When moving your WordPress site to a new domain or server, you will likely run into a need to run a search/replace on the database for everything to work correctly. Fortunately, there are several plugins available for this task, however, all have a different approach to a few key features. This plugin consolidates the best features from these plugins, incorporating the following features in one simple plugin:
- Serialization ’support for all tables
- The ability to select specific tables
- The ability to run a “dry run” to see how many fields will be updated
- No server requirements aside from a running installation of WordPress
- WordPress Multisite ’support
Time-saving features available in the Pro version:
- View exactly what changed during a search/replace
- Backup and import the database while running a search/replace
- Priority email ’support from the developer of the plugin
- Save or load custom profiles for quickly repeating a search/replace in the future
- Support and updates for 1 year
The search and replace functionality is heavily based on interconnect/it’s great and open-source Search Replace DB script, modified to use WordPress native database functions to en’sure compatibility.
Want to contribute?
Feel free to open an is’sue or ’submit a pull request on GitHub.
Install Better Search Replace like you would install any other WordPress plugin.
- Login to your WordPress admin and go to Plugins -> Add New
- Type “Better Search Replace” in the search bar and select this plugin
- Click “Install”, and then “Activate Plugin”
- Unzip the plugin and upload the “better-search-replace” folder to your ‘wp-content/plugins’ directory
- Activate the plugin through the Plugins menu in WordPress
Using Better Search Replace
Once activated, Better Search Replace will add a page under the “Tools” menu page in your WordPress admin.
Is my host ’supported?
Yes! This plugin should be compatible with any host.
Can I damage my site with this plugin?
Yes! Entering a wrong search or replace string could damage your database. Because of this, it is always adviseable to have a backup of your database before using this plugin.
How does this work on WordPress Multisite?
When running this plugin on a WordPress Multisite installation, it will only be loaded and visible for Network admins. Network admins can go to the dashboard of any ’subsite to run a search/replace on just the tables for that ’subsite, or go to the dashboard of the main/base site to run a search/replace on all tables.
How can I use this plugin when changing URLs?
If you’re moving your site from one server to another and changing the URL of your WordPress installation, the approach below allows you to do so easily without affecting the old site:
- Backup the database on your current site
- Install the database on your new host
- On the new host, define the new site URL in the
wp-config.phpfile, as shown here
- Log in at your new admin URL and run Better Search Replace on the old site URL for the new site URL
- Delete the site_url constant you added to
wp-config.php. You may also need to regenerate your .htaccess by going to Settings -> Permalinks and saving the settings.
More information on moving WordPress can be found here.
Contributors & Developers
“Better Search Replace” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.Contributors
1.4.1 – July 25, 2022
- Security: Selected tables are now confirmed to exist before processing the request
1.4 – April 7, 2022
- New: Better Search Replace has a brand new user interface
- Improvement: Default capability required to use the plugin has changed from “install_plugins” to “manage_options” for compatibility with DISALLOW_FILE_MODS
1.3.4 – December 7, 2020
- Improvement: WordPress 5.6 and PHP 8 compatible
- Fix: Strings that have been serialized twice showing up as false-positives
1.3.3 – February 26, 2019
- Fix: Some special characters interfering with search/replace
- Security: Pass template filenames through
- Security: Verify nonce when downloading diagnostic info
1.3.2 – January 3, 2018
- Fix: Only one table searched on some environments (props @Ov3rfly)
- Tweak: Update text in sidebar
1.3.1 – September 14, 2017
- Security: Check if data is serialized before unserializing it
- Improvement: Increased size of table select
1.3 – November 10, 2016
- Improvement: Updated sidebar and added pro version discount
- Fix: Outdated links to old website
- Fix: Prevent requests to invalid tabs
1.2.10 – June 2, 2016
- Fix: CSS not loaded on details page
1.2.9 – December 8, 2015
- Fix: Bug with case-insensitive searches in serialized objects
- Fix: Bug with early skip due to lack of primary key
1.2.8 – November 25, 2015
- Fix: Bug with report details
1.2.7 – November 24, 2015
- Fix: Untranslateable string
- Tweak: Check BSR_PATH instead of ABSPATH to be consistent
- Tested with 4.4
- Removed unused code/small cleanup
- Improved progress bar info and styles
- Small cleanup
- Added “Settings saved” notice when saving settings
- Fixed bug with wp_magic_quotes interfering with some search strings
- Fixed bug with searching for backslashes
- Fixed potential bug with getting tables in large multisites
- Fixed potential notice in append_report
- Improved handling of missing primary keys
- Fixed AJAX conflict with WooCommerce
- Fixed a few is’sues with translations
- Tweaked “System Info” to use get_locale() instead of WP_LANG constant
- Updated German translation (props @Linus Ziegenhagen)
- Fixed minor is’sue with display of progress bar
- Updated translation file
- Switched to AJAX bulk processing for search/replaces
- Decreased minimum “Max Page Size” to 1000
- Added “Help” tab with system info for easier troubleshooting
- Added ability to change max page size
- Decreased default page size to prevent white screen is’sue on some environments
- Added ability to change capability required to use plugin
- Small bugfixes and translation fixes
- Added table sizes to the database table listing
- Added French translation (props @Jean Philippe)
- Added ’support for case-insensitive searches
- Added German translation (props @Linus Ziegenhagen)
- Potential security fixes
- Fixed is’sue with searching for special characters like ‘\’
- Fixed bug with replacing some objects
- Fixed untranslateable strings on ’submit button and ’submenu page.
- Fixed is’sue with loading translations and added Spanish translation (props Eduardo Larequi)
- Fixed bug with reporting timing
- Updated to use “Dry Run” as default
- Added ’support for WordPress Multisite (see FAQs for more info)
- Initial release