When moving a WordPress site from a test environment or to a new directory, it is vital that you have a plan of action to make sure the move goes as smoothly as possible. On most WordPress sites there will be various internal links to pages and images that will need to be edited. If you are moving quite a large site this can be quite a confusing and time consuming task.

Luckily there are various free plugins available to do this task for us! We are going to use the Velvet Blues Update URLs plugin. This will scan all posts and pages and change all links that are pointing to the wrong place.

Below are a few simple steps on how to install and use the plugin. Just follow these and your URLs will be converted to your new WordPress website.

  1. From WordPress Dashboard navigate to the plugins page and click the add new button at the top of the page. Search for “Velvet Blues Update URLs” and install the plugin.
  2. Once the plugin is installed click the link to activate the plugin.
  3. Once activated you will now have a new link in your settings menu called update URLs. Click this link to open the plugin.
  4. You will see 2 boxes at the bottom of the page titled old URL and new URL. Input your old URL – this is the URL where the site was previously located.  i.e.,  if  you were on MyOldWebsite.com and your moving to MyNewWebsite.com – then enter in MyOldWebsite.com.
  5. In the box labelled new URL, input your new URL – i.e., MyNewWebsite.com
  6. Click Update URLs

That’s it!  Go to your browser, refresh your website, and check your pages and posts.  All of your links should now have been updated.  However, it does not update hard-coded URLs in themes and widgets. You will still need to update these manually.