I'm dumping my entire WordPress database, changing all necessary references, and then importing it into another domain.

Everything works fine, except my plugin settings are not being set in the new domain. Does anyone know if Wordpress saves plugin settings locally somewhere? Or a reason why it would activate all the plugins, but not set the settings?

The plugins I am specifically having trouble with are Adminimize, Admin Menu Editor, and User Roles.

This is the closest plugin I could find to solving the issue, but it doesn't work for Wordpress 3.1 - http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sk-wp-settings-backup/

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

  • Could you provide more detail about what references you are changing? Commented Mar 16, 2011 at 10:28

4 Answers 4


Very likely your settings are there but during your find and replace in sql you may have corrupted the serialised options.

If you are doing a mysql dump from site #1 and importing dump to database for site #2, you might want to use my WordPress migration script.

Using the WordPress migration script you can have all the options updated with one click, migrating all your settings for plugins, themes, widgets and other options.

  • Agreed this is the likely culprit. Serialized settings are very sensitive to find and replace. Thanks Azizur for the script, this is a common task for me and I'll give it a try. Commented Mar 14, 2011 at 19:09
  • I haven't ran it yet but it seems like a great solution. I was aware of the serialized settings issue and didn't make that clear in my question. Thanks for the script.
    – Andy Cook
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 15:22

Did you try going into your SQL file and seeing if they are in there? Most the time the settings would be in there but I could be wrong, if they are you would have to likely import the tables manually. I had a issue similar to this and that's what I had to do.


The WXR format doesn't handle plugin settings natively, but it seems as though you're using a straight SQL dump to transfer sites. In this case, I would take a look at the contents of your options table. Check out the (BLOG URL)/wp-admin/options.php output on both sites and see if anything is obviously not being translated from blog A to blog B.

(See, for instance, http://wpbits.wordpress.com/2007/08/07/quick-access-to-wordpress-options/, for a fuller description of the relatively-unknown but eminently useful options.php)


changing all necessary references

What do you mean by this? If you are running straight replace on database dump it is very likely that you are breaking serialized data - which very well might be reason for settings not being imported.

  • I meant updating the serialized arrays. Sorry for the vagueness
    – Andy Cook
    Commented Mar 15, 2011 at 15:18
  • @Andy Cook - how are you updating those?
    – hakre
    Commented Mar 19, 2011 at 20:03

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