WordPress hardcodes the site's domain name into the database in such things as image and link urls. This is a problem if you migrate the site to another domain, because when you click on a link on your new site, it redirects back to the old site.
To update the URLs in your database, you can use a plugin or command line.
Option 1 — Using a plugin
Below are a couple of plugins that work to change all URLs in your database.
Option 2 — Using the command line
If you are familiar with the command line, you can run the following command for the same effect (assuming you saved the old WordPress address).
- First, log into your server via SSH.
- Next, navigate to your WordPress installation. Assuming it's 'example.com', you'd probably run the following:
[server]$ cd ~/example.com
- In your site's directory, you can use wp-cli to update the URLs using the following command.
[server]$ wp search-replace http://example.com http://new.example.com --dry-run
The --dry-run call at the end tests the address
If the changes make sense to you, then run the above command again without the 'dry-run' call.
Clear your plugin's cache
At this point, you should also delete your cache if using WP Super Cache.
If you check your site now, all URLs within your WordPress site will use the new domain name.
Full example using the Better Search & Replace plugin
These steps walk you through how to update your URLs using the 'Search & Replace' plugin. This example changes the URLs in the database from 'example.com' to 'example.com/blog'.
- First, make a backup of your database. Just in case something goes wrong, you can easily replace your old database data.
- Download the Better Search Replace plugin. In your panel navigate to 'Plugins > Add New'.
- Search for 'Better Search Replace'.
- Click Install Now.
- Click Activate.
- In your Dashboard, navigate to the plugin under 'Tools > Better Search Replace'.
- Click the 'Search/Replace' tab.
- In the first field titled 'Search for:', enter your current http URL. For example:
At this point, all URLs in your database point to your site's new URL.