Moving A WordPress Site To A New Domain: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide

Moving A WordPress Site To A New Domain

I recently moved findallanswers.com to probloggingsuccess.com. The whole process was little bumpy, but I got great experience and knowledge in carrying this out.

In addition, I am so happy that I took this decision for the good of my online business.

PS: Since this post is too long, I have created a pdf of the post so that you can download, keep it and use it when you need it :)

So, when my memory is still fresh, I would like to compile the steps involved in the whole process of moving a WordPress blog/site from one domain to another domain. Even though there is nothing you should be scared of while considering about moving a site, you have to be extra careful and do things the “correct” way so that you don’t lose your SEO aspects from your old domain.

But before that …..

Why would you want to move to a new domain?

Moving a WordPress site or a blog to a new domain can be a real pain. But everything comes down to the question “Why would one want to move their site to a new domain?”.

Let’s say you have a wonderful blog up and running at a domain “domain1″. The blog has a good PR, a good community of readers/commenters, the blog converts well in terms of ads and affiliate sales, the blog has a good branding (known for its name), it has lots of good incoming authority links, let’s presume.

Now for some solid reason you want to move domain1 to domain2. The same blog to a different domain. This is my story, exactly.

As you know by now, I was running Find All Answers as a multi-niche blog for over an year now. It had got PR 3 (at the time of writing this post) and several other good metrics. Yet I had some problems with the domain and the site as a whole.

1. The domain name “Find All Answers” is too generic.

2. It does not have any keywords.

3. The site was multi-niche and hence not targeted. I know I was able to run a trio-niche site for quite a long time, pretty successfully and capture the attention of wide range of audience. But when it comes to conversion and ranking, since I was handling too wide and un-related topics, I couldn’t cope.

4. Due to (3) I was ranking for keywords which I didn’t want to rank at all; at the same time I found it really difficult to rank for those keywords which I wanted to!

So I decided to make a change –  a big one indeed.

I decided to move findallanswers.com to a new domain – domain2 being probloggingsuccess.com.

Now let me spill the beans and give you the exact step by step procedure of moving a WordPress blog.

How to move without losing link juice and SEO?

Although moving a WordPress site to a new domain can be a scary thing, it is not that messy. If you follow a set of steps (quite logical by the way) it is all neat in the end.

I must admit that one of the scariest and most tiresome things was to do the file transfers. Hostgator helped me with file transfer and I went hands free on that!

OK let me put you through the step by step process of doing this correctly.

If you follow these steps exactly, you will regain your link juice and SEO aspects – should not be an issue.

Step 1:

Do a complete backup of your old site, just in case anything goes wrong anywhere, you should be able to restore things. I recommend BackupBuddy plugin which does a complete backup of your entire site. It backs up all files and databases unlike other plugins which backup the database only.

Step 2:

In your old domain (domain1) go to Tools on the left sidebar and click on “Export”. On the screen select “All content”. This means that all your posts, pages, comments, custom fields, nav menus and other custom posts will be exported.

export posts and pages from old domain

 

Click on “Download Export File”. It will be a .xml file. Save it in your computer.

Step 3:

Grab the wp-content folder from your old domain. This is where your themes, plugins and uploads reside. You can do it in two ways-

1. If you have access to cpanel, login and go to the root of your old domain through File Manager. Click on wp-content folder and compress it.

compress wp-content folder

 

Once the compress process is over, reload or refresh the file manager. Now you can download this compressed file and save it in your computer.

2. You can also use a FTP application like FileZilla to transfer your wp-content folder direct to your computer. For this option you should have an ftp account.

Step 4:

This is an optional step. If you have any subdomains in this domain, make sure you copy those files as well. If not, you can skip this step.

Step 5:

Install WordPress on your new domain. If your domain is hosted on Hostgator here is a step-by-step tutorial to install WordPress on Hostgator.

Step 6:

Login to your WordPress dashboard using the link http://www.yournewdomain.com/wp-login. Make sure you change “yournewdomain” to your actual name of your new domain.

Note: If you have not set up your DNS (Domain Name Servers) you won’t be able to either visit your site or login to dash. So make sure you have this already correctly set up before starting your move. It will take from 24 to 48 hours for the changes to propagate completely. If you need help with setting up DNS you can contact your hosting provider or domain registrar.

Step 7:

After logging in to your new domain’s WP dash, go to Settings – General and set up WordPress address and Site url to be the same – either with or without www.

