Migrate your site to a new host

We previously launched a tool that makes it quick and easy to restore your site to a new host. This led many VaultPress fans to wonder, “If I can move my site to a fancy new host, can I keep the same address? Can my readers find me at the same URL?

The answer is yes!

You can have your cake, and eat it too, in just a few steps:

Note: This will not work for a multisite backup. 

  1. Follow our simple instructions to restore to a new site, using the temporary address provided by your new host as your alternate Site URL. You’ll need to install a fresh copy of WordPress at that address before restoring. 
  2. Save the alternate site, and run your restore! During this restore process, we will perform a find/replace on wp_options, wp_comments, and wp_posts tables to change your main domain to the temporary one.
  3. When your restore is finished, edit your DNS records so that your permanent address (YourGroovyDomain.com, in this example) points to your new host. If you’re not sure how to do this, contact your domain registrar and new hosting provider for help.
  4. At this point, you can update the database on your new site to ensure that links point to your permanent domain name, and not the temporary address. You can run the following SQL queries on your database, or reach out to us. We can help with this step! (Note: Please replace TemporaryDomain and PermanentDomain with your temporary and permanent domain names, respectively.)
    UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = 'http://PermanentDomain' WHERE option_name = 'siteurl' LIMIT 1;
    UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = 'http://PermanentDomain' WHERE option_name = 'home' LIMIT 1;
    UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = REPLACE(post_content, 'http://TemporaryDomain', 'http://PermanentDomain');
    UPDATE wp_comments SET comment_content = REPLACE(comment_content, 'http://TemporaryDomain', 'http://PermanentDomain'), comment_author_url = REPLACE(comment_author_url, 'http://TemporaryDomain', 'http://PermanentDomain');
    UPDATE wp_posts SET guid = REPLACE( guid, 'TemporaryDomain', 'PermanentDomain');

    Note: if the database table prefix of your new site is something other than wp_ then you’ll need to replace that in the query too. So if the prefix is wp_1234_ you would use wp_1234_options instead of wp_options

  5. Wait a few hours for DNS changes to take effect, and then check out your site. You should see the same familiar site, now served by your brand new host!

What’s my temporary (or alternate) address?

Many hosting providers provide their users with temporary addresses. This allows you to install a fresh copy of WordPress, and restore your content to the new host, before you point your permanent address to the new host. If you’re not sure what your temporary address is, check out your new host’s documentation or contact them.

Will my site be unavailable while I move it?

Migrating your site is a big deal, and we can’t guarantee your site won’t be temporarily unavailable. But if you follow these instructions carefully, your site shouldn’t experience any significant downtime. Just make sure to wait a few hours after changing your DNS (see Step 4). There’s really no harm in waiting ten hours, or even a day, if you want to be super careful!

Any questions?

As always, drop us a line and say howdy! 🙂