I've got a 40mb database file that I've exported from an old host and need to import it into a new host on a new domain. I normally open up the database in my code editor and find-replace, but as this file is so big, it's freezing my editor.

Is there a way to do this via Terminal / the command line? I saw something about using sed when searching, but I can't get my head around how it works. Is there a simple command for doing this that exists already? I tried this but it doesn't work:

sed 's/http:\/\/www.domain.com/http:\/\/www.newdomain.com/g' mydatabase.sql

Thanks for any pointers.


  • Are you using WP-CLI? – Sven Aug 22 '14 at 8:14
  • 1
    Hi Sven, no I'm not. Sounds like that could be another option though... – Osu Aug 24 '14 at 8:19

You should not use this technique to change the URL of your site : WordPress sometimes stores URLs in serialized strings. You find/replace will corrupt the serialized data and discard the whole content.

You can use interconnect/it search and replace tool to change the domain without any risk. This tool even allow you to run a dry test to check what will be modified.

If you prefer the sed technique, you should escape all special characters that have special meanings in regex like dots :

sed 's|http://www\.domain\.com|http://www\.newdomain\.com|g' mydatabase.sql
  • Thank you Fabien, I didn't realise a simple search and replace in the database file itself could cause so many issues. Good to know! – Osu Aug 24 '14 at 8:18

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