This question I'm asking has been asked a thousand different ways, and I refuse to believe I'm the only one with a basic need here so here goes:

I'm taking a simple local install and putting it live. I've exported before, but it didn't seem to carry over any categories/settings/authors/etc. HOWEVER, that was almost a year ago, and it's entirely possible I didn't do things properly since I was just starting to learn WordPress.

So, what I need is to ask "If I login as admin, and click 'export', does it..."

  1. Does it export all posts and authors, including the post meta? (what authors wrote what posts)
  2. Does it export all settings? (permalinks, discussion, reading, etc)
  3. Does it export all media? (images, videos, etc)

It's a simple list, but I'm being asked to take a very messy existing WP install and make it sexy in local then put it live with the new theme I built. I just want to know what to expect, so I can plan accordingly.

Thank you all!


Your easiest option is to just take a copy of your local database and import it to the server using phpmyadmin or similar.

You can then add these 2 options to your wp-config.php file to update the site URL.


That was you will get everything in the database on to the live site and then all you need to do is make sure all the files are uploaded including your uploads folder.

  • Thank you Alex, I've been looking around since I originally asked the question and your answer seems to be the consensus! Good work! – user6674 Feb 7 '12 at 14:23
  • Alternatively, would it also work to go into phpMyAdmin and just export the whole database - then import into your live database - then install WordPress on top of it after modifying wp-config.php? – user6674 Feb 7 '12 at 18:21
  • Corey, that's what I was getting at. If you import your dev database in to the live one you then just need to upload your entire WordPress install and adjust the config adding those 2 defines(); – Alex Older Feb 8 '12 at 9:47
  • Ah yes, apologies - I should have read your original answer more carefully. When I wrote my last comment I hadn't done it that exact way, so today I'm going to try it again with a test install just so I can get the hang of this. Thanks again! – user6674 Feb 8 '12 at 14:23

Alex's answer is the way to go here. That said, for the sake of posterity, here are the answers to your questions:

Does it export all posts and authors, including the post meta? (what authors wrote what posts)


Does it export all settings? (permalinks, discussion, reading, etc)


Does it export all media? (images, videos, etc)

Yes. Then on import, you have to tell WordPress to download all attachments. However, your live server needs to be able to query your local server publicly, so if your local server is at http://localhost/ or something, that won't work.


  • Thanks for your answer, and thanks even more for taking the time to answer each question individually! – user6674 Feb 7 '12 at 14:24
  • Happy to help! :) – Matthew Boynes Feb 7 '12 at 14:53

I recommend using my free WP Migrate DB plugin. It exports your database like phpMyAdmin, but does a find and replace on the URLs and file paths that need to be updated. It also handles any serialized data, so widgets don't get corrupted.

There is a pro version of it as well, that allows you to push/pull your database from one WP install to another without leaving the WP dashboard.

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