How to move Drupal from one host to another 5

Basically moving any php based open source packages from one host to another involve more or less same pattern.

Here I’ll explain how to move Drupal from one host to another.

Before you start working on it backup your files and database.

Step 1: Move files

The first step is to move all your files from one host to another by either using ftp or any other means as supported by your host.

Step 2: Move database (I’ve taken example of mysql database)

The 2nd step is to move database.
a) To move database first Export drupal database and save it as .sql

b) Then on your new host create a database from control panel or phpMyAdmin or any other means provided by host.

c) Then Import the .sql which you exported in step (a). You can do it either by phpMyAdmin or from SSH or any other means whichever is available to you.

Step 3 : Point Drupal on new host to the newely created database in Step 2

a) Database settings

When you moved your files in step 2, your Drupal installation still carries the references to old host.

You need to modify sites/default/settings.php file to use new database. To do so

Change the settings.php file permissions to make it writable. By default it is read only.

Open settings.php in any text editor.

Search for a line which is starts with

$db_url = ‘mysql:

This is the variable where you set the new database, username and password

The format of this line is:

$db_url = ‘mysql://username:password@localhost/databasename

Modify this line according to new database, username and password.

Make sure that the localhost is indeed your mysql host. In 99% it will be so, but if your host is 1and1 then you need to find your host from mySQL administrator and replace the lcoalhost also with the mysql host name which would be something

b) Base URL change

If you have also changed your domain then you will need to modify following lines in settings.php file to have your domain.

$base_url = ‘’;  // NO trailing slash! 

If you see any # at the beginning of this line then get rid of it.


5 thoughts on “How to move Drupal from one host to another

  1. Reply Avalon Jan 12,2011 8:56 am

    I followed all the steps but don’t see the drupal install. Instead, I see a page with this:

    // $Id: index.php,v 1.94 2007/12/26 08:46:48 dries Exp $

    * @file
    * The PHP page that serves all page requests on a Drupal installation.
    * The routines here dispatch control to the appropriate handler, which then
    * prints the appropriate page.
    * All Drupal code is released under the GNU General Public License.
    * See COPYRIGHT.txt and LICENSE.txt.

    require_once './includes/';

    $return = menu_execute_active_handler();

    // Menu status constants are integers; page content is a string.
    if (is_int($return)) {
    switch ($return) {
    case MENU_NOT_FOUND:
    elseif (isset($return)) {
    // Print any value (including an empty string) except NULL or undefined:
    print theme('page', $return);


  2. Reply Avalon Jan 12,2011 1:39 pm


    I had to also change the PHP settings in the .htaccess file. See info here:

  3. Reply Ajay Jan 12,2011 2:28 pm

    That is php code and I bet you can’t see such code in browser.

  4. Reply Nick May 26,2011 12:45 pm

    @Ajay, sure might happen if PHP is not set up correctly 🙂

  5. Reply Ajay May 26,2011 12:53 pm

    Yes true.
    Other day I saw php code showing up for a WordPress site. It turned out to be problem with config files.

    It is scary to see php code, which opens door for devils 😉

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