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WordPress site not working after migration

How to Fix Your WordPress Site Not Working After a Migration 

Written By: author image Joella Dunn
author image Joella Dunn
Joella is a writer with years of experience in WordPress. At Duplicator, she specializes in site maintenance — from basic backups to large-scale migrations. Her ultimate goal is to make sure your WordPress website is safe and ready for growth.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the President of Duplicator. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

Is your WordPress site not working after a migration?

You just chose to migrate your site to a better server or different domain name. But after making the move, your WordPress site isn’t working as it used to. There could be missing content, or you can’t even log into the admin area.

Don’t worry, these problems are usually easy to fix. In this post, I’ll show you some common post-migration issues and how to solve them!

Table of Contents

Common Issues After a WordPress Migration

Moving your WordPress site to a different hosting service can sometimes lead to annoying issues. Let’s explore the common problems you might face after a WordPress migration.

1. Content Not Displaying

If your WordPress site isn’t working after migration, you might see that your content isn’t showing up properly. 

When you open certain pages, images might not be displayed. Even if they exist in your media library, they don’t appear on the front end. 

Here are some reasons your images disappear after a migration:

  • Incorrect permalinks
  • Incorrect site URL
  • Incorrect image URLs
  • Plugin conflicts
  • Incorrect file permissions
  • Special characters in image names

Another issue could be posts or pages not showing. This may be because of incorrect permalink settings. 

Permalinks are the unique links to posts, categories, and other blog lists. When they don’t match, your content won’t appear properly.

Here’s how to reset your permalinks in WordPress.

2. Login Problems

If you’re unable to log into your WordPress site after migrating it, don’t panic. This is a frequent issue. The most likely solution is to reset your password.

Now, because your site has moved, your old email may not be connected. Through phpMyAdmin, check that your wp_users table has the correct usernames. 

You might also see a completely blank wp-admin login screen. This could be because of a plugin or theme conflict, a PHP memory limit, or problems with your wp-config.php file.

You can troubleshoot this issue by deactivating your plugins, increasing PHP memory limit, or checking the wp-config.php file for errors. 

If your WordPress database is still connected to your old website after moving, this might cause problems like wrong redirects. To fix this, remember to change your database URLs after migrating.

3. Failed WordPress Migration Plugins

Often, your migration’s success depends on the tool you use. The wrong migration plugin could fail to properly move all your files and database tables. 

To set up your new site, the migration plugin will also need to update your wp-config.php file with new URLs. If it doesn’t do its job, you might have login errors, missing content, and other problems. 

You’ll need a migration tool that you can rely on. To help you find the best one, here are my top WordPress plugins for migrations

4. Losing Files

If your WordPress site doesn’t work after moving it, you may have lost some files. These could have important data like themes, plugins, or even content.  

The smart thing to do is to back up your whole site before a migration. Use backup plugins like Duplicator for a hassle-free experience. This way, you have a recovery plan if things go wrong and you lose files.

If files are missing and you don’t have a backup, don’t worry. Reach out to your web host support. They may have a backup or can help recover lost files.

Don’t forget, prevention is better than troubleshooting. Regular website backups should be a key part of your site management. They keep your WordPress site running well, especially after bad migrations.

5. Downtime

It’s annoying when your WordPress site goes down during or after a migration. This often happens when your new site redirects to your old host. 

Some hosts give you an internal address which can help you avoid downtime during the move. You can test your content on this new location and add redirects when everything’s functioning correctly.

If your new host doesn’t have one, you can simply update the hosts file on your computer. By adding your new IP address and domain to this file, you’ll access your new host’s files while visitors view your site on the old host.

Essentially, it makes your computer think your website has moved when it hasn’t. Then, when you’re finished with the migration, delete this entry from your hosts file. You’ll have zero downtime!

To see exactly how to edit your hosts file, read our tutorial on how to move a WordPress site to a new host.

