Yesterday I wrote a post explaining how to move your WordPress install within your website/server.  Today I wanted to cover how to move your WordPress install to a completely different server.

Again, the flexibility of WordPress shines, making this not overly difficult to accomplish.  If you aren’t changing your domain name, all you need to do is update your wp-config.php file and upload all of your files to their new server.

If you are changing your domain name with your move, here is the information you’ll need:

  1. Backup your WordPress database.
  2. Download the complete WordPress install to your hard drive and identify the folder as your OLD installation.
  3. Login into your old blogs dashboard and update the Settings to reflect the website and blogs new location (both fields should be the same).
  4. Now, download the complete WordPress install to your hard drive, but this time identify the folder as your NEW installation.  This will include the settings change you just made.
  5. Download a copy of your WordPress database (keeping the old one) and then upload it to the new server.  You’ll want to keep the same database name and recreate the user login information (you can use your same user name and password).  If you change the database name, you’ll need to update your wp-config.php file to reflect the change.
  6. Upload your NEW installation folder so that your blog is now working in its new location!

If you want to keep your old blog, you’ll need to upload the OLD folder to the OLD location of your blog and readjust the General Settings tab.

Another way to accomplish all of this is to simply make a fresh WordPress install and export/import your posts to the new location.   This isn’t the most ideal method, but it is much easier and will get the job done.

For additional information, you’ll want to consult the WordPress Codex.

Kyle Eslick is WordPress enthusiast who took his passion for WordPress to the next level in 2007 by launching as a place to share hacks, tutorials, etc. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleEslick!

  1. km says:

    if you’re using CPanel web panel, it’s much easily using cpanel copy features move to another web server. which save a lot of time.

  2. Nicole says:

    I recommend strongly to disable ALL plugins via the admin panel before making the copy of the database! Many plugins refer to temporary files or absolute server pathes etc and that can really break down your new installation. After having finished all the copy stuff just log in to your admin panel and activate your plugins.

  3. Just remember if you use the import/export that you are only transferring your pages and posts, not your template. So be sure you know which template you are using and upload that to your new templates directory as well.

  4. doug says:

    I agree about using cpanel if available. I moved about 10 sites in about an hour that way. Pretty amazing.

  5. Mike says:

    I created an easy / bullet proof wordpress migration tutorial. The longest part will be downloading/uploading your files.

    Nice blog you have here!

  6. Ovidiu says:

    hey there.
    I have often moved wordpress without a glitch, but now, I have a problem. I am sure I did everything by the book, but still, when I access the newly moved site, wordpress greets me with the famous 5 minute installation 🙁

    What could have gone wrong so that wordpress doesn’t notice it is actually installed?

  7. Articleresource says:

    Thanks for the great article, I’m going to move my wp to new server soon,,

  8. Sitefixers says:

    This worked great. I’ve tried moving CMS sites from one server to another before, and they sometimes require re-installing the CMS, then uploading the files and importing the database. Moving a WordPress blog is as easy as it gets, though. I didn’t have to deactivate any plugins. It was just a download files/export database and upload files/import database procedure.

  9. Ed says:

    Quick Q – are there any ftp settings within WordPress that I have to change now. Transfer has gone fine, except WordPress is still uploading files to the old server. Or is this to do with DNS propagation?

  10. Negs says:

    This article has been extremely helpful.

    I just did something new, which is to simply overwrite the WP_HOME and WP_SITEURL variables in the config.php file. I saw this trick here:

    And it worked really well – I didn’t have to change the settings in the old blog, and I didn’t have to worry about incorrect database settings.

    I did this because some of my general settings were inexplicably grayed out so I had to look for another way to change that setting.

    Disclaimer – I’m not here to promote that other website. I just wanted to note this other process for those who might be having similar problems with grayed out fields.

  11. Rod says:

    I have built on a old site builder and it is over 200 pages. I need to move it to wordpress because it has out grown the old site builder.

    I use to have a rack cloud account and they made it super simple to create a temporary domain name and all I ahd to do wascut off the end of the extension in my settings wordpress addy and site addres poof it would work.

    I ahve moved all 65 sites to cpanel applications and using whm, but I cannot figure out for the life of me how to set up a a temporary domain name so I can get henna hut moved over to wordpress. Can someone send me to a tutorial?

    I am very gracious to any help. This site is very life line and I really need to get it moved.
    So would I usethe same directions as in theis post to move to a new server? Event though I will build from scratch a new site..

  12. Sheri says:

    thank you so much for this. I really need to restore my old database from the new server. this post helps.

  13. Thiet ke web chuyen nghiep says:

    I have encountered an error while performing this! I’ve been trying to modify a wp-config.php file.! But it still says can not connect to the database

  14. spobin says:

    I used wp cloner package to get my wordpress site moved servers. Seriously, it’s much easier!

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