I think I really screwed something up here...I would love some help fixing the problem, or at least some help figuring out what is going on

So, I used wordpress.org CMS to create a site locally using MAMP servers. ***Possibly Relevant Info - I am using astra theme with elementor plugin. Everything was going fine until I tried to host it on bluehost. I started following a tutorial, and everything was going fine. I connected to the remote site via FTP, transferred the files, exported my local MAMP database, etc etc. I thought I was about finished, and started following tutorial instructions for replacing local host in the wp-options file.

**ALSO at this point I followed instructions that a different tutorial had me do, which was change the 'permalinks' structure setting on my WP CMS. This messed a lot of things up, and now my pages all point to page ID's or something, and I couldnt figure out how to get it back to the subdomain being the name of the page (home, about-me, etc).

I also changed the 'siteurl' and 'home url' or w/e settings on the wordpress CMS.

Anyways, something I did massively messed everything up. All my tabs that I had up for the local WP CMS admin now had a message saying 'session expired' and I need to log in again. But, my log in info isnt working... every time I try it gives me this error message 'The requested URL /wordpress/index.php was not found on this server.' . Also, NOTHING is formatted. All the content is there but I lost all formatting, even the Wordpress login page.

I WAS able to get the site up on my bluehost server, but the issues are the same. Further, when I try to log into my wordpress account via bluehost's WP login ('my sites', the options are 'manage site' and 'log in to wordpress') I get taken to this bluehost doc page about 'Wordpress Tools API Reference' .

***POSSIBLE GOOD NEWS - I DO have a zipped XML file of the working version of the site I made before I started all of this, as well as a ZIP file of the database at that time. I assume this may be able to help but I'm not sure how to use it. KEEP IN MIND I am unable to log into any sort of Wordpress admin CMS, locally or on bluehost for some reason.

Something is really weird here. I suspect it has something to do with my routing. If anyone could point me in the right direction


Welcome Alexander, first pour a frosty glass of your favorite beverage, don't panic, this goes from bottom up:

  1. Start with the database. Bluehost has phpmyadmin -- fire it up and make sure that the WordPress tables on your development machine are on the new machine. Check the table names and number of rows -- if they are not the same, reimport the database until they are.
  2. Check your php.ini: Bluehost allows a custom php.ini, make sure that you enable php sessions.
  3. Check your .htaccess to matches recommended

--- take a break, you are now ready to check WordPress codeset, maybe reload/setup WordPress if you are paranoid ---

  1. Hardcoding urls in your posts, permalinks is a non-issue

  2. Sounds like you are using hardcoded domain overrides in your wp-config, if not, do so for now.

  3. Lost formatting, often means that your paths for CSS, etc may be off, or maybe .htaccess is goofed. Hit F12 in Chrome, click the Console tab, make sure everything loads (no red), fix paths until all loads.

Hopefully this will get you live, then you can undo 5, and use another technique that is not hard coded.

Give that a go, and let us know.

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