How to Move a Joomla Site Without Tearing Your Hair Out


How to Move a Joomla SiteMoving a Joomla site doesn’t have to be difficult: essentially, it’s just a database and some files. But if you’re like me, a step-by-step list of instructions is far better than trying to figure it out.

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Get the Files & Database

There are lots of ways of doing this, but I’ll be giving instructions by using the Akeeba Backup Plugin. I have no strange affinity for the plugin; it’s just a popular backup plugin and it works, which, frankly, is all that matters.

Once you’ve installed the plugin in your old site, log in and go to Components -> Akeeba Backup. If you don’t see it there, make sure you enabled it within your Extensions -> Plugin Manager.

Go to Configuration. Under the “Advanced Configuration” area, change Archiver Engine to Zip file. Choose Save and Close to be taken back to the main Akeeba Backup screen.

Choose Backup Now and then click the Backup Now! button.

Once the backup is done, you’ll have a chance to get to the Administer Backup Files screen. Miss it? There’s a link on the main Akeeba Backup screen to the same Administer Backup Files screen.

You’ll see a list of the backups that you’ve done on this page. On the far right, there’s a link that will be something like “Part 00“, underneath the site file name of the backup. No idea why it’s called that, but if you click that link, you’ll be able to download the file.

If it’s not a big site, you can download it there. If you have problems, you’ll need to connect to your site via FTP and download the file there. It’ll be located under: administrator/components/com_akeeba/backup

Congrats! You’re halfway there!

Uploading the Files

Next step is to get those files on your new server. You’ve got a zip file that you’ll need to unzip (if you didn’t get a zip file, go back to the Configuration settings step above). Apparently, Akeeba has issues at times with certain “unzip” programs that won’t work with their zip files. If you have an issue with unzipping, try a different program.

Copy the unzipped files onto your web server. This always takes the longest, since it’s got to upload all those files. So once you’ve got that started, we’ll get the Database set up.

Setup the Database

While your files are being uploaded, let’s create that database.

First, create a new database in your hosting provider. Don’t put anything in it; just a blank clean database. Write down the database name and password. You’ll also need the database hostname (in most hosting accounts this is “localhost”, but some – like Godaddy – have other names). If you don’t know the hostname, or aren’t sure, call your hosting provider.

Godaddy users: To find your database hostname, go to your Hosting, then the dropdown at the top: Databases -> mySQL. click on the name of the database, and the Hostname will be at the very bottom.

We’re going to use the automatic installer that comes with Akeeba to get the database working because doing it manually just sucks.

how to move a joomla site

Connecting the Database

If your sites are anything like the ones I move, those files are still being uploaded. If so – take a break and get some coffee!

How about some good articles with that coffee?

Lessons I’ve learned from Doctor Who
Charity Spotlight: Food for the Hungry
Design Critique: Barcelona Restaurant
Icons in Europe

Once the files are done being uploaded, pull up your site in a browser window. You’ll get a window that looks like the one below:

Joomla move Keeba

The first box is all you’ll want to change. Add the hostname (you wrote all this down when you set up the database… right?), username, password, and database name. The NEXT button will be on the upper right.

Then you’ll get to the page below. Pretty much everything will be already entered for you, so you don’t need to change anything here (I, of course, removed my information).How to Move a Joomla Site

That’s it!

Once you finish the setup, connect via FTP to your site and delete the “installation” folder you’ll find in the root of your site. Navigate to your new domain name and smile. Look at you – being awesome and stuff.