Sep 242008
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Welcome to the sixth installment of my Wonderful WordPress Wednesday series.

As I feared while working on last week’s installment the combination of time constraints, car problems, and web hosting issues kept me from completing the article on making your category and tag pages both more attractive and more functional for both you and your guests.  I guess that crystal ball wasn’t quite as functional as I thought, huh?

Still, I think this week’s issue is pretty important.  Maybe not in the “Wow, I can use that right away!  Thanx Aahz!” sort of way, but more in the “thank God that post was around when I needed it,” kind of way.

The Problems and Resources-

Over the last five days I have moved two blogs from one hosting company to another and Top Hosting Center (my current webhost) also moved 18 blogs (and a few related websites) from one of their servers to another.  Both the move I handled myself and the move handled by THC went pretty smoothly.  Their was only one problem, and it occurred both on one blog that I moved and one that THC moved.  More importantly it wasn’t mentioned on any of the half-dozen posts I visited about moving your WordPress blog.  But I’ll get to that towards the end.

I’ve actually moved a blog in the past and remember it being a hugely irritating and frustrating procedure despite the “assistance” of several well-written blog posts/guides that I found around the internet.  This time I went straight to the source,, and got some pretty solid guidance.  However, still concerned about the steps required in backing up, then restoring, my SQL databaseI kept looking and boy am I glad I did.  That’s because I came across Podz’ wonderful tutorial on backing up your WordPress SQL database.

Moving Your WordPress Blog, Step By Step –

Anyway, those are both great resources and following their advice left me with only the one problem mentioned above.  But this  series isn’t just about pointing y’all to other useful websites.  So here’s the process that I followed in moving my WordPress blogs-

  1. Set aside an hour to an hour and a half of time to move your blog and make sure it’s when you don’t need (or plan) any blog posts for 48 hours.  It may not take this long for DNS propagation to occur, but it easily could.  Better safe than sorry.
  2. Open your FTP program and download your entire WordPress directory to your hard drive. This folder should have 20 (or more) files in it and (at least) four sub-directories: images, wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes.  You need all of these files and folders.
  3. Open the wp-config.php file in this newly downloaded folder on your hard drive and change the information that points to and grants access to your database: ‘DB_NAME‘, ‘DB_USER‘, ‘DB_PASSWORD‘, and ‘DB_HOST‘.
  4. Upload this entire folder to the online directory where you want your blog to now reside.
  5. Login to your phpMyAdmin at your ‘old’ web host and select your WordPress database, then ‘Export’.
  6. Check the “Add DROP TABLE” box, the “Complete inserts” box, the “Save as File” box, the “None” box for compression (unless your database is very large).  Click Go. The data will now be saved into your computer.
  7. Login to your phpMyAdmin at your ‘new’ web host and select your WordPress database, then ‘Import’.
  8. Upload the SQL file you just saved to your computer.
  9. Visit your domain registrar and change the DNS servers for your domain to point to your new webhost.
  10. Wait 24-48 hours (or until you know for sure that you’re seeing your blog on the ‘new’ web server) then update your permalinks.

That last step, number 10, is the one that wasn’t mentioned in any of the guides I’ve read about moving your WordPress blog.  However, it can be one of the most important.  Why?  Because if you don’t update your permalinks then it is very possible that every page and single post on your blog, except your home page, will return a ‘404 Page Not Found’ error when accessed. I have no idea why this happens, but it happened both with one of the blogs I moved myself and with this blog, Philaahzophy, which was moved by my web host. Meanwhile it didn’t happen with the 20 other blogs that were moved in the last few days. Obviously, this is both going to seriously hamper your readers’ efforts to absorb your wisdom and cause extreme frustration on your end, thinking that you’ve done something wrong, or lost something in the move.

So, there you have it – how to move your WordPress blog in ten easy steps and two additional resources to help you out should you get stuck or still be somewhat intimidated.  As always, you can request help in the comment section of this post as well and I’ll do my best to help out.  If you think I missed anything or glossed over something (important or not), please leave a comment to help both myself and future readers.

I’m not making any promises about next week’s Wonderful WordPress Wednesday, other than I have no doubt it will exist. 😉

Part of the Wonderful WordPress Wednesdays Series - Previous in series        Next in series

  7 Responses to “Moving Your WordPress Blog To A New Web Server In 10 Easy Steps”

  1. Nice tips! I’ll have to come back to this if I ever change hosts. ….. scares the heck out of me. Hope I won’t ever need to move 🙂

    JMoms last blog post..Did You Watch Heroes Last Night?

  2. This is very useful, thanks 😉

  3. @JMom: Glad you like ’em. I get REALLY nervous every time I have to change servers, but it’s never as bad as I fear 🙂 And sometimes it’s a good thing. For example I’ll be moving many of my blogs in again in the coming weeks, but it’s great because they’ll be moving to my own server 😀

  4. Thanks for acknowledging #10!! It drove me crazy for awhile! Thanks a lot…this really helped me!!

  5. […] the weekend I was moving several websites around (see my Moving Your WordPress Blog To A New Server In 10 Easy Steps for a walkthru on this process) and discovered that one of my (seldom used) blogs had a database […]

  6. intresting but p

  7. Great tips , thank you for sharing this information here, i also follow it for my websites moves to another server

  8. I just recently used your steps to do the same to my WordPress blog and it worked perfectly! Thanks again for the breakdown.

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