How do I change the WordPress Site URL?

Changing the WordPress site url is only one part of a series of steps you need to take to ensure your WordPress site functions on the new URL. Review the following article for a full list of steps to migrate your WordPress site to a new domain name.

You can change the domain name for your WordPress site any time you like, but there are a few important settings that must me made in order to make the switch.

Make sure to carefully follow the steps below to ensure it's done properly.

Several reasons to change the URL

The following are instructions for moving a WordPress installation from one URL to a different one. There are different cases for moving a WordPress install, as shown below.

Case #1 — Moving from a subdirectory

The first case is when a WordPress site moves from a sub-directory to its parent domain. For example:

  • Move from http://example.com/blog
    to
  • http://example.com

If you've already moved your domain to a new URL, you are not able to log in since WordPress is configured to use the old URL.

Case #2 — Adding or removing www

Another reason to update your URLs is if you need to add or remove www from your domain. For example, if you're using 'Cloudflare' with DreamHost, you need to add www to your domain. So if it was previously example.com, you would change it to www.example.com.

After adjusting the URL, you may also see a browser redirect error when viewing your site. It may say "Too many redirects" or "The page isn't redirecting properly". 

Case #3 — Adding 'https' to the URL

If you're using an SSL certificate, the first part of the URL changes from 'http' to 'https'. If you've already made this change, you are not able to log in since WordPress is configured to use the old URL.

Case #4 — Moving to a new domain

The last case is when a WordPress site moves from one fully hosted domain to a different one. For example:

  • Move from http://example.com
    to
  • http://dreamhost.com

If this option applies to your site, view the following article for full instructions on moving a WordPress install to a different domain

Different ways to change the WordPress URL

The following two options explain how to change your HOME and SITE URL so you gain immediate access to your WordPress site and dashboard.

After logging in, you should then use a plugin to update all URLs in your database to the new URL. View the following article for full instructions:

Option 1 – Changing the HOME and SITE URL using phpMyAdmin

If you've already made any of the changes above, you're not able to log into your dashboard. You can instead use phpMyAdmin to update the HOME and SITE URLs.

Visit the following article for more information on how to log into phpMyAdmin:

  1. Open phpMyAdmin.
  2. Click your database in the left pane. Several tables appear below it. Click on your wp_options table.
    03 Change wordpress site url phpmyadmin.fw.png
  3. Locate the 'siteurl' and 'home' rows. Click the pencil icon next to each to edit.
    When you scroll over these options, "browse" will appear.
    04 Change wordpress site url phpmyadmin.fw.png
  4. Click the pencil icon next to each to edit.
    04.5 Change wordpress site url phpmyadmin.fw.png
  5. Alter the URL by typing in a new one.
  6. Click the Go button to save the settings. Do this for both the 'siteurl' and 'home' options.

You should now be able to log into your site at example.com/wp-login.php.

Although this gives you access to your site, any former URLs in your database are still using the old URL. You should now use a plugin to update all URLs in your database to the new URL. View the following article for full instructions:

Option 2 – Changing the URLs in your wp-config.php file

You can also change the URLs in your wp-config.php file. This is a little easier than editing your database and will give you immediate access to your site.

The following assumes your Home and Site URL should be 'example.com'.

  1. Log into your site using FTP or SSH.
  2. In your WordPress directory, edit the file titled 'wp-config.php'.
  3. In that file, add the following lines just above /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */.
    define('WP_HOME','http://example.com');
    define('WP_SITEURL','http://example.com');
  4. If you visit your site now, you'll see you can log in.

Although this gives you immediate access to your site, the database is still not configured to use the correct HOME and SITE URL. You should now use a plugin to update all URLs in your database to the new URL. View the following article for full instructions:

Verifying the new HOME and SITE URL

If you used options #1 above, the HOME and SITE URLs were updated in the database. You can confirm your site is now using the correct URLs in your dashboard.

    1. Log into your WordPress Dashboard.
      01 Change wordpress site url.fw.png
    2. Navigate over to Settings > General.
      02 Change wordpress site url in the dashboard.fw.png
    3. Here you'll see the HOME and SITE URL your WordPress site is configured to use.

If you used Option #2, the database did not update your HOME and SITE URL. On the 'Settings > General' page you'll see the entries are grayed out with the values you entered in your wp-config.php file:

You should now use a plugin to update all URLs in your database to the new URL. View the following article for full instructions:

Once updated, remove the lines from your wp-config.php file. Check the 'Settings > General' page again and you'll see those fields are no longer grayed out.

See also

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Article last updated PST.