Support » Installing WordPress » Migrating to replace existing site

  • I’ve built a development site at to replace the current site at I’m very new to this process, so to test things out, I decided to upload the site to a subdomain /test/. However, I keep getting the “Error establishing a database connection” message–which I know reflects an issue with my wp-config file, I’m just not sure how to diagnose. I tried exporting/importing my database through myPHPadmin but that was riddled with errors, too.

    Anybody have any pointers? Thanks in advance!

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  • Phil Erb


    WCUS 2015 Contributor

    “Error establishing a database connection” usually indicates that you have the wrong database username, password, host or database name in wp-config.php. I’d start by verifying that all of those are correct and that you can connect to the database through another means (for instance, if your host gives you access to phpMyAdmin or any other tool to connect to the database) – I’m not sure what WPEngine provides in that regards, but their support should be able to help with that.

    As for errors exporting/importing the database – could you elaborate?

    Thanks Phil, I’ve made a little progress!
    I made a fresh installation of wp, then ftp’ed my wp-content folder into a subdomain. Now instead of the Error message, I’m getting a blank white screen. I am able to access the database through phpMyAdmin, so that’s a good sign. I’ve attempted to check my wp-config file, but (as pathetic as this may sound), I can’t find it anymore. Where SHOULD it be located? That might be my issue?

    If it helps you investigate, my new content files are at

    Many thanks!

    Phil Erb


    WCUS 2015 Contributor

    Go morning jennhind,

    When you browse to, you shouldn’t see anything – that is the folder that holds themes, uploads, plugins, etc. To view the site, you want to go to When I go there, I get an error page. This page lists some steps that may help. It may be that the files do not have the right permissions – there is a link on that page for your hosting provider’s solution to that.

    To answer the wp-config.php question, that should be in the folder where you installed WordPress. In this case, it appears that you installed it at – the wp-config.php file should be in the test folder.

    However, I’m wondering if you didn’t complete the installation. Normally, after you upload the WordPress files, you’d then visit and be walked through a wizard that creates the wp-config.php file. The other option is to manually create the wp-config.php file by copying wp-config-sample.php to wp-config.php and filling in the DB_NAME, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD, and DB_HOST fields.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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