How To Move WordPress Between Hosts

There may be occasions when it becomes necessary to move your WordPress blog around from one place to another. Sometimes it will be between servers and at other times it will be within the same server. This could be because you’re looking for more flexibility or you just don’t like the terms offered to you from your current host. Whatever the reason, the thought of making the move can seem overwhelming and you’ll need to take a few steps to ensure that everything remains in tact during the process.

Depending on the circumstances involved, getting the job done does not have to be as difficult as it may seem; you just need to know the steps to take for your particular situation. Here are a few suggestions.

When You Won’t be Changing Your Domain Name or URL

When there are no changes in your domain name or URL the process is very simple. More likely than not, it can be done easily by copying and moving the files. If your database name is not expected to change you can simply copy your files and database to your new location. However, if you plan on changing either one of these features you will first have to correct the values by editing the wp-config.php before you copy them to the new location.

On the other hand, if you plan to change to a completely new server but keep the same domain, simply edit wp-config.php with the new information and then upload the entire package to your new server.

When There Will be Changes

While the steps to moving are much simpler if there are no changes to be made to the domain name or URL it becomes a bit more complicated when this is not the case. The files and the databases can easily be moved in the exact same way, however, there are additional challenges that you will have to face.

If you simply copy the files and the database to the new server, the references that direct the reader to your pages will remain exactly the same, which means that you will lose any links or themes that you may want to transfer over to the other pages. Even if you search and replace your entire database there can be issues that you are not prepared to deal with. Here are a few suggestions you should try.

First, try to avoid performing a search and replace on anything other than the wp_posts table. Instead, use the Search and Replace for WordPress Databases Script to make the changes. Or, you can use the Online WordPress Serialized PHP Search and Replace tool to assist you in replacing your old domain name or URL when you are fixing the serialized data.

When You Are Using the Same Server

When the move you need to make will be on the same server you should first begin by creating the new location. After you log into your site go to Administration – Settings – General panel. From there you can change the address to the new location in WordPress address (URI) and the Site address (URL) and save them. Once that is completed then you can move your files to their new home.

Always remember that before you make any changes to your blogs or website it is advisable to back up all of your data. This could include backing up your database as well as any core files that you may have. This is important because there are many details that could be easily overlooked in the transfer process and if not saved properly the information could get lost.

No one really looks forward to having to move their blogs from one location to another. No matter what the possible reason why you want to change your blog, remember that you have likely built up a following that you don’t want to lose. Whether you’re planning on moving between hosts on the same server or on a different one you want to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible so that you don’t lose your readers.

Depending on how you plan to move your blog to its new location you will have to take a different approach. There are a myriad of options and the process requires a delicate approach. If you’re not sure of how to proceed with your transition it may be worth it to seek the assistance of experienced technicians who can make the switch as simple as possible and reduce the risk of interruption of traffic to your site.

Steven Johnson, a WP Hosting Reviews senior editor, works from Atlanta and covers all things related to WordPress and Hosting. He graduated from Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, has managed hosting companies and now builds WordPress and Joomla Websites for small to medium companies full time.

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