Transferring A WordPress Website from One Host to Another

If you haven’t found a way to move a WordPress website that you felt comfortable with, I’m about to show you the way most host companies do it for you. This is the raw, advanced way to to it. So if you don’t understand code, I wouldn’t attempt this. (really, I’m just writing down these steps for my own use in the future )


At Your Current Host…

1. Thru FTP or File Manager in your host, Download ALL your WordPress files in a zip format. Also download the wp-config.php file separately.

2. Thru PHP myAdmin, Export the the WordPress database. You can find the database name and info inside your wp-config file. Make sure while exporting to check mark the “drop tables” section.

At Your New Host…

3. Create a new add-on domain complete with a new username and password. You will be using the domain you already use for your website. (If you moving over more than once site, add on domain should automatically create a new folder for each installation)

4. In your file manager (or FTP) Upload and Extract the zip files of the website into your new hosting account where the root of the site files will be. If it’s only one site, it will usually be at the public_html root. If it’s more than one site, it will be installed in it’s own folder via what you created in step 3. public_html/

5. Got to MySQL Databases in cpanel (or your host) and Create a new database for the website. Create a new database name and make sure to save the name you are creating. Scroll down and add a new database user (with a new name) and database password. Save information. Scroll down again and add the user to the database (click add button). Give them all privileges access.

6. Now we need to upload the database file we made in step 2. So at your new host your going to access php MyAdmin. Find the database you created (by database name). Click import button. Browse for your sql file and click go (make sure your on utf-8). After upload, click on your database name again to ensure the contents was uploaded. Once confirmed we have one last important step. Click search and type in “public_html” and select all databases and click go. Browse any matches

7. Change your database information in the wp-config file to the new information you saved back in step 5.

8. Change your nameservers for your domanin to the new hosting company.

Here is the video that trained me in the correct way to migrate a wordpress website from one hosting company to another. I am very grateful to this video. I now know the proper way to transfer sites 🙂

Heather Valencia

Heather Valencia

Web Designer & Developer | Owner

I’ve been developing WordPress websites as a freelance web designer in Spokane since 2010. My passion for building websites is as strong as the dedication I put forth in strengthening my client relationships.


  1. Karissa Skirmont

    Great article. I am in the process of merging two hosting accounts to MediaTemple.

    One host is HostGator (4 WP multisite installs – 14 sites total that are for clients) and the other is GoDaddy (1 MS – 4 sites and a bunch of old stuff files for my biz).

    On HostGator, I want to use a plugin to clone sites but it needs 60sec max execution time and HG only gives 30sec but the sites also seem slow even in the backend.

    On GoDaddy, I haven’t really had any problems and have had it since 2007. I wanted to upgrade my account to the new one that’s faster with CPanel but that requires a straight up transfer so if I’m going to transfer I might as well combine my hosts as to not be paying two small amounts.

    I haven’t ever transferred servers so I am using this as a learning experience. I’ve started out with a test install, but can’t get it to jiving yet.

    • Heather Valencia

      Hi Karissa, It’s really easy to move a wordress website. Just takes a little bit of time and patients. I stumbled upon a few hiccups while transfering 4 websites of my own to my new server at Siteground. I highly recommend them for hosting, and they will move your first website for free 🙂

  2. Karissa Skirmont

    Hey Heather, So its kinda funny.
    I never competed the transfer I talked about above 3 years ago… It was just so overwhelming with all the Multisites.

    A couple weeks ago I started on moving the one I had left, but then you put your site into coming soon mode. LOL. Saved the cached page but didn’t get back to it till tonight.

    I followed your guide and the video and get to the bottom of this page and see my comment. Haaa I had quite a laugh as I had completely forgotten about it.

    After propagation, it was loading a white “Website Coming Soon” page.

    Called GoDaddy and they couldn’t figure it out. Plus they don’t like to touch Multisites any more.

    After him checking it wasn’t anything simple and not a database error, I finally sorted several things out myself.

    The odd coming soon page was a “default.html” that HostGator must have made. Once that was removed then I got a 500 error.

    The .htaccess file had a bunch of stuff in it so copied what my others networks had in theirs and replaced it. (If you use the WP installatron from GoDaddy it gives you the wrong htaccess content if you are on an older server.)

    The other thing was the “public_html” part needed to be more different.

    From /home2/karissa/public_html/wp-content/’ to ‘/home/content/##/#######/html/kknet/wp-content/’.
    The # were numbers that I’m sterilizing and the /kknet/ is the subfolder that its in.

    All in all it was kinda scary but now I feel so… empowered.
    That I CAN do transfers now! Ha!

    • Heather Valencia

      Karissa, that’s cool you got everything solved. I’ve been there a million times myself down the same road. Thank you for pointing out some of the troubles you’ve had and giving us solutions. That’s great :). As far as htaccess is concerned, in most cases I make a copy of the original htaccess file. Then I always start with a fresh htaccess file and the only code you really need is the basic wordpress code found here. after you’ve made certain the site functions properly, than you can go ahead and add any customizations you want to the file. Thanks so much for your input!!

  3. Tamara Lowrey

    I keep coming back to this because I’m not a web designer and only have to move my website every other year (or more). Thanks so much for this resource! I checked your portfolio and in addition to having a memorable website name, I also love your style!


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