How to Migrate your WordPress 3 Blog

This is a short guide on how to migrate your WordPress 3 Blog to a new server or host, using the least amount of steps possible. I just moved 4 big WordPress blogs this weekend and these steps worked great.

Migrate your WordPress 3 Blog to new server or host

There are three basic things you need to have when migrating; your XML file (containing posts, comments, pages, authors, etc.), your exported sql file backup of your database, and your files (themes, plugins, uploads).

Step 1 – (XML file)

We are first going to export our posts, comments, authors, etc. The easiest way to do this is to download the Advanced Export for WP & WPMU plugin to export everything as an XML file. The built in export in WordPress didn’t work for me. If it does, that also exports everything as an XML file. So on the left hand side, click “Add New” under the Plugins header.

WordPress 3 - Add New Plugin

Step 2 – (XML file)

In the search menu, type “advanced export” and hit search.

WordPress 3 - Advanced Export

Step 3 – (XML file)

Click “Install Now.”

WordPress 3 - Install Advanced Export

Step 4 – (XML file)

Click on “Activate the Plugin.”

WordPress 3 - Activate Advanced Export Plugin

Step 5 – (XML file)

On the left hand side, scroll down and click on “Advanced Export.”

WordPress 3 - Open Advanced Export

Step 6 – (XML file)

Now you can choose what you want to export. I leave everything as default since I want to export everything. Click on “Download Export File” and it will prompt you to save the XML file to your computer. Whenever I am migrating a blog, I always make a folder on my desktop and save everything in it till I am finished.

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WordPress 3 - Exporting XML File

Step 7 – SQL File

Now we are going to backup your database. You will need to login to phpMyAdmin. If you don’t know how to login to this, please check the FAQ’s or documentation at your web host, or you can ask them for it.

Step 8 – SQL File

Click on your database and on the top, click on the tab that says “export.”

Step 9 – SQL File

Make sure you check the box “Add DROP TABLE / VIEW / PROCEDURE / FUNCTION / EVENT.” Also, verify the settings by looking at my pic below. Click “Go” at the bottom right and save the ***.sql file to your computer.

phpMyAdmin - Export SQL file

Step 10 – Files

Now we need to copy your WordPress theme folder, plugins folder, and uploads folder. So launch your FTP client, I happen to use FileZilla, and copy over those folders. They can be found within the wp-content folder. Here are some examples of where they might be located.




Copy them over to your computer.

Step 11

Now it is time to install WordPress at the place you are migrating to. Most web hosts have a “single click” install for WordPress. If they do, use that and then make sure you update it to the same version that you are migrating from. If the don’t have a “single click” install, follow the five minute install instructions from WordPress. They can be found here.

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Step 12

Once you have WordPress installed, it is now time to import your XML file. On the left hand side, click import. (it might prompt you to install the plugin, if so, do it and proceed)

WordPress 3 - Import XML

Step 13

Now upload your themes folder, plugins folder, and uploads folder.

Step 14

Now we are going to import your database. Login to phpMyAdmin. Click on your WordPress database and then click on the “import” tab. Click browse, select your ***.sql file and on the bottom right click “go.”

WordPress 3 - Import SQL

Step 15

You are almost done! On all 4 of my blogs that I moved I had to rebuild the permalinks. So on the left hand side under “Settings” click on Permalinks.

WordPress 3 - Permalinks

Click “Save Changes.”

Congrats, you have just migrated your Blog!

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