Moving your WordPress website from one domain name to a new different domain name is easy enough but if you’ve never done it before it can be an intimidating process. The official WordPress directions would have you using phpMyAdmin to edit database files, etc. I’m going to show you a super easy way to move your WordPress blog or website from one domain name to a new domain name without needing to edit database files manually. This method all has zero risk of ruining your current website since you will be technically copying it to the new domain.
1. Backup Your Old Website
The first step in the process is to make a complete backup of your old (your current) WordPress website. Signup for BlogVault (the basic plan is fine). Enter your domain name as well as the user name and password for your current WordPress website. BlogVault takes care of the rest, including installing the backup plugin on your website.
You will see the progress bar so you know when the complete backup is complete.
Once your backup is complete you’re ready for the next step.
2. Setup WordPress on New Domain
If you haven’t already purchase your new domain name and setup hosting. Install a fresh WordPress install on the new domain. If you need a new host, see my recommendations for a great WordPress host.
3. Move Your Website
Now that you have your old website backed up and your new domain setup with a fresh WordPress install you’re ready to move the site!
Click “Migrate Website” inside your BlogVault dashboard.
Enter the FTP info for your new host/domain.
After you choose the folder of the new WordPress install you will enter the new domain. The Database info will be automatically entered so you don’t need to worry about that.
Hit the continue button and BlogVault will take care of the rest. Your site will now be moved from the old domain to the new domain.
At this point your new site is live. There are a couple more steps that you should do to finish the process correctly.
4. Update URL in BlogVault for Backups
Now that your new website is live you can stop backing up your old website but you need to make sure you have backups setup for your new website. Remove the old website from your account and add the new domain so it can make a backup of your new website and continue backing up into the future so you know your website is always safe.
5. Search & Replace
Install the WordPress “Better Search Replace” plugin on your new domain.
After activating the plugin you can access it under tools from the admin. Search for your old domain name and replace it with the new domain name. You will need to select all database tables and uncheck “dry run”. Make sure to be safe and double check the domain names you entered before running a live run.
6. Setup 301 Redirects
You’re going to want to make sure that you redirect all of the old URLs to the new URLs so you don’t lose any SEO juice (assuming the old website was already indexed by Google). Stick the following in the .htaccess file of your old domain. This will forward all the old URLs to the new URLs on the new domain.
RewriteEngine on RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]
There are multiple ways to move your WordPress website from one domain to another but this has to be the easiest. You don’t need to use phpMyAdmin and the best thing is that since you’re using BlogVault there is no risk of ruining your current website by mistake since you are really copying the site onto the new domain so your current one is still active until you disable it.