6. URLs in Posts Not Working

You might notice your internal links in blog posts don’t work. This is usually because they’re still connected to your old site. 

You can solve this issue by using SQL queries to update your MySQL database. Or, you could use a plugin like Better Search Replace to make the job easier.

But, if you’re using the right tool, your URLs will automatically be updated during the migration. With Duplicator Pro, you can enter your old domain and replace it with the new one. 

Duplicator search and replace

Duplicator will search and replace any old URLs in your database, so you don’t have to worry about broken links

7. Error Establishing a Database Connection

An “Error Establishing a Database Connection” can show up after moving your WordPress site. It happens when your site can’t connect to its database. 

Usually, you can fix this by updating the database details in your wp-config.php file. Find these lines and make sure they match your new database.

// ** MySQL settings - You can get this info from your web host ** // 
/** The name of the database for WordPress */ 
define( 'DB_NAME', 'database_name_here' ); 
/** MySQL database username */ define( 'DB_USER', 'username_here' ); 
/** MySQL database password */ define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here' ); 
/** MySQL hostname */ define( 'DB_HOST', 'localhost' );

If this doesn’t work, contact your new web hosting provider. You’ll want to check that your server is up and running. It could be down temporarily. 

After ensuring that the database is set up correctly, you might need to repair it. Add this code to the wp-config.php file:

define ('WP_ALLOW_REPAIR', true);

Then, use WordPress’s built-in repair tool by visiting this link:

Repair WordPress database

8. 500 Internal Server Error

One common issue after a WordPress migration is the 500 Internal Server Error. It can be one of the most frustrating errors because it often doesn’t tell you what’s causing it. 

500 Internal server error

Sometimes, your host can’t access all of your site files after the move. You’ll have to find and update your file permissions. 

Alternatively, you may have to regenerate your .htaccess file. We’ll walk you through this process later in the article. 

Another reason for the 500 Internal Server error is a plugin conflict. Try deactivating them and reactivating each one to see when the error happens again. 

Other fixes include increasing your PHP memory limit, switching to a default WordPress theme, and re-uploading core WordPress files. 

9. Invalid SSL Certificate

After moving your WordPress site, you might have an invalid SSL certificate. This happens often because SSL certificates are directly linked to your website’s domain name.

When you migrate, you might change your domain name. This can make your SSL certificate invalid.

The simplest way to fix this is by getting a new SSL certificate for your new domain. Your web host can help you do this.

10. Redirects to Your Old Domain

After you update your domain name, your visitors may still be redirected to the old one. This happens when your site URL and home page URL are different than the values in your database.

Wrong redirects could also appear because of DNS issues. Make sure your DNS records are updated before you start troubleshooting. 

To make sure your site is visible, read this guide on how to make sure your WordPress site redirects to its new domain.

Troubleshooting Migration Issues

Let’s walk through some troubleshooting you can do if something goes wrong after a migration. This way, you can fix any issue that pops up!

Clear Your Cache

Caching plugins and server-side caches can hold onto old site versions, causing errors or issues with content display. 

If you see an error after a migration, clear your cache. This will help display the latest changes on your site. 

How you do this depends on your caching solution. Some plugins offer a “clear cache” or “purge cache” option in their settings. 

Clear WordPress cache

Your hosting provider often has a feature for clearing the server-side cache on your hosting dashboard. If you’re not sure, look at the documentation for your plugin or hosting service.

Regenerate the .htaccess File

Common problems like internal server errors or wrong permalink settings can be solved by regenerating your .htaccess file. This file controls your site’s configuration. 

To reset the .htaccess file, open your WordPress files with a file manager like cPanel or a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client. Find the .htaccess file, which is in your root directory (public_html folder).

Rename this file to something like: .htaccess_old

Now, go back to your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to Settings » Permalinks and don’t make any changes. Scroll to the bottom and hit Save Changes.

WordPress permalinks

This automatically regenerates the .htaccess file. 

