These steps are general steps to move a wordpress site from one host provider to another or to another account. So from the original site to new site. These same steps also indicates all the different data that needs to be backed up for a successful restore.
- Copy the original site’s theme folder under wp-content/themes/ folder to new site (and parent theme folder if the theme is a child theme)
- Copy the original site’s wp-content/uploads folder to the new site.
- Copy the original site’s wp-content/plugins folder to the new site.
- Backup the wordpress database either using the original site’s host phpmyAdmin tool or use the very simple but powerful Backupwordpress plugin by Human Made Limited. (Remember your WordPress username and passwords are stored in here…keep it safe)
- Make sure you have all the license keys and/or API keys for your purchased plugins.
- A backup copy of your wp-config.php file (remember your SQL host, username and password are stored here…keep it safe)
- Restore the original site sql file to the new site. Recommend using your Host providers tools to restore the database. For GoDaddy, this may mean copying the unzipped sql file to your _db_backups folder via ftp and selecting this file when you restore from the management tools. GoDaddy and probably others severely limit how much data you can upload using the phpmyadmin tool.
- Now using the phpmyadmin tool for the new website’s sql database, we need to alter all the post content that links to the old site. We also need to change the WP options for the siteurl and such. See the following post for example SQL commands. Note: if on the original website, the table prefix was changed from the default “wp_”, you’ll have to alter the new website’s wp-config.php file with the table prefix of the original site
- If any widget text contained links to the original site, these will need to be changed.
- If any scripts were added to a post or page with links to original site (found on the Edit post/page in the dashboard), these will need to be changed to point to new site.
- Note: I did have one site use the CSSPie polyfill for IE and that had some links in the css file to the old site
- After doing all of the above and you find that the permalinks don’t work (you get an page not found when clicking on another page or post, go to the dashboard | Settings | Permalinks, then change it to something different | Save | then change it back to how you had it | Save. Try and see if it is working now. It had to update the .htaccess file on the new server.
All the above are the steps needed to have a great backup of your website. This is very important, especially, if your site gets hacked or an update doesn’t go well.