To start with, I'll just clarify that this appears to be a different issue to the numerous migration ones already covered.

In short, I've migrated my site to a new domain (both in root, no directory changes) according to the WP manual, however now images in all of the pages are lacking their thumbnails & are simply displayed by their names. Clicking on their link/name displays the full image, as it should.

Looking at the page source, WP isn't even trying to insert the thumbnail - as if it thinks it doesn't exist!

The media uploader shows all of the images, but lacks any thumbnails & just shows a placeholder. Clicking on View takes me to the full, working image.

Using the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin, it spits out the error: "The originally uploaded image file cannot be found at " - at? Looks like it could be a hiccup in the DB, despite it still being able to point me to the original file.

New images upload & display without any issue.


1 Answer 1


Domain change

This kind of error may be caused by wrong host name in image urls that are stored in the database.

It is necessary to replace strings holding your old domain with new one:

http://olddomain.com --> http://newdomain.com

In every migtration process I use the following recommended tool: https://interconnectit.com/products/search-and-replace-for-wordpress-databases/

Upload it to your WP root directory and open in the browser. Then follow the steps reading instructions and warnings carefully.

Database prefix change

By use of this tool other source of potential problems can be solved: changed database tables prefix. If migration process includes introducing a new (hopefully safer than default wp_) prefix for DB tables, the change has to be reflected in some DB records.

So, use the above tool also to search and replace your old prefix, for example wp_ with je9128d_ in following two tables:

  • je9128d_usermeta
  • je9128d_options
  • In addition to updating the URL before exporting the database, I ran a search & replace on the SQL dump to catch any remaining references to the old domain. Would that not be enough? I expected any URLs with serialised strings would have been updated when I changed the domain within WP...
    – user68129
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 13:00
  • Serialized data does not update automatically. Try the tool or you may also set define('WP_DEBUG', true); in wp-config.php to see if there are any errors on the screen. Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 13:17
  • For SQL files I also found the following tool: pixelentity.com/wordpress-search-replace-domain but I didn't test it. Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 13:20
  • Okay, I've re-uploaded the DB and run the search & replace mentioned in this first comment (I've seen this software before), however it's not fixed anything. Original images are still accessible, but not thumbnails. I've investigated a few sides now & I'm quite sure this isn't a case of misdirected domains. Nothing in the DB mentions the old domain, and there're no references in either the produced HTML sources or WP debugs. I don't have access to the server to debug in MySQL directly. Any other suggestions?
    – user68129
    Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 19:10
  • Did you, maybe, change db tables prefix during migration? Commented Feb 25, 2015 at 19:31

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