Over the weekend I moved a redesign of a WordPress site from the development subdomain to the main URL.
Even though I’m familiar with the BackupBuddy plugin and all its WordPress backup and restore features, I was amazed by how easy BackupBuddy makes the process of moving a WordPress site to a different domain. Within a few clicks and just a few minutes, the new site was live. BackupBuddy makes it so incredibly easy.
For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be moving a WordPress site from this example domain to the example live site domain:
|Old Domain||New Domain|
Preparing to Move a WordPress Site to a New Domain: Make a Backup with BackupBuddy & Download the ImportBuddy File
1: Make a Complete backup of the site you wish to move. Before you get started with the site move, make a complete backup of the site you wish to move. From the BackupBuddy menu, visit the Backups Page. Click the Complete Backup button.
2. Download the Backup Zip File. After the backup completes, download the zip file and save it to your computer. Do not unzip this file.
3. Navigate to the Restore / Migrate page in the BackupBuddy menu to download the importbuddy.php file.
4. Confirm your ImportBuddy password. In the window that pops up, enter a new password or leave blank to use the ImportBuddy password you set up when you first installed BackupBuddy. This password is important because it locks the ImportBuddy script from unauthorized access. Click OK and the download will begin.
How to Create a New Database & Database User from cPanel
The next part of the process requires you to have access to the cPanel of the hosting account where the site will be hosted.
5. Log in to your hosting account and access cPanel.
6. From cPanel, the next thing you’ll want to do is create a new database. Locate the MySQL® Database Wizard icon in the list and click on it.
7. The MySQL Database Wizard will guide you through the next steps. First, add the name of the new database. Click “Next Step.”
8. Next, add a database user. Use the password generator to create a strong password. Don’t forget to copy the username and password you create here to a secure location using a service like LastPass. Click “Create User.”
9. The next screen will add the new user to the database. Click the “All Privileges” checkbox and then click “Next Step.”
10. The final screen confirms the creation of the new database and the new user. Confirm that you’ve copied the database name, the database user and password to a secure location.
Uploading the Backup Zip File & ImportBuddy File to the New Directory
For this next step, you can use FTP access to the server or the File Manager within your cPanel. You just need to have access to upload (or delete) files on your server.
11. Open the directory (folder) of the final location of the WordPress site. Note: Most hosting providers will automatically set up and name the directory when you add the domain name to your hosting account. Your directories will be located in the /public_html directory.
12. IMPORTANT: This directory will need to be empty prior to uploading the backup zip file and the importbuddy.php file. If there are existing files in this directory, go ahead and delete them so you have an empty folder.
13. Upload the importbuddy.php file and the backup zip file to this empty directory. You can use the Upload function within the File Manager here.
14. After you upload the importbuddy.php file and the backup zip file, the directory should look like this.
Walking through the ImportBuddy Steps to Finish the Move
This final series of steps will guide you through using ImportBuddy to finish up the site move.
15. Navigate to the site URL/importbuddy.php. For our example site move, we’d visit this link in your browser.
16. After this page loads, you’ll see the first ImportBuddy screen. Enter the password you created back in step 4 of this tutorial (or the password you set when you first set up BackupBuddy). Click the “Authenticate” button.
17. For Step 1 of the ImportBuddy process, verify that the backup file is selected (it will be by default). Click the “Restore Backup” button.
18. On the next page, enter your database settings under the “New Database” section. This will be the database name, database user and database password you created in steps 7-10. Your page should look something like this. Click the “Next Step” button.
|Old Database Database||New Database||Explanation|
|Database Server||localhost||localhost||In almost all cases, this field will be “localhost.” This is the address to the mySQL server where your database will be stored. The location of your mySQL server will be provided to you by your host if it differs from “localhost.”|
|Database Name||olddomain_phs||clientsite_newdatabase||This is the name of the new database we created in step 7.|
|Database User||olddomain_user||clientsite_newuser||This is the name of the new user we created in step 8.|
|Database Password||***************||***************||This is the password for the user you created in step 8.|
|Database Prefix||wp_||wp_||This is the prefix given to all tables in the database. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll leave it at wp_ (since we’re moving a site to new domain).|
19. ImportBuddy will finalize the migration and ask you to confirm the New URL. Click the “Next Step” button.
20. Verify the site is working by clicking on the site URL. Click the “Finish Cleanup” button.
That’s it! Your new WordPerss site will be ready to go at the new domain.
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