Are you thinking of migrating your WordPress site to a new web host? You have come to the right spot. It’s alright if you find it a bit challenging and a daunting process.
However, it isn’t as difficult as it seems. The only concern that arises while migrating your WordPress site is the loss of data. If you, too, are having the same concern, don’t worry.
This article will help you understand the whole process of migration with ease. You will soon learn about the significant aspects of migrating a WordPress site, the do’s, don’ts, etc.
I’ll also look into a few of the most frequently asked queries. I hope by the end of the write-up, you have a clear-cut idea of the migration process. So, let’s begin!
- What are the Major Reasons People Choose to Migrate their Websites?
- How to Migrate your WordPress Website?
- Measures to be taken after the Migration Process is Complete
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Before starting with the process, it is essential to understand what migration is? As you might already know, migration is shifting from one place to the other.
In the current context, migration means shifting your WP website from one host to the other.
It’s infrequent for people to migrate both the site and the domain name simultaneously.
During a migration process, all the data from your website get transferred to a new/different server.
After everything is transferred, you can manually sit and delete the data from the old server. If you do not do so, the hosting account provider will delete it for you.
As mentioned earlier, if you do not migrate your site appropriately, you might lose some content.
Therefore, it’ll be best if you take proper precautions.
What are the Major Reasons People Choose to Migrate their Websites?
There are quite a few reasons prevalent; here are the most common ones –
When you host your website, you get an option to choose between various plans provided by the service provider. While using shared hosting services, you may not get the quality you want.
The performance can get affected as they share their services among different websites. If your server isn’t working at any particular time, this will affect your business.
Many choose to upgrade to a higher plan; however, this too may not prove to be helpful. Given the situation, it makes sense that you choose a provider such as a cloud server or VPS hosting.
2. Cost Management
People may also think about migration when their business has either outgrown or shrunk. Sometimes the current plan may not suit your requirements as your business has increased. In such a case, you can migrate to a better hosting company.
At the same time, if your business isn’t doing too well, it makes sense to downgrade your plans. It helps save on costs without affecting your business.
3. Changing Domain Names
Domain names are used to create or give a unique identity to your business. There are times when businesses undergo rapid changes. During such times, you need to move in with time.
You may want to change your domain name to something more fancy or straightforward. There’s a possibility when you started; you didn’t get the domain name you wanted.
If it is now available and fits your business aptly, you may want to get it done. In this case, migration automatically will come into the picture.
4. Support Issues
Good customer service and an efficient support team are a must for the success of the online business. If the service is not efficient and effective, the customer may be forced to look for options.
Studies conducted have proved that efficient customer service effectively promotes brand loyalty. It is enough to attract more customers to you.
How to Migrate your WordPress Website?
There are quite a few methods available to go about this process. The method you choose will determine the time and effort that would be needed.
Most often, hosting providers do not need much involvement from site owns.
However, it takes nearly a week to complete the migration. Of all the methods available, the one that takes the most time and effort is the manual method.
The plugin method, on the other hand, does not require much effort.
Also, note that there are certain things you need to consider before initiating a website migration. Firstly, you need to ensure that you migrate only when your website has the least amount of traffic.
Secondly, if you do not know how to work that out, you could use Google Analytics. It provides you with the accurate report of all the visitors that come to your site.
Let’s focus on the three commonly used methods of migrating a WordPress website.
1. Using a Plugin to Migrate the Website
There are a bunch of migration plugins available on the internet, but not all work effortlessly. Therefore, if you want to get your work done smoothly, make sure you choose an efficient one.
If the plugin you select isn’t reliable, it can cause you more damage than benefits. You may face downtime during the migration.
There are also instances where due to an inappropriate plugin, the whole migration process fails.
On the other hand, if your choice is reliable, it gets your work done quickly. You won’t have to deal with any missing content or extra downtime. So, it’s best to be cautious while choosing a plugin.
Let’s have a look at the steps that you need to follow to migrate your site with a plugin –
The plugin that I’m using as an example is the BlogVault plugin. You could use any other plugin that your find suitable for your website.
1. First and foremost, you will have to install the plugin ‘BlogVault’ on the WordPress site.
2. Once having done that, go to your WordPress site’s dashboard and click on BlogVault from the corner menu.
3. You will get directed to a new page where you will have to sign in. Add the email address and choose Migrate from the menu list. Then select “Get started”.
This step will start the backup process for your website.
4. Once your backup is done, enter the BlogVault dashboard. Click on the Migrate option available in the backup section.
5. Now, these next steps are crucial and, therefore, should be done appropriately. Firstly, you need to add your FTP credentials. Please note that these credentials should be of your present hosting.
6. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Continue.
7. Choose the folder in which your site is located. Usually, it’s found in the public_html folder.
8. Once selected, press continue.
It may show you an error. If this happens, it means that your site is located in some other folder. You can contact your hosting provider or the website owner to find the location. Once you have done it, select and proceed.
9. You will have to add your website URL in the textbox given for the Destination URL.
10. Scroll down the page and click on the Advanced Option. Select the option that lets you change your IP and Name Server.
11. Lastly, press Continue.
The migration work will get started soon. The time that this migration will take depends entirely on your website’s size. The smaller it is, the quicker the process will turn out.
2. Migrating with the New Hosting Provider
Many-a-times, the hosting provider you choose offers migration services as well. You can contact the hosting provider and enquire about the site migration. More than often, you will be given either of the three options given below-
a. Your hosting company will migrate the website for you.
b. You will have to pay an extra price if you want them to migrate your site.
c. They might provide you with a tool that will help you migrate your site.