Next go to Settings – Permalinks and set your permalink structure to be EXACTLY the same as that of your old blog. This step is highly crucial because later on you will automatically redirect your old domain to new domain. In this redirection, all your pages of the old domain will be redirected to that corresponding page of the new domain if and only if you have the same permalink structure in both the places. Otherwise you will mess things up!

Step 8:

Now, you need to upload your wp-content that you saved from your old blog. Just as you did with downloading you can use any one of those corresponding methods with uploading as well.

Make sure you upload the wp-content in the root directory of your domain. If you’re not sure about the directory, see if there is already a wp-content folder (this would have been created as a result of your WordPress installation). You will simply overwrite that folder.

This step could take longer if you have large number of posts, images and stuff.

Step 9:

Go to Tools – Import in your WordPress dash and then select “WordPress” from the list. You’ll be asked to install a plugin “The WordPress Importer”. Click “Install now” and then click “activate & run importer”.

You’ll get the following screen:

import using wordpress importer

Here you have to click on “choose file” and then select the .xml file that you imported from your old domain and then press “upload file and import”. Once this is done, you will have all your posts, pages and comments from your old domain.

Note: If there is a long gap between your export from your old domain and importing to your new domain, you might lose some comments (and posts too, if they happened to be scheduled at that transition time). So it is better that you do this when most people are not reading your blog and check whether you have any posts scheduled in the queue for that day.

Step 10:

Activate your Theme – the same theme which was activated in your old domain, if you don’t want to change your design as well!

Go to “Installed plugins” under Plugins and activate those which you have activated in your old domain. Also make sure the plugin settings are also the same as that of your old site (this won’t be a problem usually, but double check anyway).

Step 11:

Now it is time to change your urls – the urls you use in your site. This could be the urls that reference to your old domain as links within your post, category links in a custom category bar, links in navigation bar and so on.

You don’t have to be updating one by one manually. There is a cute plugin – Update URLs WordPress Plugin which takes care of it.

Be informed that this plugin will not take care of redirecting your old domain to new domain. It will simply replace the occurrence of old domain url with the new domain url throughout your blog’s content and layout (like header, sidebar, nav bar, etc., wherever you have custom links).

Regarding links within the style files, different themes have different options. I had no problems with Thesis theme custom files. The plugin modified the links within my custom.css and custom_functions.php files.

Step 12:

Check, double check and triple check. At this point make sure that your old domain looks exactly the same as the new domain. Both the sites should be copies of each other.

If not, you have to check on your themes, plugins and sidebar widgets. Also, in the new domain, put your mouse over navbar and sidebar links and see if they point to your new domain’s links.

Step 13:

The most important step – and not a good number lol.

You have to perform this step only after you have verified that your blog/website at the new domain looks exactly the same as that of the old one and the links have been transformed. After this step (Step 13) you won’t be able to see your old blog again, ever!

OK here we go:

Find the .htaccess file of your old domain from your cpanel or ftp client and edit it. Add the following lines to the top of the file.

#Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yournewdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Don’t forget to save the file. These lines of code does the 301 redirect (highly recommended by Google and other search engines for moving a site).

You need to use 301 redirects if you don’t want to lose your SEO and link juice. 301 is a permanent redirect which tells the search engine bots that the site has been moved permanently (that it would never come back to the old location again) and 301 redirect will pass on link juice.

Although there is a little page rank evaporation associated when a link is redirected, 301 carries most of the SEO benefits of the old domain to the new domain. Over the time, your rankings should come back.

Now if you click your old domain url or type the url of any page from your old domain you will get the corresponding page from your new domain.

Step 14:

Yes there is one more step. You need to tell Google that you’ve moved your site. This step assumes (and it is highly recommended) that you have a webmaster account and you have verified your old domain.

Go to Google Webmaster Tools. Here’s how you need to add and verify a site – Adding a site to Google Webmaster Tools.

Follow the same procedure and add your new domain and verify it as well.

In your Webmaster dashboard, click on the old domain; on the left expand Site Configuration and click on “Change of address”.

You will have 4 items. Items 1-3 will be covered if you’ve followed the above steps exactly. Item 4 is where you give your new domain.

enter new domain url in webmaster toolsOnce you submit you’ve informed Google that you’ve moved. Now they have to crawl your new site and index your new domain urls while de-indexing the corresponding old domain urls.

