Migrating WordPress

This tutorial relates to migrating your WordPress files and database from a local installation to a web server.

This assumes you’ve installed WordPress locally using instantwp and that you’re moving to a web host like Blue Host with cPanel.

You can either:

  • Watch a Slide Show or
  • Watch a Video

Slide Show


This method shows you how to change your site and WordPress url’s using the WP Migrate DB plugin before you export your database.

After changing your link url’s, its simply a matter of:

  • zipping up your WordPress folder locally
  • creating an addon domain in cPanel if needed
  • uploading your files to your domains root directory on your web server
  • creating a new database and editing the wp-config.php file with your new database connection details
  • importing your database SQL file into your new database using phpMyAdmin

There’s different ways to move your files and database from your local setup to your web server.

If you don’t use a plugin to change your url’s, read this note.

Note: Changing the site and WordPress url’s on your local installation will result in your site breaking. Another way to do is, is to change the url’s after exporting your database using the search > find > replace all feature using a text editor like notepad++.

Personally, i prefer to change them using the wp migrate db plugin before exporting the database and then use Notepad++ to check all links using the search, find and replace feature.

Useful Resources

  1. Here’s 4 ways to change your WordPress site url’s and avoid broken links.
  2. 3 ways to move WordPress from a local setup to a web server.
  3. A plugin for changing database url’s before migrating.


  1. Lina says

    Hello, I followed your steps but when I moved everything to the live server it was unformatted (all posts were there but not styled) and when going to site/wp-admin it just took me to the unformatted index page (no password required to get there). I’m trying to update a site because the wp-admin was broken (suddenly stopped working–I could see the left nav but when I selected something it was blank). So, previous address was site/cms/ but I’m trying to move it to just site. Local works fine, exported the database using the WP-Migrate-DB, changed urls, but I did not create a new database. Could that be the problem? I just tried to import the local db with updated urls into the live existing db. I didn’t touch the config file because it was pointing to the correct db. So puzzled. I’d be grateful for any thoughts. You made it look so easy!


    • Brad Dalton says

      I do provide a service for this.

      Works perfectly for me every time but i think the problem you have is that you missed some steps.

  2. Andy says

    Hi Brad,
    I followed your video tutorial on how to move wordpress from local to server. The video was clear and I thought I followed the instructions. And yet I still can’t view my site out on the web. When I go to my site’s url it just shows the standard hostgator hosting page. I’ve been at this now for 2 days straight and am tired. Do you offer consulting where we can get on skype for a few minutes and you can login to my computer via teamviewer or something and just set it all up? I can’t imagine it would take you longer than 30 mins to get it all up and running. I’m happy to pay you 50 AUD for your time via paypal. Let me know. Cheers, Andy

    • Brad Dalton says

      Hello Andy

      We can chat on Skype or you can send me the login details for your cPanel account and i’ll fix the problem.

      Please use the contact form on this site.

  3. Kishan says


    I watch your tutorial.
    I change my domain name but i cant login to wordpress on my site:

    I can still login into my localhost tryin to change url but thats grey out.
    Can you help?

    • Brad Dalton says

      You will need to use a plugin like WP Migrate DB to change the site address and server path before exporting the database.

      Otherwise, you will find broken links and other problems.

  4. Mike Logan says

    Question in reference to the slide show. Why would you use the notepad++ to do a “find and replace” after you have already changed the URL’s in the general setting? Isn’t that a waste of time? When you save the new general settings the database is already then updated before you export the sql file.

    Thanks and great tutorials BTW ;-)

    peace out,
    Mike L.

    • says

      Hey Mike. You wouldn’t need to do a find a replace if you use the plugin settings. Its just another way to do it if you don’t install the plugin.
      What do you think of the plugin?


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