Move WordPress website to a new provider/host

You can move WordPress websites from another provider to 1&1. Your themes, plugins, posts, comments, categories and keywords will be transfered entirely. We recommend you to keep your domain. You can also transfer your domain to 1&1 and benefit from the many free domains included in many of our packages.

This post describes the transfer of a self maintained WordPress, when keeping the domain.


This is what you need for the transfer:

  • FTP access to your existing page
  • phpMyAdmin access to your existing MySQL database
  • Access to the DNS settings for your domain names
  • A 1&1 Web Hosting package
  • Optional: a reasonably sized cup of coffee and your favorite cookies

The transfer is simple, but it requires some time. Therefore, plan about 30-45 minutes and choose the right moment for the transfer.

Three phases for your WordPress transfer to 1&1:

  1. Database export and WordPress backup on your previous hosting providers side
  2. Preparation and installation on 1&1 side
  3. Database import and adjustments on 1&1 side

Move WordPress - StepsDownloading Existing Page from the Other Webhosting Provider

Learn here how to export your existing WordPress database and how to download the WordPress files from another web hosting provider.

Exporting MySQL Database

  1. Log into your previous hosting provider account and open phpMyAdmin.
  2. Create an MySQL export of the database that you use for your WordPress installation.
  3. This is how to export your database with phpMyAdmin:
    1. In the left column, click the database you want to export. The database structure overview will be displayed.
    2. Click Export.
    3. Select the option Quick – display only the minimal options.
    4. Select the SQL format
    5. Click OK.
  4. Save the exported MySQL database on your computer.

Learn more:

If the option Quick – display only the minimal options is not available in the phpMyAdmin version that you use, you find more information on exporting in the WordPress Codex, the 1&1 Help Center or on the help pages of your previous hosting provider.

Downloading WordPress Files

  1. Connect to your existing webspace using SFTP (Linux Hosting) or FTPS (Windows Hosting) at your previous hosting provider.
    As an FTP customer you can use FileZilla for example. The FTP settings and information on creating a FTP user are available in the customer area of your previous provider.
  2. Install and start FileZilla.
  3. Copy your WordPress files on your computer.
    1. Copy all WordPress main folders: wp-admin, wp-content and wp-includes.
    2. In the WordPress Root directory, copy all files that include wp- in the file name.
    3. If you are not sure, you can simply copy the whole WordPress Root directory. In the worst case, you copy some file you do not need…

Setting up a New Web Hosting Account at 1&1

To import your WordPress website, you need a webspace and a database at 1&1.

Creating an FTP User

Open the Hosting section in the 1&1 Control Panel.
Here you can create an FTP user and manage your MySQL databases.

Transfer WordPress - Set up new host
  1. Click Secure FTP Account under Manage webspace.
  2. Click New User.
  3. Enter a user name and a password and optionally, a description.
  4. Select the directory this user can access.
    The user can create, edit and delete files and folders in this directory.
  5. Write down the user name and password.
    You need this information right away to upload your WordPress files to the 1&1 server using FileZilla.
  6. Save the new user.

Create a MySQL database

  1. Click MySQL Database from Manage webspace.
  2. Click New Database.
  3. Set a password for the database.
  4. Click Set Up.
  5. Click Go to Overview and note down the database name, the host name, the database user name and the password.

Preparing WordPress Files (wp-config.php)

In this step you adjust the database settings of the WordPress files you have downloaded on your computer.

  1. In the Root directory, open the wp-config.php file with a text editor, such as Notepad or Notepad++.
  2. Adjust the following entries:
    /** The name of the database for WordPress */
    define('DB_NAME', '1&1databasename');
    /** MySQL database username */
    define('DB_USER', '1&1username');
    /** MySQL database password */
    define('DB_PASSWORD', '1&1password');
    /** MySQL hostname */
    define('DB_HOST', '1&1hostname');

Use the database name, the database user name, the password and the host name, that you set for your MySQL database at 1&1. Save the wp-config.php file.

Uploading WordPress Files with SFTP or FTPS

  1. Start FileZilla.
  2. Select File > Site Manager from the menu.
  3. Click New Site and enter the following information:
    1. Host: your domain or subdomain
    2. Port: 22 (SFTP) or 21 (FTPS)
    3. Protocol: SFTP or FTPS – Encryption: Require explicit FTP over TLS
    4. User and password: use the FTP user name and the corresponding password you have just created.
  4. Click Connect.
  5. Upload a copy of all WordPress files and folders to the Root directory.