We are not done yet. Install Google xml sitemaps plugin in and create a sitemap. Now in your webmaster dash, click on the new domain and under Site Configuration, click on sitemaps. Here you have to upload your new domain’s sitemap.

That’s all.

Everything is a set now and you are ready to rock with your new domain. As to SEO, link juice, PR and other metrics, don’t worry you’ll get them all in a short span of time.

It took me more than 10 hours to write this post. I’d highly appreciate if you could press any of the social sharing buttons and spread the word.

PS: Since this post is too long, I have created a pdf of the post so that you can download, keep it and use it when you need it :)

Name: Email: 0 subscribers We respect your privacy Email Marketingby GetResponse Jane Sheeba has an excellent understanding of blogging ~ Annabel Candy
  • Sean

    I remember having to do this back in the day and it was one of the biggest headaches. It almost made me just say “To hell with it!”

    I’m glad I didn’t though, I eventually figured it out. This post would have been a huge help though haha, it lays everything out perfectly. Great work :)

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Haha… “To hell with it” … Ya I can relate to that :) I had to spend some sleepless nights. But then I love what I learned from the whole process.

  • http://www.iblogzone.com DiTesco

    Hi Jane. This is absolutely a great tutorial. I am sure this will come handy whenever I need it. This is one of those those things that gets a “permanent” space on my “special vault”. Love it and great to know that all went well with your move. As you lay out here, it ain’t easy and something can seriously go wrong along the way if not properly executed. Thanks…

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Fran, glad to know that this tutorial could take a place in your “special vault”! Well, yes I screwed two or three times and finally learned what went wrong.

  • http://www.stevescottsite.com Steve

    Jane,

    This is a great tutorial. I love the step-by-step ways you break this one down. I already bookmarked this and put this into a folder in case I ever need it. I am not the most “technical” person out there and I love thing like this that give explicit and easy to follow instructions.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Steve I’m so glad that the tutorial caught your attention. Yes, I had the “not-so-techies” in mind while writing this post :) Thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.blogengage.com/blogger/ Ivin

    Hello Jane. Sorry for being so daft, but I’m still unclear how all the links to yourdomain.com will still go to yourdomain1.com. Will you do a redirect? Thanks!

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Ivin, don’t worry :)

      Yes that’s in the step 13 (the unlucky number lol). Those lines of code when added to .htaccess take care of redirecting yourdomain.com to yourdomain1.com – not just the home page but every corresponding post/page. For ex. yourdomain.com/post1 will go to yourdomain1.com/post1.

      Hope I answered your question.

      • Kris Olin

        Hi Jane! Thank you for this excellent post. Now I feel confident enough to pull this stunt as well.

        What about redirecting the old domain to the new one on my on GoDaddy account? Shouldn’t that take care of the .htaccess bit as well?

        Also I was wondering if I should use a 2 year old domain which already has Google page rank 2 or register a brand new one.

        • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

          Hey Kris, yes even with Godaddy the .htaccess bit should take care of the redirection. If you could use a older domain (with good PR) then its a good thing for SEO and get your rankings back soon. Even if it is not so, your original rankings should be back.

  • Harleena Singh

    Awesome tutorial Jane!

    Just something what I was looking for, though I am still on blogspot, and intend switching to wordpess really soon. I do want to change my domain name, and this would surely help me a great deal.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      If you’re on blogspot you’d surely want to move any time soon to a self hosted domain.

      BTW: I see that your comentluv links are not directly pointed to your blog, which means you are losing SEO benefits and branding. This blog post tells you what to do about it

      http://www.rojish.com/is-feedburner-stealing-my-commentluv-links/

      • http://techatlast.com Olawale Daniel

        Hi Jane,

        I’m very much pleased to see your new blog back online instead of the former brand, FindAllAnswers. Thanks also for this tutorial. It helps :)

      • Harleena Singh

        Thanks so much for letting me know about it Jane! Would surely look up the link you sent and sort out the problem. Lots to be done :)

  • http://www.enlightenednetworker.com Ilka Flood

    Hi Jane,

    What a cool tutorial! Thanks for sharing it! I didn’t even know this was possible. I’m kind of in the same situation as you have been. No keywords in the URL and too broad.If I am not too chicken I will follow your lead eventually :)

    Again, thank you so much and I am glad all went well with your move. You are very brave!

    Ilka

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Ilka, not having a keyword in the domain name is not a deadly thing. I know many popular bloggers who just have their names and have successful blogs.

