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Updating URL After Migrating Site to new URL With the OptimizePress Helper Tool

If you have changed the URL of your site and see broken images, or some other things not working correctly, there are some steps you can take to fix this. Usually this happens after manually migrating the files and database or using a plugin that does not update the URLs in the database after migrating is completed.

There are other things that can cause this as well such as changing the URL of your site to add or remove the WWW or HTTPS. You will need to do this as well in that case.

Step 1: Deactivate and Re-activate all OptimizePress plugins on your site.

Deactivating all the OptimizePress plugins on your site and then re-activating them. Note that the OP Dashboard should be deactivated last, and activated first as some of our plugins rely on that to work correctly. This can help flush out some cached settings.

Step 2: Clear all Cache

You should also clear the OP3 Cache at the top of the admin area in the toolbar:

If you have other caching enabled you should clear that as well.

Step 3: Download the OptimizePress Helper Tool

Download the zip file here:

Step 4: Install and activate the OP Helper Tool

To install, just go to “Plugins” and “Add new” and choose the upload option. Then select the zip file you just downloaded, and then install the plugin like any other plugin, and then activate it. We won’t go into detail on this guide on how to install plugins as this is common and there are thousands of guides available on how to do this (and videos on YouTube).

Step 5: IMPORTANT: Take a FULL Database backup

You’ll need to take a full database backup of your site just in case you enter wrong information in the helper tool and need to roll it back. Due to many different kind of hosting setups, please refer to your web host on how to backup your database, or use a plugin to do so (there are many plugins for this). Also make sure the backup is good (test by importing to new database if you want).

This plugin does not modify any files in your site, so no files backup is needed, but feel free to take one if you want.

Step 6: Update the URL in the Database Using the Helper Tool

Navigate to “Tools” and click on “OP3 Tools”

You’ll now see a screen like this:

You need to know the exact URL of the old site or the previous URL, as well as the new URL. Getting the old URL can be difficult, but if you have broken image due to this change, you can right click on it and “copy image URL” and you can get the first part of the URL from there.

To get the new URL just navigate to “Settings” and you’ll see it there. You can do this in another tab to make it easier.

Did you take your database backup? If so, then continue. If not, go do it now. OptimizePress will not be responsible for fixing your site if you did not take a backup.

Once you are sure you have a full backup of the database, now you can enter the URLs in the fields under “Tools > OP3 Tools” like you see below. If all looks correct, and you have a good database backup, click “Migrate domain”

Within a short time (few seconds for small sites) you’ll see a message similar to this, showing the number of items that were updated. Of course in this example it found “0” replacements because I did not actually migrate this site.

Now if you go back and clear the OP3 Cache and site cache again, you should see previously broken content load fine.

If you want to make a copy of your site for the purpose of creating a staging copy, you’ll be happy to know that OptimizePress works great with a large number of plugins that will clone your site.

Our #1 recommended plugin is WP Vivid. The free version of this plugin is well supported and automatically updates all the URL references properly for you during the cloning process. All you have to do is install a fresh WP where you want the cloned site, and then import the backup taken with WP Vivid to the new site. This works for both small and large sites as long as the hosting you are using allows enough time and has enough space for the backup/restore features to work correctly.

You can also use the All in One WP Migration plugin, though there is a size limit before you would have to purchase their unlimited extension.

If you are aware of other plugins that can perfectly clone sites that have OptimizePress installed, please feel free to let us know and we’ll consider adding a mention here.

Site Cloning Methods to AVOID

Manually moving or copying your site’s files and database may sound like a simple process, but it is not. After you do this, and your site URL is changing such as switching domains or even creating a staging copy of your site, you have to update the URL references in the Database in order for the installation to function properly. There are several plugins out there that can update these URLs, but some of them just don’t work properly (even if they used to). This is why it’s very important to test the FULL functionality of your site before discarding the original.

What you want to avoid are plugins that are known to cause issues, and plugins that haven’t been updated for a long time. Below is a list of plugins that have been known to cause issues with OptimizePress either now or in the past. We will do our best to maintain this list.

Please note that our support teams can not fix issues with failed clones/migrations, or from using plugins that are listed here.

Better Search Replace plugin by WP Engine – This plugin should not be used with OptimizePress as we have noted many flaws that happen with serialized data. We suggest to not use this plugin on any sites where you are using OptimizePress as we have seen data become corrupted.

Velvet Blues Update URLS plugin – This plugin hasn’t been updated by its creators in over 3 years which basically means it is abandoned. We have also been seeing some issues where this plugin corrupts data for Global Elements.

We highly suggest that a full site backup of all the files and database be taken prior to migrating/cloning your site, or before using any tools (even ours) that replace URLs in the database.

If you have any questions about this or need further help, please reach out to our team for further guidance.

Updated on March 7, 2024

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