Backup vbulletin database
vBulletin has a database backup option available in Maintenance > Database Backup in system administrations screen. The option maybe good for backing up small forum and may not be suitable for large databases. What we are covering here is the manual way of backing up a vbulletin database.
Before starting the backup, you should have the mysql database name, database username and password ready, this is the connection info you are using in your vBulletin program, you can check for it in the includes/config.php file in your vbulletin program folder, or login to your hosting account control panel, check under the MySQL Database option
You will need to have SSH shell access to the hosting account to perform the sql command in the command prompt, check with your web hosting provider if there is such and option available for you.
SSH login to your hosting account, at the shell prompt enter the following command :-
mysqldump -umysql_username -pmysql_username_password mysql_dbname > sqldumpfile.sql
This will create a sql data dump file into the sqldumpfile.sql, the dump file is basically an ASCII text file with SQL statements for creating the database schema and the SQL insert statements with data of each table in the database. You can use this sql dump file to restore a complete database if there is a need.
Restore vbulletin database
To restore vbulletin database, FTP upload the sqldumpfile.sql to your hosting account, and then SSH login to your hosting account, at the command prompt (and at the location of the sqldumpfile.sql), execute the following command in shell prompt :-
mysql -umysql_username -pmysql_username_password mysql_dbname < sqldumpfile.sql
Notice in a mysql restore process, the command is mysql instead of mysqldump, and the '<' sign instead of '>' sign.
Backup vBulletin Program Folder
Backing up the vbulletin program folder is rather simple and straight forward, just use an FTP client and download the entire vbulletin program folder to your backup location, and that is done. Just make sure you FTP session is set to ASCII transfer mode.
Restore vBulletin Program Folder
If you have followed the FTP download method to backup your vbulletin program folder, all you need is to upload the entire folder back to it's original location in your hosting account and restore your vbulletin dababase with the sql dump file and that is all needed for the vbulletin restore process.