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Usually with WordPress sites you have to run a find and replace in the Database to find the test site URL and replace with the live URL. Is this necessary to do that for sites using Expression Engine?

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"usually" in Wordpress you don't hack about in the database replacing URL's, but use configuration variables in the config.php file:

define( 'WP_CONTENT_DIR', your_path );
define( 'WP_CONTENT_URL', your_url );

The same can be done in EE:

$config['site_url'] = your_url;

And might also include other URL settings...

$config['cp_url']   = your_url . "admin.php";
$config['path_third_themes'] = ....;
$config['url_third_themes'] = ....;
$config['upload_preferences'] = ...

Or via the CMS...

EE3: Click on the cog in the top right enter image description here

or EE2: Admin->General Configuration

enter image description here

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Generally, no. As long as you are using best practices, such as using the {site_url} variable in templates instead of hard-coding href and src attributes, you should not need to do any URL munging in your DB. You will either need to set the environment URL in your Control Panel or in your config file to your live URL. I prefer using the config file for CP overrides as it allows for versioning and deployment control of configurations:

EE3:

https://docs.expressionengine.com/latest/general/system_configuration_overrides.html

EE2:

https://docs.expressionengine.com/v2/general/system_configuration_overrides.html

You'll want to set your site_url variable per environment.

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