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Monthly Archives: October 2013

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How to move a WordPress site from one host to another keeping same domain name

Recently, I had to undertake the very intimidating task of moving all of our WordPress websites from our old hosting company to the new one. The first time I attempted this a few months ago I lost a site in the massive abyss also known as the internet. I had searched all over the internet for a comprehensive list of the steps required to move a site successfully. After combining steps from a few different articles and troubleshooting on my own (with the assistance of my hosting company) I came up with a comprehensive checklist of my own. Here is the short and long version. I use the short version now that I’ve done this about 7 times, but for those that need more detail, I’ve got one for you too.

Short Version:

  1. Purchase hosting
  2. Backup copy of WordPress database and WordPress content
  3. Create new database, database user, database password, connect, and set user privileges/permissions
  4. Upload backup WordPress content and Import backup of WordPress database
  5. Change wp-config.php file to new database information previously created in Step 3 (Database Host is most likely “localhost” but check with your hosting company)
  6. In cPanel, change PHP Configuration to “PHP 5” – this is the version WordPress uses
  7. Redirect DNS to new name servers (check with new hosting company for what their name servers are)

Long Version:

  1. Purchase hosting for your site’s domain name
  2. Make Backup Copies of Site
    1. WordPress database
      1. If you have access to phpMyAdmin for your old host then export your database in SQL format
      2. If you don’t have access, ask whoever manages your website to send you a copy of the database as a .sql file
    2. WordPress content
      1. From the WordPress Admin Panel, click “Tools” -> “Export” -> “All content” -> then “Download Export File.”
      2. In the cPanel of your new host, create a new database, database user, and database password. Connect the database user to the database name and grant the database user all permissions/privileges. If your cPanel offers a MySQL wizard, I would recommend using this because it walks you through each of these steps so you won’t forget to do one. The first time I created the new database I didn’t use the wizard and I forgot to set the permissions. It caused a minor problem later on that was fixable but required some time to troubleshoot. So save yourself some time and use the wizard.
  3. Upload Backups (made in Step 2)
    1. WordPress Database: In phpMyAdmin, click the database you just created, then click “Import” on top option menu. Find and select your .sql file and click “Go.”
    2. WordPress content: In the file manager, upload backup .xml file to “public_html” directory. This will upload a zip file to this directory. Unzip the file and copy the contents of that file back to the “public_html” directory so the path is direct.
    3. Example
      YES: /public_html/wordpress_files_here
      NO: /public_html/wordpress.zip/wordpress_files_here

  4. Update the wp-config.php file with the new Database Name, Database User, and Database Password; Database Host will most likely remain “localhost.” Save.
  5. In cPanel, click “PHP Configuration” and select “PHP 5” from the drop down menu and click “Update.” (PHP 5 is the version WordPress uses)
  6. From your domain name registrar, redirect the domain name server (DNS) to point to your new hosts’ name servers. Contact your host to find out what these are.

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