Avatar of Bruce Gust
Bruce Gust
Flag for United States of America asked on

Why am I having trouble transferring my Wordpress site to a different host?

I've been tasked with moving a Wordpress site to a new host. I've got a rudimentary knowledge of Wordpress and I wouldn't think that moving the files and updating the database config file would be especially difficult. But I'm apparently missing something and I need some input.

The current site is https://www.studweldfast.com/. After copying all the files and changing the database to the correct settings, here's what I'm looking at: http://weldstudpro.com/.

The theme appears to be Executive Pro. I've activated that theme and I'm still looking at something that doesn't come close to the original / what I'm expecting. I've been able to locate the images that I would expect to be present and they are on the new server, but nothings being displayed.

What am I missing?
WordPress

Avatar of undefined
Last Comment
Bruce Gust

8/22/2022 - Mon
David Favor

Depends on what you mean by "changing the database to the correct settings".

If you mean you use phpMyAdmin to search + replace www.studweldfast.com -> weldstudpro.com then you'll be in trouble because phpMyAdmin isn't serialized data aware.

If you used wp-cli or a serialized data aware backup plugin then all should be well.

The http://weldstudpro.com looks like a fresh WordPress install, which might relate to the theme you mentioned failing, in which case WordPress will attempt to fallback to a working theme + site will be mangled.

Start by describing the exact steps you took to backup your database/files, move backup to new hosting, restore backup, rename site to new domain name.
EXPERT CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Julian Hansen

Log in or sign up to see answer
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform
Sign up - Free for 7 days
or
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
Not exactly the question you had in mind?
Sign up for an EE membership and get your own personalized solution. With an EE membership, you can ask unlimited troubleshooting, research, or opinion questions.
ask a question
Bruce Gust

ASKER
#1 copies all existing files to new server
#2 set up new database and imported the backup sql
#3 went to new site and instead of seeing the content I expected,  was greeted with a generic screen that had me set up my new Wordpress site login.
#4 convinced that something was wrong after I set up login etc., I went back and looked to see what theme was being used on the original site. Went to new Dashboard and made sure that theme was activated. The new site's appearance was altered but still a far cry from the original site
#5 logged into Experts Exchange and put in a call to the ninjas...
Bruce Gust

ASKER
Julian, I'm smelling what you're cooking!

It seems like WP has a utility that clones a website and you reference that.

The original webmaster did include a .tar file. Originally, I went with the .zip file he gave me because the .tar.gz file looks like this:

screenshot
It's an incredible assortment of things that I don't recognize as being relevant save the one file that I have highlighted which is the actual site files.

I've got the client on a Godaddy site and it seems like they've got a pretty verbose WP utility. Perhaps I should start from scratch and look for the "cloning" mechanism you reference?
Experts Exchange is like having an extremely knowledgeable team sitting and waiting for your call. Couldn't do my job half as well as I do without it!
James Murphy
Bruce Gust

ASKER
I checked with the Godaddy utility I was thinking about and it looks like I made a bad situation worse. I moved the files that were originally submitted to me to a directory called "Wordpress" on the new server, thinking that the content was there, it was just a matter of allowing a WP utility to access them and install them correctly.

I directed the new install to place the files in the home directory, which didn't seem to work, and this is what I got:

screenshot
It shouldn't be this hard...
Bruce Gust

ASKER
Julian, I do have access to a CPanel, this is how it looks:

another screenshot
David Favor

Tip: Based on your comments I'd suggest you use a WordPress backup plugin, rather than doing manual steps.

This will be easier to keep straight.

This will also handled the serialized data aware search + replace to change your domain name.

Use a plugin like Duplicator or BackupBuddy.

Tip: The way I setup new sites... sometimes 100s/day... is to always get the site serving an empty directory with SSL working first.

This way you know you're working with the correct directories with your new hosting.

In your list above, #3 went to new site and instead of seeing the content I expected,  was greeted with a generic screen that had me set up my new Wordpress site login is where you should stop. If you get to this point + don't see your site, don't do a fresh install, because how you have another database hanging around somewhere, which will be orphaned when you get your migration working.

Having orphaned databases can cause massive future confusion.

Best you start your next migration by deleting the fresh site install you did - including all files + database, so you have a empty directory serving via HTTPS.
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
Bruce Gust

ASKER
David, I'm going to do it! It seems like I did something with Wordpress similar to this and it was a utility that got everything done as opposed to a manual process.

Just to explain back to you what you said:

  • Delete everything, including the database (doing that now even as we speak)
  • Using the WordPress app that's on my cPanel - install WordPress
  • Open up WordPress and install either Duplicator or Backup Buddy
  • Use one of those utilities and they will ask for my files at which point, I just point to that directory and they take it from there

Yes?
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Log in to continue reading
Log In
Sign up - Free for 7 days
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
Bruce Gust

ASKER
David, you're awesome!

Thanks for spoon feeding me all of this!

I found a "backupbuddy.php" file! Having read through your steps I realized that this was probably the "thing" I was looking for. I watched a tutorial, but I think I missed something.

I uploaded the zip file. I found a "backupbuddy.php" file and I retrieved it from the wp-content/plugins/backupbuddy directory.

This smelled like success!

But after I uploaded the zip file and then the "backupbuddy.php" file on to the main directory, I tried to access the actual page and I got a "couldn't be displayed" error.

What did I do wrong?
Bruce Gust

ASKER
I did find another file that looked a little more "obvious," perhaps. It was in the main directory and it's the MOJOWordpressInstaller-wOMF5tizRf.php.php file.

I don't know...
All of life is about relationships, and EE has made a viirtual community a real community. It lifts everyone's boat
William Peck
David Favor

To use BackupBuddy requires purchasing a copy.

If you have some file called backupbuddy.php this is likely some hacker provided backdoor, which you should not use.

Use one of the following or many other good backup plugins from https://WordPress.org/plugins will also work. I stick with Duplicator, as it seems to work in more situations.

BackupBuddy lives here (paid software).

Duplicator lives here (free software).

Whichever plugin you chose, visit YouTube + you'll find detailed walkthrough videos for pretty much any backup plugin.
Bruce Gust

ASKER
Gentlemen!

I was able to make some significant progress!

Here's what I did:

Manually copied all of the elements into the new hosting service
Opened up the .sql file and made sure table names were consistent with the config file
Went through the sql and changed any reference to the original domain to the new domain
Set up a new admin so I could log into the dashboard and make the necessary updates so I could match the original aesthetically

Still could use some insight, though: https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29140043/Where-would-I-look-for-these-elements-so-I-can-match-the-original-WP-site.html#questionAdd

Thanks!
Bruce Gust

ASKER
You rock!

Thanks!
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.