Set Correct File Permissions

If your newly migrated site isn’t working, you may need to check your file permissions. They are key to your site performing smoothly.

Directories on your WordPress site should have permissions set to 755. Files should be set to 644. 

You can reset these permissions via SSH or FTP. By fixing file access issues, your WordPress site will work smoothly after a migration.

Update Database URLs

Post-migration, you may encounter misdirected URLs that still refer to the old site.

You can update database URLs with a plugin called Better Search Replace. It finds old URLs in all tables and updates them for you. This helps fix your site’s navigation after migration.

Better Search Replace plugin

If you’re comfortable with editing the database directly, consider running SQL queries. This direct approach could help update all URL references efficiently.

Just remember, always create a backup before tinkering with the database! 

Be sure to update your site’s location in the wp_options table. Old references here can cause redirection problems. 

Also, pay attention to the wp-config.php file. You need to update it with your new server and database details to keep things functioning smoothly.

Fix Software Conflicts

If your WordPress site stops working after moving it, the problem might be due to software conflicts. This can happen when plugins, themes, and core WordPress software aren’t working well together.

To troubleshoot, deactivate all plugins and switch to a default theme. Then, reactivate everything individually to pinpoint the source of the issue.

It’s a good idea to keep plugins, themes, and WordPress updated to the latest versions. These updates often include bug fixes and compatibility improvements.

However, be sure to test any updates on a staging site before applying them to your live site.

Contact Your Web Hosting Support

You can always reach out to your web hosting support team. They are experienced professionals who can help resolve most migration issues. 

Be sure to share what’s going on, including any error messages you can see. The more information you provide about your problem, the quicker they can offer a solution. 

How to Avoid Common Migration Issues

When you don’t plan properly, you’ll face a lot of problems post-migration. Let’s talk about how to make the transfer as smooth as possible.

Take time to plan to prevent unwanted surprises. Here are some valuable resources that’ll help you successfully migrate your website:

There are plenty of WordPress migration plugins out there, but you won’t find a better one than Duplicator Pro. This tool makes migrations simple (and error-free).

Duplicator Pro plugin

All you’ll need to do is create a full backup of your original site. Then, download the backup archive file.

Download site archive package

On the second site, drop the archive file into Duplicator’s Import page.

Import website archive

Next, you’ll get a step-by-step migration guide. You can easily perform tasks like importing your database and updating URLs. This helps you avoid any errors as your site is moved. 

FAQs About WordPress Migration Issues

How do I access WordPress admin after a migration?

After migrating your WordPress site, you can access the admin dashboard by adding ‘/wp-admin’ to your new site’s URL. Enter your credentials, and you should access your dashboard without issues. If you encounter difficulties, there are many ways you can get back into your website

How do I fix migration problems?

You’ll have to identify the issue — be it a login problem, plugin failure, or database connection error. Once you know what happened, you can take steps to fix the issue. Some general troubleshooting tips are to clear your cache, regenerate your .htaccess file, set correct file permissions, and update your database URLs. 

What is the problem with WordPress migration?

WordPress migrations can lead to potential file loss, login issues, missing content, or downtime. Additionally, misconfigurations may lead to problems like redirecting to the old site when you visit the new URL.

How long does it take to migrate a WordPress site?

The time it takes to migrate a WordPress site can vary. It depends on how big your site is, how fast your internet is, and how intricate your website is. Smaller sites may only take a few hours, while larger, more complicated ones can take a few days.


We hope your newly migrated WordPress site is working now!

While you’re here, I think you’ll like these extra WordPress guides:

Do you want to migrate your WordPress site without any errors? Download Duplicator Pro for fast, smooth, and efficient transfers!

author avatar
Joella Dunn Content Writer
Joella is a writer with years of experience in WordPress. At Duplicator, she specializes in site maintenance — from basic backups to large-scale migrations. Her ultimate goal is to make sure your WordPress website is safe and ready for growth.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

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