Transferring Content from One WordPress Site to Another

Sometimes, it’s necessary to transfer your WordPress content from one location to another. Generally, this should be a simple and straightforward due to WordPress import export feature. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough in some instances since takes more to achieve something beyond the basics. It’s important to note that whoever chooses to use the method detailed below is responsible to the effect it may have on your site since it involves working with your databases. Read on and learn how to move any WordPress content with some tweaks.

Backup your website

It is not rocket science; backups are more than just a formality. They minimize the risk of losing data. A backup guarantee something to go back to when the content transfer process goes off. You can manually backup your WordPress content with the files and database on the forefront.

WordPress files backup

The best and most secure way of saving these files is having it compressed (Zip file) and download via the FTP program. Though your host will most likely backup your data, it is also good to have the backup.

Database backup

To back up the site’s database, go to PHPMyAdmin and log in your account. Click the WordPress database from the list on the left of the screen, then select Export.

To secure all the tables, including those not from WordPress, tables in the database, pick Custom. Then choose the tables you wish to include in the backup. Otherwise, the quick option will suffice. To finish, click Go and the database will be downloaded. Remember to back up your new site if there are existing contents.

Now that you have the backup, it is safe to forge ahead. Transferring content process depends on which content you wish to move:

• Moving a whole site/changing the sites URL
• Moving some of the content

See more: Best Backup WordPress Plugins

1. Moving a whole site/changing the site’s URL

This option is that it is the simplest. Briefly, this involves taking everything from the old site to the new one. WordPress provides the all you need for this move with the import-export plugin. Although the process is easy, make sure the site is up to date before the transfer.

a. Exporting the site

Click the Export button, found on the tool option of the WordPress dashboard.

Since the idea is to export everything, on the Choose What to Export Button pick All Content then click Download Export File at the bottom of the right panel on the screen.

Keep the downloaded XML file in a secure and easy-to-find location. The desktop should do.

b. Importing to the new site

After exporting, go to the new WordPress website, visit the tools option on the dashboard, and click Import. From the list provided, select WordPress at the bottom of the screen. Depending on whether you have installed the WordPress importer or not, the link will read either “Install Now” or “Run Importer”. Assuming you haven’t installed the WordPress importer it will read “Install Now” click this link and soon you will see “Run Importer” after you have clicked the “Activate Plugin & Run Importer” button.

c. Uploading the WordPress content

With the WordPress import page ready, select the choose file option and browse to the location of the XML file you downloaded then click upload file and import.

The next page after the WordPress import process allows you to assign various users to different content. It could be old users to the new account or vice versa or simply choose to go with everything new. It’s all up to you.

In case of attachments such as images and PDFs, check the Download and Import attachment box then click Submit.

That is all it takes to transfer all your WordPress content. It is a good idea to go on a coffee break at this point since it might take some time.

2. Moving some of the content

As seen from the process above it is easy to move an entire website. Unfortunately, moving part of it is another story. Since WordPress tools do not completely provide for this type of transfer, it takes more work to accomplish.

a. Export and import

Follow the steps from the first procedure as far as the WordPress import and export is concerned. Note that you can export multiple files in a go.

b. Files Duplication

Create and download a compressed file with the help of your FTP client. Locate a folder with the name wp-content/uploads/

you can upload the compressed file or simply cut and paste to the new installation then extract to the upload directory.


c. Attachment posts

To export the attachment posts so that they can appear on the new site, go back to phpMyAdmin from the former site. On the database, find wp_post table.

To find the attachment post, type your copy and paste the following: SELECT
‘post_type’= “attachment”
Check Show All to see the entire results and click Check All, then Export.

Unfortunately, we are not done yet. On the following page: a. Click Customs and find Format Specific Options. b. Select data then click Go.

d. SQL prefix

You can do this with the help of a text editor such as Notepad or Dreamweaver. Remember this is only for database cases with a different prefix. Otherwise, skip this step.

e. Attachment import

Find the attachments from the database. In my case, it is wp post. Click Import. On the Choose File button, select the SQL file and click Go.

Not there yet as the images do not show properly.


f. Post Meta

Go to the old database and locate wp post meta and click Export. Click Customs>data. On the data recreation section, choose to REPLACE and click go to create and download the SQL.

g. Edit SQL and import.

If the database has a different prefix, this would be the time to edit it. Otherwise, go to the wp post meta and import the SQL file to finish the process.

Final thoughts

As you can see, this is not an easy job. Working on any database can be trying especially if you have no knowledge of SQL terms and how to go to about editing. WordPress needs you to put in more work on their future versions to ease the burden on content movement. We believe these steps will help you to do the next transfer you would do.

Here are few more topics that you shouldn’t miss:
5 Popular Free & Paid Form Builder Plugins for WordPress
Steps for Easy Migration from to
How to Write Ideal Content if You are not Good in English

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I’m an Award-Winning Freelancer & Web Entrepreneur helping new entrepreneurs launch their first successful online business. Ranked as Top 1% Successful Freelancers & Creative Head of NamanModiDigital my goal has always been to provide exceptional services by utilizing my outmost abilities thereby ensuring client satisfaction globally.

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