Moving a WordPress Site to a New Host and Domain –

Moving a WordPress Website

I decided to move this WordPress website from the “old” subdomain ( to a new domain (aff) and hosting (aff) company.

The main reason I moved is because I was unhappy with the hosting (aff) provider of the main site. Recently they moved to faster servers and a better internet backbone, but after moving there are still ongoing issues with some of the other sites that run there.

The second reason is, I wanted to see how well Google and other search engines will pick up the 301 redirects (permanently moved pages) and hold my current rankings in the search results. Another part of this SEO exercise is to see how the rankings and number of visitors to this site are influenced by the move of a Dutch hosting provider with servers in Amsterdam to a USA-based hosting company (Geo Targeting in Search Engine Optimization).

After the dust settles, I will write a page/post about the process of moving a WordPress site. I've already found one major problem that is now fixed, but I need to do some more testing and tweaking to be sure. After that, I will give you a complete overview of all the pitfalls to avoid in a process like this and how to handle it the right way. Subscribe to the e-mail or RSS updates on the right side of the menu to get those updates.

Start Your Own WordPress Website

To get started you need: 3. Configure your WordPress settings and plugins and start writing...


  1. Thank you for such an informative website. I build sites using Adobe GoLive. WordPress for a CMS site is a great idea. An unrelated but related comment here: When you move a fully developed site in HTML to WordPress (same domain (aff) name), does that mean once you make the switch you basically killed the old site pages (in HTML) and now have to quickly populate the new site pages (in WordPress) with all the content from the old pages? In other words, you can’t build a WordPress site offline like you can a GoLive or HTML site, by creating it on your hard drive first? Hope that question makes sense. A simple answer is all that’s needed. Seems like once you install WordPress onto that domain (aff) name, you begin at zero and need to add everything back. So a site could be “down” for 1-4 weeks, depending, until it is back to normal. Right?

    • @Graig: What you can do is to install WordPress in a subfolder like /cms
      You can then build the site next to the live one and making sure your permalinks for the pages reflect the old ones (in the development phase it will have /cms/page-url.html)
      Make sure your keep the post slugs the same as the old site URLs. (use a plugin like “.html on pages” if you currently use the .html extension.

      Once you are happy with the new site you can follow these steps:

      1. remove or rename the index.html from your old site.
      2. copy the index.php and .htaccess file from your subdirectory to the root
      3. change one line in the index.php file to require(‘./cms/wp-blog-header.php’);
      4. change only the Blog address in the General settings to the domein name.
      5. Remove the old .html files.

      If you do it this way, your site will be “down” for about 5 minutes and if you made sure the urls stay the same, you won’t loose any rankings or visitors.

      Of course you have made a backup first of your old site :-)

  2. Hi,

    Setting up my website with WordPress. When I try to upload a theme from a zip file, I get this message:
    Warning: require_once(/home/content/71/7420171/html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/genesis (aff)/lib/init.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/content/71/7420171/html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/lexicon/functions.php on line 3

    Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required ‘/home/content/71/7420171/html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/genesis (aff)/lib/init.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/local/php5/lib/php’) in /home/content/71/7420171/html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/lexicon/functions.php on line 3

    Now, everytime I log into the site, that message appears. Can you help?

    • @Lee: This would be a question you can put in the support forum of StudioPress of wich you get access after the purchase of the theme.

      It looks however like you should reinstall the Genesis (aff) theme, either via zip file installation (Genesis (aff) 1.5 is the most current at this time) or via FTP.

      The error states that you are missing a file from the Genesis Framework that is needed the get the Lexicon child theme to work located.

      Keep in mind that you should install Genesis before the child theme.

      Hope this helps to get you site going without problems.

  3. I want to update our very old website by both changing its overall looks and make it interactive. I am confused about plugins. Are these relegated to sidebars & footers only? For example, I want a large vertical scroller on my homepage. I do not want it in a sidebar or narrow column. Will a scroller plugin work or will I have to use Javascript?
    I will also require forms, credit.debit card donation system, , and podcast.

    I guess my primary question is: Are my interactive design options dependent on the sidebars for the placcement of my widgets?

    Thanks for your consideration. David

    • @David: Plugins willgive you extra functionality and sometimes they will have a widget that you can use in a sidebar.

      You can have a scroller in the top of your site. There are a few plugins that can help, but you can use javascripts to. It depends largely on the theme you choose and how you style your site.
      Forms, donation systems en podcast, it can all be done, but it will take some time to find the right plugins.

      So too answer you main question, no, you sites layout is no solely depending on sidebars! You can do a lot more with WordPress…

      If you want to see some great examples of interactive sites check out the cheap premium themes on ThemeForest WordPress Themes

What do you think?