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Changing URL of a WordPress Website

Your web address, officially referred to as the URL, Uniform Resource Locator, is your business identity online. Having a URL is as important nowadays as an actual street address used to be a brick and mortar place of business in the days before the web. Once your URL is in place, it is set and begins to appear in Google searches so potential clients can easily find your site. This is your spot on the web to blog or conduct business. Moving from one spot to another is like moving a physical business from one location to a new address.

So, why would you ever need to change the URL of your website?

Sometimes you have to change your domain name, or perhaps you developed your website on a demo location. Either way, there are some important steps to consider when changing your URL:

  • Manually change URL of the website to make sure everything transfers properly from one location to the next is extremely tedious, and there are several WordPress migration plug-ins that help.
  • Change Site URL and Home URL – While understanding the difference between the two often involves a complicated explanation, the site URL is essentially the address that directs to your site, while the Home URL is where you have set your home page.
  • Change GUID – The GUID is your Globally Unique ID or Identifier on the web.
    Change URL in content – Now that your URL is changed, there is something that is often overlooked but very important when a visitor tries to use your site to avoid frustration. Within each page of your site, it is important to change any links that direct the user to old pages.

When you make your move, you will need to update clients as to where they can now find you. And, in the process, if you were physically moving from one place to another, you wouldn’t want to leave behind a desk or office equipment or warehouse merchandise. It’s the same way online-only your warehouse filled with merchandise is now a database filled with important information. On WordPress, this database is called a MySQL. Within this SQL is all of the data that makes up your site.

Behind what visitors to your WordPress site see are something called MySQL, Structured Query Language database. This is what is known as a free relational database management system used to communicate with a database SQL. In other words, all of the information for the site is stored in the MySQL database. After you migrate one site to the new URL, the new URL strings in the MYSQL database will need to be updated to reflect the change throughout the MYSQL database tables. If something goes wrong, parts of your site may no longer be visible to users.

Free Plug-ins that will help you migrate all of your site locations and content when you change your URL, include:

All-in-One WP Migration

As the name implies, you get all you need in one place with All-in-One WP Migration plug-in for WordPress. Export your entire database along with plug-ins, themes, and media files by applying unlimited find and replace operations. Migrate to Dropbox, Google Drive, and other popular cloud services. All-in-One WP Migration fixes any serialization problems that often occur during find and replace. This is the first plug-in to offer a truly mobile experience on WordPress. It is compatible with all Personal Home Page PHP, or hypertext preprocessing, hosting providers. The plug-in uses chunks to import data, so you get around web server upload size limitations, up to 512 MB on the free version with the option to upgrade to 5 GB with purchase.

Duplicator / Cloner / Migrator

The name really describes well what this plug-in does. It will duplicate, clone, or migrate a website from one hosting place to another. Start by typing your domain name destination, and follow a 5-step process that will do the rest for you.

Bamboo Migration

This plug-in is designed to make the process of website migration within WordPress as painless as possible. Export your MySQL database and replace every occurrence of the old URLs all at once. Just select Bamboo Migration from the WordPress Tools menu and then enter your new website address and click Export Database. The behind-the-scenes process will then generate an SQL file for you to download. The next step is importing the SQL file into the new website’s database to override the old, and you’re up and running with your new URL.

Sometimes a Paid Option takes away the worries of mistakes

One paid plug-in that is worth the price in time-saving and convenience alone is WP Migrate Pro. The costs range from $90 for a personal license to $1,000 for a large agency, and there are other level options in between.]

WP Migrate Pro

Forget stumbling around with SQL files. Migrating one URL to another doesn’t have to be that tricky. Literally, through the pressing of a few button, allows you to make select changes. Keep your site live while updating behind the scenes. Pause, resume or cancel migration as needed. WP Migrate Pro uses a customized Find and Replace technique to find the exact information you need from the SQL database and properly replace it. Use a Pull and Push method to manage your site. Pull information from your site to put it into a developer’s format where you are allowed access to editing it before making any permanent URL and site changes, and then Push the information to be viewed live when it’s ready.


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