Opened 2 years ago

Last modified 21 months ago

#14869 assigned Question/How do I...?

help transferring domain name and wordpress site

Reported by: Stacey Cordeiro Owned by: JaimeV
Priority: Medium Component: Tech
Keywords: Cc:
Sensitive: no


Hello! I'm new to MayFirst, and very glad it's a co-op, that's exciting.

I need to move my site over from Gaiahost. I have a simple wordpress website, and read my email through a gmail dummy account (…) that sends/receives mail through my domain name email (sc@…) - and would like to continue doing that if possible.

I see the instructions for transfering my website here: And also here:

... and they say that I should check in with you before attempting to move my site over, and that there might be someone available to help me with this. That would be great, since I have no idea what I'm doing, although I'm ready to try and follow the instructions.

Thank you! Stacey

Change History (10)

comment:1 in reply to:  description Changed 2 years ago by JaimeV

Owner: set to JaimeV
Status: newassigned

Hi Stacey,

Welcome to May First. The two most important things you will need are a backup of your wordpress database and all of your wordpress site files. You can create a new e-mail address and have it forward to your gmail account here:

The website and e-mail will not become active on our servers until you assign your domain to use our primary and secondary DNS servers.

Let me know if you have any issues with the instructions or if you need me to step in and help with anything. I would likely need ssh or ftp access to your account on gaiahost to initiate the transfer for you.


comment:2 Changed 22 months ago by Stacey Cordeiro

Hi Jamie, thanks for your reply. I've only had a little time to spend on this, so it's been a while since I wrote. I have created a backup of my wordpress site and am working on uploading it to mayfirst.

I've accessed my /web files through WinSCP, and I can see a file there called index.html. My intro email from Mayfirst said my website is, until I change over my domain name. But just gives me the error message "This site can’t be reached’s server IP address could not be found." Typing in gives me the same message. Shouldn't I be able to see that index.html placeholder page? I'm about to upload my wordpress files to that folder, and I want to make sure it's working first.


comment:3 Changed 22 months ago by Stacey Cordeiro

Update: I went ahead and uploaded my website's SQL database and wordpress files. My next step is to run install.php, but I can't access it with the URL - I get the same error message as before.

comment:4 Changed 22 months ago by JaimeV

Hi Stacey, it looks like this site's web configuration was already setup as

You can edit the web configuration in the control panel and replace the domains names with while testing. It won't be possible to enable an https TLS certificate for the real domains until they are actually using the May First DNS servers or their current DNS server points the domains to the new ip address.

comment:5 Changed 22 months ago by Stacey Cordeiro

Thank you. I went ahead and did that. I can't tell exactly what URL to use to access the installer.php file, but I've tried and and and all kinds of variations of these, and they all say file not found. I am really out of my depth here, and I have not even begun to configure my email yet, which will be the bigger problem. Is there someone who can set this all up for me? I have all the login information from my old web hosting company, and I would gladly pay someone else to do this. I've spent many hours on this and gotten nowhere.

comment:6 Changed 22 months ago by JaimeV

Do you want to create a new wordpress install or restore your previous site? If the latter, it looks like you've uploaded a zip file with your site files. I've unzipped that into your web folder for you. It looks like you've already uploaded your database. I think you can just edit your web wp-config.php file with the new database details now.

comment:7 Changed 22 months ago by Stacey Cordeiro

holy cow that worked. I thought I had already edited the config file, but I guess that was a previous attempt at moving all my stuff. I can see my site now, yay!

My next step is to get my domain name pointed at my mayfirst site, not at my old hosting company. Whois says the domain name is registered with I don't seem to have login credentials there, and have submitted a ticket with them for help logging into their system. It's my understanding I need to redirect the domain from their site, not through my old web hosting company (gaiahost). Am I right about this? Or is there a way I can do it from the gaiahost control panel?

Thank you so much.

comment:8 Changed 22 months ago by JaimeV

The whois lookup says the domain is registered to your directly organization, although it is currently using the gaiahost DNS records, so I think you should able to get them to give you direct access. I think once you are able to get access to your account you should look for a way to set your primary and secondary DNS server for your domain to and

comment:9 Changed 21 months ago by Stacey Cordeiro

Hi Jamie, thanks for all your help so far, I think I'm almost there. I got to give me control of my domain name so I don't have to wait on Gaiahost. On the directions from, I have changed the name servers with them to and I don't really know what to do next. I don't know if there's a lag time associated with the update of the name servers, and I don't know how to tell if I'm looking at my site on Gaiahost or Mayfirst servers, since I made a duplicate of the site!

But more than the website, I'm concerned about my email. I set up a forwarding address to my existing gmail account, but I don't know if I need to do anything else. Once starts sending traffic to my domain to Mayfirst, will I start getting my emails through Mayfirst servers? How will I know this has happened?

Also above you said "You can edit the web configuration in the control panel and replace the domains names with while testing. It won't be possible to enable an https TLS certificate for the real domains until they are actually using the May First DNS servers or their current DNS server points the domains to the new ip address." - I don't know what the TLS certificate is. Do I need to do that now?

comment:10 Changed 21 months ago by JaimeV

Hi Stacey,

Yes, it looks like the DNS change has gone through. Now should be resolving to the server

I've gone ahead and changed your web configuration to use the correct domains and enabled a TLS certificate

The DNS changes also redirect e-mail to our servers so any e-mail addresses you've setup through our control panel should already be receiving mail for your domain. Make sure any addresses you expect mail from have been created and configured to deliver to a May First user or forward to another e-mail address:

One last thing you may want to do is make sure your wordpress site is now using everywhere as the main URL. If you like, this is something I can help you do quickly by doing a find and replace on the database tables.

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