Build Your Own Business Website header image

Whoops, you've found some premium content!

Watch the opening clip of this video to preview it,
the full video is available to paid members.

Lesson 14 – Part 2 – How to Find your Site’s Files and Database

Difficulty Level -

Filed Under Topics - , ,

Listed Under Lesson Subjects -

Applies to - ,

In past classes I have not talked about finding your database and files but I feel like it needs to be emphasized. I’ve observed a number of times when people couldn’t figure out the locations. So if I need to backup my database, where is my database? Or if I need to backup my files, where are my files? So that’s what we’re going to talk about next.

Location of Files and Database with Hosts Using C Panel

I’m going to talk about this in the context of hosts that use C Panel because the vast majority of you are using some kind of a host that has C Panel as its interface. If you’re using GoDaddy, they don’t have C Panel. If you’re using Dreamhost, they don’t have C Panel. But there are systems that are similar to this in both of those cases.

So even if your interface is not identical to this, the concepts are still the same. So we’re going to look at how to find your files in C Panel. And really, this first starts off with whether or not you only have a single website or domain. This will be the case for some of you who have just created your first website.

Here I’m in a web hosting account that I have at Web Hosting Hub here. And this is what their C Panel looks like. It looks very similar to the Bluehost C Panel. Even though it’s not identical, it still has the same kinds of stuff, the same kind of icons. Different hosts can style their C Panel differently. But nevertheless, these are both C Panel sites.

Locating Files for a Single Site and a Single Domain

In the case where you have a single site and a single domain in your hosting account you’re going to find your files in File Manager. If you come over to the File Manager, when you click on that, you see this question of home directory, web root and that kind of stuff. It doesn’t really matter.

Make sure you check hidden files. And then from that point on, I just skip this question. Hit go and you can see here we are in the public html. That’s where the web root is, this folder called public html.

The Public HTML Folder

Now there are lots of other folders out here, C Panel, fantastico… access logs, mail, public ftp, temp, www. But the directory that we care about here is public html. And if you only have one WordPress site in it, the contents of public html look probably very much like this.

That is, lots of hosts have this folder called cgi bin. This is something that you would use potentially if you had an html site and you had some cgi code. Then it traditionally goes inside this folder cgi bin. You can see it’s essentially empty and you aren’t really using it. It just happens to be there.

WordPress Files

Now inside of this folder are a number of other files. Most of these are root WordPress files. Let me get back to my right slide here. Most of these are root WordPress files and then you’ve got wp admin, wp content and wp includes. So everything below cgi bin here is primarily a WordPress file inside of the WordPress file structure.

We’re going to talk about this more at length. But I just wanted you to see what it looks like in the case where you’ve only got one website, the root of your web server is public html and your website exists directly inside that root typically.

Locating Files for Multiple Sites and Multiple Domains

However, in this case, I have a whole bunch of domains and a whole bunch of websites. And so in this case then, if I go over to File Manager and I open up public html, you see I’ve got a whole bunch of folders in here, right? I’ve got tons of folders in here and then I get down to a wp admin, wp content, wp includes and a bunch of files.

Primary Domain Files

These 3 folders and all of these files are the WordPress website for the primary domain on this account which is So if you go to, this website right here is all of its files, all of its WordPress stuff is all contained inside of this wp admin, wp content, wp includes and these files.

Subdomain Files

However, the website that we’re looking at right now, Lesson 12 of the Thesis 2 class actually resides in this folder, t2lesson12. And if I open it up, here I’ve got again, that cgi bin. But then I’ve got a wp admin, wp content, wp includes. I’ve also got a folder for Import Buddy that should have been deleted when I used Import Buddy so I’m going to go ahead and delete that now.

But here’s that sitemap xml that we just created. Here’s the site map xml.gz that was created by the plugin and here’s all the core files for this one lesson.

Primary and Subdomains Files Locations

Now the takeaway from this is that in the C Panel, your primary domain has its WordPress files in the root, inside of public html. And every other domain and subdomain has its files inside of a folder inside the root.

I find that that confuses folks sometimes. They can’t tell which one of these folders is their website. And so if it’s your primary domain then your website’s in the root. And if it’s in the secondary domain, an add on domain, a subdomain then it’s in a folder inside the root. And all the WordPress files are inside that folder.

