How to manually Backup WordPress Files using FTP

A WordPress website backup consists of both WordPress files as well as WordPress database backup. WordPress files stores your themes, plugins, images and other files. While, on the other hand, WordPress database stores all your posts, pages, comments and other information.

In the previous article, I talked about backup your WordPress database. In this guide, you’ll learn to manually backup your WordPress files using FTP. FTP is a File transfer protocol that allows users to take backup of any WordPress files located on the server.

Backup comes handy when you want to restore WordPress after a hacked attempt on your site.

Whether you want to backup files inside your theme or plugin folder, you can easily do so by downloading the file to your local computer. You’ll just need an FTP Client to manage your WordPress site.

FTP is file transfer protocol used to transfer files between your web server and local computer. For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll be using an FTP Called FileZilla Client.

To know more about FTP, read this tutorial on how to use FTP to manage WordPress website. 

4 Steps to Backup WordPress files using FTP

Step #1: Download FileZilla on your Computer

First, you’ll need an FTP client software. I’ll recommend you to download and install FileZilla Client as it is a safe and open source software.

Step #2: Connect WordPress to FileZilla

Now, open FileZilla. Enter your hostname, username, and password of your FTP account. Leave Port blank and click Connect. It will connect FileZilla to your WordPress server.

If you don’t know your FTP account details, check the email sent to you from your hosting provider at the time of purchase. You’ll find your FTP username and password inside the mail. Your hostname is your domain URL i.e or

If this is your first time setting up an FTP account, refer our guide how to use FileZilla for FTP.

Step #3: Create a new folder for storing WordPress backup

After connecting FileZilla to WordPress, you’ll see two columns. On the left side, you’ll able to see files and folder of your local computer i.e ‘Local site’ while on the right, you’ll see your website directory files and folders called ‘Remote site’.

Create a destination folder (new folder) on your local Computer where you want to store the backup files downloaded from the Remote site.

To create a new folder from the FileZilla itself, navigate to the location where you want to store the backup on the Local site. Right-click and click Create directory and input a name for the directory and hit enter.

Step #4: Drag and Drop to transfer files

To download a backup of any WordPress file, navigate to that file in Remote site. Suppose, if you want to backup your WordPress theme, go to the theme folder ( i.e wp-content/themes/). Drag the folder from the Remote site to the directory you just created in the Local site.

FileZilla will transfer the files as soon as you do this. It may take a while to download files depending upon the size of the backup.

That’s it. This way WordPress users can manually backup their WordPress files using FTP – FileZilla Client.

Learn how to manually update plugin via FTP if you don’t want to break your site.

If you have queries or questions regarding this article, feel free to ask me in the comments below.

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