Moving Your WordPress Website
It can be very simple to move your WordPress website to a new host. WordPress has some built in features that, when used along with a plugin or two makes it a very simple process.
Step 1: Back up your database. You can use the WP Database Backup Plugin for this step.
Step 2: Back up your Theme files. FTP or download (through your cPanel) all of the files in your Theme’s folder to your computer.
Step 3: Export your WordPress Files using the Export feature in the left navigation (Tools>Export).
Step 4: Get the latest version of WordPress. Be sure you create a new wp_config.phg file and also download the latest versions of all your plugins!
Step 5: Create or set up a temporary URL at your new host (at mine, I created a subdomain that pointed to my regular domain).
Step 6: Upload the core WordPress files to the temporary URL (include all plugins and your Theme files).
Step 7: Install WordPress (type the temporary URL/wp-admin/install.php and follow the directions).
NOTE: Starting @ Step 8 it will be easier to proceed if your logged in to your old WP site dashboard in one browser “tab” and logged into the new WP dashboard in another “tab”–this way you can easily switch back and forth for any copying and pasting or any setups.
Step 8: Remember to set up your permalinks the same way as your old site (Settings>Permalinks in the left navigation).
Step 9: Install and activate your plugins, then set them up like they were on your old host.
Step 10: Select your Theme and activate it. Remember: if you have a Theme that requires you to create a page for “home” and “blog” this is when you should do that and select the correct page templates for them. Then go to Settings>Reading and select the correct Home and Blog pages.
Step 11: Import your Export file. Back in Step 3 we did an export from your old site/host. That’s the file that we’ll use now. Under Tools>Import you will click on “WordPress” and be prompted to browse your computer to that export file. Once you’ve found the export file on your computer, click the “Upload file + Import” button.
After these steps you are basically finished with your move. However, there will be some things to “tweak” in most cases.
- If you use the WP Table Plugin your tables will have to be rebuilt.
- Your Blogroll/Links will not transfer, so you’ll have to re-enter them.
- Double check the set up of all your plugins.
- Go through your entire site on the new host to be sure everything looks correct.
Once you have verified that everything on the new host is good to go – you are ready to complete your hosting transfer by setting your new DNSs.
When the DNS change is complete, go into the Settings>General section of your new WordPress site dashboard and change both the “WordPress address” and the “Blog address” to the correct URL (no longer using the temporary one).
You can also check the WordPress Codex for other ways to move your site.
If you’re not comfortable with doing the move yourself, or if you have any questions, Contact Me
As always, never attempt something such as this unless you ARE comfortable with the “backend” of your WordPress site.
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