How to Migrate a WordPress Installation to a cPanel Server


Overview

This tutorial explains how to migrate a MacOS® server-hosted WordPress® installation to a cPanel & WHM server. This is useful, for example, If you develop your website on a locally-hosted server and wish to deploy your work to a public-facing server.

Warning:
  • Your website will likely experience downtime during this process.
  • Because cPanel, L.L.C. doesn’t develop WordPress itself, cPanel Technical Support can’t help you perform the migration.
Note:

As of Fall 2018, Apple® will no longer support website hosting on MacOS servers. For more information, read Apple Support’s Prepare for changes to macOS Server documentation.

Migrate your WordPress installation

Pre-migration requirements

Before you begin, make certain that you possess the following:

Export the WordPress database

Export your WordPress installation’s database with the phpMyAdmin tool. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to localexample.com/phpmyadmin, where localexample represents your locally-hosted domain. The phpMyAdmin interface will appear.

  2. Click Export in the toolbar. A new interface will appear.

  3. Under the Export Methods: heading, select either of the following export methods:

    • Quick — This method displays the minimum settings.
    • Custom — This method displays all possible settings.
      Note:
      We recommend that you select Quick.
  4. Select the database’s format from the Format: menu. This setting defaults to SQL.

  5. Click Go. The system will create a download file that contains your database information.

Upload the files to the new server

Connect to your web hosting account via your preferred FTP client and upload your WordPress files to your web host account’s public_html directory.

Create a MySQL database

Create a MySQL® database to which to import the WordPress database in cPanel’s MySQL Databases interface (cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> MySQL® Databases).

Import the Wordpress database to cPanel

Import your WordPress database backup file to cPanel & WHM. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to cPanel’s phpMyAdmin interface (cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> phpMyAdmin).
  2. Click Databases in the toolbar and then click the database that you created in the previous step.
  3. Click Import in the toolbar. A new interface will appear.
  4. Click Choose File and select the database backup file that you created in Step 1.
  5. Click Go. The system will import your WordPress database.

Change the website URL

You must change the website URL in your database so that the database connects with your WordPress site. To do this, perform the following steps in cPanel’s phpMyAdmin interface (cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> phpMyAdmin):

  1. Locate the wp_options table and click Browse.
  2. Under the option_name column, locate the siteurl entry and click Edit.
  3. In the option_value column, enter your website’s new URL in the text box and click Go.
  4. Locate the home entry and click Edit.
  5. In the setting_value column, enter your website’s new URL in the text box and click Go.

Configure the WordPress database settings

You must configure your WordPress database settings to use the information for the database that you created in step 3. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to cPanel’s File Manager interface (cPanel >> Home >> Files >> File Manager).

  2. Open the public_html directory and locate the wp-config.php file.

  3. Right-click the wp-config.php file and click Edit. A pop-up window will appear.

  4. Click Edit in the pop-up window. The editor will appear in a new browser tab.

  5. Edit the DB_NAME, DB_USER, and DB_PASSWORD lines to match the information for the database that you created in step 3. This will resemble the following example:

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      // ** MySQL settings ** //
      /** The name of the database for WordPress */
      define( 'DB_NAME', 'mrfrogor_wp' );
    
      /** MySQL database username */
      define( 'DB_USER', 'mrfrogor_wp' );
    
      /** MySQL database password */
      define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'zQWDu1CdqbVx' );
    
      /** MySQL hostname */
      define( 'DB_HOST', 'localhost' );

  6. After make your changes, click Save Changes

Your website may contain broken links and broken images after you migrate your website. To update the links and images to use your new website’s URL, perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to cPanel’s phpMyAdmin interface (cPanel >> Home >> Databases >> phpMyAdmin).

  2. Click Databases in the toolbar and then click the database that you created in step 3.

  3. Click SQL in the toolbar.

  4. In the text box, enter an SQL query to update your URLs. For example:

    UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = REPLACE(post_content, 'localexample.com/, www.mrfrog.com/')

  5. Click Go to run the query.

Save the changes in WordPress interface

After you updates your links and images, save the changes in the WordPress dashboard to update the URL. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Log in to the WordPress dashboard.

  2. Navigate to the General interface (Main >> Settings >> General).

  3. Click Save at the bottom of the interface.

  4. Navigate to the Permalink interface (Main >> Settings >> Permalink).

  5. Click Save at the bottom of the interface.

Delete your MacOS website

After you complete your website’s migration to a cPanel & WHM server, delete the website that remains on your MacOS server.

Additional Documentation