Magento requires a lot from both your server and you. Upgrading to another hosting account or just moving Magento to a new location could be a time-consuming task and there are a few things you should be aware of. Having some information at hand could reduce potential downtime and make the process quicker and more painless.
Moving the folders
If you don’t want to move the entire Magento folder to its cozy new home, make sure to move the media, app/etc and your theme folders. Remember, there is both a skin folder and a design folder for your theme and you most definitely need them both.
MySQL database dump
Make a database dump of the old database and import it to the new location. In the core_config_data table, change the values of web/secure/base_url and web/unsecure/base_url to reflect any changes in the domain. If you’re moving Magento into a subdirectory, also change the RewriteBase in the root folder .htaccess file.
The settings in your app/etc/local.xml file should be changed to let Magento connect to your new database.
Updating the paths
Clear the var/cache folder when moving the site to make sure no cache is left from the old one. Remove or rename the downloader/pearlib/pear.ini file to make sure the Magento Connect downloader upgrades the path it uses. Forget this and you’ll be scratching your head the next time you’re installing an extension.
The right permissions
Simply make the app/etc, var and media folders writeable by the server.
Why not update Magento to the latest version while you are still poking around? You can use the Magento Connect downloader or if you prefer (or can’t access the site via a browser yet) you can run the following commands on your server:
./pear mage-setup . ./pear install magento-core/Mage_All_Latest
That should also do any required updates on the database. If you ever import a Magento 1.3 database to a Magento 1.4 installation, run the commands again to make sure the structure is correct.
Potential problem: Some images are not showing
You have transferred all the images to the new location and cleared the cache but only some of them show up when browsing the catalog on the front-end. This can occur when Magento can’t allocate enough RAM when loading the images. Increase the memory_limit in php.ini and restart the Apache service.
Potential problem: Products are missing
If some products are missing or the site seems different from the old one, reindex the catalog.
Potential problem: Prices always display excl. taxes
This can occur when upgrading to Magento 1.4. You’ve set the configuration to include taxes in all the prices but they still display without taxes on the front-end. What you need to do is to set the Origin on the Shipping Options page in the site configuration.
What I’ve mentioned here is only the bare basics of moving Magento to a new server. Once you hit a problem, that’s when things become a lot more interesting. While Google is your best friend, below is a list of a few of the resources I’ve personally found helpful.
Moving Magento To Another Server
I Actually Am Getting Orders Now on 1.4
Magento 1.4 Install Errors
Moving Magento [...] (potential problems)
Issues With Moving Magento
Moving Magento Site From Development To Live