How to Transfer Your Wordpress Blog From One Host to Another Host

This article gives instructions to help you migrate your WordPress site from another host to HostGator. These are provided for informational purposes only, and HostGator live support agents are not able to troubleshoot migration issues, including those involving custom coding and scripting errors.

However, HostGator has a dedicated team of Migration Administrators trained to transfer any content to your HostGator server. To request a transfer (including a quote for the service if any is required) please submit the transfer form. New or upgrading HostGator customers may review the article below to see if they can request for a free content transfer:

If you are transferring to HostGator from another cPanel hosting environment you may be able to use these instructions to move your entire cPanel, including any WordPress content.

Step 1: Backup Your WordPress Database Using phpMyAdmin

Before transferring your WordPress blog, it is recommended that you make a backup of your database using phpMyAdmin. Once you have successfully logged into phpMyAdmin:

  1. Click on the name of the database which contains your WordPress blog.
  2. Click Export in the top navigation menu.
  3. Select the Quick option listed under the Export Method section.
  4. Leave the selection in the format section as SQL .
  5. Click Go.
  6. Once completed, there will be a prompt to save the file. Simply click on Save as File; this will download a file named wordpress.sql to your desktop.

You have now successfully backed up your database.


Step 2: Download/Upload All WordPress Files Using FTP

You will need to download ALL your files from your old host and upload them to your new host. This includes files from your themes folder and plugins folder. Make sure you also download any folders which were referenced outside of your blog's folder.

For example, if you are using a separate folder called images, located outside of the blog's folder, the images must be copied and uploaded to the new hosting location; otherwise, the site will contain a lot of broken links to images within the blog post.

Filezilla is the recommended FTP client. By default, Filezilla does not display the .htaccess file, for security reasons.

To ensure that your .htaccess file is included in the download, you must click on View and then select Show Hidden Files. If you neglect to upload your .htaccess file, your permalinks will not work.
Note: You should not update to a newer version of WordPress at this time as your database may not sync correctly. Complete the WordPress migration before you consider upgrading the version.

Step 3: Create a New WordPress Database and Edit wp-config.php

Create a New Database

To create a new MySQL database:

  1. From your control panel, click the MySQL Databases icon.
  2. Create a new database with a name appropriate for your blog.
  3. Create a database username and password.
  4. Assign the new user to the new database and grant All Privileges.

For additional help creating a MySQL database, please see:

Editing the wp-config.php File

After creating a new database, you will need to edit the wp-config.php file, which is the WordPress configuration file. This specific configuration file reads directly from a database of your choosing.

To update the WordPress configuration file:

  1. From your control panel, click the File Manager icon.
  2. Navigate to the document root for the domain for which you are updating the WordPress.
  3. Locate the file named wp-config (its normally in the group of files near the bottom).
  4. Click to open the file, and locate the following lines so that they can be updated with the correct information:
    /** The name of the database for WordPress */
    define('DB_NAME', 'cpuser_dbname');

    /** MySQL database username */
    define('DB_USER', 'cpuser_uname');

    /** MySQL database password */
    define('DB_PASSWORD', '******');

    /** MySQL hostname */
    define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
    • If you did not edit the file on the server via the File Manager with your new database settings, upload it to the root of your blog folder.

The configuration file is now set up with the new database; however, it does not contain any database tables. In order to correct this, you will need to import the information into the database.


Step 4: Importing WordPress to the New Database

You can use either phpMyAdmin or BigDump to import your database. BigDump is the preferred option if you have a large database (10mbs or more). There is a step-by-step guide on how to use BigDump on its website.

Once you have logged into phpMyAdmin:

  1. Click the name of the Database to which you wish to import the information.
  2. Click the Import tab at the top of the page.
  3. In the File to Import section, select the SQL based file from your computer that you wish to import.
  4. Use Partial Import if you intend to skip a set number of code rows.
  5. The Format and Format Specific Options sections can be left to their default values.
  6. Click Go to initiate the import.
Note: Importing via phpMyAdmin is less strenuous on the browser compared to the SQL option (BigDump) since the query may take a long time and can sometimes crash your browser.

If you would like us to determine your eligibility for a free transfer, or to request a quote for a transfer, please fill out the transfer request form or just submit a ticket to the Migrations department with a description of what you need.