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Transferring a WordPress website from one host to another is often an easy process. However, it’s not uncommon for complications to arise even when following the most straightforward tutorial. There is a myriad of things that can go wrong ranging from file corruption during transfer to forgetting to make adjustments on the new host.

Unfortunately, some of these errors are not evident until the website is viewed after the transfer. This can cause a lot of problems, especially if the site is popular. For every second the site is unusable, there is a growing possibility of losing visitors forever.

Below are five of the most widespread WordPress errors to avoid when you transfer your website.

1. 500 Internal Server Error

One of the most puzzling errors to receive during a transfer of WordPress is the Internet Server Error. What makes this such an issue is that it doesn’t really go into detail regarding the problem. Because there are so many things that this can lead to, it’s one of the more time-consuming errors to fix.

For the most part, fixing this error requires a bit of troubleshooting. In many instances, this problem appears when plugins or themes have faults in their coding. If the site was working before on the old server, then it’s safe to assume that neither of these may be the culprit.

The Internal Server Error can also happen if there is a problem with the .htaccess file.

Sometimes this error is caused by exhausting the PHP memory limit. Because each host is different, settings that may be usable before they might need to be changed. One way to fix this is by editing the memory limit in the wp-config.php file of WordPress.

2. Establishing Database Connections

When moving WordPress from one host to another, sometimes problems can occur with the database. This is often seen when the name of the file or its host is different from the one stored in the wp-config.php file.

Should this be the case, editing wp-config.php with the correct information will solve the problem. Users can edit the file using either the File Manager in cPanel if it’s available or through the use of FTP applications such as FileZilla. Four elements to pay attention to are:


define('DB_NAME', 'name-of-database');
define('DB_USER', 'user-of-database');
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password-of-database');
define('DB_HOST', 'host-location');

 

Inputting the new information of where the database is located will allow WordPress to access the data. Usually, it’s the information regarding the “host” that needs to be addressed. For instance, if the new host requires the use of a port, this will have to be added so WordPress can access the database. It’s not common for errors to develop because of wrong username or password.

3. 404 On Single Posts

Not all transfers go according to plan. What if one or more of the posts in WordPress start to show the 404 File Not Found error? This sometimes happens when alterations are made to the .htaccess page or the permissions of the file have been changed.

A corrupted .htaccess page can cause a variety of problems from accessing files to allowing users to view certain content. In most cases, simply having WordPress rebuild the file fixes the issue. This is done by going into the Settings area of WordPress, accessing Permalinks and just clicking the Save Changes button. Even if no settings were altered, this will cause WordPress to rebuild .htaccess.

Permissions of .htaccess can be changed through the use of FTP software. Set the permission for .htaccess to 666, rebuild the file using the above information and then reset the permission to 660.

4. Locked Out of Admin Account

Being locked out of the admin account can be the result of many different things. Luckily, this is an easy problem to address if a user has access to phpMyAdmin from his or her hosting account. This is usually accessible through cPanel located under “Databases.”

Using phpMyAdmin gives the site owner access to the database in which the information for accounts is stored. The database name is located in the wp-config.php file. From the database, the user table can be edited for permissions as well as password. However, an MD5 tool is necessary to create a new password for any account as they are hashed for security purposes.

This problem may also be the result of not having the correct database available for WordPress to access. Make sure the correct unit is transferred and that it matches the name in the wp-config.php file. Otherwise, the information will simply not match and access will be denied.

5. WordPress Login Redirect Problems

Login errors are often caused by other issues throughout the system. For instance, a failure to connect to a database as mentioned above can prevent logging into the system. What if the screen constantly reloads after inputting correct credentials?

One way to resolve the redirect issue from the login screen is to delete the .htaccess file. If this file is corrupt, it could be causing WordPress to loop on itself. Incidentally, corrupt files during a transfer are often the result of problems that arise when the file is copied or moved through the Internet. When the .htaccess file is deleted, simply create a new one by clicking the Save Changes button in the Permalink section of the WordPress admin panel.

One of the most common reasons WordPress redirects itself is from problems in how the host refers to the website. If the host has the site as “http://www.yoursite.com” and WordPress uses, “http://yoursite.com,” the redirect will happen. If this is the case, the address can be edited from the wp-config.php file by changing the following:


define('WP_HOME','http://yoursite.com');
define('WP_SITEURL','http://yoursite.com');

 

Note that the “www” may have to be added or removed depending on how the domain is set up through the host.

In most situations, it’s easy to transfer your website without problems. However, the risk of complications grow with each kilobyte of information that needs to be moved. Be patient when moving data from one host to another. Paying attention is one of the best ways to avoid any of the above issues in the long run.

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