How to Change WordPress URL and Not Ruin the Whole Website?
14 min.

Understanding the nuances of URLs – the web addresses that guide users and search engines to your content – is paramount. This article delves into the vital role URLs play in your website’s identity and functionality. Changing a URL in WordPress might seem straightforward, but it comes with its share of risks. An incorrect approach can lead to broken links, lost traffic, and even adversely affect your site’s SEO. 

So, how to change WordPress URL? We’ll guide you through the potential pitfalls of changing links and provide strategies to mitigate these risks. By the end of this article, you will be equipped with comprehensive knowledge on how to safely alter links in WP without jeopardizing the integrity of your website. Whether you’re rebranding, shifting to HTTPS, or modifying permalink structures, this guide aims to ensure your transition is as smooth and error-free as possible.

Preparing for the URL Change

Changing your WordPress site’s URL requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth transition. This involves:

  • Creating a Full Backup: Before any changes, make a complete backup of your WordPress database, files, themes, plugins, and media content. This can be done using WordPress backup plugins, manual methods via FTP, or tools from your hosting service.
  • Informing Your Users: If the link change is significant, like a domain change, notify your users in advance through email, social media, or website notices. Explain the reasons for the change to maintain user trust.
  • Planning for SEO and Redirects: Consider the impact of the URL change on SEO. Update internal links and sitemaps, and inform search engines about the change. Set up 301 redirects from old links to new ones to avoid 404 errors and guide users and search engines to the correct pages.

By following these steps, you can minimize risks associated with changing your site’s link and maintain its integrity and performance.

URL Change

Method 1: Changing the URL from WordPress Admin Dashboard

So, how to change URL in WordPress? One of the most straightforward methods to change the URL of your WordPress site is through the WordPress Admin Dashboard. This method is ideal for situations where you need to update the Site Address (URL) or WordPress Address (URL). Here’s a step-by-step guide to making this change, along with tips to avoid potential pitfalls.

Step-by-Step Instructions on WordPress Change Page URL

  • Access WordPress Settings: Log in to your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’.
Access WordPress Settings
  • Update Links: You’ll find two fields – ‘WordPress Address (URL)’ and ‘Site Address (URL)’. The ‘WordPress Address (URL)’ is where your WordPress core files reside, and the ‘Site Address (URL)’ is the address your visitors will use. Update these fields with your new URL.
Update Links
  • Save Changes: After entering the new links, scroll down and click ‘Save Changes’. Your site will immediately start using the new URLs.
Save Changes

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Potential Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

  • Inaccessibility After Change: If you accidentally enter an incorrect URL, you might get locked out of your dashboard. To prevent this, double-check the link before saving changes.
  • Database Update Needed: Remember, changing URLs through the dashboard won’t update URLs in your existing content. You’ll need to update links in posts, pages, and settings manually or use a plugin to handle this.
  • Secure Connections: If you’re moving to HTTPS, ensure you have an SSL certificate installed before changing the link to an HTTPS address to avoid security warnings.
  • Clear Cache: If you’re using caching plugins or server-level caching, clear the cache after changing the link to prevent display issues.
  • What to Do After Changing Links: For each of the methods, after the site URL is changed is better to update permalinks. In some cases, if the permalinks are not updated, the inner pages will return 404. To update permalinks from the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings > Permalinks and click the Save Changes button at the end.

By following these steps, you can change your WordPress site’s link from the admin dashboard effectively. It’s a simple process but requires attention to detail to avoid common mistakes.

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Method 2: Editing the wp-config.php File

Another way how to change the URL of a page in WordPress? For users who need a more direct approach or are unable to access the WordPress Admin Dashboard, changing the link can be achieved by editing the wp-config.php file. This method involves adding lines of code to this critical configuration file. Here’s how to do it:

How to Access and Edit wp-config.php

  • Locate the wp-config.php File: The wp-config.php file is located in the root directory of your WordPress installation. This is the same folder where you find folders like ‘wp-content’.
  • Access the File: To edit the file, you can use an FTP client or the File Manager in your web hosting control panel. Connect to your server, navigate to the root directory, and locate wp-config.php.
  • Edit the File: Once you’ve found the file, open it for editing. If you’re using an FTP client, download the file to your computer, open it with a text editor, and make the necessary changes. If you’re using File Manager, you can edit the file directly on the server.

