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I've read some tutorials on transferring a WordPress site to another host, but I'm still confused about some of the steps for doing that in my situation.

I'm transferring my WP site from DreamHost to Arvixe hosting, and I plan for the domain name to remain the same. I do not want to transfer the DNS records until the website transfer is done and verified to work properly, to prevent extended downtime. So I am working off a temporary URL that Arvixe assigned to me, which is an IP address.

From what I gather there are these 3 steps for transfer:

  1. Transfer website files over into the root folder of my public_html directory.
  2. Export my WordPress DB from my old site. Then in my new site, create a DB and use import.
  3. Edit the wp-config.php file to reflect the new DB name, user, and password.

Is this correct? Do the steps have to be done in order?

I also have two questions:

  1. Do I need to run a WordPress install on my new site before doing any of those steps? Or by transferring the files and importing the DB, I have already done what is necessary to get WordPress up and running?
  2. How do I know what the MySQL password is? Looking at my wp-config.php for my old site, I see a password that I have never set by myself, but somehow it still works.
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Simple steps to transfer a WordPress site from one host to another:

  1. Install WordPress and setup database at new host

  2. Replace wp-content folder in WordPress of new host with wp-content folder in WordPress of old host.

  3. Export database from old host and import to new. Create a blank database in new host and import in that.

  4. In wp-config file, set database name, user and password.

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    So I should only transfer the wp-content folder, not everything else as well? Why is that? – misaochan Dec 24 '14 at 6:31
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    Yes you do not need to replace other folder because all other files are same for any wordpress. All changes we do are always in wp-content so you need to replace only that.Rest work will be done by database. – Helping Hands Dec 24 '14 at 6:34
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    The wp-content folder is not enough if the version of WordPress sites is different. – Zistoloen Dec 24 '14 at 9:02
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    @Zistoloen - Yes right , I assume that user uses same wp versions. – Helping Hands Dec 24 '14 at 9:03
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    Thank you. I did all of the above. The transfer seems to be okay, except all the permalinks still link me back to my old site. I think this is because of the siteURL set in the wp options DB table, is that correct? Should I just go ahead and transfer the DNS at this point and it should work fine? – misaochan Dec 24 '14 at 10:49
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You dont need to reinstall. Youll have to ask your host what mysql service db they are offering you, its possible you can manage it in your control panel, where youd find a password and an address for it.

If/When you are able to create a db and import it, youd have access to the address/password there.

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    Thanks. Are the 3 steps I listed correct, and in the correct order? – misaochan Dec 24 '14 at 1:49
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    Yes, although the devil will be in how you are creating/importing the mysql database, but if you feel comfortable doing that it should be fine. Either way, youll have your old site up if something goes wrong, just try again. – Aaron Walerstein Dec 24 '14 at 1:54
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    What will I need to watch out for when creating/importing the mysql database? I'm just following the tutorial on the wordpress.org site. – misaochan Dec 24 '14 at 5:16
  • if it fails, youll know. – Aaron Walerstein Dec 24 '14 at 17:52

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