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Troubleshooting Tips When Moving Your WordPress Site to Another Server or Hosting Provider

Troubleshooting Tips When Moving Your WordPress Site to New Server or Hosting Provider

Below we have provided common issues when moving your WordPress site from one hosting provider to another.  We hope these are useful to help you troubleshoot we have seen with WordPress during site issues.

TIP 1)      Website is not coming up or shows old Website.

Moving your WordPress Site means you should have changed the DNS to point to the new server or Hosting Provider.  Your website likely has not propagated to the new WordPress Server location yet if it is not coming up.  Open up a DOS prompt on your desktop (or CMD prompt) and at the dos prompt type in:  nslookup (space) domainname and see if your website domain is pointing to the correct DNS IP or name servers. (for help on this click on this Moving WordPress Site link).    Once your site has propagated to the new WordPress Server you can proceed to more Troubleshooting tips below.

TIP 2)      ‘Database Connection Error’

Moving your WordPress Site means a new database connection needs to be set up.  Use your Chrome web browser to open your website as sometimes IE does not show the database connection error on your screen.  If Chrome shows the ‘Database Connection Error’ message then your wp-config.php file has wrong database values.  (Your wp-config.php file is located in your root folder of your control panel’s FILE MANAGER for your website.)   Before opening up FILE MANAGER to fix your wp-config.php file, click on the MySQL database control panel option and there should be a database user link to click on.  Click on that database user link and see the database user id you created.  Reset the password and copy the new password, database name and database user id to your notepad.  Now go to the FILE MANAGER location mentioned before to edit your wp-config.php file. (Click on it to edit or look for a pencil or edit icon).  Change the password to the new password and make sure you have the database name and database user id correct.  The DB_HOST parameter in this wp-config.php file may need a port number as the first example shown below does not have a port number and second example below has port 3306 which you can get from your Hosting Provider. Now try refreshing the site.  If changing these 4 database credentials in the wp-config.php fixes the above mentioned ‘Database Connection Error’ then you have solved your wp-config.php file problem.

Example 1:

define( ‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’ );

Example 2:

define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost:3306’);

 TIP 3)      New Website Shows a Screen to Pick a Language For a New Install of WordPress

Moving your WordPress Site means making sure you mySQL table names are correct.  If you get a new screen to install WordPress this occurs because your MySQL database prefix does not match the database prefix in your wp-config.php file which resides your control panel’s Root Folder of your WordPress domain project as in tip 2.   Click on the Control Panel’s database menu option, select your new MySQL database and click on the PHPmyAdmin icon or link.  When the MySQL database opens in a new web browser tab, click on the tables on the left of your screen, and they will all start with some characters.  Basic mySQL database installations start with the table prefix of ‘wp-‘ but others installations can have other table prefixes.  Copy the table prefix down in your notepad.  Open up FILE MANAGER, go to the root folder of your domain project and open up the wp-config.php file (See edit link of Pencil icon to edit file).  Scroll to the bottom of the file and look for a line like:

$table_prefix = ‘v476rT_’;

Change that line from v476rT_ to wp_ or whatever you copied down in your notepad.  Save your wp-config.php file changes.  Now try refreshing the site. 

TIP 4)      ‘Too Many Redirects’ Screen Error

Moving your WordPress Site means check your URL settings in your wp-options table.  Use your Chrome web browser to open your site as Chrome can show the ‘Too many redirects’ error.  Look in your control panel if you set your domain to display as www.youdomanname.extension  or just youdomanname.extension without the www since you need to have that matching up in 2 places in your MySQL database.  Click on the PHPmyAdmin icon for your MySQL database for this new WordPress website and it will open up in a new browser tab.

You should see a list of tables on the left.  If there are no tables on your left you have forgotten to click on the IMPORT link at the top to import your MySQL database from the other WordPress server (for help on this click on this Moving WordPress Site link)

Click on the wp-options table on the left of your screen and look for your domain name in the rows in the table.  When you find the row showing your domain, click on the edit link on that row and change it to match up to either www.youdomanname.extension  or just youdomanname.extension (mentioned above), leaving the http:// or https:// as is.    There are 2 places to make this change so you might see the second row to be changed on page 1 of this query and if not, click on the next page link at the top or bottom of query to go to the next page to see your domain there and edit in the same manner.  Now try refreshing the site.

