This is a fast and easy guide to moving your WordPress Site to a new domain.
Step #0. Domain & Hosting:
Most likely you already registered your new domain and have a hosting account of your own.
Step #1. Setup a new hosting account for your domain, and point your nameservers to the host.
Step #2. Login To The New Site And Create A MySQL Database
After you login with the login info you created in the last step, scroll down and find the MySQL Database Wizard, click that and setup your database
Step #3. Clone The Original Site
I use this plugin to manage wordpress websites, it also has a really cool feature where you can clone an original and makes this process very easy.
Its a premium plugin that you can also use to update and manage all of your WP sites from one website. You can use it free for up to 5 sites, this is one plugin you don’t want to be without.
If you own or manage WordPress websites, you should have this plugin in your arsenal, without a doubt.
Once you have this plugin loaded on your sites, you can begin.
Click “Install or Clone WordPress”
Select Source by typing in the name of the original domain. Then Click it!
Now click “Create Backup”
Step #4. Choose New Location
You’ll now see this page
Click “New Site”
Enter all of the ftp info and the database info, you just created, and follow it like I have it in this picture.
Make sure to click the box that says “Disallow search engines to follow this site” (later on we will change this)
Click the button “Test Connection” to make sure you have it setup correctly:
If its all set up right, you’ll see this image:
Now Click “Clone” At the bottom of the page.
If everything worked, you’ll see this:
Click “open site in new window” so we can move on to the next step
Step #5. Install the Search and Replace plugin.
Your new domain might still have content that direct visitors to your old domain. This plugin makes it easy to search for that text and replace it with your new URL.
So once you activate the plugin on your new wordpress site, run a search for YourOldDomain.com and replace it with YourNewDomain.com – this is a pretty simple process, it should take you about 3 minutes to do.
Step #6. Check Everything – at least 3 Times.
Check the links. Check the posts. Check the navigation bar. Check the images. Check the opt-in forms to see if they still work. Check everything to make sure your site is an exact replica of the old one.
Step #7. This is the BIG Step – Permanent 301 Redirect
Ok, everything checked out alright, now we have to perform a permanent redirect from your old domain to the new one.
VERY IMPORTANT- it will let Google know about the changes you’ve made – AND everyone that lands on one of your old posts will be redirected to your new site.
Login to the original site’s cpanel and find this button called “redirects”
Now you should see a place to enter your new domain to redirect to. Take a look at the picture below and make sure yours looks similar to it.
Step #8. Delete The Old Information And Database
Once you’ve checked everything and then double and triple checked to see if everything was cloned successfully to the new site, it’s time to delete the files and database from the old site.
First, Lets Delete the database and user. Click on the MySQL Databases Button in the original site’s cpanel.
Find the Database you want to delete, and click delete database:
Find the user and delete user
Great, now let’s delete the files in the web directory (or just delete the hosting account)
Click File Manager And Choose Web Root
Select all files and click delete.
And that’s it! ::POOF:: gone.
Step 9: Set New Site’s Privacy Settings To Allow Search Engines
Click On Privacy Settings and allow search engines.
Step #10. Lastly, Let Google Know About The Change
I highly recommend going to your Google webmasters account and submitting a change of address. To do this, click on your verified site and on the left hand menu, click on Site Configuration.
Under Site Configuration, you’re going to click on Change of Address. Just enter your new domain, verify it and you’re done.
Let me know how this tutorial has helped.