on the site listed on the left of which you want its content exported.
Next, go to Tools > Export in the menu on the left-hand side. Here, you can export WordPress site content.
To export all your site’s content, click the Export All button.
Or, if you only want to export certain types of content, click the arrow next to the Export All button. You’ll be able to select the specific content you want to export.
Then, make a selection to export posts, pages, or feedback.
There are also additional options that become available after you have selected either the posts or pages options.
If you click on them, you can further specify what you want to export.
For the Posts option, you can refine what you export by:
- Start date
- End date
For the Pages option, you can get more specific by selecting the:
- Start date
- End date
After you have made your selection, click the Export Selected Content button.
Whether you choose to export all or select content, the process will have begun to export WordPress site content. Depending on how large your site is, this may take several minutes.
Once your content has been successfully exported, you should see a message indicating that.
An email will be sent to you with a link to download your exported content. It will be in a ZIP file.
You can also download the exported content and save it to your computer straight away.
To do this, click the Download link in the “success” message.
Depending on your browser and its current settings, the ZIP file may be automatically downloaded, you may be given an option to choose where to save the file, or you may be asked if you want to open it right away.
You can also choose to only export WordPress site media you have uploaded to your Media Library.
To do this, click My Sites at the top left-hand corner, and go to Tools > Export after logging into your WordPress.com account.
If you don’t see the site listed toward the top that you want to export, follow step one that was covered earlier to switch between sites.
Next, click the Download button in the Export media library section.
Then, save the generated TAR file to your computer.
As previously mentioned, depending on your browser and its settings, you may need to confirm that you want to download the file, you may be prompted to select a folder to save the file, or the download may start straight away.
You can also export WordPress site links, which are also known as your blogroll. It can be done with the steps below.
In your browser’s address bar, enter in your-site.wordpress.com/wp-links-opml.php and be sure to replace “your-site” with your actual site’s name.
Then, save the file to your computer. Depending on your browser, you may have to confirm the download before the process begins.
Exporting from a WordPress.com Private Site
If your site is marked as private, the steps outlined above to export WordPress site content won’t work. But, if you first make your website public, you can go ahead and export what you need. Don’t worry, you can switch your site back to being private after you’re done.
To make your site public, make sure you’re logged into WordPress.com and click the My Sites at the top, left corner.
If the site where you want to export content isn’t listed, click the Switch Site button, and select the appropriate website from the list as mentioned earlier.
Next, click Manage > Settings in the menu on the left side of the page. Double-check that you’re on the General tab that’s displayed by default.
Scroll down to the Privacy section and select Public from the list. Then, click Save Changes.
Follow the steps found earlier that correspond to the type of content you want to export.
This is an optional step but if you want your site to be private again, go back to Manage > Settings and scroll down to the Privacy section of the General tab.
Select Private from the list, then click the Save Changes button.
How to Export WordPress Site Using a Built-In Tool
For self-hosted WordPress sites, you can export WordPress site content directly in your admin dashboard. This is useful if you only want to migrate your site’s written content and media files rather than the WordPress core files or database. It’s also a great option if you want to keep an extra backup of your site’s content.
There are specific types of site content you can export with this method:
- Other content
- All content listed above
Other content can include data created by ecommerce plugins such as:
It can also be in the form of content some of your installed plugins can create:
- Contact forms
- Case studies
- Other similar content
Here are the steps to successfully export WordPress content using built-in tools:
If you want to export these types of content, be sure you’re logged into your self-hosted WordPress site. Then in the admin dashboard, go to Tools > Export in the menu on the left.
At this point, you can choose All Content, or you can select one of the other options.
Click the Download Export File button and wait for the export process to complete. Once the file is ready with your exported content, you can save it to your computer.
Depending on your browser and its current settings, you may be prompted before the download actually begins.
How to Export a WordPress Site Manually with phpMyAdmin + SFTP
For self-hosted WordPress websites, you also have the option to export WordPress site files via SFTP as well as export WordPress site database tables through phpMyAdmin.
The steps for both options are detailed below:
Exporting Your WordPress Files
To export WordPress site files with this option, you need to have an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client such as FileZilla installed on your computer.
Fire up your preferred FTP client and connect to your site using SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) to get started.
Depending on the FTP client you’re using, the steps on how to do this may vary so consult the software’s documentation for details if you’re unsure of how to connect.
You can also check out How to Use SFTP to Connect to Your WordPress Site for details.
Locate the folder, or sub-folder you want to export from the list of your site’s files and folders.
Then, click and drag the file to the section of the FTP client dedicated to your computer.
You can also choose to select multiple files and folders at one time.
It may be important to note that depending on the size of the file or folder, it may take a minute (or two) to finish downloading the file.
Exporting Your WordPress Database
You can choose to export WordPress site database tables for self-hosted WordPress websites. This is particularly useful if your site’s files are still intact, you want a redundant backup, or you otherwise only require your database tables for your specific needs.
For details, check out How to Backup MySQL Database (2 Incredibly Easy Methods).
Log into phpMyAdmin through cPanel.
Click Sites in the menu on the left-hand side, then click on the site on the list which you want to export.
Scroll down to the Database access section. You can view your login credentials as well as click the Open phpMyAdmin link to access your database in a new browser tab.
If your host uses cPanel, you can log into your account and find the link to phpMyAdmin under the Databases section.
Once you’re in phpMyAdmin, find your site’s database listed in the menu on the left, then click on it.
Next, click on the Export tab located in the main content area of then page.
At this point, you can choose to export your entire database with either the quick or custom methods. The quick option is great if you require a backup of your database, or you want to import your database to a fresh installation of WordPress later on. But, if you’re planning on importing your database to a pre-existing WordPress site, choose the custom export method.
To export all your database tables, select the Quick option.
Select the Quick option from the list.
To export your database so it can be imported to a pre-existing WordPress site, choose the Custom option.
Additional options will dynamically appear. Select the tables from the list that you want to export.
Select the tables you want to export.
Then, scroll down and check the box for Add DROP TABLE / VIEW / PROCEDURE / FUNCTION / EVENT / TRIGGER statement. This ensures the tables with the same name in your pre-existing database are dropped, or in other words, deleted. That way, you can successfully import the tables you want.
Click the Go button and wait for the process to complete. This may take a while depending on how large your database may be.
When the SQL file has finished processing, you can save it to your computer.
With the steps outlined above, you now know how to export WordPress sites from WordPress.com, using WordPress’ built-in tool, with Bitumish, and by using SFTP and phpMyAdmin.
If you require further assistance and you have a WordPress site hosted with us, don’t hesitate to contact our support team. You can also check out our knowledge base for more documentation articles. We’ll help sort everything out for you.