      But having a keyword is a good thing. You know, the blogosphere is not like when it was 5-10 years ago. At that time having a blog with a personal name and building a brand was quite easy. Now we need SEO for anything and everything :)

      Thanks for your comment.

  • http://Basicpodcastingtips.blogspot.com Ileane

    Congratulations on the new domain Jane. I’m sure it will be a stand out in the blogging community. I like the old domain too. Either way, you’re a hit!

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Ileane, thanks :)

      Yes Find All Answers was not too bad to dump. But I thought it could be easier for me, people and the bots in terms of recognition. The time factor is very important here. I can’t wait for another year lol :)

  • Brankica

    I will be pressing all the buttons for a 10 hr post. I told you I never was brave enough to do this and I don’t think I will be any time soon, but this doesn’t look scary at all. There is a lot of work involved but it is really straight forward.

    I wonder how long will it take Google to reindex and more important to get you your old PRs back. Oh another cool thing to track – how fast is your Alexa going to take to get to the old number. I am estimating up to 10 days for Alexa :)

    Anyway, congrats and this is all really awesome, if you were closer I would kiss you! Adding this to the next round up OF COURSE :)

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Hey Bran, thanks for all your continued support and the cyber kiss. Alexa back up in 10 days? LMAO.

      But yes I am not going to worry about these metrics for a while. It is a pleasant surprise that the new domain is ranking for those similar keywords at similar positions – not just the home page but the posts rank that way too. So I think this is what I wanted. Metrics – yes they’re important too. But I’ll forget about them for a while when they come back themselves.

  • http://www.Mazzastick.com Justin | Mazzastick

    Wow Jane, I was wondering what happened when I clicked on the RSS and up came problogging success with an Alexa of 687,000.

    You made a smart move obviously with the name change. If I were to ever create a new site I will definitely have the keywords in the domain name. When I chose Mazzastick I didn’t even know what a keyword was.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Ya that’s my point. A while back most bloggers didn’t know and care about keywords and they didn’t have too. But now it is all too crowded, competition is tough and we need the power of keywords (along with quality and other things) to survive. But building a brand has nothing to do with keywords!

      Yes my Alexa rank and other metrics are too shabby now ;)

  • http://prontohotel.com Andrew Walker

    Hm..This is a very nice tutorial. Thanks a lot to you for sharing this!

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      You’re very welcome Andrew :)

  • http://trickearnblog.com/ Karan Lugani

    It is such a headache to get on to a new domain and transfer everything successfully including the link juice and the hard work behind SEO. Thanks for such a great tutorial Jane. I don’t see myself moving to a new domain in near future .. :P

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Thanks for stopping by Karan. Yes indeed it was not so pleasant :)

  • Mark

    The .htaccess rewrite is the key to the whole process.

    You absolutely have to set up a page for page redirect as you pointed out Jane.

    Great tutorial. Very detailed.

    Mark

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Yes indeed Mark. That step is what this whole “moving” process is about. Thanks for your comment :)

    • http://socialmediarevolver.com Kris Olin

      Mark, I was wondering which method is better? the .htaccess rewrite or doing a redirection at the domain registry? If you do the .htaccess rewrite do you have to leave the old domain as it is?

  • Sally Thompson

    I am so glad that moving to a new site works with you.. Hope it will be work with me too.. Thnaks for sharing your thoughts and idea!

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      So glad you liked it Sally, sure it will work for you too :)

  • http://bioscientificediting.wordpress.com Nicky

    Great resource – thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      You’re very welcome Nicky.

  • http://hypertransitory.com John Garrett

    Hi Jane,

    this is an excellent resource, so I appreciate you writing this up.

    Hopefully I never have to do this, but I’ll bookmark this in case I ever need to refer someone to it.

    I’m glad you got through it though without any disasters!

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      LOL, yes John but you’ll never know. I never knew that I was going to move my site until about a week ago :)

  • http://jymtarrant.com Jym | Plus Ones

    I was wondering when you’d make the move Jane.

    Good for you for finally getting it together. It’s a daunting task but you’ve laid it and simplified it about as much as it can be!

    I came to the same conclusion – 301 redirects seems to be the way to go.

    My new domain is sitting, patiently waiting for a similar process. Just need to find the time!

