Moving WordPress to a new Server and new Domain


Please contact your hosting provider for assistance. This post is a general overview post by Expand2Web. Your steps may vary depending on your provider.


– This tutorial will describe every step to move your website to a new server and a new URL.

– There are many ways of doing this, however we found the following steps the most reliable.

– You will need to have access to a Filemanager (provided by your hosting provider) or FTP Client (read our FTP introduction post here)

(Note: all screenshots are taken in cPanel via Bluehost Hosting – your admin panel may look different!)


Step 1) Create a copy (backup) to your desktop of the “wp-content” folder

WordPress stores all images for your posts and your theme on your server. The actual blog post text and pages text – plus all your settings are however stored in a database. Which means in order to move your site we need to get both – the images and the text.

Log in to your hosting server using an FTP client. Copy the entire “wp-content” folder to your desktop.

Why the wp-content folder? Because this way we only need to deal with one folder; which contains all themes, uploads, plugins and images.

We have a User Guide Post dedicated to Backups here.


Step 2) Create a copy (backup) of your database

As mentioned above, the database contains all settings and the actual text for your pages and posts.

The easiest way to get a complete backup is by using the WordPress backup plugin. With this plugin you can also schedule backups to be emailed to you.

Get the plugin here:…..db-backup/

We have a User Guide Post dedicated to Backups here.


Review Step 1 and Step 2

At this point you should have a copy of your wp-content folder as well as a backup of your database sitting on your Desktop.


Step 3) Installing WordPress on your new Server

Ideally you have signed up with a reputable hosting provider such us Bluehost who offers Simplescripts or Fantastico for one-click WordPress installs.

Go ahead and install a fresh copy of WordPress at the desired location on your new server.

Visit your new install to make sure everything worked fine.

Next you will need to make sure that you have FTP access to your new server. Create a new FTP User Account within your hosting admin panel if needed.


Step 4) Replace the new “wp-content” folder with your backup one

Open your FTP client and establish a connection to your new server and new wordpress install. Replace (overwrite) the new wp-content folder with the old one created in Step 1.


Step 5) Replace the new database with your backup one

Log in to your hosting accounts admin panel. Locate and click “phpMyAdmin”.

You should see your database on the left hand side of the screen.

(Should you have more than one WordPress install on your server, you will see multiple databases, to locate which one goes to what install simply look in your wp-config file on your FTP to find out what install uses what database.)

A) Click on the database name and you’ll see a list of tables on the right.

B) Click “Check All” and select “Drop” from the drop-down menu on the bottom of the table listing.

C) Click the “Import” tab on the upper part of yourscreen.

D) Unzip your database backup on your desktop and “Browse” to locate your Database backup on your desktop from Step 2 and click “Go” in the lower right.

E) You should receive a message that the database import was successful.

F) Click the “Structure” tab in the upper part of the screen to return the listing of tables.

G) Click the “Browse” icon for the “wp-options” table.

H) Click the pencil tool for “option id 1”.

and replace the old URL with your new URL. Save by clicking “Go” in the lower right.

I) Navigate to page 2 and do the same for “option id 37”

J) Look thru all pages, you may have plugins that created a url entry that you may need to change.

Step 6) Check your new –old- Website

You should now see your “old” site under your new URL and new Server. Congratulate yourself – the hard part is over!


Step 7) Last step: Changing image URL’s and Links

All images as well as internal links found on your pages and posts will need to be changed – they still point to your old site. Simply open your post or page inthe WordPress editor, select html view and change the URL.

You can use this plugin to update your links – Use with caution Expand2Web did not create this plugin. Please contact the publisher with questions regarding the Plugin:…


-Help!!! My Pages come up as “Not Found” after the move

– In some instances your pages may not show or you are getting a Not found error. In this case set your permalinks to default and save – check if your pages are back. If they are you can change your permalinks again to your custom structure.




About Thomas

Lead Developer and Community Manager

Comments are closed.