Support » Fixing WordPress » Large Site Upgrade Planning Problems

  • Hi, I am working on a WordPress theme redesign that uses version 2.7. The existing site has a lot of readers and 4 years worth of posts (also a lot basically). The existing installation uses v2.3.1 and is sitting in a folder withing the root. Basically the existing URL is like this I’m not sure as to how I can approach this upgrade. My options seem to be

    1. Upgrade existing WP v2.3.1 to 2.7. And then apply the new theme I did. But there’s a huge risk of breaking the existing plugins that are installed. Also the new layout I did uses a set of different (newer) plugins. Seems like there’ll definitely be down time.

    2. Create a whole new directory (i.e. and do a fresh install of 2.7 in there. Export the XML from the 2.3.1 installation and then import it into the new WP installation. But the site is so large that the XML that I export is very large as well. And it times out during export/import process. ( I edited all the php.ini parameters already, increased file upload and memory allocation to 64M and also the timeouts to 60 seconds). My last attempt had the timeouts set to 60 seconds but I still get fatal errors on the exported XML. I’m not sure how much more I should increase the script time outs.

    Also if I go with option #2, that would risk broken links and and affect SEO.

    I’ve never done a large scale wordpress upgrade before, can someone please chime in with some advice as to what the best solution would be?

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • how about option 3

    create new folder /site_v2
    do fresh install
    import database from /oldsite

    then move new site to old site url

    as long as you have db backups you can’t lose your site

    Thanks for the help samboll. I just tried to export from the 2.3.1 installation and import it into the DB of the 2.7 install but after the installation, when I try to visit the new wp site (in the new folder), the page is just blank.

    I’m guessing I probably shouldn’t have exported and imported the entire DB (all tables) from the 2.3.1.?

    Any idea on why it’s blank?

    the import isn’t likely the problem.
    With a blank page, I’m guessing that the php memory needs to be bumped. It seems since like 2.5, the php memory has needed an increase for some server configs.
    If you can – or ask host – bump it to 32M or better and test.

    Actually, the problem may also be that the new install doesn’t have the old theme, and without the theme you can’t display the site. Can you get into the admin page of the new install (add /wp-admin to the install folder) and select a theme?

    The theme setting is in the database table wp-options with the option_name as “current_theme”, so if you can’t bring up the admin screen you can change that setting to the folder name of your new theme.

    Thanks for the help everyone. I already bumped up my memory to 64M prior to the import process. I finally got it to work however by importing everything BUT the wp_options table. Basically just the data and not the settings. Which made perfect sense to me but wasn’t so sure, until I tried it and now it seems all of the posts are there!

    I haven’t applied my new theme yet but will soon to see how it looks. This might be a good to share with everyone as I’m sure I’m not the only one facing these challenges.

    Thanks again!

    I also want to add that I FTP’ed the SQL file I got from backing up with phpMyAdmin and then used the bigdump.php utility to import everything.

    Without doing that, phpMyAdmin timed out on me near every time on the import process. My import sql file was 35MB.

    Big Dump

    I followed this tutorial:

    I’m running into another problem with this actually, after importing all my posts from the old WP installation to the new 2.7. I can no longer change my permalink settings. When I change them to “Day and Name”, when I click into my posts, I get “404 Not Found” for everything.

    Does anyone know how I can fix this? Again, I exported every table except for the wp_options table from my 2.3.1 site via phpMyAdmin, then imported the sql file into a new WP 2.7 site (which is installed in a different folder on the same server).

    Any help is much appreciated.


    try deleting the .htaccess and resetting the permalinks to day/name

    Thanks samboll. .htaccess did the trick.

    I’m still a little confused as to what I should do in planning the switch. The actually task at hand is to switch directory while importing all the old posts to a new directory with a new 2.7 installation on it.

    Old URL:
    Old directory: /public_html/v4/
    Old WP installation in the v4 directory: 2.3.1

    New URL:
    New directory: Old directory: /public_html/v5/
    New WP Installation in the new v5 directory: 2.7
    (Already installed with new theme)

    What I think I should do…but unsure.

    1. Copy every thing from the/public_html/v4/wp-content/uploads folder over to /public_html/v5/wp-content/uploads
    2. Import post data from old WP into the new installation using phpMyAdmin. But I need to make sure that all the posts now point to /public_html/v5/wp-content/uploads/ to get there images.

      Global Search and replace on the exported SQL file??? I’m not sure.

    3. After that I’m not sure what to do to ensure that the old links pointing to /v4/ goes to the corresponding posts in /v5/

      So when people go to, they get redirected to

    What is the best way to do this?

    Thanks in advance.


    Is there a way to ensure my on links redirect to the right posts in the new installation from my scenario above? Please assist.

    Thanks much

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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