Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server: Step-by-step Tutorial with Screenshots

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As developers, we usually choose WordPress to design websites on our PC first. We generally install a local server (popular known as localhost) using Xampp (for Windows OS), and Mamp (for Apple OS). Yet, most of us are unaware of the proper way to bring it to a live server later on.

Even knowing is not enough, make it look identical and many features seem to be missing in the process. So, today I’m gonna give you a complete tutorial about moving a WordPress site from a local server to a live server.

Requirements

  • First of all, you need a domain and hosting.
  • The domain name must be properly resolved to the hosting. Changing to the hosting server’s NS Address generally resolves it. (To get assistance, contact your hosting provider)
  • Permission to create MySql database and FTP Access. It is preferable to have an access to the cPanel (assuming you are using Linux-based web hosting).
  • FTP client software FileZilla. You can download FileZilla from its official website.

Database Export from Local Server

Since we will use your local server’s database in the live server, you need to export it to a compressed (.zip) text file. Go to the ‘phpMyAdmin’ section of your local server (http://localhost/phpmyadmin). Select your database from the list on the left side/corner. Now click on ‘Export’ like the following image.

Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Select Database
Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - ExportDatabase
Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Please Go

Click on the “Go” button without making any further changes. A file should be downloaded in .zip file format, save that.

WordPress Upload and Extract Files from cPanel

It takes a lot of time to upload files one by one with FTP software. So, zip all the files of your website that you have built on your local host. Then upload that .zip file with FileZilla to the root folder of the live server. Wait until uploading is complete.

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Upload your website to the live server using Filezilla

Login to your hosting cPanel. Click on the “File Manager” icon. You will be redirected to your hosting server’s file manager.

Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - File Manager

You should see your .zip file (which is the only file). Click on your .zip file and press the “Extract” button. Wait for a while. All your files will be extracted as you had on your local host.

Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Extract .zip file
Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Extracted files

Creating MySql Database on Live Server

Now we need to create a new database. Login to your hosting’s cPanel (hope you are already logged in), Click on MySql Database by scrolling down like the image below. 

Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - MySQL Databases

You’ll get a page like the following image:

Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Create New Database

Now select a name for your newly made database and click “Create Database“.

Once done, scroll down to the “Add New User” section. Create a new database user here

Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Create New User

At this point, we have created a new database and a new user. Now, I shall add this user to our database and set access privileges for the user. Under the “Add User To Database” section, I shall select my user and the database from dropdown combo boxes and click on the “Add” button. This will bring me to a new page like the image below. Click on “ALL PRIVILEGES” to select all the privileges listed below and again to press the “Make Changes” button. Press the “Go Back” button at the end.

Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Set user's privileges

Thus I have completed making the database, and user, and adding the user to the database with appropriate access privileges to the user.

Database Import

Go to cPanel’s homepage, scroll down to “phpMyAdmin” and click it. Click your new database (which you have just created) from the left section. Then click on “Import” from the Menu bar.

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Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Import Database

Now, click on the “GO” button at the bottom of the page. The database would be imported after a short while.

Changing the Website’s URL

Since our previous website address was in “localhost“, we need to replace it with our new domain’s address. Open the database from phpMyadmin and browse the “wp_options” table.

Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Change in wp_options table

You’ll get a field named “siteurl” here.

Move WordPress Site from Localhost to Live Server - Change siteurl value

Click on the edit button of the “siteurl” field. Change your previous localhost address (http://localhost/wp473) by adding your new address (domain name, http://example.com/) here.

Pay close attention so that the URL format is right. Put the URL in the following format:

http://domain.com/

Save the record by pressing the “GO” button at the bottom of the page. This will bring us back to the listing page of the “wp_options” table. In a similar fashion, change the value of the “home” field with the correct URL, in our case, “http://domain.com/

Database Connection

Now visit your site without any worry. You’ll see an error like this:

“Error Establishing Database Connection”

That means your site is unable to connect to the database.

To solve this problem, switch to the File Manager tab in cPanel. Find the “wp-config.php” file and open it in edit mode.

Now, change your new database setting values as the following:

define('DB_NAME', 'write-database-name-here');
define('DB_USER', 'write-username-here');
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'write-new-password-here');
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');

[Do not change it unless your hosting company provides a new value for DB_HOST]

Permalink Rewrite

You need to rewrite your site’s permalink. Go to ‘permalink’ from Settings and click on the ‘save’ button.

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Media Link Update

Most people end just right at the previous step. Consequentially, the images remain out of sight. In order to see those, you must update the image links.

Go to cPanel’s phpMyAdmin to update your post’s media link and select the database you have just imported.

Click on SQL from the top menu bar and run the following query:

Move WordPress Site from Localhost o Live Server - Run SQL

Edit the query with your local server address and your present address.

UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = REPLACE(post_content, 'localhost/test/', 'www.domain.com/');

Congratulation! You have finally moved your WordPress site to your hosting server.

I hope that your WordPress is running as expected. I tried to explain as simply as possible. I have tried to keep everything simple, (because. it’s WordPress, thanks) and hope you will find it so.

Category WordPress

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