Trouble moving your site to Godaddy Managed WordPress Hosting Plan? – Here are some pointers

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.

click to see larger image

The Godaddy script will make a copy of your site and then change all the inter­nal links to use the tem­po­rary 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

Can't get there from here stop signAnother 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. This will cause the migra­tion script to fail 100% of the time.

The work-around for this problem is:

Use a Subdomain

  1. use your host’s Domain Man­ager to cre­ate a sub­do­main for your web­site, e.g.
  2. then point that subdomain to the site sub­di­rec­tory (
  3. make sure you go into your Word­Press>Set­tings>Gen­eral, and change the site loca­tion fields to use the new sub­do­main (
  4. 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.

SFTP settings screenshot
Godaddy Managed WordPress Hosting SFTP Settings Information

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).

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