    Thanks for putting so much effort into sharing your experience with us, and best of luck for the ‘new’ blog.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      For sure 301 is the way to go. There will be some link juice that will be lost in any move but 301 keeps the most intact. And I’m seeing good improvement in metrics already. Plus my keyword rankings are already back for most of the keywords.

  • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

    I have ported my 7 WordPress blogs across 3 hosting providers in the past 12 months and have got it down pat, I can move all my blogs within 3 hours with 0 downtime now at this point. The key though is if you use plugins, many plugins write configurations to the WordPress database, these are all lost if you export your blog through the WordPress admin.

    I would instead use the PHPMyAdmin in your hosting provider and import it into the SQL database on your new hosting provider directly so that all your plugin configurations remain intact when you activate them again or bring them over.

    It isn’t much more a learning curve, but I also found errors in the XML export when you have 1000+ posts and thousands of comments, stuff can get corrupted or damaged doing the WordPress export from the GUI.

    Using a URL proxy like Kroxy and Google Translate are great ways to test your new site to make sure it is up and rendering properly as well. Also, Cloudflare is a potentially valuable service to keep your site appearing online and makes the DNS switching much faster. If you set both old and new hosting providers to using Cloudflare DNS, then you can move content to new hosting provider and just update the original IP of the site behind Cloudflare and the DNS move is seamless with no outage at all to readers (provided you didn’t make a mistake with the export/import stuff).

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Justin WOW, moved 7 WordPress blogs? I’m sure you’ve learned a lot in the process and almost mastered it. You can provide “moving sites” as one of the services :)

      Thanks for all the additional info up here. I appreciate that very much.

  • http://www.speakingoflove.net Sally Brown

    This is so great! I have a friend that I forwarded the link to since she is thinking of switching to WordPress. sally

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Hi Sally, glad that I could be of help to your friend. Please tell your friend that I can be of more help if needed.

  • http://www.comptalks.com/ Bishwajeet

    Hopefully your SEO shouldn’t get affected by this.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Yes I hope so, and I’m sure there won’t be much damage.

  • http://www.khecharaconsultants.com/ Edna Barradas

    Thanks for putting so much effort into sharing your experience with us, and best of luck for the ‘new’ blog.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Thanks Edna. Ya I thought my “experience” could benefit others too and well save lot of time and pain for others.

  • http://mattscradle.com/2011/08/25/dota-2-heroes-list-used-by-navi/ adam

    So this is the reason why all of a sudden when I visited your old domain I was redirected to problogging success. I was shock at first because same theme but different domain name. I was able to confirm that this is yours Jane when I check the lower left (about you). Very clear instruction indeed.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Adam, :) yes I got many people telling this to me. But many others didn’t notice it as well. Some say that they were alarmed to see the Alexa rank change. So my picture has helped a lot to recognize by blog.

  • http://www.blogengage.com/blogger/ bbrian017

    Hi Jane, congrats with the successful move! Over the last two weeks I had to move about 18 websites to a new server and it’s a an extremely hard thing to do for me because it’s all done in SSH and command line. This was my first time using plesk which was also a learning curve but in my opinion plesk was a breath of fresh air seeing I sue to do it all via command line, dns, centos os install and everything.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Oh Brian 18 websites BOOM! That’s a big number. Good thing that you’ve learned plesk. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Shani

    I have not done such experience but this tutorial is very useful for me to forward in WordPress field and to perform the same task.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Glad to help Shani!

  • Eliane

    Thank! I just needed it good explained. I have also similar reasons to change my domain and start building ranking for right keywords.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Eliane, good luck with your moving and ranking efforts :)

  • http://bobandrosemary.com Dr. Bob Clarke

    Hi Jane,

    Wow, this post was sent straight from heaven! I have been contemplating such a move for quite a while but it seemed too difficult and I was worried about losing too much SEO in the process.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together. This is an epic post for anyone even thinking about changing the domain name of their blog.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Bob :) thanks for the wonderful compliment! I know how hard it is to do this without instructions on hand. I just wanted others to have the list handy :)

  • http://www.dialme.com/blog/ Ray

    Mostly it is time-consuming and a little tedious. Not to mention checking, double checking, and sometimes even triple checking. You keep your fingers crossed and hope you did everything right. All in all it seems a little scary, but it isn’t too difficult. Just mostly a time factor.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Yes indeed Ray, although it all sounds scary, if we do it in a logical and systematic way, it can be done neatly. Thanks for your comment.

