There are many ways to do a WordPress migration; plugins, manual, export/import, and 3rd party software. This guide will cover doing a manual migration and plugins.
- Backup the site you are migrating to.
- -You will need to backup both the files and the database. If you do not know the name of the database check the "wp-config" file.
- Using your ftp client of choice remove all WordPress files from the site you are migrating to.
- -These can be located at the web root and start with "wp-". You should also remove the ".htaccess file" as well if you new site has one. Some plugins and hacks may modify this file.
- Then upload the new WordPress files via ftp.
- -You will need all of the files beginning with "wp-" and a ".htaccess" if your site requires one.
- Export the database for the migrating website.
- -After selecting the table in PHPMyAdmin there will be a tab where you can do the export. Make sure that it is being exported as a ".sql" file.
- Now create a new database and a new user matching the information from the migrating site.
- -If you do not know the username , password, or the database name you can always check the "wp-config" file located in the web root.
- Inside of PHPMyAdmin import the database that was backed up in step 4.
- You may need to fix any permalinks in WordPress. (If you are getting errors when navigating on your site then you may need to do this)
- -In WordPress under settings click "Permalinks" and click the save button. You do not need to actually make any changes.
After a migration there are a couple different errors and problems tat may occur, here are some of the usual suspects.
"Error establishing a database connection"
- -Here is an article all about database connection errors.
If your sites css is broken (usually represented by all the elements sliding to the side)
- Open your database using PHPMyAdmin.
- Locate the options table usually called "wp_options".
- Inside of the table find the "site_url" and the "home_url" rows.
- These values need match your new websites url.
- -To change these values you will need to hit edit, change the value, and then hit go.
The plugin I normally use in the one called "all in one wp migration". When searching for the plugin ii may come up under the name "all in one migration". Link to plugin
- Inside of the dashboard install and activate the plugin.
- On the left side find all in one migration symbol and select export in the menu.
- This will export your site to a ".wordpress" file. Save this in a spot on your local computer that you will remember. You can later use that file as a backup if you need to.
- Install wordpress wherever you are migrating to.
- Login and install the plugin.
- On the left side select the all in one migration symbol and select import in the menu.
- Select the file you just downloaded.
- Let the plugin do its thing.
- When it is done it will give you a message saying to save the permalinks twice. This is a crucial step as your pages may not load properly after the migration if you don't do this.
- Go to settings and select permalinks from the menu. Click save at the bottom twice.
- View your site and verify everything looks good.
If you are unsure about this process please do not proceed. There are many WordPress experts and plugins out there that can handle this for you. Godaddy does offer paid migrations if you do not feel up to the task.
- Before making any changes to either sites make sure to backup everything! Including both the files and the databases.
If you are moving to cPanel there is a tool inside of it called Installatron that you can use to migrate your sites. It will ask you for the ftp information and the path to the install. The path is going to be from where the ftp user lands when you connect. For example if my ftp user is set to go to "home/base" and the wordpress install is at "/home/base/wordpress" then the path would be "/wordpress" because it already lands the user at the previous folder.