Restoring WP from backup questions. pls help

Hi. My site is such a hacked mess that cleaning it up seems like a gargantuan task. What I want to do now is to delete everything and to start over fresh from a backup. I have several backups that I believe are complete and I’m wondering how to proceed.

Do I uninstall WP and then delete everything?

and then reinstall wp to the same subdomain

and then upload my backup?

Note: I want to be sure that my site is clean and it seems to me that deleting everything, all folders and files, and then restoring from a clean backup is the way to go.

I have other concerns too: What if I didn’t get every file when I did my backups? - so my questions is: are there some certain files that I should back up again before attempting to delete everything?

And what folder names should I take note off so I can recreate them when installing the new WP?

Thanks and hey, I’m sorry if this post rambles; I’m frustrated and exhausted after spending many long days & nights trying to clean up this mess.

If you do a full backup of your entire WP site as it currently is (both the database and all of the files), then that will make things much easier, since you can always do a full restore to its current state.

After you have everything backed up, then go ahead and delete all of the files, clear all of the tables from the database and then do a full restore from your backups (you do have backups of the database right?)

If no database backup exists…then just skip that part for now (the database part), but put it on your todo list to learn how to make databse backups and restore them. You can do all of the from PHPMyAdmin.


full backup of everything as it currently is.
then delete all of the files
restore from backup
post back here your success or failure.

This wp hasn’t changed in years. I keep it up for historical purposes only, but I do recall installing and using an addon on to backup the database. I should also have the database files in my full site backup, but darn, I don’t recall if I had show hidden files selected because way back then I don’t know if I even knew to do that. Plus I prob. used ftp instead of sftp - so my concern is “Did I get all of the required files?”

My question regarding this is what are the required file(s) to recreate? Is it just one file with a .db extension?

I also think that I did a manual install.

Thanks for your help. I will return to report on how this goes.

The database you’d need isn’t usually part of the web directory — it’d be a MySQL backup that you would have had to create separately. If it’s present, it’d probably be named with a “.sql” or “.sql.gz” extension.

If the site is currently live, the database is going to be available somewhere, so you should be able to get a backup through phpMyAdmin.

The only hidden file you should need from a typical WordPress install will be the .htaccess file, which is easy to create if you do not have it. Also, you can just look at your current one to make sure it has nothing fishy about it and use that. Usually it is just a few re-write rules for wp-admin, w-content, etc.