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How to Transfer a WordPress Site from a Development Server To a Live Server

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Part 1 – Overview

This is an overview video of How to Transfer a WordPress Site from a Development Server To a Live Server tutorial series. We will be transferring a client site from a development server over to a live server.

Video Transcript

Rick: Well, good morning everybody and welcome to this special edition of my weekly live call-in and answer sessions. Today we have the opportunity to do something that doesn’t happen all the time for me which is to transfer a client’s site from a development server over to a live server. And it was going to happen yet tomorrow and so I was just going to do it during the regularly scheduled live session. But this is a website that is selling a… or advertising an iTunes app and the iTunes app goes live today and so the client wants the site live today. It’s a site I’ve done a little bit of work on but was primarily designed by my dear friend Kim Carney and she is joining us today as well.

So what we’re going to talk about here is how to transfer a WordPress site from a development server to a live server. And this is a site that is built on Thesis and uses a bunch of my plugins. We’ll be using Backup Buddy as the tool to make this transfer and we’re going to take just a moment to chat with Kim about the site. Kim, are you… is your microphone there? Are you with me, Kim?

Kim: I am. I’m here. Can you hear me?

Rick: Yeah, can you turn the volume up just…

Kim: Can you hear me?

Rick: Yes, I can hear you now. Perfect. Okay so…

Kim: Sorry, I was a little late.

Rick: That’s okay. Tell us about the site.

Kim: Well, this is a site that a friend of mine had developed an iTunes app that’s, I think, going live today or in the morning. And so we’ve sort of quickly put this together so she’ll have a presence for her app on the web. They can go to the iTunes Store. It has a little About the story and they made this beautiful video to explain why she did it which you know, Rick and I sort of had a little problem trying to find out how to put that in there. So this is what the app looks like itself and then the video on the bottom and then the little… it’s very simple. We also added the… she also wanted people to share their stories if they used the app and it helped them in any way. So instead of this little… what do you call it, Rick?

Rick: It’s a cool little plugin that actually allows people to essentially guest post without being a registered user of the site. And so anybody can come along here and put their story in and you know, as long as they pass the captcha stuff, the story gets logged in the backside of the site and then the site owner is still in the position of moderator. And so they’ll look at the story, decide whether or not it should be published. And if it is published then it goes… it just becomes a blog post. So it’s a totally cool little plugin and…

Kim: Although it does… isn’t this the one that was a little heavy because we couldn’t figure that out?

Rick: It’s a totally cool plugin with the one exception andthat it loads a ton of javascript on every single page which I’ve disabled here myself to the extent that anybody wants to talk about how I disabled that javascript so that it didn’t do that. We can talk about that. But… so I wanted to make it lightweight. It’s the one problem with it is that it’s not… it doesn’t… I think that’s poor plugin behavior but having said that, it’s a cool plugin. It’s called Quick Post Widget and it lets you to either set up a widget in your sidebar or put this thing on the webpage to allow people to post and I’m totally pysched about it. I think it was a great little plugin and once we figured out how to keep it form behaving poorply, I think it’s going to turn out to be quite nice. And…

Kim: Well, in this plugin, you could change a little bit more. We had another plugin we had that we just could not control whatsoever. You could only control like the title and something else. So this one was really nice. It didn’t look nice at first. I thought it was going to be in a box but it really does function well with this.

Rick: Yeah so this site is currently hosted at a… on a development server. You know, I do my web design work under the name and so this is my site and my development server. And Kim developed this on a domain… on a subdomain of it called relief. So the subdomain is And you know, obviously, this is still open and available to the public although we did have it set to be hidden by… so it wasn’t found by search engines while we were doing the development work which is a very… which is an important thing to do, I think.

Somebody commented, Kim, that you may need to turn your volume up a little bit more. They’re having a hard time hearing.

Kim: Oh really? Oh I’m sorry.

Rick: So maybe just give it a little bit more volume. But anyway, having said that, a development server is essentially some place where you develop a site prior to it going live. And so what I do is I just create a subdomain under my and then what I do is develop a site there. And once the site is developed then I go through the procedure that we’re going to do right now for transferring the site.

So we’ll just go ahead and get started with that. And really here, this is the overview of the process. The first thing to do is install and to activate Backup Buddy and then make a backup of the development site and download it. And then go over to the live site and create an empty database… pardon me, I said development server here but what I really meant was on the live server. Create an empty database on the live server. And then upload the backup and then a file called importbuddy php to the live site in its main directory. Then you run importbuddy php then we’ll do a quick check of the function of the site just to make sure something isn’t thoroughly broken.

Then because we are… Backup Buddy does an excellent job of replacing URLs inside of the database. However, there are a couple of places where it doesn’t do that and they are related to both Thesis and also to my plugins. And so we’re going to use a plugin to do a search and replace to get rid of some of the absolute URLs that we used for images. And then we’ll reset our privacy settings and the site should be up and working the way we expect it to be working. So…

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