Here’s a super simple way to move a WordPress site from one domain to another without all the gobbledy goop nonsense we normally get told to do. I got this method from a nifty You Tube video by Maximus McCullough which you can look at below. What I really like about this method is that it completely bypasses the typical complicated song and dance methods of using FTP clients, PHPMyAdmin, database files, etc.
Here’s a summary of the steps in plain English…
- Update the theme and all plugins on existing site.
- Copy or note all widgets on the old site. Use snipping tool or do a screenshot. Right click and copy any code within your existing widgets.
- Install WordPress on new site and TRASH sample content.
- Install the same theme and plugins on the new site and activate it.
- Go to the Widgets section on the new site and add the same widgets from the old site. Remove any other default widgets that don’t match the old site.
- On your old site, go to Tools >> Export and select All content. Then click on the Download Export File to export the XML file to your computer. This will also download all your existing plugins from the old site.
- Before importing the XML file to your new site, make sure all plugins on new site match all the plugins from the old site.
- Go to your new site go to Tools >>> Import >> WordPress and select the saved XML file from your computer.
- Click Upload file and import. Update any author info for new site.
- Under the Import Attachments section, check the Download and import attachments box. This is very important as it will then import all your photos and PDFs from your old site to the new site.
- IMPORTANT: You can only import your photos and attachments if BOTH sites are live.
- Click import. If you get any “failed to import” messages, you will have to manually upload those files. This will happen for photos that are not attached to a post or page.
- Once you import the XML file, you should have most of your content. Check your media file to make sure all your photos were imported.
- Compare your widgets from the old site to the new and add in any content and photos so that both sites match.
- Once everything is transferred to your satisfaction, you can then delete the old site.