However, sometimes you get stuck without access to the WordPress admin area or something else happens and you have to backup manually. It’s very rare you’d need to do it, but a number of people have asked us for a tutorial because of Hostgator’s issues over the last 24 hours, so I’ve done an over-the-shoulder tutorial of how I do it.
Please note that there is risk involved in doing this. Practice on a few demo sites first. If you follow the instructions and anything goes wrong, I have warned against doing this yourself. This video is merely for educational purposes. Never do this to a live site until you have practiced it many times. It’s really easy to hit a delete button or to overwrite something you didn’t mean to overwrite. Take a backup of everything every time. If you overwrite something and don’t have a backup, it’s gone. Forever.
Ok, with that taken care of here’s the tutorial:
Please don’t blow yourself up with this. If you’re not confident, you can hire us to make the changes for you.
The potential downside is you destroy your site and have to build it from scratch, so be VERY careful.
WordPress has a great thread on all the different ways you can move your installation, which we highly recommend you check out before proceeding. You can find it here.
How To Move WordPress Manually
- Go to phpmyadmin (or however you access the database) on the source site
- Go to the database for the site if it’s not already open. I like to go to the _options table and look at the website address to make sure I’ve got the correct one.
- Export -> Custom -> Compression set to Gzip. Click “Go” and save the file to your computer
- Open your preferred ftp program (I typically use Filezilla) and copy the whole /wp-content/ folder to your computer.
- Setup WordPress on the new server in the usual way, whether that is through Softaculous (comes standard in most cPanel installs) or manually.
- Login to the new server with your ftp program. Replace /wp-content/ on the new site with the /wp-content/ you saved in Step 4.
- Go to phpmyadmin on the new server. Delete all the tables (not the database, just the tables), then Import->browse for the file saved in Step 3. Click “Go“.
- Login to the new site. It will prompt a database update which you should do.
In addition to the steps above, I like to use the Velvet Blues plugin to automatically update all the links and references from the old domain to the new domain. Note that this doesn’t make changes to links in comment profiles.