Transferring Web Pages from Local Host to Web Server

This post should serve as a guide on how to transfer Joomla files and documents from a local host such as the WAMP, LAMP or XAMPP Server to a Web Server via FTP. The popularity of Joomla as a content management system, for building simple to complex Websites, is growing on a daily basis. While some Web administrators prefer to build a Website directly on their Web Server, there are others who like to do otherwise. While both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, this article will focus on the latter category. There are three main components that are required in order to make a clean file transfer from a local  to a Web Server:  an FTP Client such as FileZilla, a cross-platform Web Server package for example, WAMP or XAMPP and a Web Server. Once these are in place, you can proceed with the following steps:


Select all the files in your Local Server and upload unto the public_html (or a sub-directory in public_html) folder on your Web Server. This usually takes a long time, so be prepared to wait.


Create a full dump of the SQL database by using a database management tool such as phpMyAdmin on your cpanel. If using phpMyAdmin, log in and choose  your database from the left menu and click on the Export tab. Select all the tables, check the Add DROP TABLE box and Save as file then click on Go, as shown below. Do not change any other options.

transfer joomla from local server to web server


Now to import the database dump to your Web Server, create a new database (with any name of your choice) with a new username and password from your cPanel and log into your Web Server’s phpMyAdmin interface. Select the new database on the left and click on the Import tab. Browse the location of the SQL file then click on Go to import.


Now adjust the core settings identified in the Joomla configuration.php file in the File Manager. It is very important that you get the database settings right otherwise there will be no connectivity between the Joomla files and the database. Below is an example of the variables that need to be changed –

/* Database Settings */
var $host =
var $user =
var $password =
var $db =
var $dbprefix =
var $log_path =
var $tmp_path =

The Website should now work correctly if all the information above is entered correctly and your domain name points to the right DNS server of your Web hosting account.

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  1. This is actually perfect instructions. I’ve been trying to find out ways to transfer my website from localhost to my Bluehost web server.

  2. Some great posts on your blog btw.

    My question is firstly whether you can do this with a WordPress site as well? Does it have to be a Joomla site.

    Secondly, where do I find my “local host”?


  3. Is there some way that you can setup the scripts so that they are smart enough to change most of the settings for you? Or are there any WordPress plugins that would help you to do the move without having to be a tech head?

  4. Thanks for sharing this with us. Before i use to pay people to transfer my files for me. Now i pretty much do everything on my own

  5. I tried to launch my site using a free web hosting and domain name for testing purposes. I can’t seem to put it online. Thanks for this tutorial, the problem was the configuration.php file. Now, i have my site up and running.

  6. This is definitely a great guide for me as I recently decided to migrate my site to a dedicated server and the host was not willing to do the migration for me without charging me a hefty price. Thanks!

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