I have a WordPress site at the root of a bluehost account ( inside public_html ) and there is an add-on domain also residing in a folder named devsite inside public_html. We have spent months developing the content in the devsite to be ready to promote to production.

On Saturday, I made a control panel snapshot and downloaded copies of both the current production site as well as the development site. Then I tried the upgrade.

The first way I tried was to use a tool called DesktopServer on my Mac to import the devsite. That worked. I then tried to deploy it to the production domain as per instructions but the deployment failed.

I restored the site via the snapshot.

On Sunday I tried the "WordPress" way of FTPing the files to public_html and exporting the database, fixing the links using "Search & Replace for Wordpress databases" and modifying the WP-Config to point to the new database. None of the pages on the site transferred, the menus didn't transfer, the widgets were not set ... in short, the promotion was a disaster.

Today, I tried the DesktopServer method on the Windows 7 machine at work. However, after making the site archive, DesktopServer reports that it is unable to locate the main index.php in the site archive but I checked and it is there.

I am out of ideas on how to move this site to production and would appreciate and guidance or help.

Thanks, Jon

  • 1
    You need to make a more specific question, using FTP is straightforward, what do you mean by "None of the pages on the site transferred"?
    – Wyck
    Aug 12, 2013 at 21:02
  • All of the posts, events, users, etc transferred but none of the content pages (and there are many) transferred. The site went from having probably 80 content pages to a home page and a "sample page."
    – jgravois
    Aug 12, 2013 at 21:09
  • That still doesn't help, what is a content page? Did you verify that these pages were exported when you download the site, did you verify this data was uploaded?
    – Wyck
    Aug 12, 2013 at 21:18
  • The page templates are in the theme's wp-content folder. I don't know where WordPress store page data.
    – jgravois
    Aug 12, 2013 at 21:35
  • In the wp-posts's table of the database.
    – Wyck
    Aug 13, 2013 at 3:26

2 Answers 2


If you have access to Cpanel this is what I do. Ensure you have up to date backups of EVERYTHING before attempting to make changes to the database.

First if Wordpress is installed on your production environment upload your theme files. (sounds like you have done this already)

Second go to Cpanel on your Development environment and select PHP MyAdmin.

  • Select the database for the Wordpress install you have been working on.
  • Then click on the export option at the top of the screen
  • select the custom option for exporting your database
  • select all of the tables EXCEPT for wp_options
  • for the output select save output to a file
  • scroll down to Object Creation Options
  • Check all three options (1. Add drop TABLE, 2. Add CREATE PROCEDURE and 3. CREATE TABLE options: )
  • Click Go (this should download the export of your database.)

Then, go to the cpanel for your production enviornment and select the PHP MyAdmin

  • Select the database for the production installation of your Wordpress site
  • Then click on Import.
  • Broswe to select your the database file you downloaded.
  • Click Upload.

Once the database has been uploaded you may need to go into the dashboard > settings > permalinks. Just loading this page will refresh your permalinks. No need to make any changes but there are times when I have seen a 404 error. Refreshing permalinks usually solves this problem for me.

Once you receive a success message after uploading make sure you go activate the theme in the admin area.

That has worked for me many times when I have had similar issues to the one you are having now.

  • how this doesn't have a hundred upvotes is beyond me. cheers! Apr 28 at 19:59

I recently used All-in-One WP Migration By ServMask

Install on development site & production site.

For production site just create a basic WordPress install. Passwords and usernames will be overwritten.

This made things so very easy for me. You could try it out first from one development site to another.

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