I would like to use FTP to copy my current site to a new server. I obviously know that the bulk of my files will be stored in /var/www/ and the folders inside. I also exported my databases from phpMyAdmin to a localhost.sql file.

Is there any other place I need to pull files from? Is that it for the database?

3 Answers 3


You should be able to transfer the site wholesale, without too much fuss. After transferring, you may need to alter some paths (eg admin/config/media/file-system in D7) if the sites directory has changed paths relative to your Drupal codebase. Odds are you won't need to, though.

For a simple site, the layout will be something like this -

         modules/                  } don't install modules here
         themes/                   } nor themes here
         [many other Drupal core files]
               default/            } all installed code
                       files/      } lives in the
                       modules/    } site directory
                       themes/     } and its children

For more complex setups you may need to understand multisite layouts, but for now hopefully this answers your question.


Thankfully, Drupal installations are typically very self-contained. If there were any changes made to your old server's httpd.conf (or comparable server configuration file if you're not running Apache), you may want to migrate those to the new server as well, assuming you aren't on a shared host where all of that is taken care of for you. Though other than copying everything in the root of your Drupal install (the folder containing index.php and all subdirectories) to your new DocumentRoot and importing your database dump, you should be all set.

  • Now, I hope there will be no problems bringing it from a 32b Ubuntu to a 64b Ubuntu? Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 0:00
  • I've migrated Drupal to and from 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems numerous times without issue. You just want to make sure that all of your PHP/MySQL/Apache packages are set up for the appropriate architecture on each server (assuming of course that this isn't managed for you). Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 0:04

It depends on your setup really. For example if you use the private file system (properly) and use a folder outside of the web root then you'll need to copy those files too and put them in a folder in the same location on the new site.

Similarly if you use Ubercart (and perhaps Commerce, I'm not sure) and take credit card payments on the site then the encryption keys for those will also be stored outside of the site root, for security purposes; those would also need to be copied.

There are probably other modules that store files outside of the web root but I don't know any off the top of my head. In the majority of cases (except for those above) you should be ok though, just copying the entire web root across will probably work.

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