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 :

61 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!

    1. Lars Henning says:

      I have the same problem. I followed all the instructions and the domain is reported to have transferred successfully, but the DNS cannot be resolved when I try to access the domain.

      1. Lars Henning says:

        I had to create the www subdomain manually and now the DNS resolves.

        However, I still have the problem with the blank white page when requesting the top level domain. It only happens when trying to access the top level. If I request a WP page or category, it works just fine.

        1. Lars Henning says:

          Nevermind, I just found that there was a default.html file in the top level directory that was overriding WP’s index.php! Not sure how that got in there. Doh!

          1. 1and1help says:

            Hi Lars,

            I am happy to hear you found a solution. 🙂

            Michael, 1&1

  6. Hi, we are clients our ID: XXXXXXXX [ID deleted by Support. Please don’t post your customer data in public!]
    We have two hostings ( and, we are now doing a website with wordpress that we would like to host in our account one&one, is it possible?
    If so, which is the procedure?
    The web designer is now asking me the hosting details, can you assist?

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Victor,

      You can add hosting to your domains through your Control Panel. For more information regarding the switching of your package, please reference the following 1&1 Help Article:

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

  7. Other question, do we have an email address included in the domain?

    1. 1and1help says:

      With your current package, you are able to create one mailbox and 5 forwarding addresses. If you decide to switch to a hosting package, you will have the ability to add additional mailboxes.

      Michael, 1&1

  8. Kim says:

    Do we have to move our domain registration to 1&1 or just change the dns with the registrar,

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Kim,

      you can do both.

      Please keep in mind that you have to order the domain as an external domain with us before you are allowed to use our DNS with the registrar:

      Michael, 1&1

  9. Nick says:

    Can you import a wordpress website into a Managed WordPress installation in the 1&1 App Centre?

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Nick,

      You don’t have a direct access to the webspace folders and to the MySQL data base- so the import plugin for WordPress should do the job for Managed WordPress installations.

      Michael, 1&1

  10. david says:


    I’m a bit baffled by WordPress (or 1and1 !). I’ve created two pages with a menu to allow access to the second from the first (home) page. It looks Ok when viewed from WP but not from a browse. If I simply enter the domain name I see a page that says’Nothing found; though it does have the menys on the right. I need to specify walks-in-notts/index to access the WP home page.

    Any help please?

  11. David says:


    I’ve created a WordPress site of two pages linker by a menu. All is OK when viewed via WP but fresh from a browser the site shows a WP page with ‘Nothing Found’ though the menu is displayed. I need to specify walks-in-notts/index to see the expected home page.

    Help please.

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi David,

      it’s pretty hard to say something regarding this without knowing the actual url. I assume that you left out the domain extension for “walks-in-notts” on purpose in your comment?

      Can you tell us the complete url to your WordPress site?

      Michael, 1&1

  12. Kirsten says:

    Hi There

    I have followed your guide and managed to transfer everything over from my previous provide to yourselves – however I have hit an issue when trying to brows the site. I get the following error message:

    Fatal error: require(): Failed opening required ‘/homepages/16/d657447625/htdocs/kirstenivatts/wp-blog-header.php’ (include_path=’.:/usr/lib/php7.0′) in /homepages/16/d657447625/htdocs/kirstenivatts/index.php on line 17

    I have checked and I have php7 installed on for the site but I have a feeling I may have missed something.

    Any ideas would be great?



  13. Jim Wildman says:

    For migrating an existing WP install to 1&1, do I setup a managed WP site first?

  14. 1and1help says:

    Hi Kirsten,

    I looked into your account and I found an .htaccess file for WordPress which is quite complex. Maybe there is something in it which was configured espacially for your previous provider.

    Additionaly, you should check if the domain is connected to your WordPress main folder on the webspace. If you defined the domain as the site url in WordPress, you should connect the domain directly to this main folder in your Control Centre (“edit destination”):

    PHP settings are fine.

    Michael, 1&1

  15. Kaige says:

    I have a website hosted elsewhere and I want to move the wordpress site over to my new domain name here. I edited the wp-cofig file. I also dowloaded my site from my other hosting. But wordpress install fails when I try to install. Should I not have copied all the files over and just the wp files? Or did I need to install wordpress before uploading all the files? How can I get WordPress to install without failing?

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Kaige,

      we had a little glitch regarding new installations in the 1&1 App Center. This was solved today. Can you please try it again?

      Thanks and best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

      1. Kaige says:

        Thanks! It installed but now I can’t figure out how to connect my site to WordPress. I uploaded my old theme files to click and builds folder and then my wordpress folder. When I update the wp-config.php file with the new database and go to my site/wp-admin it redirects to my old hosting. Do you know how I can get my new site to go to my new hosting? Thank you!

