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How to Change Your WordPress Table Prefix October 23, 2011

Posted by Tournas Dimitrios in Wordpress - 3.

Often it’s recommended that as a WordPress site owner , you change your WordPress database table prefix to something other than wp_ . It’s not a bad idea – in certain situations, doing so might prevent a hacker from gaining more access to your site , or limit his destructive capability, and it’s a very easy thing to change . By defauld WordPress append the prefix ” wp_ ” to each database table . If you haved  installed WordPress through the installation  process , you where asked to define the table prefix to anything you’d like and WordPress’s configuration file was updated with this new prefix  ( $table_prefix directive  ) .

If you’ve already installed WordPress , you can still change your table prefix , but it’s a little more complicated . You’re going to need to have access to your database through PHPMyAdmin or your host’s  control panel .

  • Download via FTP  your WordPress’s configuration file ” config.php” 
  • Open the file with your favorite editor and  edit the  $table_prefix directive to whatever you’d like.
  • Store the changes you have made into the file and upload it back to your server via FTP  ( replacing the old wp-config.php file ) .
  • Connect via a web-browser to your database ( usually  hosts provide phpMyadmin)
  • Run through each table starting with wp , and rename it as follows :
    1) Click on the table name in the left sidebar
    2) Click on the “Operations” tab
    3) Change “wp_” to the prefix you had defined a few steps above 

At this point , your site should be working properly again , but You get a permissions error when you try to log in .  Choose the usermeta table  (with the new prefix you had defined previously ) , and look for a row with a user_id of 1 (root user), and a “meta_key” value of “wp_capabilities”. Once you’ve found this , Click the pencil toward the left (edit) and replace the wp_  in the meta_key row to your custom prefix .  You need to make this same change to 2 more records – wp_user_level  (located in wp_usermeta –table  , and wp_user_roles , which is in the options  table .

The plugin WP Security Scan  will do all the dirty work for you in most cases . Just log-in your WordPress admin panel , install and activate the plugin . Now the left-sidebar has a Security -> Database link . Trough the  “Database” link the prefix can be customized  .


1. Shalon Burka - November 14, 2011

I do agree with all the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too short for starters. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

tournasdimitrios1 - November 14, 2011

@Shalon Burka
Welcome to this Blog .
The index page has over 600 articles , many of them are introduction level .
Have you a specific subject in mind , I could point you the article ?

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