Adding the Necessary Lines of Code to Change the Link

  • Insert Code for URLs: Add the following lines of code to your wp-config.php file, ideally above the line that says /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */:
  • php

Copy code

  • Replace with your new URL.
  • Save and Upload the File: After adding these lines, save the file. If you’re using an FTP client, upload the modified wp-config.php back to your server.
  • Check the Site: Once the file is saved and uploaded, visit your WordPress site to ensure that the changes have taken effect.
Necessary Lines of Code

Important Considerations

  • Backup Before Editing: Always make a backup of wp-config.php before editing. Any mistakes in this file can render your site inaccessible.
  • Correct Syntax: Ensure that the syntax is correct when adding the code. Syntax errors can cause your site to malfunction.
  • Temporary Change: This method is often used as a temporary solution, especially when troubleshooting or when the WordPress Admin Dashboard is inaccessible. For a permanent change, it’s recommended to update the URLs via the WordPress dashboard and ensure all links in content are updated accordingly.

Editing the wp-config.php file to change the WordPress URLs is a powerful method but should be approached with caution due to the sensitive nature of the file.

Method 3: Using the WordPress Database

Another effective method for how to change URL on WordPress is by directly editing the site link and home values in the WordPress database. This method is particularly useful if you’re unable to access the WordPress admin area or need to correct URL issues after a site migration. Here’s how to do it through phpMyAdmin, a popular database management tool available in most hosting control panels.

WordPress Database

Accessing phpMyAdmin Through Your Hosting Control Panel

  • Log Into Your Hosting Account: Start by logging into your web hosting control panel. This is typically where you manage your hosting settings, email accounts, and databases.
  • Navigate to phpMyAdmin: Once logged in, look for the ‘Databases’ section and find phpMyAdmin. Clicking on it will open the phpMyAdmin interface, which is used for managing your MySQL databases.
  • Select Your WordPress Database: In phpMyAdmin, you’ll see a list of databases on the left side. Select the database that corresponds to your WordPress site. If you’re unsure which one it is, check the wp-config.php file where the database name is defined.

Identifying and Updating the siteurl and home Values in the Database

  • Find the wp_options Table: After opening your WordPress database, look for the wp_options table. This table typically stores site-wide settings, including the links.
  • Edit siteurl and home Values: Inside the wp_options table, search for the siteurl and home rows. These rows contain the URL of your WordPress site. Click the ‘Edit’ button next to each to change their values.
  • Update the URLs: In the ‘value’ column for both siteurl and home, replace the existing link with your new one. Make sure to enter the correct URL and avoid typos.
  • Save Changes: After editing, save your changes. Each row will have a ‘Go’ or ‘Save’ button to confirm the update.
Updating the siteurl

Important Tips

  • Backup Before Making Changes: Always back up your database before making any changes in phpMyAdmin. A wrong edit in the database can have significant consequences.
  • Double-check URL: Make sure you enter the correct URL format, including http:// or https://.
  • Clear Cache: If you’re using caching plugins or server-level caching, clear the cache after making changes to ensure your site reflects the new link.

Editing the WordPress database directly is a powerful method but requires precision and caution. It’s recommended for advanced users who are comfortable working with databases.

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Method 4: Utilizing Functions.php File

WordPress change URL in database can also be accomplished by editing the functions.php file of your theme. This method is particularly useful for making temporary changes, such as when moving your site to a local server for testing or troubleshooting. Here’s how to use the functions.php file to temporarily change your WP link:

Editing the Functions.php File of Your Theme

  • Locate the Functions.php File: The functions.php file is located in your WordPress theme’s folder. You can access it via FTP or through the File Manager in your hosting control panel. Navigate to wp-content/themes/your-theme-folder/.
  • Backup Functions.php: Before editing, it’s advisable to make a copy of the functions.php file. This provides a fallback in case of errors.
  • Edit the File: Open the functions.php file for editing. You can do this by downloading the file and editing it with a text editor, or by using the editor in the File Manager.
Editing the Functions.php File

Code Snippets to Change the Link Temporarily

  • Add the Code: At the bottom of the functions.php file, add the following code snippets:
  • php

Copy code

update_option( 'siteurl', '' );

update_option( 'home', '' );
  • Replace with your new URL.
  • Upload the Modified File: If you edited the file locally, upload it back to the same directory from where you downloaded it.
  • Check Your Site: After saving changes, visit your WordPress site to ensure the link has been updated.

