How to Move a WordPress Site

There is a pain-free way to move a WordPress site while keeping WP dashboard settings and plugins intact. I have found that a lot of the methods documented online are overly complicated with no visuals and/or do not keep settings/plugins intact, including the instructions at I hope to explain and show an easier way. Let’s go.

Objective: Move WP site from to
Estimated Time:
15 minutes

Note: While this example is all happening on the same server, this also works if you are going from one server or domain to another or from a local install to live.

1) At the host of, create a new database and associated database user. This might not be something you usually do manually but it’s simple to do from your host dashboard. Once you set it up, write down the database name, user and user password because you will need it for step 4.


2) Within the WordPress Dashboard of, find and install the plugin called Duplicator and run it. You will need to run the action “create package” and name the package. Let’s name it “website” and click on the button that says “create package set.” Duplicator will create two files: and installer.php. Download these files to your desktop. Leave the zip file zipped.



3) Access via FTP. This folder should start out empty. Do not install WordPress. Drag and installer.php from your desktop into this folder.


4) Open your web browser, and go to You will now see an index page with the files you just added. Click on the link for installer.php and…MAGIC! You will be prompted to enter the database info from step 1.



And everything should work if you set your database and user up properly:


When you close this screen, you’ll get an option to do some more things. Make sure you delete installer files.

Delete Installer Files

5) Go to and you should be able to now login using the same login infor you had at Your plugins and WP settings should all be intact. You will just want to reset permalinks for posts.

WP Dashboard B

Hope this makes your day easier!