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Moving a Joomla website

Moving a Joomla website is done in three steps: 1) moving the database, 2) moving the files, and 3) tell Joomla where you have stored the files and the database by configuring the file configuration.php.

Let's get a bit more detailed. Follow these simple steps to move a Joomla website:

  • Export the database on the old server:
    If you do not know the name of the database for you Joomla website, log in to the Joomla admin and go to Global Configuration > Database tab (Server in Joomla 1.5) and check the field Database. Now when you know what database to copy, log in to phpMyAdmin on the old server. Click the correct database name in the left column and then click the Export tab. Click "Select all" and check the checkbox "Save as file". Choose preferred file format and press Go. You will be prompted to save the database dump on your computer.
  • Create a new database on the new server:
    Log in to the web hosting control panel of your new web host and create a new database. With web hosting, log in to the control panel at the top of and go to Site Management > MySQL Databases. Set a name and a password for your new database and press "Add SQL Database." On the same page, make a note of the "Database Server" given at the bottom of the database list. This value is needed later.
  • Import your old database tables:
    Click the database name in the list in order to log in to phpMyAdmin of the new database. When logged in to phpMyAdmin, click the database name in the left column, and then the SQL tab (on some hosts it may be the Import tab). Click the browse button to select the database dump from your computer and upload it by pressing the Go-button. Your database dump will be imported to the new database.
  • Download the Joomla files from the old web host and upload them to
    Use an FTP-client to download your Joomla files from the old web host. Make sure you get all the files! Once you have downloaded the files completely, upload them to the correct domain folder in your web hosting account at If you want the Joomla website to show directly under the domain root (which you usually do) your file structure should look something like this:
                                ...and so on.
  • Modify the file configuration.php:
    The file configuration.php located in your main Joomla folder tells Joomla the path to the files, where to find the database, etc. Open the file with an editor. You can do it in the File Manager in the hosting control panel. These are the rows you need to edit:

    For Joomla 1.0.x:
    $josConfig_absolute_path = '/home/www/'; /* the path to the files */
    $josConfig_cachepath = '/home/www/'; /* the path to the files */
    $josConfig_live_site = ''; /* the URL of the site */
    $josConfig_host = ''; /* the database hostname */
    $josConfig_user = 'youracc_dbusrname'; /* the database username */
    $josConfig_password = 'dr!5t6Py7'; /* the database password */
    $josConfig_db = 'youracc_jdatabase'; /* the database name */

    For Joomla 1.5.x:
    var $host = ''; /* the database hostname */
    var $user = 'youracc_dbusrname'; /* the database username */
    var $password = 'dr!5t6Py7'; /* the database password */
    var $db = 'youracc_jdatabase'; /* the database name */
    var $log_path = '/home/www/'; /* the path to the log files */
    var $tmp_path = '/home/www/'; /* the path to the tmp files */

    Note that at web hosting, the database username is allways the same as the database name.

    When you have modified the file, save it and test your website. If your website does not work at this moment, go through the above mentioned variables of the file configuration.php again.

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