Moving a WordPress website

Wow, what a morning.

In a matter of minutes, I tried to do two things in WordPress, one upgrade and one switching of a site to a new folder and…I broke both sites.

I read the instructions in the codex for moving a website to a new folder. (Taken from the WordPress website –

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Create the new location using one of these two options:
    1. If you will be moving your WordPress core files to a new directory, create the new directory.
    2. If you want to move WordPress to your root directory, make sure all index.php, .htaccess, and other files that might be copied over are backed up and/or moved, and that the root directory is ready for the new WordPress files.
  2. Login to your blog.
  3. Go to the Administration > Options > General panel.
  4. In the box for WordPress address (URI): change the address to the new location of your main WordPress core files.
  5. In the box for Blog address (URI): change the address to the new location, which should match the WordPress address (URI).
  6. Click Update Options.
  7. Logout of your blog.
  8. (Do not try to open/view your blog now!)
  9. WordPress 2.0 only: Delete the folder wp-content/cache.
  10. Move your WordPress core files to the new location. This includes the files found within the original directory, such as http://example.com/wordpress, and all the sub-directories, to the new location.

Well, I followed the instructions. I applied changes and I got a 404 error page saying that wp-login.php didn’t exist.

So, I just figured that since the directory was pointing to a new place now, it wouldn’t be finding the files. But the instructions said nothing about a 404 error message that would give no indication of whether the changes were actually applied or not. Not to mention, the instructions didn’t remind you to make the directory and make a copy of the files first, before applying any changes. That was my mistake.

So, for an hour while I copied the files on the server, I had no idea if what I just did was going to work or not.

Forunately, it did. I felt better. But then, there was the upgrade on the other blog.

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