How to move posts from one WordPress site to another

Several years ago, I launched a WordPress website called Design to Startup, posted 19 articles, then stopped writing there. I decided to post all future articles on this site instead.

But I wondered how to move the posts from my old site to this site.

I had poured a lot of time and effort into writing those posts, like this one about what to charge as a WordPress consultant, which had some great feedback and thousands of readers.

The comments on that post were particularly valuable to me. How could I transfer all of the posts and keep the comments, timestamp, and categories in tact?

After no luck on my “how to” research, I began moving the posts over one-by-one: copying the code of each post from the WordPress text editor, editing the timestamp, and copying the comments. Two problems:

  1. it was taking too long
  2. the comments all listed me as the author

Eventually, I found this video:


(source)

Good news, WordPress has just the feature I needed – built in!

This works for making transferring posts, pages, comments, categories and custom fields (like post status, data, permalinks, ping status, etc.).

Watch the video, its great. But in summary:

  1. In the WordPress admin of the old site, go to Tools>Export
  2. Choose either “All content” “Posts” or “Pages“. Leave other options as default unless you have other preferences. Click “Download Export File” and save the file.
  3. In the WordPress admin of the new site, go to Tools>Import. Select “WordPress“, install the importer by clicking “Install” in the popup, and “Activate Plugin & Run Importer“, then select the file to upload (the one you just downloaded). Click “Upload file and import
  4. Follow instructions to assign the author as you prefer, check the checkbox to “download and import file attachments“, then click “Submit“.

DONE!

How cool. Saved me tons of time and works like a charm. Be sure to do 301 redirects to redirect traffic and for SEO purposes.

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54 Comments

  1. This is great:) I just moved like 50 posts from an old website of mine and consolidated it into a new one. The new site (which is an affiliate niche site) is now sitting at a healthy ~75 posts.

  2. Very helpful! How do you recommend we do 301 redirects? I’m not entirely sure what that means 🙂

  3. Moving your WordPress site to another location can be a stressful and fiddly experience, not helped by the fact you can t just simply move your files and database. No, that s just not how WordPress works.

    1. You definitely can move your files and databases. You just have to remember to replace all references to your current domain with the new domain in both the database and your files. You need access to phpMyAdmin and either an FTP or another File Management solution to do this.

  4. I don’t see any time stamps here so I don’t know if you will see and respond to this.

    I used the export and import tool for 109 blog pages, however I found an issue where it would show images used in blog posts, but with the old website URL.

    Do I have to manually go into each post, save the image to new site and change the URL? That’s what I have been doing and after about 20 I have decided there must be a better way.

    Any help or tips would be great!

    1. Hi Cameron,

      Check the versions of WordPress you are using on both the old and new site (you can see the version number on the lower right side of the WordPress admin area). What are they?

      I believe that feature has been added to the core of WP (still digging to find out). But would be helpful to know what versions of WP you are using. So let’s start there.

      1. Thank you for putting this post together! I am having this issue as well (as of May 2018). Everything imported nicely but the images are still being hosted on the old subdomain where I’m trying to move my posts from. I also imported posts from an old Blogger blog I once used and those images are also being loaded from Blogspot.com.

        I can imagine using FTP to copy the images themselves over from WordPress but I’m an architect and my posts are image-heavy so it’s nontrivial for me to try to manually rewrite all the image links in the posts. Not sure how I would go about getting the images from Blogger although I’m pretty sure I have all those in archives on a hard drive. If I find anything I’ll share it here but I’d love any pointers!

        Both WP sites are updated to the latest 4.9.6.

  5. Hello! This is likely a rookie/dummy question here, but I have an old wordpress.com blog that I want to move/integrate into my new wordpress.org website — this new site has many other pages and used for my business (the blog page is just a single pag/part of the website. Will the import know where to put the blog on my site when I run the import? I’m afraid to test it out in fear of screwing up my current site I’ve been developing.

  6. I don’t know how old this blog entry is, but it came up on a search and was extremely useful. Thanks for taking the time to write it, it made the task quick and easy!

  7. Man…after spending hours on moving my site, i found you on my last desperate attempt!! Thank you so much 😀 did it in 3 freaking minutes!!!

  8. What if i construct a new website and copy paste my old content to new site and then delete my old site and don’t do 301 redirect as i have very little seo traffic on my site. Will google consider it as a pilgrism case.

    1. No, there is not. But this method is super easy and requires less steps than a plugin would. Give it a try!

  9. thank you so much for writing this article, It was helpful beyond words. I was struggling to find a solution for weeks and your article just solved it for me!

  10. Been using wordpress open source for many years but first time I’ve transfered posts from one site to another. thanks for the easy to follow instuctions, transfered posts easily from .com to .co.uk site. Thanks. All the best… Whip.

  11. I tried this, but the menu is all messed up. I change the menu, delete the menu, edit the menu–but stiill, what it shows me is ALL of the sites pages. Then I click on any page, and it takes me to a page still dominated by the menu, with no content visible.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!

  12. This article is very helpful. Just the right article I needed at the right time. Thank you very much.

  13. Thanks for this wonderful article!

    One caveat though is that in my test of this procedure, the migrated posts all lost their Featured Image.

    Does anyone know a method to retain those as well?

    Cheers!
    G

  14. I have tried this I’m finding it does not bring across the Featured Image for each post. Any clues on how to fix this? I have over 390 posts now all with NO featured images.

  15. I have a blog I tried to move from one webhosting to another but couldn’t. I contacted the webhosting company and was told to download my backup. Downloading a backup here is a problem so I need another method to migrate all my contents and pages to th new webhosting company

  16. Like everyone else; THANK YOU. Saved me so. much. time.
    I’m wondering if Google will bury the posts I transfer?? Does anybody have an idea about this?

  17. Great ! but what im trying to move are images and i do not have admin log in for one .what is the next step.

  18. It worked!! Awesome, thank you so much! I was able to do it myself, instead of waiting for my developer to do it!

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