Advice on migrating both domain and site to new server


I plan to build a multi-site for a client. Since his old site and domain is currently being used, I plan to build the new site on a different server and domain and then transfer it.

What is the easiest way to do this? What options do I have for migrating the domain and server one I have built the multi-site?


  • James Dunn
    • The Crimson Coder

    Goodday @dustin.

    You have several options. Here are the questions you’ll have to answer for yourself:

    1) Do you want a paid or free solution?

    2) Do you want a pushbutton solution or are you O.K. with a multistep solution?

    If you want a FREE solution, there are many in the WP repository. But, I have never had good luck with any of them. Plus, most of those are for database backup and you still have to transfer your theme files, plugin files, image files, and CSS files – and maybe even more depending upon your website structure. For me, that was just more than I wanted to do.

    If you are O.K. with a paid solution, here are a few to try:

    WPTwin ( – this is a PHP script so it’s not a plugin. You don’t have to be in the WPAdmin dashboard to use it. It’s a little pricey (ranging from $97 to $247), but well worth it. I have owned it since the day they released it and I’ve seen it grow and develop. I’m 90% certain that Jason and Will (the developers) stated that this was WP MultiSite compatible. The only issue I’ve had with this script is that occasionally, it will create files on the cloned site that have incorrect permissions. My server engineer and I have talked about it and he thinks he’s gotten it fixed at the server level. Haven’t used it lately, so I don’t know for certain. Regardless, I had it for almost a year and wrote for tech help. Their help desk offered to refund my money if I felt I had not gotten value for it. I refused the refund and they worked on my issue.

    WPCyteClone ( – this is a WP Plugin, so you have to be in the WP dashboard to access and use it. One of the unique things about it is you can create your clone file from the original site, then go to the new site, put in the URL for the clone files and the new site will pull the new files from the old site and clone the old site to the new site. Ken states on his sales page that it is WP MultiSite compatible. The cost is $97 or $147 – the sales page says $147, but when I clicked through, it stated $97. I’ve owned this since Ken released it. Ken and his developer (Ralph) worked with me to get this compatible with my hosting environment – as they did with several other users – and that demonstrated to me that they were serious about making sure it worked well. I’ve had no issues with this plugin except for the occasional problem with the licensing end. Every time I had that trouble, I either tried again in a moment or two, or Ralph had me straightened out in a few hours.

    A third one that I own, but have never used because they were having issues with many hosts when they debuted it is Backup Creator ( – they claim that they’ve gotten the bugs worked out of this one and they have definitely been working with it. They will also tell you that it may not work in all situations. That’s why they are very easy to refund if you can’t get it to work. In fact, if you try it, ask for help, and they determine that it’s going to be too difficult to get it working in your situation or that your situation is so unique that it doesn’t warrant programming around your situation, they’ll issue a refund without you even asking.

    Finally, and Joe (@aecnu) will agree with me whole-heartedly on this, you may want to check out one of the Navicat products ( Joe and I both use Navicat Premium, but that may be overkill for some people. Navicat allows you to move your database one table at a time, multiple tables, or all the tables. It is super powerful and very simple to use. If you ever use it (and hated PHPMyAdmin as much as I did), you’ll be so glad you tried it. I think they give you a 30 day free trial so give it a shot. You’ll still have to FTP your theme files, plugin files, etc, but once you use Navicat, you’ll find so many other uses for it that you’ll be giddy as a schoolgirl.

    Hope you find this info helpful. BTW, NONE of the links I gave here are affiliate links, so don’t worry about that. Post back to let us know if this is helpful to you.

    James Dunn

    Athens, GA USA

  • Timothy
    • Chief Pigeon

    Moving them is pretty easy though and can be done manually.

    Dump the DB then run a find and replace on the domain name.

    Them import on the new host.

    None of your WordPress files except maybe wp-config.php should have a reference to the domain name hardcoded. But run a find and replace if you wish (be sure to check wp-config.php)

    I use bbEdit on Mac and that has a find a replace feature, I know there are plenty of options on PC, Mac & Linux.

    Its generally not a huge job to do, I’ve done it reasonable amount of times myself.

    WordPress also offer another explanation:

    Take care.

  • 3SixtyEvolve
    • New Recruit


    Thanks Tim for your input! It’s great to read the suggestions from different people, because everyone has what works for them.

    I’ve never had to transfer a big database before, so for me this is very interesting and I value every bit of advice that is offered. (Smile, thank you @dustin for asking this question.)

    Dustin, find what works best for you, that is my only advice. As James said, there are paid and free options, and there are push-one-button options and there are multi-step options. It all the depends on your requirements, time and experience level.

  • James Dunn
    • The Crimson Coder

    @timothy is correct – it’s not a hard job to do by hand – just tedious in my opinion.

    I’ve got an old document that I put together for someone quite some time ago (not updated in a long time) that I should probably dig up and offer to the community so that whenever this question arises there’s some documentation on how it can be done both manually and programatically (not even sure that’s a word).

    If anyone is interested, maybe I can unearth it, update it, and offer it. If not, we’ll just let it lie.

    James Dunn

    Athens, GA USA

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