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Saturday, November 15, 2008

How to Transfer Your Joomla! Website to a New Domain?

Not long ago I transferred my Joomla! website to a new domain but in the same host. I don't know it is wise decision of doing that or not. Anyway my plan is to use my old domain for something else. So I transferred my old domain site manually to a new domain. Here are the steps I've used to accomplish that.

  • Install a new version of Joomla! Package if you can. The newest version is Joomla! 1.0.15 and this is the version I am using right now. To do that, I first downloaded Joomla_1.0.15-Stable-Full_Package to my laptop/PC. If you are using other Joomla! version, then you can search the Internet for it, download it to your laptop/PC, and then install it. The idea is to have a fresh installation so that everything is working properly.

  • I then unzip Joomla_1.0.15-Stable-Full_Package file that I've downloaded earlier and upload them to my root directory of my website server using FTP.

  • Next type your website's url in your browser. For example I have to type mine like this: http://www.internetoutput.com, hit enter, and it will automatically redirect me to the Joomla! installation page.

  • If you see everything is green, then you are ready to go to the next step. If not you have to fix those file permissions before you can proceed. Basically you need to log in to your FTP account. On your server site right click on the folder whose permission you need to change. Scroll down to find Properties, click on it, change file permission to be 0777, and click on OK. Repeat this process till all folders' permissions are set to be 0777. I use Windows XP home edition. If you use something else, your screen properties might look different than mine.

  • Refresh your installation screen. The files whose permissions you've just changed should be green now. So click on Next to proceed.

  • Read the GNU/GPL license and click on Next to proceed.

  • Now in the new screen, you will be asked to enter Host name, Mysql user name, Mysql password, and Mysql database name. So now you have to log in to your host account and create a new database. Come back here, enter the required data, and click on Next. If you are not sure of how to create a new database, check out this video: Video tutorial for creating MySQL database and user in cPanel.

  • Joomla! will ask you to confirm that whether the required data are correct. Click OK to go to the next screen.

  • If you've entered everything correctly, the next screen will ask you to enter the name for your site. Do so and then click on Next.

  • Then the new screen will ask you to enter your url, the path to your domain on your server which is provided already(you should leave it alone. If you got so far, it should be correct), your email that you want to use for your new website, Admin password (you must remember it because you need it to log in to your admin back end), and click on Next to proceed.

  • A new screen will say, "Congratulations! Joomla is installed."

  • Now log in to your host account again, find phpMyAdmin from your host's cPanel and click on it. A new screen will open. It will allow you to backup (export) your old domain's database to your laptop/PC. Since I use hostmonster.com as my website host, it is so easy to fulfill it. For more details, please read MySQL Tutorial.

  • Open and edit your old domain's database in Notepad before you upload (import) it back to replace your new domain's database. For example, I have to replace the old database name airlinet_joom1 with the new database name airlinet_joom. All the old urls have to be changed to be the new urls. For example: all http://www.mycoolonlinestores.com have to be replaced with http://www.internetoutput.com. After you've done that, save it, and upload the amended database to replace the new database using phpMyAdmin on your host's cPanel.

  • Download configuration.php file (it should be in your root directory) to your laptop/PC, edit the following lines, and then upload it back to your root directory:

    $mosConfig_absolute_path = '/home/hostlogin/public_html/';
    $mosConfig_cachepath = '/home/hostlogin/public_html/cache';
    $mosConfig_db = 'hostlogin_joom1';
    $mosConfig_password = 'passwordfordb';
    $mosConfig_smtphost = 'localhost';
    $mosConfig_user = 'hostlogin_joom1';

    where you have to change hostlogin to be your host's user name, joom1 to be your new database name, passwordfordb to be your new database password. In my case I even have to change home to be home1. You can also find out your absolute path on your host's cPanel.

    Some people may use add-on domain for a website. In that case, they need to update the absolute path as it is. For example: they need to update $mosConfig_absolute_path = '/home/hostlogin/public_html/sub-folder'; instead of $mosConfig_absolute_path = '/home/hostlogin/public_html/'; where sub-folder could be any name that they've created in their server.

  • The final step is to redirect all your search engine traffic to your new website. This is the ugly part that most people don't like. For more information, please read Redirect Using 301 or 302?.
Oh! One more thing that I need to mention here. After I successfully transferred my old domain site to my new domain, none of the plug-ins (extensions) worked. I have to install all of them again to replace the old ones; but installation is pretty easy if you have save a copy of each one. I hope I did not confuse you because there are plenty of information here to be digested. If for any doubts or any thoughts, feel free to ask/share them here with us.

Related articles
How to Transfer My Joomla! Website to a New Host?
Session Save Path Unwritable in Joomla! Install?


Matt said...

Thanks for the write-up. I am about to try this, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Here's why:

If you are switching an addon domain, wouldn't it be as simple as copy and pasting the information into the addons folder? I mean if you already have the MYSQL database set-up on your server it seems like the database could just as simply be transfered to the new site... Making a new database seems much more difficult than it should be!

Lanna said...

Hi Matt;

Thanks for visiting!

If you go the route you've mentioned here. You'll have to keep whatever version you're using. I just like my website using the newest version. It will protect my site from the hackers.

You still need to create a new database. You cannot choose the same name as your old one since you are in the same server. You need to amend the old database and import it to replace the new one. Otherwise it is not going to work.

Iuri said...

Hello. Great tutorial, congratulations, and thank you! I am going to try it, but I still have a question: don't you need to send some of your old folders to the new server? Of course, you need to send the "images" folder, but only images? Don't I need to send the "template" folder too? I don't know wich folders I have to bring with...

Lanna said...

Hi Iuri,
Thanks for stopping by.
If I recall correctly, I did not have to upload any folders to my server. Fixing the database seemed to make everything work correctly except those plugins I've mentioned in the post.

However, if the above method does not work for you, you may have to upload your old domain's images folder and even your other folders as well to your server. Make sure you backup everything first before you proceed. Let me know how it goes. Good luck.

muthu said...

Thanks for Your information.Its very useful to me.I found one website called the www.tucktail.com.In that site We also transfer domain names.Anyway Once again thanks for Your info.

website design New York City said...

i'll be sure to bookmark your blog

Lanna said...

Thanks for nice words. Hope it can be beneficial to you.

rahul said...

Dear Lanna

Thanks for the guidance, I did it differently. I did not install joomla on the new web domain, instead used a FTP client and uploaded the downloaded website from old domain. This made the website work on the new domain but without any hyperlink working !! so in a kind of fix now how to go about it to make things work, all the modules and flash etc are working fine, but the hyperlinks. Since my website is a health newsletter, the monthly issue is due and i need to work around to find a suitable way faster to prevent delay of new publish.....HELP !!

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Lanna said...


For some reason I did not see your comment. Just wondering how things going now.

@Hire web developer,

I am glad that you found it helpful and thanks for reading my post.

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Cafe24 Features said...

Moving your Joomla site to a new location is both tricky and easy. It requires a migration of your posts, files, database and all the modules you have set up in your previous site. It also requires a changeover of database engine, hosting folder and sire URL changes. From these, you would realize that changing your Joomla server needs a lot of experienced hand and extra care with your files. In this guide, we simplify the process so you can safely and confidently change over hosts.

Laurie Sanderz said...

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Anonymous said...

I've been trying to figure out how to do this for a longtime. Your step by step directions gave me the confidence I need. Thank you.

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