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WordpressWordpress Setup

How to Move WordPress Blog to New Domain Name

Last weekend I decided to move my Wordpress blog – enzolina.com – hosted on my old webhosting to this new domain name – cmsmind.com – hosted on a different webhosting server.   I successfully migrated the files over and now Google and links pointing to my enzolina.com are seamlessly transferring over to cmsmind.com.   I’ve received many emails saying that they were facing the same task and asking me how to migrate their Wordpress blog to a new domain name, so here it is.

In a nutshell, I bought my domain name, configured it, configured my new webhosting, copied and moved everything over from my old to new webhosting, configured all the plugins and implemented 301 forwarding.  I actually thought this would be a big task of safely transferring my Wordpress blog to a new domain name and webhosting, but surprisingly it only took me a few days.  So if you follow these instructions it should help you as well.  I’ve separated the tasks by:

  • A: On old domain and old webhosting
  • B: On new domain and new webhosting

Before you start anything, you MUST MUST backup your WordPress website.  I forgot to mention this, but I have backups emailed to me with my WordPress backup plugin.  I recommend using “WordPress Database Backup”.   Follow these steps to move your WordPress blog to a new domain name:

A.  Old Domain Name and Old Webhosting

1.  Login to WordPress control panel.

2.  Export WordPress Posts to a file – Go to Tools, Export, All Content, click on ‘Download Export File’ to your directory on your computer.

3.  Use FTP to download the folder wp-contents.  This directory contains all your images, plugins installed, themes installed, and current theme settings.  Also download any subdomain directories you may have.

4. Installed WordPress plugin to help 301 redirects.

B.  New Domain Name and New Webhosting

5.  On Your Webhosting – Install latest version of WordPress.

6.  Use FTP to transfer the wp-contents file from Step 3.  Overwrite the new files in the new webhosting.

7.  Create First User – Remember do not name your admin user – Admin.  This is a security risk, create a unique username for yourself.

8. Login to your WordPress control panel.

9.  Import Posts from Exported File in Step 2 – Go to Tools, Import, WordPress, Yes to install plugin, Browse, Select exported file from step 2.  Click on the button ‘Upload File and Import’.

10.  Upload subdomain directories that were downloaded from Step 2.

11.  Associate posts from old blog admin to your new admin user account you created in Step 6.

12.  Configure Google Analytics – Create a new profile in your Google analytics account and add the ID into your Google Analytics settings.

13.  Configure your Google Adsense – Create a new channel for your Analytics so you can track each domain separately.

14. Check the new text links – If you have any hard coded links to other parts of your website, you will have to change them all to point to the new domain name.

15.   Check new image links.  If you inserted images into your post, you will have to point them to the same location but different domain name on your website.

16.  Update any affiliate links –  If the affiliate network only allows referral from your old website, you will have to register the new website and update your links.

Software/Resources:

  • Purchase a domain name from Godaddy.comhere.
  • Purchase webhosting from Fatcow.comhere.
  • Download FTP software – here.
  • Download WordPress from WordPress.org – here.

I think that’s it.  I’m still in the process fully converting over the domain name seamlessly.  I’m really impressed with the 301 redirect plugin I installed on my old WordPress blog – enzolina.com.   On Friday I will then complete my final changes and go to my old webhosting and do a 301 forward to my new domain name – http://www.cmsmind.com.  If I missed any steps or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

3 comments
  1. Max - The IT Pro

    A more reliable way is to do a MySQL database backup in phpMyAdmin on old domain, do a search & replace with old/new domain name, install the SAME version of WP on new domain, replace wp-content folder AND change the database name/user/password in the wpconfig.php file followed by a complete database restore in the new phpMyAdmin panel.

    All done, no hiccups ever. User names/passwords to log in to your blog remain the same.

    1. Elaine

      Hi Max,
      THanks for the info. I guess the only problem is to find the same version of WP on the new domain, but you could do an upgrade before making a db backup of your WordPress site. Thanks for the great tip.
      elaine

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