  16. Wesley A says:

    Ok, so I’m trying to migrate my WP site from Planet Hippo to you guys having bought the WP Managed Basic account today. I have followed the above, but do you then need to do the WP install through the 1&1 App Center?

    I also had to release my domain from Planet Hippo and paid you guys when transferring this over – is the correct?

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Wesley A,

      if you have all your old webspace files and mysql database from the old provider, you simply can upload the webspace files and import your database data to a fresh mysql database. There is no need to install a new WordPress from the App Center in this case.

      To use your installation with your domain, moving it to your hosting package is the best way, yes.

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

  17. Sarah says:

    Website was previously hosted elsewhere, I followed the above instructions. Before changing the DNS settings I wanted to check the site is working so changed my local host settings, but I keep getting directed to a default site. Where have I gone wrong?

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Sarah,

      this can take a bit sometimes. Did it work out in the end?

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

  18. Tony says:

    I’m sure I’ve followed the instructions to the letter but I’m getting this error and can’t work out how to fix it.

    “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.”

    I think it has something to do with MySQL /MySQLi .php but not totally sure.

  19. Sejarah Klub says:

    Thanks for the share, work it For Me Guys 😉

  20. Hello, I moved my wordpress files into 1and1 and updated my wp_config according to my credentials from 1and1, but when I access my site, it always says “Error establishing a database connection”. Have you guys have any ideas on what am I missing?

  21. already fixed it, nvm guys

  22. Rachel says:

    Hi, thinking of migrating from GoDaddy (where I have hosting and email for 1 domain) to 1&1, wondering if anyone has used a migrating service or if 1&1 offer this as a service?

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Rachel,

      currently we are not offering a full migration service. But you can find useful informations about the usage of our tools in the 1&1 Help Center, starting with domain transfers:

      If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us:

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

  23. justin says:

    My database storage limit is shown as a red line (-115 of 1024 MB available) – how do i increase my database storage limit for this site?? so I can upload images and pages again because currently I cant upload images and make pages as the database storage is full help regards justin

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi justin,

      we don’t offer databases with higher quotas than 1 GB.

      I recommend you to optimize your installation for not saving pictures in your database and deactiving or limit the WP revisions function. Especially the latter bloats your database extremely. Here you can find methods how to define/limit this:

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

      1. justin says:

        many thx for your great feedback

  24. Nat says:

    Hi I recently bought a Basic hosting plan on your server.
    My acc email is

    I also pointed my other domain to your webserver. I made a subdomain to that domain and pointed to certain directory on your server. Then I added my DB and WordPress files as I wanted to move my site to your hosting. But the deal is , php doesnt run at all. check it here

    even running install.php logs out plain php code in browser.

    I check the php version running on my subdomain is 7.0

    Am I missing something in the settings panel??? Why the code isnt running on server.
    It weirdly acts like server doesnt have php installed. Please help I am desperate.


    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Natasa,

      your .htaccess tries to define a php handler and a (wrong) configpath to PHP 5.5 – which is not allowed on our webspace. I deactivated the .htaccess file and PHP is running fine now 🙂

      You should now remove the mentioned string from the htaccess.old (i named the file that way), afterwards you can name it back to .htaccess again.

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

  25. Never mind my previous 2 posts…when I uploaded my SQL db I got this:
    ISSUES with the SQL file (the latest upload 11/4/17 at 10 pm

    SQL query:

    — ——————————————————–

    — Table structure for table `wpee_formmaker`

    CREATE TABLE `wpee_formmaker` (
    `id` int(11) NOT NULL,
    `title` varchar(127) COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `type` varchar(100) COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `mail` varchar(128) COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `form_front` longtext COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `theme` int(11) NOT NULL,
    `javascript` text COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `submit_text` longtext COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `url` varchar(200) COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `submit_text_type` tinyint(4) NOT NULL,
    `script_mail` text COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `script_mail_user` text COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `counter` int(11) NOT NULL,
    `published` int(11) NOT NULL DEFAULT ‘1’,
    `label_order` text COLLATE utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci NOT NULL,
    `label_order_current` text COLLATE utf8mb4_uni[…]
    MySQL said:
    #1273 – Unknown collation: ‘utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci’

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Carolyn,

      in my research for this error i found the following video:

      And this thread in the user board of

      I hope these sources help you to find a way around the error.

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

  26. Luke D says:


    Is it possible once the site is migrated to still access the site via the wordpress control panel? Or will all updates now need to be done manually via the ftp?

