Support » Installing WordPress » Transferring an existing website to WordPress

  • I am currently in the process of replacing an existing html website for the company I work for with a wordpress site. I still want the current site active while working on the new site on a new host.

    Currently I created a site with a different name from the site I want to replace so I can create the new site without affecting the existing site. I was advised to go ahead and do this and then when the time is right:

    1. Change the nameserver of the old website to the nameserver of the new host.
    2. I’ll add on the original website name as an addon/parked domain name
    3. Then finally I will change the site configuration in the backend dashboard of wordpress under General Settings to be the name of the domain of the original site.

    The host support said this would be a seamless transition and won’t affect the sites ranking in google… is this correct? Or is there a better approach?

    Not too far into the creation of the new site yet so I just want to make sure before I continue to move forward that there isn’t a better / easier way to do this.

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Hi CocoCarina,

    It sounds like for the most part you have a good plan. There are a couple of things that I want to point out. For the sake of simplicity, let’s call these and (with being the current html version of the site.

    You currently have as the main domain with a separate web host. When you setup as an Addon domain, you will also need to move the site files into the document root for that new Addon domain:

    In addition to changing the domain name in the General Settings, you will want to follow the steps here for changing the Site URL in WordPress:

    As for how this might affect your site’s ranking in Google, you will want to setup 301 redirects for all of your old html pages to point to their replacement pages in your new WordPress site. The url to redirect from and to will depend on your old site structure and your new WordPress permalinks, but here’s and example of how it might look:


    Hope this helps to clarify this for you. Good luck with your new site!

    Thanks so much for the input. I’m not too far along with the site… so starting over wouldn’t be a problem. Do you suggest another easier way to do this? I’ve seen some people doing — would that be an easier / smoother solution / transition?

    Thanks again!

    I’ve seen some people doing

    Yes you can install in folder if you wish and get all setup with content and pages once ready all you need to do is move your html website in folder and use wordpress from directory
    you will find instructions here on how use wordpress from directory

    Great, I will look into it! Thank you Govpatel! Do you think this is a better route than what I began with?

    They both work is just installing in folder will easier then using another domain name as then you will have go in database to change content urls.

    Hello again CocoCarina,

    Keep in mind that since you are changing hosts, it’s easiest to work on the new site at the new host, not in a subfolder at the old host. You can actually build your new site using a temporary URL at the new host until you have everything ready to go.

    Here are the steps to that if you’re interested:

    1. Have your new host change main domain name to instead of (Would not affect current site since Nameservers aren’t pointed to the new host yet so the site on new host isn’t live).
    2. Install WordPress on at new host (using as site url)
    3. Use a temporary URL work around in the wp-config.php file so that you could develop your new WordPress site through the temporary URL on the new host.
    4. When new site is ready, point to new host and remove temporary URL work around from wp-config.php

    Temporary URL work around to add to wp-config.php looks something like this:

    define(‘WP_HOME’, ‘’);
    define(‘WP_SITEURL’, ‘’);

    Just replace with your actual temporary URL (your host can provide this to you).

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks so much for the breakdown ChristiNi! I will go ahead and do that approach. Seems to be much simpler. Do you also have to change the DNS in this process? And if so… will that change the way the site will show via wordpress?

    If there is anyone that help with my problem ……! I have followed Codex (Moving Wp)
    and now I can’t found wp-admin and wp-login. They are still on the server but they are not being located when put in the URL: Here is the URL: HELP!!!!!

    Hi CocoCarina,

    Yes, you will still need to change the DNS (Nameservers) for your domain when you’re ready to go live with the new WordPress site. You’ll want to point your domain to your new web host at that time. You can also go ahead and remove the temp url work around from the wp-config.php file at that time.

    I’m happy I was able to help!

    Hi jhadmin,

    Please start a new thread for your question. It’s impolite to try and hijack someone else’s thread.


    I have and there wasn’t any replies back….. I am not trying to be impolite I saw that our topics were similar and I really needed help ASAP!!!! So if you can help it will be greatly appreciate. My Question : Lost wp-content and wp-admin help..

    Thank You!

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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