Expired Domain – can I access WP dashboard?
If your WordPress website data is still on your old web host but your old domain name has expired you can still get your old WordPress site and move it to a new domain, as well as new web host.
Problem synopsis –
1. Old domain expired hence your site is not reachable by old domain name.
2. WordPress admin dashboard cannot be accessed using old expired domain name.
3. WordPress data is still on old host.
4. Client wanted to use a new web host and new domain name, but wanted the same WordPress website as hosted on old expired domain name.
Solution Steps –
1. Find out your old web host’s IP address from the cpanel of you old web host, where your old WordPress website data still resides.
2. Enter this IP address and old expired domain name in the hosts file on your computer. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_(file) for more details on your hosts file location.
The file is usually present in
Mac: /etc/private/hosts OR /etc/hosts
You may Google for how to edit hosts file or follow instruction on this article – https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/27350/beginner-geek-how-to-edit-your-hosts-file/
After editing your hosts file, your web browser should be able to resolve your old expired domain name to the IP address of your old web host. So, now clear your browser cache, or use an incognito window (private browsing mode of your browser) to access your old WordPress website, using your old expired domain name.
3. Once your WordPress website and WordPress dashboard is accessible using your old expired domain name, you should install the Duplicator plugin on your old WordPress website.
4. Next use the duplicator plugin to create “package files” (the backup file and installer script created by Duplicator plugin) on the old expired domain’s WordPress install. Download these package files to your system. The plugin is very intuitive to use but if you want details, please follow the instructions on this page – https://snapcreek.com/blog/wordpress/techniques/how-to-move-a-wordpress-site/
5. Upload these package files to the new web host of the new domain, using cpanel (or FTP) on the new host.
6. Create a new database, and a new database user, on the new web host. Note down this info as it will be required while restoring from the duplicator package file.
7. Execute duplicator plugin’s installer.php script and in most cases you will be successful in restoring your old (expired domain) website on the new domain, new host.
8. Your website should be accessible on the new domain name now.
9. Undo the changes you made to the hosts file on your computer.
10. If your old domain has expired you have fewer options in terms of preserving SEO, but if you already had a Google search console account on the old domain, you should use the “Change of address tool” at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9370220?hl=en&visit_id=637091560872705890-3050482164&rd=1 to inform Google about change of website address.