TIP 5)      ‘404’ Screen Error

Moving your WordPress Site means make sire all the web files are in the right folders.  Use your Chrome web browser to open your site as sometimes IE does not show the 404 error message.  A sample index.htm file is usually in the root by default when a new website is set up in the control panel.  Try to preview this index.htm file, and if that does not come up in your web browser, contact your Hosting Provider as it could be a file folder permissions issue.  If that index.htm test file works but no other WordPress files exist then the WordPress files forgot to be uploaded from your PC (for help on this click on this Moving WordPress Site link).  404 screen error can also can be a PHP level issue so change the PHP drop down in your control panel to match the PHP level it should be as set it to the lowest PHP level first to test.  We have seen cases where the main pages work at PHP level 7.1 but the login screen to the backend only works at PHP 5.3 so you have to change it to PHP 5.3.

Make sure your permalink structure is correct as this can also cause a 404 screen error.

 TIP 6)      ‘White Screen’ Error

Moving your WordPress Site means check your configuration files. This can be one of about 6 different problems when a white screen shows up instead of the home page:

a)        You have a syntax error in your wp-config.php file that is not part of the 4 rows of database information mentioned in step 2.  To fix this rename your wp-config.php file in your control panel FILE MANAGER section to wp-configbackup.php.  Look at the wp-config-sanple.php file and make a copy of it to the wp-config.php fle name.  Now copy the 4 rows of database information from wp-configbackup.php to your vanilla wp-confi.php file and see if that fixes the issue.

b)      Look if you have a .user.ini file , see if there is a hardcoded value in this file and comment it out for now if you do not know the correct path. Another way is just to rename this file to see if this fixes the problem then go back and fix the contents later

c)       There is no .htaccess file.  If that is the case, go ahead and add the .htaccess file at the domain’s root folder with these 10 basic rows for basic content:


# BEGIN WordPress

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

RewriteEngine On

RewriteBase /

RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

RewriteRule . /index.php [L]


# END WordPress

d)      There could be a theme or plugin issue.  Go to FILE MANAGER and rename the WP-CONTENT folder’s PLUGINS folder to PLUGINS1 and see if the website comes up.  If the site comes up then when you log into the back end of WordPress all your plugins will be disabled.  Enable them one at a time and see which one is the culprit for taking your website down

e)       Sometimes you have a white screen for the home page but can still log into the backend of your WordPress website.  Login, click on the Appearance menu on left and then THEMES and you will probably see your main theme is not activated.  Click on that to activate your primary theme.

f)       MySQL Database Import Error:  Open PHPmyAdmin on the old WordPress server, go to your old MySQL database and count the number of tables on the left of the screen.  Then login to your control panel on your new WordPress server or Hosting Provider and open the PHPmyAdmin tool and  look at the new MySQL database you imported and compare.  If you need to reimport the database then delete MySQL database in the control panel in your new WordPress hosting server and then follow the steps in this Moving WordPress Site link to re-import your MySQL database.   When you have reimported the MySQL database into the new database  remember that you re-creating a new database which means new db connection info so go back to tip 1 to update your wp-config.php file to make sure you do not have a database connection error.

 TIP 7)      Parts of Website work and other parts do not work

Moving your WordPress Site means check your PHP level.  Use your control panel to change the PHP level to the lowest level and retest.  PHP 5.3 levels could be needed for old WordPress websites.  PHP 7.1 could be needed for new plugins or functions you have added,

 TIP 8)      Home page works but cannot navigate to any other page on the website

Moving your WordPress Site means check your .htaccess file.  Navigation errors can mean you either do not have an .htaccess file or you have an error in your .htaccess file.  See tip 6C to use the vanilla copy of the 10 rows that are in a basic .htaccess file.

 TIP 9)      Website redirects to a different website

Moving your WordPress Site means check for redirects in code.  There can be wrong values in your database so look at tip 4 to view in the database what the domain is pointing to.  If you completed tip 4 and still have the problem then sometimes some crazy redirects have been added in your .htaccess file or wp-config.php file in the root folder that you can edit using your control panel’s FILE MANAGER.

TIP 10)  Gzip compress does not seem to show as working when I look at

Add the following code to your .htaccess file:

# BEGIN GzipWpFastestCache

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml text/css text/javascript

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml application/xhtml+xml application/rss+xml

AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript application/x-javascript

BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html

BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip

BrowserMatch \bMSI[E] !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html


# END GzipWpFastestCache

 How We Can Help

Sozo Hosting has been a leader in hosting solutions since 2001 and can assist you in your server needs.  Whether you need a cloud server for your WordPress needs (see specials on this  link)  or a shared WordPress hosting plan  (see specials on this   link ), we are here to provide you Managed Hosting and Managed Services to fit your budget!   Please click on this contact link  for more information.