Moving a Wordpress site to a new host

Just trying to host a website for a friend and it was and still is on a wordpress system, but have just changed the dns from his current hosts to mine and now the site isn’t viewable. Any ideas of what has gone wrong please?

It can take a while for DNS settings to propagate, but it’s difficult to know what (else) might be wrong based on the little you have given us.

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Thanks Gandalf, I realise now that in my rush, I’ve only changed over the dns and nothing else! ;-( How do you migrate a wordpress website to another host please?

It’s not something I’ve done myself, but there are plugins that can do the job (or at least parts of the job) for you.

You can contact domain hosting provider for help. I am sure they will definitely solve your problem.

Thank you. All sorted.

Usually it is quite straight-forward, although it doesn’t always work smoothly, but this is what I do:

  1. Backup the database on your computer.
  2. If the domain name is changed, do a search and replace on it in the database.
  3. Set up a new database in the new hosting account, and import your backup.
  4. Upload your WordPress files to the hosting account. Make sure you change the database credentials in your config.php file to match your new database.
  5. Start up your site and it should work. (You will probably have to reset the permalinks. To do this, go to the permalinks under settings in your dashboard, set them back to default and save. Then redo the setting you had before and save again.)

Thank you very much for this, I’m getting as many views on this as possible, just in case I miss something.

Has anyone here done the above please? I am getting as many views on this as possible. How did you do it and what are the main things to watch out for?

I’ve merged your two topics, @Dez, to keep the discussion in one place.

If you don’t like my suggestion or that of @WebMachine why not Google your query @Dez? There are several articles on the subject, including the all-in-one migration plugin.

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Hi Dez, I hope you have sorted out your problem of Migrating ur WP website if not please let me know. I will guide you on how to transfer the website.

Thanks for the useful replies. I’ve not been able to follow the instructions here or elsewhere on the web, for these reasons: I have no logins for their current hosting (they are awkward), but I do have logins for their WordPress admin. In this circumstance, how would you do it please?

Then you need to ask them to provide you with a backup copy of the database and the site files.

Hey @Dez,

As crazy as this sounds, beyond the forum, SitePoint have articles for WordPress users that solve a number of problems you may have.

But to help you directly as this is actually pretty simple to explain, and do.

Ok you are going to need to switch that DNS back, otherwise you wont be able to access the old WordPress site, also if your friend had email, they also would not work.

Firstly because as you say you only have WordPress access and not hosting. There is one more thing you will need to find out from your friend. Does your friend have emails hosted with this hosting provider, If so you are going to need to check that they have synced all their emails down to their computer via IMAP. And then not sync them again till the migration is finished. You will also need to setup the exact same email accounts in the new host, and I suggest changing the password, which they will also have to do in their email client. I also recommend they export a backup of all the emails. locally incase something screws up. Then when migration is resolved they can sync their local client back to the server, and the emails will be uploaded to the new server.

Now with your admin access, if you are able to install new plugins, then you are in luck for being able to create a copy of your WordPress site. First you need to decide what backup plugin you want to use. Something like (paid) Itheme’s Backup Buddy. Or Duplicator will suffice. What ever you use, you need to use a backup plugin that also includes an install script, not all backup plugins are used for migration purposes. So make sure you check.

If you use Backup Buddy or Duplicator you will need two files, you will be able to download the backup, you also need the installer file, (it might be under import).

Its worth looking up the DNS rules for the friend, beyond the A records for the ip address and the dns records in the case of the hosting provider controlling everything, you need to check for the mx (mail) ftp, etc so that you write down everything incase you need it after the switch.

Now switch the DNS over.

once the name resolves, you can copy your backup and the installation file to the root directory of your new site, and run the import, from your browser. You will also have to have pre-setup a database file so that the installation can copy the data to the new database. Then you just follow their prompts.

Obviously I have to put some caveats here, it depends on your host, how things need to be configured, and the security settings and choice of database permissions, etc, are outside the scope of telling you how to accomplish this, and if in doubt hire a professional to help you.

Most hosting companies will help with a migration from one CPanel account to another, where you have ftp or ssh access to the old host, but in your case where you have no access, they most likely won’t help you.

Hope this helps.


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Just take a backup of your site and upload on new host, and also point the dns to the new server and upload the sql file of your website in myphpamdin and after that your site will be live and then made change to the permalinks.

If you read the whole thread, you will see that that has already been suggested. Do you have something new to add to the discussion?

Post the site URL + likely someone can check your DNS + let you know what’s occurring.

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