How to Go Live with a WP Engine Hosted WordPress Site — A Five Step Plan

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WP Engine offers an awesome service for WordPress site hosting. You can create staging environments where you can develop your site and make it go live only once you are happy with your creation. A great tool. But it’s also a bit more complicated to make your site go live.

This is especially true when you are in a situation where you have a legacy hosting solution that is still up and running your live site. But at the same time you are making a newer version of your site at WP Engine’s staging environment.

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This post deals primarily with this situation and explains in a step-by-step manner how to go live correctly with your new WP Engine hosted WordPress site.

To make the transition as seamless as possible, you need to complete the following five steps.

Step 1 — WP Engine Control Panel

CNAME and A Values

Find out the CNAME and A values for your WP Engine installation.

You can find these values at Installs > Overview.

WP Engine Installs > Overview

WP Engine Installs > Overview

The IP address is the A value.

Domains

Next, set up the correct domain name for your WP Engine installation.

To do this, go to Installs > Domains.

There, create or edit your primary domain. This should be the domain name you want your visitors to type in to their browser address bars.

Also there, create all the necessary redirections. For example, redirect domain.wpengine.com to www.domain.com.

You can also redirect domain.com to www.domain.com.

This is actually a good idea, because if you don’t do this, then your visitors won’t find your site by typing only domain.com. It’s a very simple fix, yet many people lose out on extra traffic because they don’t take this step.

Step 2 — Registrar Control Panel

Go to your registrar’s control panel. Look for the DNS settings area.

Unfortunately, there’s no uniformity in the DNS settings page across registrars. But the idea is always the same.

You need to specify the CNAME and A values that you looked up in the previous step.

Type in the IP address to a field called A value. Then, type in the CNAME address to a field called CNAME value.

Don’t forget to save these settings. The changes will take anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours to propagate across the whole internet.

Step 3 — WordPress Dashboard

Now that you have made all the necessary changes outwards, you also need to update your local WordPress installation’s settings.

To do so, log in to your WordPress Dashboard and go to General > Settings.

Edit the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) to reflect the primary domain you set up in WP Engine’s Installs > Domains page.

WordPress Dashboard General Settings

WordPress Dashboard General Settings

Sometimes, editing these two fields via the dashboard is disabled.

In that case, you need to edit them by accessing your database directly. To do that, go back to WP Engine > Installs > phpMyAdmin.

phpMyAdmin will open up in a new window. You can find the URL fields in the wp_options table. They are called siteurl and home. And they occupy the first two rows in that table.

Simply click on the Edit link next to each of these two options and rewrite the URLs to the same address that you set up at WP Engine.

phpMyAdmin wp_options > siteurl and home

phpMyAdmin wp_options > siteurl and home

Click on the Go button to save the changes.

Step 4 — FTP Server

The final step to go live with your site is to update the wp-config.php file located in the root folder of your WordPress installation.

Here you need to either edit the following two lines and make the URLs the same as you defined them at WP Engine and everywhere else…

…or you can simply remove both these lines from wp-config.php completely.

Step 5 — Flush Cache

Usually, it helps to move things along more quickly to flush the caches of your site kept by WP Engine. To do so, go to WordPress Dashboard > WP Engine > General Settings.

WordPress Dashboard > WP Engine > Purge All Caches

WordPress Dashboard > WP Engine > Purge All Caches

And there click on the Purge All Caches button.

And that’s it — your site will now be live on the internet.

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