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Moving WordPress – Local Server to Web Host

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After you have finished designing your site on your local computer, here are the steps to move it to your live, hosting account.

Local Site:

– export the database
– ZIP the contents of the site

Live Site:

– use phpMyAdmin (or your hosting account’s database tool) to create a new, empty database (no spaces in the name)
– import the exported local database .sql file
– edit the siteurl and home fields in the wp_options table with the new live site URL:

http://www.my_domain.com

– upload the ZIP file and unZIP (or copy the local site files via FTP) to the desired location on the hosting account (generally the root of the account, public_html)
– edit the wp-config.php file there with the live database connection credentials (use the edit file option of your hosting account’s file manager to do so)
– log into the live site Dashboard:

http://www.my_domain.com/wp-admin

– install and run this plugin:

http://wordpress.org/plugins/velvet-blues-update-urls/

— select all options EXCEPT the last one (GUID)

– go to Settings > Permalinks and just re-save

– if broken links remain, then upload this script to the root of your hosting account and run it:

Database Search and Replace Script in PHP

— this script updates the URLs that are stored in the database as serialized strings, which the plugin mentioned above does not handle

– go to Settings > Permalinks and just re-save if you had to run this script and then delete it from your hosting account

Done 🙂

I know it seems like a lot of steps/work, but it is quite straight forward and provides one with a better understanding (hopefully) of what is going on and why.
Yes, there are plugins that do this, such as Duplicator and BackupBuddy, but again, one does not get a gist of what’s happening. And if something goes pear-shaped using them, then it’s off to the plugin’s support forum to find out what went wrong.

Using this method, which I always use, I can get a local site to live in under 5 minutes 🙂

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