As my title explains I am trying to migrate a customers Wordpress site to new environment and domain. Why? because Godaddy instance exploded and everything went down. I only have the complete website dumps taken from CPANEL. This includes all the website folders and a SQL dump. Of course everything in the DB and files points to the old environment.

How do I achieve this in 2019? Do I still have to painstakingly piece together everything manually?


  • Migrate Wordpress site with a Zip file backup made from cpanel (includes files and DB).
  • New domain name
  • New environment

Migration with domain change can be tricky and not for the faint of heart. It is much easier to keep the domain the same and port it over to a new environment and then changes the domain. Then, at the very most, it is just a matter of passwords for the database resident in the root via file: wp_config.php file.

Classicly there are two solutions, based on what environment you are going "to".

If you have access to the WHM, then you have the lovely tool WHM >> Home >> Transfers >> Transfer Tool. This will do all the work for you.

If not, then you are in for a bit of a harder road, given you want to change the domain name at the same time. The method I have used in the past, is a 2 part solution.

  1. Break up the full backup into full source files and the .gz file for the mysql database.

  2. Import the database using the PhpMySQL CPanel tool. Make sure the database is empty and import the database directly via the import option.

    1. Using the Cpanel assign the database name and the password.
    2. Copy all the files to the HTML folder one for one. Typically this is called "public_html"
    3. While they are copying you are going to need to manually change the database domain name. There is a good website that explains all the areas you will need to change.


  1. Then you will need to modify the wp_config.php, resident in the HTML folder as follows:

     /** The name of the database for WordPress */
      define('DB_NAME', 'site_wrdp1');
      /** MySQL database username */
     define('DB_USER', 'site_wrdp1');
     /** MySQL database password */
      define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password');

and place a rewrite code (since you are changing domain names)

    #Options +FollowSymLinks
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newsite.COM/$1 [R=301,L]

Place that code at the top of the wp_config.php file. Then you fire it up and see what happens. Usually it is the database user name and password that is the problem. Another good site, that covers a lot of this, in much more detail is: https://wedevs.com/92444/change-wordpress-site-address/

Hope this helps...good luck


Assuming you can still access your WordPress admin, install new plugins and your original/source website is working (front-end / backend). You can install this plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/prime-mover/

You can export the entire website package (complete export mode: db + media + plugins + themes) as a single zip and download it to your computer.

Then in your new server / new domain, install a blank WordPress (fresh install) and activate Prime Mover plugin. Go to Tools - Migration Tools. Restore the package zip you downloaded earlier and it should be uploaded/restored to your new domain. Now your site is fully migrated.

The plugin handles all things automatically including changes in db/ copying files ,etc. You don't need to mess with PHP code or server settings.

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