How do I move a WordPress site from one domain to another?

I need to move a website based on WordPress from one domain to another. I’ve taken a backup of the database and copied the wp-content folder. How do I set up the site on the new domain?

I’ve moved a number of sites from one server/domain to another in this way, and all you usually need is a backup and your wp-content folder, which you seem to have. Here’s the method I follow:

  1. Install WordPress on the new site. You can use any method you like for this, some hosts offer one-click installs, otherwise just go ahead and do this as per your preferred method.
  2. Overwrite the wp-content folder with the copy you have. This ensures all your plugins, uploaded files etc are per your older server.
  3. Overwrite the database with the copy you have. I usually do this using phpMyAdmin with the Import facility. One thing to watch out for here is that if your backup doesn’t include DROP statements you’ll need to delete all the tables in the database first.
  4. If you’re changing the domain name, you’ll need to Browse your wp_options table in phpMyAdmin and update your “site_url” option. There’s another option called “home” that you can update, but you don’t have to do this as this can be changed in WordPress admin once your site is operational.


This should be all you need to do to get your site up and running. It doesn’t matter if your site is about steel shelving or just a personal blog, this procedure should work on any wordpress site. Once it’s operational it would be prudent to check any plugin/theme specific settings that may reference your old site and regenerate your permalinks.

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