Moving Drupal

Today I had to move a Drupal installation from one domain ( to another ( Most of my time was spent in waiting for back-ups to finish, but there was one other problem that took a good half hour to solve: one page ( would give 403 errors, even though the page existed (as a URL alias). What had happened is that until today the www address had contained the old site, and the customer did not want me to delete its files, so I just dumped Drupal in the same directory. Turned out that there was a directory “portfolio” in there that conflicted with one of the new site’s so-called ‘URL aliases’.

So here are a few tips for moving a Drupal install across domains:

  • empty all caches before you back-up the database
  • after moving the site, change the base_url setting in the site settings file (sites/default/settings.php)
  • if you’re using MS Windows, Xenu Linksleuth is a good tool to check if any of the old URL’s are still lingering on the user side of the web site
  • if you’re overwriting an exisiting site, make sure the old paths in your new Drupal root do not conflict with the path aliases of the new site.

Re: the caches: my database contained 66 MB of material, of which 61 MB were caches.

The above are additional tips, and most definitely not the entire story of how to move a Drupal site. For that you use either common sense or the search function at

One response to “Moving Drupal”

  1. Dallas Clark says:

    Thanks for the tips, I’m moving a Drupal site at the moment and realised I better look up other’s users recommendations.

    Cheers !

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