Move your WordPress Blog to another host or server in 10 easy steps

Step #6 Upload wp-content folder, .htaccess and wp-config.php

Use your FTP program to connect to your new host to overwrite the new wp-content folder with the backup that you created from step #4. Also, make sure that the .htacces files are uploaded to your new blog directory.

Step #7 Import your WordPress database

Open the phpMyAdmin tool from your new host cPanel, select the new WordPress database (usually named YourAccountName_wrdp1), and click the import option. Select the database backup file from Step #5 to import the entire data into your new WordPress table.

Step #8 Test your blog with the new host

Now it’s time to test your blog on the new host but before that you have to change the following settings.

  • Just like you did in Step #2, change the General Settings blog URL to the temporary blog directory of your new host. With the database import, it may be now pointing to your actual domain name (e.g http://www.yourdomain.com)
  • You do not need to upload your wp-config.php file, if you started with a fresh installation of WordPress as in Step #2. But if you opted to create a new database from the backup (using Step #5) and then setup WordPress, the old wp-config.php values may be handy

Now, test your new WordPress installation with the imported content and your blog theme using the temporary blog URL just like you did in Step #2.

Step #9 Import your mails, save your new comments etc

Before you make your domain permanently point to your new WordPress blog installation, make sure that you:

  • POP (download) all mails from your previous host to your Outlook or your email client
  • Copy any new comments (Commenter’s name, email, URL, comment text) that might have come during your installation so that it can be manually added to relevant posts later
Step #10 Switch the name server values

Logon to your domain registrar account (sometimes it is the same as your old hosting provider) and change the name server values there to make it point to the nameservers provided by your new host. After this, you have to log on once to your new WordPress control panel and change the blog address (URL) and WordPress address (URL) values to make them point to http://www.YourDomain.com/ and its WordPress directory (only if WordPress was installed in a different directory – for example, http://www.YourDomain.com/wordpress). Make sure that everything works fine

Troubleshooting tips

If you did not make any mistake and religiously followed the above ten steps, things should just work fine. Most of the issues are related to the wrong Blog address and WordPress address in the General settings section of your new WordPress admin panel. If you are not able to access the admin panel itself, you may want to use phpMyAdmin to open your new WordPress database, go to table wp_options, browse the rows and check the value of siteurl there. If it’s still pointing to your temporary installation directory or some other wrong value (check for typos), you have to correct that row manually.

If things still do not work, disable your plugins one by one and test. I had some problems with the Google XML Sitemap plugin which needs the chmod values of your sitemap.xml and sitemap.xml.gz files to be set to 666. You can do chmod settings for these files from your FTP tool.

The other common problem is the wrong wp-config.php usage. If you can’t connect to WordPress at all, please make sure to open and check the DB_NAME and DB_USER values in your wp-config.php file.

Further tips and precautions

  • You can take the screenshots of your General settings, Permalink structure, Active plugins page and complicated settings pages of important plugins such as Google XML sitemaps, All-in-one-SEO plugin etc for future reference
  • Keep important long text value (e.g. keywords) in some text file
  • Before starting the upgrade itself, you may cut-paste backup the contents of all your widgets into some text file. I lost my widgets during the upgrade process
  • Once the upgrade and move is complete, make a complete back up of your new WordPress installation directory on the server itself renamed to something like WP_2.8.2_Backup so that in case of any mistake done, you could rename and use this directory
  • Never upgrade your plugins blindly even when the Plugin info claims that it is compatible with your WordPress release version. Make sure to backup the plugin folder before attempting to automatically upgrade it
  • Check with your hosting service support team if you can’t solve the issues yourself. HostGator provided me wonderful chat support to fix some of the issues that I faced
  • Choose an appropriate time to upgrade when your ISP is running in full throttle – I have minor issues with my ISP (Airtel) which suddenly slows down post midnight

I hope this ‘How to’ tutorial is useful to some of you and if so please do not forget to bookmark. Also, let me know if I missed out any point or steps. You can even ping me on twitter for free consulting if you encounter any problem with your WordPress move when you go for your next hosting provider.

Happy Blogging (with WordPress)!

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Comments

  1. thanks for the great walkthrough.

    Just thought I’d mention that I’m about to launch my new service at migrately which will help those folks who can’t or don’t want to move their site themselves.

    The service will focus purely on moving WordPress websites from one host to another. Nothing more or less than that. It will also be priced competitively!

    Launching soon, but there is a sign-up page at the above address where folks can register for more information.

    Thanks again for the post!

  2. i already moved but the issue is unable to add sitemap on google console, when i submit, after few days warning message coming that HTTP error. please help me how can i fix this issue?

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