I recently found it necessary to change my WordPress theme. Since a theme change to an active site can be significant and impact active users, I decided to modify and test on a development server. Once the necessary modifications were complete, it became time to move that theme into production. While there are many ways to accomplish this migration, these are the steps that I used to move the WordPress theme from my development server to the production server. Though the preferred way of doing this might different for everyone, listed below is how I went about the migration.
- Install the new theme on the production server but do not activate the theme at this time.
- Typically I use a child theme to make the modifications to theme, I upload the child theme to production but do not activate the theme. The theme will be activated when the development database is imported.
- Backup the production database (I currently use the WordPress Plugin “Migrate DB”). The Migrate DB allows you to identify and change the test site and test blog URL to the production names as the database is copied. This production backup is only used if anything go wrong.
- Backup the database on the development site, again using Migrate DB.
- Login to the production database using software such as PHPMYADMIN.
- Import development database into production site. The import function will overlay the existing database.
- Import any background images or logos into the production site as needed.
- View the updated WordPress site to verify a successful migration.