Moving WordPress Intact to a New Host

This post is for those moving their WordPress site to a new host.  You may have outgrown your previous host, become dissatisfied with their service (or lack of it), or any other reason.  Make sure your new host’s support is familiar with WordPress and has 24/7 tech support.  If you are using someone like Host Gator, they will help you make the move.  Just ask.

This tutorial is not the only way to make the move, but I’ve found this one of the best ways to move everything and have an exact clone of your site.

Move Your WordPress Database Download Database from the MySql server as a zipped file (not the export function in wordpress unless you don’t mind missing something)  Create a new database and import the zipped file from your computer.  If you need the name, and login info for your database so you can import it, look in your wp-admin.php .   When creating the new database, make sure you save your database name, user name, and password.  It is needed later on.

One thing you may want to do is to add a new post to your original site of edit your last post or even homepage.  Something as simple as adding a 🙂 to an existing post or page, something to help you tell the old site from the new one.   Do this after you export the database, before you change your domain’s name servers.  This way you can recognize later whether you are on the old site and database or the new site and database.

Move Your WordPress Files Use a ftp program to download your files unto your computer.  Set up your domain on the new host. Upload these files to your new host.

Edit the wp-config.php file to reflect your new host’s info.  Some servers use the default settings, others such as IX need you to add your server’s address.

Remove any index.html file As you set up a new site, most hosts automatically add an index.html file.  Because index.html loads before index.php you will need to remove this file for wordpress to work.

Change Your Name Servers Log into the place from which your bought your domain, change the name servers so that they point to your new host instead of your old host.  Possibly you bought your domain name from someone other than your web host.  I prefer mine that way.  You don’t need to transfer your domain name because you switched hosting services, but you do need to change your name servers so your domain can point to your new host.

Changing name servers may take up to 48 hours to move throughout the various providers around the world.  During this time your site may move back and forth between the 2 data bases for a day or so.

If all this sounds confusing, and you are using a shared hosting service, I recommend going to HostGator as your new host and let them move it for you.

More “How to Move WordPress” Articles:

Additional Resources:

FTP Tool

HostGator Review

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Moving WordPress Intact to a New Host — 2 Comments

  1. Hey Heidi,

    Just wanted to say great guide. I was able to follow it step by step and was able to successfully transfer 4 of my websites one being a pretty big ecommerce store which is one of the 3 under a sub-domain, over to bluehost. You made the process very straight forward and smooth thanks!


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