Back here for another “I have had to look this up too much so I will write a blog”. Now, most of the information here on the migration of a WordPress site from one host to another manually was gathered from all over. This is my fast rendition and items that I felt were the most important. I hope this helps some but really I wrote this for myself.

The First Steps To WordPress Manual Migration Success

You will need to have database access and access to the files. Most of the time a client will be able to provide you these with ease. Instead of speaking of a specific host, this general list will help the most.


  • On the live hosting go to the wp-content folder and download it
  • Copy the current wp-config file (it has a bunch of goodies)


  • You will need to export the entire database
  • Select all and export to a sql file

Move to the new hosting environment

You will either encounter a blank slate where you will need to upload the actual CMS for WordPress or it will be there. Most of the time now I am provided access and it is sitting right there for me. You will want to locate the file manager portion of the hosting and either FTP in or use the live file manager.


  • Copy the current wp-config file for safe keeping in case
  • Upload your wp-config file from the live site
  • replace the current wp-content folder with the one you downloaded (this may take some time so go grab a tea)


  • you may alread have a database set up with some standard wordpress tables. Select all and drop (this is scary just dooo it)
  • Go to upload at the top and upload your old database from the live site

What to Look At

  • Locate the options table in your database this is where the URL will be defined and where you may need to insert the dev url so the site shows.
  • If needed locate the users table if you have to customize any of the login creds
  • In the wp-config file you should have the same prefix for the database so make sure that is reading correcctly. Becuase you added a new database the config file should have the username and password already in there.

Magic Time Maybe

From here it’s time to see if it worked. Go ahead and try to pull up the homepage and log in. If you are met with a white screen or broken-looking site then that means you might just need to review your wp-config file for some extra code from the last host or settings. Also once you have made it to the WordPress backend go to your permalinks and save it twice. This will make sure any and all links will be working properly.


This should get you in the right direction and for myself, this is a recipe of success for manual migration. Items that were not mentioned but should be are:

  • have your ftp client ready to go. I like to use Cyberduck or Filezilla
  • text editor of choice ready to rock and roll (atom, VS code, sublime, ect)
  • access to myphp on both servers and access to the files on each

and that’s it!

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