  • http://itchair.com/ Los Angeles SEO

    Love the picture you posted with this! Too funny and realistic… that’s what it feels like to move a domain. Thank you for sharing these steps… I had to do this once and it was so hard to figure it out my own. Saving this for the next time I need to do it.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Hope you make it well :)

  • Harry Sehgal

    The Post was too Long. I felt a Little Drowsy. But on the whole Post was very Usefull. It can really be helpfull in Future.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      LOL Harry, yup the whole process is too long as well!

  • dinah

    Awesome tutorial. I have been looking for something like this, and now i’m convinced even more. For step 13, is that exactly the same as paying wordpress to redirect the the old site to the new site? How is the whole move coming along now? Are you glad you did it?

    Thanks again

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Dinah, I already got my PR back :) Its going a lot great!

  • http://music4al.blogspot.com Dipendra

    How Would this movement effect the Google traffic because I want to move my blog to new domain and I wanted to know how safe is this.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Dipendra, you would surely see a dip in the traffic, but it is short lived. To me it took about two months to get back to normal regarding traffic. I got my PR back already, but this depends on the time of your move and the time when Google updates your PR.

  • http://www.wpwebhost.com Ricardus

    Great tutorial. Should be very comprehensive for a lot of first timers that would love to move their site

  • Sergio Felix

    Hey Jane,

    Just wanted to let you know I’m very impressed of how detailed your guide is. Even for a guy that works with computers on a daily basis this guide rocks!

    You approached this task flawlessly and it’s definitely a great resource to have in hand, thanks for sharing such great content, take care! ;-)

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      You’re very welcome Sergio :) I wanted to make it do-able for non-tech people too!

  • Lalit

    Jane, I am totally impressed with the step by step tutorial and as I have never moves wordpress, with the help of this guide I am confident that I will be able to do the job. Thanks for this awesome post.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Sure Lalit :) You can.

  • gold

    Hi Jane- this is a great tutorial, sharing this kind of information by explaining it step by step is a big help. I learn a lot and i’m hope it will work with me.

  • http://www.internetdatinghelp.org/ Tony

    I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your blog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems? A couple of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any tips to help fix this issue?

  • preeth

    are these 301 redirect so it dosen t affect page ranking …just scary to play with a page rank 3 blog would have been tough right? and did you notice any change in your traffic after that ?

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Preeth, I was unsure before I did the move. But now I’m sure that this method works, as I already got my PR back :)

  • Jeyamurugan

    Thanks Jane for this simple guide. I bookmarked it earlier, now going to implement this in one of my website.

    After step 13, can the old site (wordpress, DB etc) be deleted, leaving the root directory as is? Or need to be retained?

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Hi Jeyamurugan, you should leave the old site (domain, files, DB etc.) as it is for at least 6 months. Don’t delete anything :)

      • Jeyamurugan

        Point noted. :-) Thanks for the swift reply.

  • bilal

    your step-by-step guide is good ,thanks

  • Amanda Gordon

    That is the most comprehensive guide I have come across for moving a blog from one domain to another.

    Also I would suggest keeping the previous domain for a while (if not permanently). I can see many advantages of the previous domain name: it is well known and generic type. It is likely that you would discover either the need or the usefulness of a generic name. For instance it is a very good domain name for “how to” type of site.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Thanks Amanda :) Ya I could use the old domain still for a how-to site, nice idea!

  • http://socialmediarevolver.com Kris Olin

    Does anyone here know what to do with the old Feedburner RSS feed?

    I’d like to transfer it to my other account first and then change the ‘Original feed setting’ from oldblog.com/feed to newblog.com/feed in the feed detail settings.

    Any tips how to do this without losing your subscribers?

  • http://www.timokiander.com Timo Kiander

    Jane,

    I’m in the middle of doing this but I’m a bit confused of step 13.

    Where exactly I should do this, on my old web host?

    Cheers,
    Timo

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Timo, yes indeed. Go to the .htaccess file in your old domain folder and insert these lines of code.

      • http://socialmediarevolver.com Kris Olin

        Jane, is this .htaccess action enough? Do I need to do the redirection at the GoDaddy account as well, or do I leave the old domain as it is?

        • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

          Kris, I’ve not done redirect on my hostgator account. I’ve just done the .htaccess and everything works like charm.

      • http://www.timokiander.com Timo Kiander

        Thank you!