Importing Database

To complete the transfer you now have to import the MySQL database.

  1. Open the Hosting section in the 1&1 Control Panel.
  2. Click MySQL Database from Manage webspace.
  3. Select phpMyAdmin next to the database you have just created for your WordPress website.
  4. To import your database with phpMyAdmin:
    1. Select the database you want to import your MySQL Database to.
    2. Click Import in the top menu.
    3. Under File to Import click Browse.
    4. Select the database you have just exported and click Open.
    5. Select Compression: Autom. detection and Character set of the file: utf8.
    6. Click Go.

The database import is completed.

Adjusting DNS Settings (Connecting Domain with WordPress Website)

To make your website available under your domain on the Internet, you have to connect the domain to the website. Your website data is in your webspace.


  • The domain has already been transfered to 1&1.
  • The domain has the status Active.
  • The domain must not be used by another application, such as 1&1 E-mail or 1&1 WebsiteBuilder.
  1. Open the 1&1 Domain Center in the 1&1 Control-Panel.
  2. Activate a domain in the Domain Overview.
    100_new_subdomain_check (1)
  3. In the toolbar, click Domain Settings > Edit Destination.
    menu_select_destination (1)
  4. Click Webspace in the Destination section.
    destination_webspace (1)Note: If your domain is already connected to a server or an application, such as 1&1 MyWebsite, you cannot change the destination within the 1&1 Domain Center.
    To change the destination and DNS settings, disconnect the server or the application first.
  5. Select the target directory, where you have stored your WordPress files.
    webspace_selectFolder (1)
  6. Click Save.

In some cases it might take up to 48 hours until your website can be accessed under the desired domain.

You can easily change outdated links with the Search & Replace plugin. Read more


Thank you for taking the time to complete the transfer!

Welcome to


Please rate this post :

7 thoughts on “Move WordPress website to a new provider/host

  1. Alex Sirota says:

    This step by step is fine for a technical system administrator, but for selling managed wordpress services this migration step by step is not nearly foolproof or painless. If you plan to migrate more than a few websites per month this process should be automated…

    In many ways this is just like setting up a wordpress site from scratch, so why get the managed WordPress solution.

    Also 7 days of file backups is not nearly enough, 30 days is more like it. The database should also be backed up and have the capability of restored. When I called for support I was told you’d have to call to have the database restored — this should be doable directly from the user interface by myself, as usually this is a critical process that cannot take more than a few minutes, at most 60 minutes. Depending on someone in support to restore a database after the files have been restored is not the type of service I expect from Managed WordPress.

    1. Philipp Bellmann. says:

      Thanks for your feedback. This articles offers one solution for migrating a WordPress Website. We know, it is not an ideal solution in every scenario and we are working on providing alternatives (as in guidance). Please grant us a little time – we have to start somewhere.
      You offer some interesting critique and while I can make no promises, I wanted to let you know that we heard and value your ideas.

  2. Lincoln says:

    I’ve read the previous version and the Jun 29 2015 updated version.

    The updated guide is now spot on. Just follow step by step to make the migration.

    One thing I would like to see is how to assign nameserver and DNS for a domain that is hosted elsewhere back to the corresponding oneandone wp hosting.

    1. Philipp Bellmann says:

      Hey Lincoln,

      our team at have a – lengthy 🙂 – work around, that might work in your case. Please check it out and let us know how it works.


  3. thieullet says:

    Hi, where can we find documentation about migrate a website from 1&1 server to local wamp server ?

  4. Rachel says:

    Please check the “importing database” instructions. If you click SQL, there is no browse button. I think you mean to click IMPORT, not SQL. Even so, it generates an error.SQL query:

    — Table structure for table `wp_commentmeta`

    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS `wp_commentmeta`;
    MySQL said: Documentation

    #1046 – No database selected

  5. Robert says:

    I have recently transferred my website from a free hosting provider to my 1and1 hosting.

    I followed this guide in order to do it and it seemed to work great however, when I type in my domain it doesn’t bring up my website, just a blank white page.

    I changed the DNS settings to point to the correct folder but it doesn’t seem to be showing up. I dont know if this is something that takes a while to process or if I have done something wrong?

    Any help would be hugely appreciated!

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