Today's web applications can generate a big amount of articles, user posts, comments and lots of other different types of data. All that web content is stored in the database of your current web application. In order to protect you website's information you should be doing weekly or even daily backups. You can choose your backup schedule according to what you're using your databases for - to store forum messages, customer information, e-shop products information, or other types of data.
What is a MySQL dump?
You should know also that MySQL databases are simply files stored on your web server. The whole backup and restore process is extremely easy indeed once you have learnt how to do it. There are different ways to perform a MySQL backup. However, no matter which application, control panel tool, or SSH script you use, all backups can be either dump or raw backups.
A MySQL dump is a universal backup solution. It is a bit slower than a raw backup, since it covers all SQL queries required to re-create the tables of the database, as well as all insert queries required to place the information back into the database's tables. Using a MySQL dump you can easily migrate (all the contents of) your website from one hosting provider to another. Also, if you're planning to make some changes to your database, it is a good idea to create first a MySQL dump. The MySQL dump backup solution is suitable for backing up whole databases, as well as a single database table.
How to create a MySQL dump via the SQL command line
If you wish to perform a MySQL dump manually, without using a PHPMyAdmin tool or other graphic environment, you need to connect to your database via SSH and run the following command:
An example on how to create a MySQL dump using the SQL command linemysqldump --tab=/path/to/some/dir --opt database_name
How to create a MySQL dump file using the PHPMyAdmin tool
PHPMyAdmin provides us with a feature-rich graphic environment. The creation of a MySQL backup dump using the PHPMyAdmin tool is simpler than ever, you just need to use its internal export function to create a dump file in various formats. For a detailed overview on how to create a MySQL dump file, please check the video below.
How to create a MySQL dump in PHPMyAdmin (video)
How to restore a MySQL database from backup
If you want to restore your SQL backup file manually, you just need to log in your PHPMyAdmin tool and use the SQL tab to import your database.