        Just wondering… do you think I should create a new Feedburner Feed for my site, since the domain is going to be different?

        How did you handle this situation?

        Cheers,
        Timo

        • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

          Timo, I actually deleted my old feed by mistake. And I was not able to get it back. So I just had to proceed with setting up a new feed. But I got my feed subscribers back quite soon. So I didn’t realize how bad it was to delete the feed. I’m not sure how it can be for you.

          Why are you not trying to simply move your feed, rather than creating a new one?

          • http://www.timokiander.com Timo Kiander

            Jane,

            I got it working now. I only changed my new URL settings in Feedburner. I guess everything works now as normal :)

            Cheers,
            Timo

  • http://socialmediarevolver.com Kris Olin

    Hi Timo,I’m doing the same operation as we speak, mate! Did you change the Feedburner settings before of after you did the .htaccess redirection? Did you lose any subscribers?

    • http://www.productivesuperdad.com Timo Kiander

      Kris,

      Actually I didn’t. In fact, I just asked from Jane what to do in this situation.

      For now, I was able to keep my subscribers, because the feed address stayed the same. I only updated Original Feed and Feed Title settings in Feedburner.

      Cheers,
      Timo

  • http://www.productivesuperdad.com Timo Kiander

    Hi Jane!

    Do you think it is a good idea to:

    a) create a new RSS feed for the new domain?
    b) create a new Twitter account for the new domain?

    If so, am I going to loose all the existing subscribers/followers?

    Cheers,
    Timo

    • http://www.productivesuperdad.com Timo Kiander

      Jane,

      OK, I think I’m cool with my RSS. I was just wondering if I want to get rid of all those old names and brand everything according to my new domain name.

      Cheers,
      Timo

      • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

        Timo it depends on how shabby is your old domain. Is it totally unconnected to your new domain’s theme/purpose? If so I will recommend you start with new social media accounts to brand your new domain and stick with it. If they’re somehow remotely related you can still start new accounts, but you need not altogether abandon the old ones as well (for instance Twitter).

  • Nicole

    If you migrate your site to a new domain, as you described will you loose your social media share stats associated with plugins like the one displayed here on your site?

    • http://socialmediarevolver.com Kris Olin

      Nicole,

      Would you care to elaborate on your comment? Do you have solution how not to lose those share stats?

      Also, Jane

      How long did it take you to get back your Page Rank and social share button stats? It’s been a week now since my migration and so far I got nada.

      • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

        Ah Kris, a week is too early to look for something. Matt Cutts says 6 months, but I got my Page rank back in 2 months (given that there happened a PR update at that time!). The social share button counts will start afresh but the link juice will flow; that is you won’t lose your backlinks from social media.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Nicole, the social media buttons will show no count on the new domain, but the social media links will carry the link juice if you’ve done the 301 redirect step correctly.

  • John

    Hi

    This is really a well written tutorial i have found after so much googling and youtubing. You have explained everything so well in here that i have to bookmarked this blog.

    Please help me with a pdf thing. I can’t see any pdf download links. Please send me a pdf, i want to keep this tutorial for my future use.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Hey John, you can download the pdf if you pressed the “Pay With A Tweet” button. The button occurs twice in the post. Let me know if you got it!

  • http://www.infozbox.com/ Robby William

    This is a very useful tutorial and it will help me a lot i guess as i am making my new site in wordpress apart from joomla.. Thanks for this very useful tutorial explaining in detail…

  • http://www.getyourtools.co.uk graham

    have been wondering bout the best way round switching website from one domain to a new new one without losing seo value hope this way works as need to transfer a website without losing rankings.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      With the 301 redirects you won’t lose the SEO value. Even though you won’t get it back immediately, you will get it quite soon.

  • DP

    All looks good however i had to import compete DB sql file in order to get my original configuration as copying wp-content did not really help. Here is my new site up and running after running one SQL directly into DB.

    update wp_options set option_value=’http://www.newdomain.com’ where option_value=’http://olddomain';
    Query OK, 3 rows affected (0.00 sec)
    Rows matched: 3 Changed: 3 Warnings: 0

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Oh really? Thanks for sharing DP!

  • http://www.thangaraju.com/blog Thangaraju

    Hi Jane, i tried your tutorial but my problem is only redirecting my homepage and wp-admin page of old domain to new domain but other internal pages are not redirect to new domain. All my permalink and other setting are same as old domain.

    pls suggest me solution. also need to redirect to new permalink site (ex. oldsite/2009/10/12/postname to newsite/catname/postname) is there any plugin for wordpress.