    Many thanks,

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Luke,

      when you follow the instructions above, everything should be usable as you were used to it before. 🙂

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

      1. Luke D says:


        I have followed the guide in full and everything looks to be setup correctly. I created a folder on the ftp and put all files and folders in that and point my domain that that folder. However, all I get is the default 1&1 site. I have waited 4 days as I know it can take up to 48 hours and it is still only showing the default.

        Is there something I have missed?

        Many thanks,

        1. 1and1help says:

          Hi Luke,

          there were broken characters / charset issues in your wp-config.php, i fixed that for you. Generally, your site is working now. Please keep in mind that there is still a different domain stored in the settings of your mysql database. You might want to change this as well..

          Michael, 1&1

          1. Luke D says:

            Thank you so much Michael! The site is navigating to their now although it is still in some instances doing to the .com different domain which is still active with my old host. Do I just need to change the settings in the _options table? Or is there an overall setting I need to change? Also, when I do my domain/wp-config.php, it doesn’t open the WordPress control panel on my site. Is there somewhere I need to actually install wordpress on 1&1?

            Many thanks,

          2. Hi 1and1 I’m having the same issue as Luke with the Default issue, I redirect the Domain to my folder in the webspace, yesterday at night, there is not even 24h yet. Should I wait? could you check that please?

            Thank you very much

          3. 1and1help says:

            To Luis Guillermo:


            It should not take that much time. Please ensure that your browser cache is 100 % cleared everytime you test it. And keep in mind that even if you are sure that you did everything to change the domain everywhere, some internet providers still do their own caching – so waiting up to 48 hours can be necessary in some (very rare) cases.

            Best regards,
            Michael, 1&1

        2. 1and1help says:

          Hi Luke,

          to your latest comment

          The WordPress control panel opens with domain/wp-login.php or domain/wp-admin/ – not with /wp-config.php.

          It might be necessary to change also other tables in your database to your new domain. Maybe you decide to use a plugin to do this operations, e.g. “Better Search & Replace”:

          Best regards,
          Michael, 1&1

  27. Jan Michael says:

    hi 1and1. do you help on migrating wordpress site from other hosting?

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Jan Michael,

      this is certainly a feature we would love to offer in the future. But as we speak, we don’t offer a migration service, I am sorry.

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

  28. Hi, after migrating my site online using duplicator I find that the root page of my site is still directing me to the 1and1 default page. I am able to access the other pages within the site by typing in the address manually. I see that a few people have posted something similar but I’ve not been able to find a solution. Thanks for any help. Tom

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Tom,

      looks like you were able to sort this out together with our support in the meantime. Site looks good and without anymore signs of defaultsite 🙂

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

  29. Esther says:

    Thanks a lot for such an informative post!

    I have followed these instructions and this tutorial I’m stuck with linking the hosting to the website.
    Can it be hosting problem? any advice?

    Thanks for the help!

    1. 1and1help says:

      Hi Esther,

      the steps should be always the same:

      1) make a backup of the old wp-admin and wp-content folders and all of its content. Also backup the wp-config.php and your .htaccess file.

      2) make a backup of the MySQL database

      3) upload a fresh wordpress installation to your new webspace.

      4) Replace the wp-admin, wp-content, wp-config.php with your older versions.

      5) import the old MySQL database content into a newly created database in your new hosting.

      6) transfer the domain from the old to the new hoster (or add the domain as an external domain if the hoster supports this – we do:

      7) connect the domain with the folder destination of your WordPress on the new webspace (For 1&1:

      8) Edit your wp-config.php (change your MySQL credentials inside the file)

      9) Open your WordPress dashboard. Edit the permalinks. Afterwards, replace the current .htaccess file with the backup file of your old installation.

      That’s it. Your website should work now.

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

  30. Mikey says:

    Thank you for a most informative post.

    I created my WordPress site on an attached NAS, where it seemed to work as expected. In preparation for releasing it, today I signed up with 1and1 to migrate it onto a proper webserver.

    The guide appeared reasonably straightforward and I worked through it without any errors being reported.

    However, the WordPress installation is empty, no pages, themes etc. I have checked through the steps outlined here, and I’m sure I haven’t missed anything. The search & replace plugin showed there is data in the database, but short of trying the migration again, I really don’t know where to start.

    Any suggestions as to what may have gone wrong or how to set about diagnosing the problem will be much appreciated.



    1. 1und1hilfe says:

      Hi Mikey,

      you should check if the folders at


      contain your old plugins and themes. If this is not the case, you should upload and overwrite the themes and plugins folders with your older, former local versions.

      For pages, posts and other website content, please ensure that the prefix of your database tables is correct (in the wp-config.php on your 1&1 webspace).

      Best regards,
      Michael, 1&1

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