The WordPress files essentially consist of the files that are in the root of the site and then 3 folders, wp admin, wp includes, and wp content. And the wp admin and wp includes and the root files, those make up all of WordPress’ core files. So every WordPress core file is either in the root or is in wp admin and wp includes. And theoretically, most of those files can be downloaded again in case they get lost.

WP Content Folder and Customization Files

However, wp content contains all of your theme and plugin files. And while most of those can be downloaded, not necessarily all of them can. And so we’re going to talk a little bit more about this wp content folder here because all of your customization files exist within wp content.

That means you’ve already seen in the past: plugins, themes and uploads as folders inside of wp content. There’s also the Thesis folder and then other plugins may put files and folders inside of this thing.

Let’s look at sbywh13, at the previous version of this. Inside of wp content, there is the plugins directory, the themes directory and the uploads directory. Uploads is where all the media library files are stored.

There’s an upgrade directory which stores files associated with your upgrade. And then this site has the NextGen Gallery plugin installed in it and so it has a gallery directory. And this gallery directory are where all of the images that are used inside of NextGen are stored.

So this is what I mean by customization files. All of these files here are files related to your site’s content and what they look like.

Where Thesis 2 Stores Files

Now Thesis 2 stores files in two locations. First, in wp content themes thesis and then secondly in wp content thesis. So if we go back and look inside of our current lesson, t2lesson12 and open up wp content, under themes, you would expect to see ordinarily, all typical themes exist inside of this themes folder. And so you’ve got this Thesis folder inside of that themes folder and this Thesis folder has all of the core files of Thesis contained inside of it.

Customization Folders

However, Thesis also creates directly inside of the wp content folder, a Thesis folder. And a Thesis folder contains all of the customization folders for your site. And those customization folders are primarily boxes, packages and skins. Now this is a beginner class so we aren’t talking about what master php is. But master.php is also a customization file that more advanced users can use to customize their site.

But in any case, all of your customization for Thesis are contained inside of wp content thesis boxes packages and skins. And in this case, we open up skins. Here’s the BYOB Agility Nude skin, the Classic skin and the Thesis blank skin.

And if we just step back for a second and look at boxes, in terms of boxes, we’ve got the display content by device box. We’ve got the multi drop down responsive menu box and the Orbit Helper box. But the rest of these are boxes that are… interesting. I’ve never noticed that before but these are boxes that we upload. I’m not sure what this is doing here.

Okay so that’s your Thesis file structure and that’s actually where all of your files are. And so the next thing we need to do is find your database.

Locate Your Database

Now if you’ve only got one site and one database, it’s really easy. If you’ve got one site and one database, you come over here to php myadmin which is down here under databases and it’s php myadmin. And you can see, I’ve only got one database here, wp4s5wordpress1. This is the only database that’s here.

However, as you may very well guess, this BYOB tutorial site has lots of databases. So if I click on php myadmin now, I’ve got a ton of databases in here. And if I haven’t named it something and most of the times, you don’t have control over the names, it happens automatically.

Finding the Right Database

If I haven’t named it something, I don’t really know which database to use. I’ve got all these word1, word2, word3 so on and so forth but I actually don’t know which website these databases are referencing. So really, the first thing you need to figure out is which database are you trying to back up?

Now as luck would have it, you can do that by opening up your wp config file. And the wp config file can be found in the root of your site. Since I am working right now in the Thesis 2, the Thesis 2 Lesson 12 site, I’m looking in that t2lesson12 directory. And in the root of that directory, I’m looking for wp config.

So if I come down here to wp config, there it is. All I have to do is click edit on this. And actually, I’m not going to edit anything. I’m just going to look at it so I’ll just go ahead and click at it. And the very top thing here, it tells you the name. The database name is byobtuto t2lesson12.

Now it also gives you the password down here which will be hidden from the video. So this is a sure fire way for you to be able to get into your database if you need to. It has this database name, this database username and this database password for access to it.

So we know that we’re looking for the t2lesson12 website and of course, because I had control over the naming of it, I named it t2lesson 12 and so I know which database it is. But many databases, I didn’t have control over and were automatically named. And I’d never be able to know which one I need to edit without first opening up wp config to find out which database is being used.

Save $200 on Membership Now!

Start learning today for as little as
$0.82 PER DAY!
Subscription Options
0 Comments… add one
0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment