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How to Transfer WordPress to a New Domain?

How to Transfer WordPress to a New Domain?

There are times that some customers need to change their WordPress sites’ domains to a new domain names, and we have also received many customers’ emails asking about how to transfer WordPress sites to the new domain names. In this article, we introduce the 10 steps carefully, to guide customers step by step based on our real operations.

Something Need to Know Before

There must be a short time for the decreasing SEO rankings on Google, Bing, and other search engines. Faced with that situation, you should understand how normal it is. Some time is required to make search engines learn your transfer to a new domain name. But what you can do is to minimize the bad influence brought by your migration. In fact, search engines can be notified in advance through the best way to set up proper 301 redirects. Such is not the case with the change of your hosting provider.

Before the transfer, a full backup is also necessary for your WordPress website. The process can be simplified with the use of some backup plugins in the market, for example, BackWPup with more than 60,000 installs and 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Detailed Procedures

Indeed, the steps are simple, but they have to be taken in the right order to make sure less hurt on your visitors and search engines.

  1. Create a new TXT file named robots.txt, and write in the following content:
    User-agent: *
    Put this file on the new domain name.
  2. Copy the database and files of the website, and put them on the new domain.
  3. Change the database configuration to make sure it matches the original database settings. Add the following codes and replace the whatswp.com with your new domain name.

    define(‘WP_SITEURL’, ‘https://whatswp.com’);
    define(‘WP_HOME’, ‘https://whatswp.com’);

  4. At present, you can set up your website, configure it with the same settings as on the old domain. Note that, if you have a caching plugin installed, you need to delete the cache files.
  5. Then, you need to change your old URLs to the new URLs. You can install the Search and Replace plugin to find the old URL strings in the database and replace them with the new URLs.

    Download website: http://wordpress.org/plugins/search-and-replace/

  6. At this point, the main work has been completed, you need to check whether all the steps done correctly again.
  7. If you are fully sure that all steps have been completed correctly, you can remove the robost.txt file.
  8. You have been transferred your website to a completely new domain name. However, your visitors and the search engines don’t know it. So you need to let Google and the other search engines know you have moved. Usually within a week, depending on the search engine, they will have gone through and updated their index with the new domain URL’s. This step is important to keep your users and website rankings in the search engines, and it’s also easy to make. You just need to add the following code into your apache .htaccess or host-configure file on your old blog.

    Redirect 301 /blog/ http://www.newdomain.com/

  9. Now, you can rest assured to remove the old blog code and database. You have a completely new blog with the same content but new domain name. If you have a FeedBurner account, change it to pick up the correct feeds.

So, you have simply finished the entire process of moving your WordPress website to a new domain. You can browse your new domain in the Google to check whether everything is ok.


Joyce is a professional writer & SEOer who loves trying new things and sharing the experience through blogging. She loves clean design, playing with different WordPress themes, SEO, etc. Very often, you could find her in various WordPress event as invited speakers.