I have a complete copy of the WordPress directory of an old site from 2015. The client states that the site was shut down around then, but they wish to restore it to the way it was. I understand that I cannot just "replace the directory and be done with it" because they don't have a backup of the SQL database.

So, is it possible with just the WordPress files; to just run a temporary instance of the site (even if it's just single web pages) so that I may copy it over manually?

Thanks for the help in advance!

  • So you do not have a copy of the content, or access in any way to the site?
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 3:23
  • you could install WP and then copy the content folder, then switch the theme, etc. you won't have any of the actual site content but i don't see how your clients can expect that from you either if they failed to back it up
    – inarilo
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


wordpress is designed around a database. You need the database to have the site load at all. It wouldn't be possible to do what you're asking. What you could do though is go to the internet archive www.archive.org and see if they have a visual representation of your site backed up there and you could pull the information you need in that fashion.

  • Fair enough. Thought it was worth a shot.
    – B-Dawg
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 1:46
  • @BradynClaycomb if this answers your question can you mark it as the correct answer? Rudteks answer is the only answer I am aware of unless you have a backup of some kind
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 3:24

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