A little while ago, a friend contacted me, asking if she could get to her WP site after letting her domain name expire. She wasn’t planning on getting the domain name back, however, she did want to be able to get to the articles she had posted on her site already so she could use them on another site. Luckily for her, if besides letting your domain name expire, you didn’t remove anything from your hosting, you should be able to get your content back.
1. Get Into Your cPanel
If the domain you let expire was set up as an addon domain on an existing cpanel, you shouldn’t have any problems. You can login through the information from your main account. If your expired domain is the main domain, you’ll need to use the login URL you got from your hosting that used the IP address instead of the domain name in the URL. You don’t have that information? Contact your hosting to receive it, and in the meantime, ask them to set up a new main domain for your hosting account if you aren’t planning on canceling your subscription with them.
2. Get Your Site Files
Once I am in the cPanel, I go to the “File Manager” section and look for the folder that contained the files for the site. If you haven’t touched anything after letting your domain name expire, all the files should still be there, so the only thing you need to do is confirm that by opening the folder and checking the files and folder in there. If they are, you’re good to go. Go back one level, make sure to select the correct folder and compress it to zip-format.
3. Get Your Database
If you don’t know the name of your database, don’t worry. When you are checking to files of your site, to see if they are still there, look for the file called wp-config.php. Look at it’s content to find out the database name, and once you have it you can dive into phpMyadmin. In the left sidebar of your phpMyadmin, look for the database name and double-click on it. You should now see all your database tables, related to your site installation, on the right-side of your screen. If you do, good, we’ll be able to get somewhere, if you don’t see your database tables, it means they got deleted somehow and you will not be able to retrieve your content. So, fingers crossed and let’s go for option 1, okay?
Now, at the top of your page, look for the tab called “Export”. When it opens you should see two options, either fast or extended. Choose the second option. In the options that show up below, you don’t need to make a lot of changes. The only thing you need to do is to make sure all your tables are selected, that you’ll export as SQL file and that “DROP TABLE / VIEW / PROCEDURE / FUNCTION / EVENT” is selected. Once you have checked these things, you click on the “start” button and you’ll be able to download your database to your HD. Once it’s on your HD, you can use it to install it on a completely new domain or just keep it for future use.
Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to set up the site in a subfolder of the main domain of your hosting account, if that is what you would like to achieve.