Recently a reader raised a question in a comment to a previous post. He was confused about how to move an existing site to Godaddy Managed WordPress Hosting. Having done this several dozen times now I’ve developed some “best practices” and work-arounds for the occasional problem I’d like to share.
If you have problems, do try Godaddy tech support for WordPress Managed Hosting, in my experience over many clients, they’re pretty good.
Use the Godaddy Migration Script to import your existing site
The first choice for moving a site to Godaddy Managed Hosting is to use their migration script. Don’t start by creating a new site and then try to manually copy your content and database.
You just need to supply the existing site WP administrator credentials and the FTP credentials for your site, click the import button, and then just sit back an wait a few minutes.
The Godaddy script will make a copy of your site and then change all the internal links to use the temporary xxx.xxx.myftpupload.com URL base (which you can easily change later to your domain). In my experience the migration script works about 85% of the time making a perfect copy of your site at the new temporary URL.
The problems I’ve encountered come from unusual WP configurations on the original site like non-standard directories in the WP folder. You also may have to temporarily disable your plugins and switch to one of the WordPress default themes during the migration.
You Can’t Get There from Here
Another problem that causes the Godaddy WordPress Managed Hosting migration script to fail is that the original site is located in a sub-directory of your domain, e.g. mydomain.com/wordpress. This will cause the migration script to fail 100% of the time.
The work-around for this problem is:
Use a Subdomain
- use your host’s Domain Manager to create a subdomain for your website, e.g. wordpress.mydomain.com
- then point that subdomain to the site subdirectory (mydomain.com/wordpress.
- make sure you go into your WordPress>Settings>General, and change the site location fields to use the new subdomain (http://wordpress.mydomain.com)
- then try the migration script again using the subdomain instead of the subdirectory for the site URL
This has worked for me several times.
If all else fails and you need to manually export and import your database and wp-content directory using SFTP call their tech support because you must edit all your database table prefixes to match the Godaddy requirements before you import.
Access to wp-config.php and all your other files is via the SFTP credentials you can find in your account settings. You’ll have to use an FTP client like Filezilla, there is no cPanel File Manager for the WordPress Managed Hosting (it’s a security feature, not an oversight).