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On the Wordpress Codex: Moving Site page under Changing Your Domain Name and URLs, it states that you should re-download your site files (Step 5) after changing your site URLs (Step 4). Is Step 5 actually necessary? Wouldn't changing the site URLs only impact the database?

  1. Download your existing site files.

  2. Export your database - go in to mySQL and export the database.

  3. Move the backed up files and database into a new folder - somewhere safe - this is your site backup.

  4. Log in to the site you want to move and go to Settings > General, then change the URLs. (ie from http://example.com/ to http://example.net) - save the settings and expect to see a 404 page.

  5. Download your site files again.

  6. Export the database again.

  7. Edit wp-config.php with the new server's mySQL database name, user and password.

  8. Upload the files.

  9. Import the database on the new server.

If it is necessary to re-download the site files, would it only be the root folder and /wp-content folder that might have changes? Aren't those the only areas where changes are made to Wordpress' core files?

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    Steps 1, 2 & 3 are to ensure that you have a backup of your site and DB. Step 4 is actually changing the URL within the DB. Steps 5 & 6 will be the files and DB that you upload to your new server, so while technically the files will be the same it's good to have this second copy that is seperate from your earlier backup. Step 7 will allow your site to connect to your new database, steps 8 & 9 use the files and DB from steps 5 & 6. All should be fine, but if things do go wrong you have the backup from steps 1, 2 & 3. – David Gard Feb 5 '15 at 15:40
  • I guess I'm just not following why I would download identical files a second time. Seems like I would just need the original and new database files, and only one copy of the other files. – Mark Rummel Feb 5 '15 at 17:12
  • It's a backup, as stated in step 3, that's all - redundency in case things go wrong. They shouldn't, but life isn't all rainbows and unicorns and sometimes the internet conspires with Devil to ruin your life, so having another fresh, safe, untouched copy is never a bad thing. – David Gard Feb 6 '15 at 10:22

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