Wondering how to migrate WordPress to a different domain name? This tutorial will walk through the process of moving a WordPress site from one server or domain name to a new server or domain name without having to leave your WordPress dashboard.
The process of migrating WordPress from one server and/or domain name to another used to be a painstaking process. For example, you must search and replace in the database and other file structures for any reference to the old domain name and replace it with the new location/domain name. If any reference to the old domain name was missed, there was a good chance the entire site wouldn’t come back online.
Now, with BackupBuddy, the pain and hassle of moving a WordPress site has been reduced to a few clicks of a button.
Prepare to Migrate WordPress
Before you begin the entire WordPress migration process, it is recommended to perform two tasks with BackupBuddy.
- First, use the Malware Scanner in BackupBuddy to verify that the site you are going to move is clear of any unwanted malware.
- Second, once the Malware Scanner finishes, create a fresh Full (Complete) Backup of your WordPress site to make sure any last minute changes or modifications you made on your site will be brought over to the new domain name.
How to Migrate WordPress
There are two popular ways to migrate a WordPress site to a new domain with BackupBuddy.
- Option 1: Manually download the importbuddy.php file (found on the Restore/Migrate menu of BackupBuddy) and then upload that importbuddy.php file to your new server/domain location
- Option 2: Visit the Restore/Migrate page in the BackupBuddy menu on the original WordPress site and hover over the listing of your recently made backup.
Once you hover on this listing, the link you want to click is the Migrate link that appears below the backup file that you want to use (again, most likely your most recent backup.)
After you click the Migrate link, you will be presented with a modal window that will ask you a question about how you want to connect to your new server/domain location.
Typical reasons why you would choose each of the above options/protocols for migrating WordPress are:
- FTP – If your new web hosting company has sent you a “getting started” email that contains FTP connection information to your new site.
- Local Directory Copy – This is normally used when you are simply migrating the site from one domain to another domain and both are hosted on the same server.
- sFTP – Is used when your hosting company requires you to use secure FTP or your access to a server is limited to SSH access.
Setting up the method in which you will be migrating WordPress to a new server/domain is a lot like setting up a BackupBuddy remote storage destination.
You need to give it an identifiable name (for your personal reference), access user information for that location, what the new domain will be and any other settings that method (FTP/Local/sFTP) might require. Click the + Add Destination button.
Now that BackupBuddy knows how to access and communicate with this new server or domain location, you can proceed with migrating WordPress.
During the first step, you are asked to verify what the domain will be when you move the WordPress site. This is an important step because this is partly what BackupBuddy will use to modify all the necessary parts of your site and database entries so the site will work perfectly on the new location/domain name.
BackupBuddy will then send a copy of your backup file you made at the beginning of this post, along with a copy of the importbuddy.php file. Everything from this point forward is accessing that importbuddy.php file located on your new location/domain name.
Select the Restore Backup option and importbuddy.php will begin to unpack the zip file and prepare to import the WordPress database in the new location.
You will be shown information about your original database connection details and you will be given the ability to either transfer that information over (especially helpful if you are simply transferring within the same server but just to a different domain name since you might end up using the same database) or enter the details for a new database.
Once the database is imported and/or restored to the new location, you have one more field to fill out. This is the field where you can declare what you new domain name is going to be in this new location.
Congratulations you now have successfully migrated WordPress from one location to another (including changing domain names) while never leaving the comfort of your original WordPress dashboard.
There are two things to do before you finish.
- Verify and check that the new domain IS displaying the site correctly and if all is good you can proceed to step 2.
- Click the Finish Cleanup button at the bottom of the window that will remove the importbuddy.php file and remove any temporary and BackupBuddy zip files that might have been used in the migration.
The ease of migrating WordPress when using BackupBuddy makes it simple to build WordPress sites (or your client sites) on one server or subdomain. Then, when you are ready to launch the site for the client, you simply follow these instructions for migrating WordPress and you can place the new WordPress site on the correct server and with the correct domain name.
Next up in this series of moving WordPress with BackupBuddy, our 3-in-1 WordPress backup plugin, we will see how easy it is to set up a WordPress staging environment to push and pull changes between a live and staging version of a WordPress website.