Important Considerations

  • Temporary Change: Remember, changes made via the functions.php file are temporary. Once you remove these lines, your site will revert to the original URLs.
  • Theme-Specific: Since these changes are made in the theme’s functions.php file, if you change your theme, the URLs will revert to the original settings.
  • Avoid Syntax Errors: Be cautious with the syntax to avoid causing site errors. Even a small mistake in the functions.php file can make your site inaccessible.

Utilizing the functions.php file is a handy method for temporary link changes but requires careful handling to avoid disrupting your site’s functionality.

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Method 5: Employing a Reliable Plugin

For many users, especially those who prefer not to delve into code or database editing, using a plugin to W/ordPress change URL of page is a convenient and safe option. Plugins can simplify the process, reducing the risk of errors and the complexities involved in manual methods. Here’s a guide on employing a reliable plugin to change your WP URLs.

Recommended Plugins to Change URL WordPress

Several plugins are available for safely changing URLs in WordPress. Some of the most reliable ones include:

  • Velvet Blues Update URLs: A straightforward plugin for updating URLs when moving your site. It’s particularly useful for changing URLs in post content, links, and for images.
  • Better Search Replace: This plugin is ideal for larger sites, offering a robust solution for searching and replacing URLs in the database. It also provides a ‘dry run’ feature to preview changes before applying them.
  • Duplicator: While primarily a migration plugin, Duplicator can handle URL changes as part of the site cloning and migration process.
Plugins to Change URL WordPress

How to Use a Plugin to Safely Change Page URL WordPress

  • Install and Activate the Plugin: Go to ‘Plugins’ > ‘Add New’ in your WordPress dashboard. Search for your chosen plugin, install it, and activate it.
  • Prepare for the Change: Before making changes, ensure you have a complete backup of your site. This is crucial in case you need to revert changes.
  • Configure Plugin Settings: Navigate to the plugin’s settings page. Each plugin will have a slightly different interface, but generally, you’ll be required to input your old link and the new one you want to change to.
  • Execute the Change: Follow the plugin’s instructions to start the URL update process. Some plugins offer a preview or a ‘dry run’ to check what changes will be made before applying them.
  • Check Your Site: After the process is complete, browse your site to ensure that the URL change has been successfully implemented.

Tips for Success

  • Clear Caching: If you’re using caching plugins or server-level caching, remember to clear your cache after changing URLs to prevent old content from displaying.
  • Update Google Analytics and Search Console: If you use these services, update them with your new link to continue tracking your site correctly.

Using a plugin can make the process of changing your WP link much simpler and less prone to errors. It’s a suitable method for users of all skill levels, ensuring a smooth transition to the new URLs.

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Implementing Redirects and Updating Internal Links

After changing your WP site’s link, it’s important to set up 301 redirects and update internal links to ensure users and search engines find the correct pages, thus maintaining SEO value and user experience.

301 Redirects: These are permanent redirects that preserve most of the SEO value. You can set them up using plugins like ‘Redirection’ or ‘Yoast SEO’, or manually add them to your site’s .htaccess file if you’re comfortable with technical edits. Specify the old and new URLs for each redirect, and test them afterward to ensure they work correctly.

Updating Internal Links: Manually update key links on important pages and posts. For larger sites, consider using plugins like ‘Better Search Replace’ for bulk updates. After updating, scan for any broken links using tools or plugins.

Essential Tips:

  • Backup First: Always create a backup of your site before making these changes.
  • Regular Monitoring: Keep an eye on your site’s performance and check for crawl errors using tools like Google Search Console.
  • See If There Are Any Old URLs left: You can do it in two methods: through a plugin (recommended) or from phpmyadmin (search for the old URL on all database tables and replace it by editing values directly within the database).

Implementing these steps is crucial for a smooth transition and maintaining your site’s SEO and functionality after a URL change.

