Do you want to transfer a WordPress website to a new domain? The steps involved in transferring a website to a new domain address can seem a little overwhelming at first. But you need to make a proper backup of all your website files so that you don't lose any content. You need to ensure proper security for your website's content. Usually, your hosting provider can help you do this easily and safely. But if you want to know how to do it yourself, then read on below.
When Should You Transfer A WordPress Website To A New Domain?
Transferring a website to a new domain is an action that will have a significant impact. So, this is a decision you should always take after very careful consideration. In case you are unsure about whether you should transfer a WordPress website to a new domain, we’re going to take a look at the common reasons why people usually move their websites.
Re-branding Your Website & Content
If you feel like you need to re-brand your business, website, or your content, then starting fresh on a new domain with a new name might be a good way to go. If you want, you can also delete your WordPress blog after you have moved to a new domain to completely erase all of your previous content from the internet.
You’ve Been Penalized By Google Too Many Times
Often people transfer a WordPress website to a new domain when they have faced too many spam or algorithmic penalties. In such cases, if you have low traffic on your old WordPress website, then switching to a new domain can help you start fresh.
Accessing A Much Stronger Domain
Another good reason to transfer a WordPress website to a new domain could be if you have gained access to a much stronger, more authoritative domain than your existing one. This way, you can get more traffic much quickly by shifting to the new stronger domain.
Things To Do Before Transferring To A New Domain Address
Just as you would need to prepare yourself for moving to a new home, you also need to make some preparations to transfer a WordPress website to a new domain. Here are the things you need to do before you can begin the process of moving your website to a new domain.
- Download your existing files from your old WordPress website
- Export your Database from MySQL
- Create a backup for your content by moving your files & database to a safe place.
How To Transfer Your WordPress Website To A New Domain
If you are done backing up your files and database, then you are ready to start the transferring process. Follow these steps below and you will be able to easily transfer your WordPress website to a new domain for a fresh new start.
Step 1: Log In To Your WordPress Website
Use your credentials to log in and access the dashboard of the WordPress website you want to move. Afterward, navigate to Settings→ General and change the URL.
You might see a 404 page. Don’t panic, this is perfectly normal.
Step 2: Download Your Files & Export Database
After you have changed your URL, you will need to download all of your site files again. Once all of your files have been downloaded, simply export your database.
Step 3: Edit wp-config.php
In this step, you need to edit wp-config.php and update it with the MySQL database, username, and password for your new server. Before doing this though, you might want to enable WP Debug log to check for errors in WordPress. This is of course optional but is a useful step especially if you are getting errors but are unsure where they are coming from.
Step 4: Upload Your Files & Import Your Database On New Server
Finally, after updating wp-config.php, you can start uploading your files and then import your database on your new server. In case you get errors, check out our guide on how to fix establishing database connection errors to get rid of such problems.
How To Solve Serialization Errors After Transferring To New Domain
Even after you move your WordPress website to a new domain, you might face some serialization errors on WordPress plugins and themes. This is because references to your old address will still be stored in your database. There are three ways you can solve this error.
- If you can access your Dashboard, then you can use the Velvet Blues Update URLs or Better Search Replace plugins.
- If you or your hosting provider have WP-CLI installed then you can use WP-CLI’s search-replace
- If you feel comfortable with database administration, then you can use the Search and Replace for WordPress Databases Script and change all instances on your old domain or path to your new one.
Notify Your Subscribers Or Followers About New Domain Address
It’s always a good idea to let your followers or subscribers know that you have moved your WordPress website to a new domain address. You can do this by sharing the news on your social media accounts and also by sending emails to your subscribers so that they can be aware of the change in your website address.
Once you have successfully shifted your WordPress website to a new domain, it's time to do some background checks. Log into your WordPress Website's back-end and check if everything looks and works properly. You should check if your WordPress website still has all your blog posts intact. If you see the page layout of your WordPress website is not broken, then congratulations! You have successfully transferred your WordPress website to a new domain.