WordPress Manual migration

Skill level: Intermediate

Welcome to the manual WordPress migration tutorial. This tutorial is based off the GoDaddy cPanel. All cPanel’s have the same configuration, and this can be adapted to non-cPanel migrations as well, as most hosts have some sort of auto install script system, and phpMyAdmin.

We are aware that cPanel has a auto migration tool. This is for people that, have found that or other migration tools have failed, or are inappropriate for their needs, such as a local installed WordPress on LAMP as an example.


You DO NOT have a hacked or modified(Example: WordPress is in a directory other than with the index.php file.) WordPress installation.
You DO NOT have a multi-site setup.
You DO NOT have a “White screen of death” or other WordPress site load issues cause by a issue with WordPress.
You HAVE updated your plugins and theme to the most recent version.
You HAVE updated to the most recent version of WordPress.
You ARE NOT using this tutorial to “FIX” a broken WordPress.

Tools you will need:

1. An internet connection
2. A computer with enough space to hold the download of the wp-content folder, and database.
3. An FTP program like FileZilla.

Let’s get started!

Quick instructions:

You will need to download the wp-content folder, and export the database from your current web service, or hosting.
Then you will need to install a FRESH copy on your new hosting.
After all of that, drop the tables in the FRESH install database.
Import the old database you exported from your old hosting.
Delete wp-content from your new hosting fresh install.
upload your old wp-content folder.
Your done! You will not need to edit the database if you are leaving it on the same domain, and since the auto install programed the wp-config.php file to go to the database you installed into, you will not need to configure that either!

Detailed instructions:
(Ok if the quick instructions seemed, a bit foreign to you, this section will show you how to do the manual move of WordPress in detail.)


Step 1.

Log into your hosting panel of your old hosting.

Step 2.

Locate phpMyAdmin, and click on it.

phpMyAdminStep 3.

Locate your database name on the left side, and click on it.

db-select-phpmyadminStep 4.

Click on the export tab at the top right, and click Go.

export-goAfter this step you may close out your hosting panel.


Step 5.

Open your FTP program, and conect to your old hosting. Download your wp-content folder to your computer. Drag from left side(Remote site), to the right side(Local site) look at the example for more information.

content-ftp-copyClose out your FTP program at this point, as we will not need it for a few steps.

Step 6. (New hosting server)

Log into your new hosting account. (This part is for cPanel users, your panel and graphics may vary. If you are having issues with this step simply call your hosting company for additional instructions.)

Step 7.

Time to install a FRESH copy of WordPress. (We know that there is an automated migration option in cPanel, however this tutorial is for when that does not work or is inappropriate for your needs.)

Click on Applications at the top.

applicationsStep 8.

Find and click on WordPress.

application-selectStep 9.

Click on Install this application button.

install applicationStep 10.

Choose your installation directory, and applicable domain name.

installatron-pt1You do not have to fill out the administrator information, as it will be replaced by your normal login and email address upon replacing the database, which will be discussed in a moment.

Step 11.

Click install.

install buttonNow wait.

processingStep 12.

Locate your installation in the Applications area in the installed applications tab.


Step 13.

Click on View/Edit.

view-edit-appStep 14.

Clock on the Files & Tables tab, and find the Database Name. Write it down.db-locate

Step 15.

Click on Home on the top right.

Step 16.

Click on phpMyAdmin. (New hosting server)

phpMyAdminStep 17.

Click on that database name that you wrote down from step 14.

db-select-phpmyadminStep 18.

Click Check all. Then click the drop down, and select Drop.

drop-tablesStep 19.

Click Yes.


Step 20.

Click the Import tab.

import-tabStep 21a.

Click Browse… find your downloaded file, and click ok. Now click Go.

import-dbStep 21b.

This is approximately what it will look like. You may have more/different tables.

import-finalOk, so if you are seeing something similar to this, you are done with the database part.

Step 22. (New hosting server)

Bring up that FTP program again, and open the public_html folder(if applicable to your type of hosting).


Step 23.

Navigate to your installation directory. Right click(PC/Linux) or Control-click(Mac) on the wp-content folder, and select delete.

content-deleteStep 24.

Drag the wp-content folder from the Local site to the Remote Site.content-local-remoteOnce this is done copying, you may view your site, or update your DNS to view your site. If you are not sure if you need to update your DNS check with your hosting provider.

Additional options!

If you need to ALSO update your domain name, because it differs from your old hosting you can do that in the phpMyAdmin.

phpMyAdminClick on the database you imported earlier on the left.


Click on the wp_options table under your database name on the left hand side.wp-options

Click Edit on the option_name siteurl. (Note: option_id MAY vary)


In the large box, update your URL/directory. Yes you do have to have http:// or if SSL enabled https:// Click Go when done.



Click Edit on the option_name home. (Note: option_id MAY vary)


In the large box, update your URL/directory. Yes you do have to have http:// or if SSL enabled https:// Click Go when done.


Congratulations! If you have made it this far your site should be working as long as your DNS is updated to your hosting IP address! You are officially done.


Disclaimer: This article is setup to handle a normal WordPress installation both on the old and new side. That being said, certain custom modifications to WordPress, and hacked WordPress site issues can interfere in the export/import process. This process should not cause unexpected downtime outside of what would be normal for switching providers for DNS reasons, however, if you have other issues with your installation of your WordPress or corruption in your old WordPress it can cause issues with this process including the new copy malfunctioning. We claim no warranty on using this method what so ever even though it is typically safe to use and easy. If you are still not sure what you are doing after reading this guide seek professional assistance with moving your site, BEFORE attempting!