Testing the Website After Link Change

After changing your WordPress site’s URL, it’s essential to conduct thorough testing to ensure full functionality and maintain your site’s usability and SEO ranking. Here’s a streamlined approach:

  • Test Page Load: Manually visit each page, especially the homepage and high-traffic pages, to ensure they load correctly.
  • Check Media Files: Confirm all images, videos, and media are displaying properly on various site sections.
  • Inspect Layout: Look for any layout inconsistencies across different pages that might arise from the URL change.
  • Browser and Device Compatibility: Verify your site’s performance across different browsers and devices, ensuring uniform user experience.
  • Broken Links and Errors: Utilize tools to identify broken internal and external links. Manually test critical links and use browser tools to detect console errors.
  • Redirects: Confirm that any set up 301 redirects are functioning properly, guiding users and search engines to the correct pages.
  • User Feedback and SEO Monitoring: Pay attention to user reports for unnoticed issues and watch for any changes in SEO rankings or site traffic that might signal problems.

Testing after a URL change is crucial for maintaining the integrity and performance of your site. This process helps to identify and fix problems caused by the URL update, ensuring seamless access for users and search engines.

Testing the Website After Link Change

Monitoring SEO and Traffic Post-Change

After updating your WordPress site’s URL, monitoring SEO and traffic is crucial to ensure your site’s performance remains unaffected. Here’s a condensed guide on how to do this effectively:

  • Use Google Search Console to track your site’s visibility, index status, and identify any crawl errors post-change.
  • Employ Google Analytics to observe traffic patterns and user behavior, focusing on changes after the update.
  • Utilize SEO Plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack for insights within your WordPress dashboard, including SEO analysis and readability checks.
  • Leverage Third-Party SEO Tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz for comprehensive analysis, including keyword rankings and backlink profiles.

If you notice drops in traffic or rankings:

  • Determine the Cause: Investigate using the tools mentioned to pinpoint issues, whether they’re crawl errors or page-specific declines.
  • Ensure Redirects and Internal Links Work: Check all redirects from old to new URLs and update internal links.
  • Review and Optimize SEO Elements: Confirm that SEO basics like meta titles and descriptions are in place and optimized.
  • Engage with Google Search Console: Submit your new sitemap and request site re-crawling to expedite re-indexing with the new URLs.
  • Monitor Backlinks: If there’s a domain change, reach out to update your link in existing backlinks.
  • Be Patient: SEO and traffic can fluctuate post-change, requiring time to stabilize.

Regular monitoring and quick action are key to maintaining your site’s search engine standing and user engagement during and after a URL transition.

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How Do I Change the URL of a WordPress Form?

To change the URL of a form in WordPress, first, locate the form within your dashboard, typically found in the interface of your form plugin (like WPForms, Contact Form 7, or Gravity Forms). Open the form for editing and navigate to its settings or configuration panel, where you’ll find the option to change the URL (or the action attribute of the form). Change the URL as needed and save your changes. Remember, this process alters the form’s target URL, not the URL of the page where the form is displayed.

How Do I Change My WordPress Admin URL?

To change your WP admin linkfor enhanced security, install a security plugin like WPS Hide Login or iThemes Security. These plugins provide options to customize your admin URL. After installing, go to the plugin’s settings, specify your new admin link, and save the changes. This will update your WP login link to the new one you’ve set.

Can I Change My WordPress Domain?

Yes, you can change your WordPress domain. Start by purchasing and registering the new domain you wish to use. Then, in your hosting account, point this new domain to your existing hosting environment. Next, go to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’, and update the ‘WordPress Address (URL)’ and ‘Site Address (URL)’ fields to your new domain. Finally, set up 301 redirects from your old domain to the new one to preserve SEO and ensure users can still access your site.

How Do I Change a Link in WordPress?

To change a link in WordPress, simply edit the content where the link is located, whether it’s a post, page, or widget. Click on the linked text or image to access the URL field or link icon in the editor. Here, replace the existing URL with the new one you wish to use. Finally, save or update the content to apply the changes. For detailed instructions, you may refer to specific plugin guides or WordPress documentation.


Changing URLs in WordPress is a crucial skill for website administrators, useful for rebranding, improving site security, or enhancing SEO. This guide has highlighted various methods for URL changes, from dashboard adjustments to database or theme file edits. It’s important to prepare for changes, implement redirects, update links, and monitor post-change effects on SEO and site functionality. Approach URL changes cautiously, always back up your site first, and methodically test after implementing new URLs. With careful planning and understanding, you can confidently manage URL changes in WordPress, ensuring a smooth transition for your website and its users.

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