Are you wondering how to change the WordPress database prefix for your website?
Changing the database prefix can protect your website’s data against SQL injections and other attacks from online hackers. It can be an important step towards improving WordPress security.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to change the WordPress database prefix to improve security.
Why Should You Change the WordPress Database Prefix?
The WordPress Database is like a brain for your entire WordPress website because every single piece of information and files are stored there.
This makes the database a hacker’s favorite target. Spammers and hackers can run automated codes for SQL injections and get into your WordPress database.
Unfortunately, many people forget to change the database prefix while they install WordPress. This makes it easier for hackers to plan a mass attack by targeting the default prefix wp_.
The easiest way you can protect your WordPress database is by changing the database prefix, which is really simple to do on a site that you are setting up.
It takes a few extra steps to change the WordPress database prefix properly for your established site without completely messing it up. With that being said, we will show you how to change your WordPress database prefix and improve your WordPress security.
If you don’t like the video or need more instructions, then just continue reading.
How to Change the WordPress Database Prefix
We recommend that you back up your WordPress database before you do anything suggested in this tutorial. It is also important to keep daily backups of your WordPress website using a plugin like Duplicator.
We also recommend that you redirect your visitors to a temporary maintenance page while you change the database prefix. Otherwise, you could cause a bad user experience for visitors to your website.
How to Change Table Prefix in wp-config.php
First, you will need to connect to your website using FTP or the File Manager app in your WordPress hosting account.
You then need to open your wp-config.php file, which is located in your WordPress root directory. Here, you can change the table prefix line from wp_ to something else like this wp_a123456_
So the line would look like this:
$table_prefix = 'wp_a123456_';
Note: You can only change the table prefix using numbers, letters, and underscores.
Change All Database Table Names
Next, you need to connect to your database using the phpMyAdmin tool. If your host uses the cPanel dashboard, then you can easily find phpMyAdmin there.
There are a total of 11 default WordPress tables, so changing them manually would be a pain.
Instead, you should click on the SQL tab at the top.
Then, you can enter the following SQL query:
RENAME table `wp_commentmeta` TO `wp_a123456_commentmeta`;
RENAME table `wp_comments` TO `wp_a123456_comments`;
RENAME table `wp_links` TO `wp_a123456_links`;
RENAME table `wp_options` TO `wp_a123456_options`;
RENAME table `wp_postmeta` TO `wp_a123456_postmeta`;
RENAME table `wp_posts` TO `wp_a123456_posts`;
RENAME table `wp_terms` TO `wp_a123456_terms`;
RENAME table `wp_termmeta` TO `wp_a123456_termmeta`;
RENAME table `wp_term_relationships` TO `wp_a123456_term_relationships`;
RENAME table `wp_term_taxonomy` TO `wp_a123456_term_taxonomy`;
RENAME table `wp_usermeta` TO `wp_a123456_usermeta`;
RENAME table `wp_users` TO `wp_a123456_users`;
Remember to change the database prefix to the one that you picked when editing the wp-config.php file.
You also may have to add lines for other plugins that add their own tables in the WordPress database. The idea is that you change all the table prefixes to the one that you want.
The Options Table
We then need to search the
options table for any other fields that are using wp_ as a prefix so we can replace them.
To speed up the process, you can use this query:
SELECT * FROM `wp_a123456_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE '%wp_%'
This will return a lot of results, and you need to go through them one by one to change these lines and their prefixes.
Next, we need to search
usermeta for all fields that are using wp_ as a prefix, so we can replace it.
You can use this SQL query for that:
SELECT * FROM `wp_a123456_usermeta` WHERE `meta_key` LIKE '%wp_%'
The number of entries may vary depending on how many WordPress plugins you are using on your website. Just change everything that has wp_ to the new prefix.
You are now ready to test your site. If you followed the above steps, then everything should be working fine.
We recommend making a new backup of your database just to be on the safe side.
We hope this article helped you learn how to change the WordPress database prefix. You may also like to see our guide on how to optimize your WordPress database and our expert picks of the best WordPress database plugins.