Moving a WordPress site? We’ve moved WordPress sites 100s of times in connection with our WordPress SEO Services. Your site move will be easier and faster by following these tips. Essentially, we want to shrink the size of the site and its corresponding database (and do some cleaning/housekeeping). If you want to preserve a copy of your site as-is, run a backup (and run the backup the right way)because what we’ll be doing will make the site smaller, but we’ll be doing some deleting–keep that in mind.
Delete Old Unused Plugins
If plugins are inactive, you’ll still be moving the files if you move a site. Go into the admin area of WordPress and navigate to Plugins. Inactive plugins will look like the following:
Remove Your Caching System Thoroughly
If you run any caching plugin (like W3 Total Cache), you will be moving an enormous amount of files when you move your site. Also, you’ll likely break all the caching anyway. The best approach is to simple remove ALL caching elements: all plugins as well as all cached files. You can remove the caching plugin simply enough, but deleting the plugin likely won’t delete all the files. To delete the cached files, you’ll need to go into your cpanel, or FTP (you’ll have to hunt down information on those if you don’t know what they mean).
Once you get into the actual website files, you’ll see something like this:
That folder, “cache”, has a LOT of files in it and can be removed. You might also find other cache-related files & folders.
Remove WordFence Thoroughly
Wordfence is great, but it uses a LOT of resources. I like deleting the Wordfence plugin as well as the WordFence log files which you can find at /wp-content/wflogs, you can see that folder in the picture above. Once you move your site, you can reinstall WordFence.
Clear Your WordPress Revision History
WordPress stores versions of your pages as you edit them. Over time, hundreds of versions of your posts and pages can build up. This is a safety feature because you can always call up a prior version of a page by checking the revision history. The problem is that these extra versions bloat the WordPress database. I keep this clean whether or not I am moving a site.
You can clear out this revision history with a simple SQL command. Before you step further: this step is irreversible, you’ll be deleting prior versions of posts.
To clear the revision history, we need access to SQL. The easiest way for most will be to log in to cpanel and then select phpmyadmin. You want to select the database for your WordPress installation in the left navigation and then click the SQL tab at the top of the main table, like so:
In the SQL edit window, you enter the following command:
DELETE FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = "revision";
This will delete all prior post versions from your database.
Matthew Bey is a marketing strategist, content writer, search analyst, and web designer. With over a decade of experience in SEO, he serves as VP of Operations at TastyPlacement, guiding overall campaign strategy. An early adopter of Google Tag Manager and the Facebook Marketing platform, he holds certificates in both. In his free time he is a nerd who publishes the sci-fi comedy zine Space Squid, produces several podcasts, and frequently panels at science fiction conventions.