If you’ve already installed WordPress and want to change your database prefix, you’re stuck with the hard way. But it’s really not that hard, just hard compared to changing a single line in your
wp-config.php (as shown above). To change your prefix after installing, set aside around ten minutes and follow these steps:
Step 1: Preparations
Before changing your table prefix, make sure you have a recent backup and about 10 minutes of downtime for your site. It may be a good idea to redirect visitors to a temporary maintenance page.
Step 2: Change table prefix
Change your database table prefix in
wp_ to something more secure, like
wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_ or something.
Step 3: Change all WordPress database tables
Go to your database (using phpMyAdmin or whatever) and rename all WordPress table prefixes from
wp_ to whatever you specified in your
wp-config.php file. Here are SQL commands to rename the 11 default WP tables:
RENAME table `wp_commentmeta` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_commentmeta`; RENAME table `wp_comments` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_comments`; RENAME table `wp_links` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_links`; RENAME table `wp_options` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_options`; RENAME table `wp_postmeta` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_postmeta`; RENAME table `wp_posts` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_posts`; RENAME table `wp_terms` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_terms`; RENAME table `wp_term_relationships` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_term_relationships`; RENAME table `wp_term_taxonomy` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_term_taxonomy`; RENAME table `wp_usermeta` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_usermeta`; RENAME table `wp_users` TO `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_users`;
If there are other WordPress-related tables from plugins or whatever, just rename them too. The goal here is to rename all of the tables that begin with the default prefix. If you’re using something like phpMyAdmin to interface with your database, you can execute multiple commands at the same time, so edit the above code with your table prefix, paste it into the SQL field, and WHAM! – all tables changed in the blink of an eye.
Step 4: Edit the WordPress options table
Now search the
options table for any instances of the old prefix. To do this, enter the following SQL query:
SELECT * FROM `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE '%wp_%'
That search will return the
wp_user_roles option along with any other options created by plugins, custom scripts, etc. The goal here is to rename any options that begin with
wp_ to the new prefix.
Step 5: Edit the usermeta table
Now search the
usermeta for all instances of the old
wp_ prefix. Here is an SQLcommand to accomplish this:
SELECT * FROM `wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_usermeta` WHERE `meta_key` LIKE '%wp_%'
Executing that query on a recently installed WordPress database, the following
usermeta fields were returned:
The number of fields that you need to rename may vary depending on plugins and other factors, but as before, just remember to rename any entry that begins with the default WordPress table prefix,
Final Step: Test, backup, and done!
Ideally at this point, all instances of the old table prefix (
wp_) have been replaced with the new (
wp_VzQCxSJv7uL_ in our example). Once this is done, go check your site for proper functionality. Test the Admin, pages, posts, search, and everything else you can think of (or have time for). If your site seems to be working as before, chances are good that the surgery was a success. Now make another database backup for good measure.