Backing Up The Database via phpMyAdmin 
For purposes of this instruction,I am using phpMyAdmin version 2.5.6-rc1.

Go to phpMyAdmin in your web browser and select the database you wish to back up by clicking on the name. If you have multiple databases, you will need to select the name from the drop menu.

In the right-hand frame, you will see a row of links. Click [Export]

Now in the right-hand frame you will see three (3) areas. In the first area, called Export you select the table(s) you wish to back up by selecting them from the list. To select multiple tables, hold the Ctrl key and click the table names. To select all table, click the [Select All] link.

In the second area, called SQL Options, make sure you have the following boxes checked:

Add 'drop table'
Enclose table and field names with backquotes

In the third area, check Save as file and type a name for the backup in the File name template :.
If your system supports it, you may also choose a compression type. None is selected by default.

Click [Go] and you will be prompted to save the backup on your local computer.
Dugchugger 14th Apr 2016, 03:09am
These instructions had served me well over the years, but phpMyAdmin has changed a bit since these were written. There are a few sections that aren't identified in these instructions and it would be great if the author (or someone else) could update this page. For example, one of the instructions was to put a checkmark in "structure" and in "data". In the new phpMyAdmin you can either put a checkmark in one or the other, but not both... or a checkmark in the one that says "structure and data". But if I use the latter option, I get an error message. I've been sticking with structure only, but I'm not sure I'm saving the database correctly.
Trevor Hannant 14th Apr 2016, 03:16am
While the ability to backup via phpMyAdmin is still available, we'd actually recommend not doing it unless you have a small database due to timeout issues. Backing up via SSH/Telnet or via cPanel/Plesk/WHM backup tools is more reliable.
Andyk 23rd Jan 2017, 02:15pm
We understand that a better option is to use the SSH/Telnet and what not but for a new vBulletin owner, backup through PHPMyAdmin is the easiest. It is definitely safe too because the database is much smaller and there is literally no chance of timeouts. PLEASE create a new tutorial for backing up database through PHPMyAdmin. Creating such a tutorial wont take as much time. Or even updating the above tutorial would take hardly 5 minutes. I understand that admins and contributors here are helping and investing a lot of time and we appreciate their time and work. However, would appreciate a lot if you can update the above article with the latest information. Will be greatful to the VB team for this. Thank you.