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      Step 13 is the key Thangaraju. Did you do it right? Please double check.

  • http://www.thangaraju.com/blog Thangaraju

    yes Jane, i inserted step13 code to my old domain htaccess file. but same problem occurs. will it be problem when using different hosting server?

    • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane Sheeba

      No the hosting server shouldn’t be a problem! The $1 in http://www.yournewdomain.com/$1 will take care that all your subpages, posts, category pages etc. will point to the new domain.

      Can you please paste the exact code you pasted in your .htaccess file?

  • Hamza Sheikh

    Normally, I always busy in moving my blogs from one server to other, and helping out my friends on social network in maintaining their blogs. It is so normal for me to transfer a blog with more than 3000+ posts from one domain to another.

    Actually, it only takes few minutes in the transfer process. I only used WP-DB Manager to take a backup of my database, and then takes manual backup of WP-Content. That’s, all, and at last do some PhpMyAdmin little magic.

    Recently, I got a project to move a website with more than 300K registered users with 1000K comments. It was a big mess for me, as the database jumped up to the gigabytes, and everything turned into a real mind boggling. However, you have writer a very informative article. :)

  • avi

    Hi,
    Thanks a lot. I am so much grateful to you. Its so rich post never I saw before. I am sure you are so helpful for web developer especially who are new in this career and I hope so. I am interested to know more about you and your works. I hope I will be able to enrich myself from your kinds advice.
    But if you gave the download button to download your writing it will more ease for visitors.

    Thanks and Regards by
    emizan

  • dwayne myers

    Thanks for the redirect script. I appreciate it and will pay with a tweet.

  • http://www.bloggerstack.com Sameer Manas

    Backup Buddy is perhaps the best option for non geek but it is costly. There is a plugin called WordPress move that might automate the process.

    This tutorial might come in handy when moving another blog :)

  • Lee

    Hi Jane
    Great info I was looking at getting a expired or other domain as my first site was just for fun and the domain I could say was not the best pick I did no research and then did not even know about keywords etc. just thought you set something up with a name that sounded good and that was that. How Nieve I was. So looking to change and will admit was a bit scared about doing it in case it ended up a disaster. But here goes.

    Thanks great info lee

  • Kuldeep Kumar

    Very informative post, its really useful and explaining good point to point, because I also want to my old data into my new domain. therefore its really help me a lot thanks for sharing it with us..

  • Pramod

    Hi Jane,
    I like that. You have solved my big problem. I am new Blogger and i want to change my domain AsianVasion.com to another domain.
    I think this Article helpful to me to do that.
    Thanks for Sharing This Article..

  • http://www.globalcraze.com/ Chetan Gupta

    Hey Jane
    Do you know my blog is now hosted at Hostgator. but months ago, my blog was hosted at another hosting and i am trying to move my whole blog to new hostgator servers. At that i am was used export function of wordpress as you are explaining. it is pretty good.
    I had a great experience while changing my host. and Jane thanks for two things.
    First for sharing this valuable post and second for suggesting the backup plugin that is ” BackupBuddy plugin “. :)
    Take care dear

  • http://howtostartbloggingtips.com Veer Modi

    Hello Need quick help. I used all the steps as you said. But at last step I am helpless. domains are not redirected evenafter I use .htaccess command you give me.

    It only redirect olddomain.com to newdomain.com but does not redirect olddomain.com/sample-post to newdomain.com/sample-post

    Please get me out of this..

    • http://www.pallareviews.com/ Palla Sridhar

      I think you missed the permalink step. Can you check whether you have done in the same order as mentioned in this guide. I did exactly as above and my website got perfectly re-directed to the new domain. You can check my old sub-domain – health.pallareviews.com which will direct to new domain healthdummy.org

  • http://tyronneratcliff.com Tyronne Ratcliff

    Thanks for the step by step training Jane. Another good plugin to use for backing up your site is Backup Creator. The only thing is it’ll set you back $7 or so,but a great plugin nonetheless, thanks for the helpful tips!

  • http://technblogging.com Kingsley

    Great tutorial, will be using it to Migrate ideacrunch to technblogging in the next few days and this is the best tutorial i have come across,. Thanks Jane

  • http://technblogging.com Kingsley

    Hello Jane, just used your Tutorial and everything worked fine