The new hosting provider often guides the migration process, so you don’t have to worry. This method has only one drawback to it. The process might take one working day to up to an entire week.
3. Migrating your WordPress Site Manually
This method is quite risky and lengthy. If you aren’t well-versed with the inner workings, then you must not opt for this technique.
It is best suitable for people who are tech-savvy and highly skilled in the technical aspect of WordPress site.
You have to be very careful while migrating your site manually. One tiny mistake from your end can wreck your website. I would recommend you not to go for this method if you aren’t confident enough.
1. Backup the Website’s Files
The first and the most crucial step is to download all your WordPress files. You will have to use the FTP tool to do so.
- Connect to the website’s server through your FTP.
- Go to your WordPress main folder. This folder contains all your site files. As mentioned in one of the earlier methods, it’s commonly called public_html. It could also be named after your website name.
- Right-click on that folder and then select Download.
- This step will backup a copy of your entire directory on your local computer.
You can also download your WordPress files through cPanel.
- Enter into your previous hosting provider and navigate to cPanel.
- Click on File Manager.
- Select public_html (i.e. your root folder).
- Then, choose the folder.
- Click on Compress.
- Again right-click on that compressed folder and save it.
2. Back Up WordPress Database
Once you have downloaded all your website files, you need to download its database. The site’s database is where all the site’s users, content, etc., get stored.
To perform this step, you will require access to your websites’ database. Most often, the web host lets you go through the control panel.
This control panel consists of a section called Databases.
Here, you will have to select the phpMyAdmin option.
3. Export the WordPress Database
- You will see a list on the left side of your page. Select your website’s database from that list.
- From the top menu, go to the Export tab.
- Click on the Quick option.
- Lastly, select Go.
Once you have performed these steps, your website’s database will get downloaded and stored in .sql format.
4. Creating New Database
Now, you have a copy of your old files and database. You will have to build a new database on your current web host. You will also have to import the downloaded file from your old database to the new one.
Here are the steps you need to follow-
- Enter your new hosting account.
- Navigate to cPanel.
- Click on the MySQL Database option.
- Add the new database.
- Scroll down and add a new user as well.
- Link the user with the new database.
- Note down these changes for further steps.
- You can access your new database through phpMyAdmin.
- Within the new database, navigate to the Import tab.
- Upload the .sql file you had downloaded earlier.
With this, you have successfully uploaded your database (old) to the new web host. Remember, you still have to upload the other files as well.
5. Upload your Website’s Files
- Enter your new server through the use of FTP.
- Locate its root folder.
- Right-click on that folder and select the upload option.
- Locate the root folder that you had downloaded earlier.
- Open the folder and select all its directories and files.
- Upload them.
This process might take some time because of the large amount of data that is getting uploaded.
6. Edit the Site’s Config File
As of now, your WordPress website is still connected to the old database. Therefore, if anyone tries to enter your website, it won’t be functional. For this, you will have to edit the config file by pointing it to the new database.
- Open the downloaded root folder.
- Look out for the config.php file in it.
- In that, you will see the old database, user, and password.
- Replace it with the new database, user, and password.
- Save the new changes and close it.
Now you can access your WordPress website.
7. Changing your URL (Optional)
This step is only for the people shifting to a web hosting service provider and a different domain name. You only have to follow a few basic steps to make this change.
- Go to your website page.
- Download a plugin named “Better Search & Replace”.
- On the dashboard, click on tools from the menu tab.
- Choose Better Search & Replace.
- In the “Search for” area, type your old URL.
- In the “Replace with” area, type the new URL.
- Lastly, press Run Search/Replace.
Finally, you have changed your old domain name and migrated the WordPress site to a new host.
Measures to be taken after the Migration Process is Complete
Now that you have successfully finished your task, your work does not end here. There are still certain things that you must consider. First and foremost is to check whether your site is working appropriately or not.
For this, you must clear off all the cache files. You can either use a cache plugin for it or clear the browser cache.
The next step is to go through all the pages of the site. Check if any content is missing or if the page is malfunctioning.
For people with big websites, it’s advisable to check the essential pages. Example – home page, contact pages, other landing pages, etc. If you do not find any issues, your website migration has turned out to be successful.
However, if you find missing information or broken images, you must contact your hosting provider. Try to find out the reason behind the issue and make sure it gets solved at the earliest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is it essential to delete my files and other data from my previous hosting provider?
It is advisable to keep the files and data for a week, at least after the migration. After that period, you are free to delete all the data.
However, the old hosting company will delete your data after the end of your subscription.
2. Do I have to keep my old hosting account active?
You do not have to keep your old host active if –
1) You do have other websites associated with the old host
2) and your website is migrated to the new host
There is a possibility that you might have paid for a yearly subscription to your old host. In such cases, you can contact your old host and check out their refunding policies.
3. Can I shift my WordPress site with the use of SSL?
Yes, you certainly can. For this, you have to install the SSL certificate onto the current hosting provider. You may follow the steps given above to migrate your website.
Note that you will have to add HTTPs while inserting the URL.
4. What are some of the best plugins for migrating a WordPress site?
Most people prefer migrating their websites with the use of plugins. As mentioned above, not all plugins are the ideal ones for migration.
In my opinion, Duplicator, All-in-One WP Migration, and WPvivid Backup Plugin are a few of the best plugins available.
You can install any of these and experience a smooth and effortless migration.
As you saw from the above write-up, the whole process is explained in small and easy steps. The process isn’t that hard. You only have to be careful while performing each step. You can also check our article on Reselling Hosting: Reseller Account vs. Dedicated Server.
It will help you ensure that the migration process gets done smoothly.
I hope you are successful in migrating your WordPress site to a new host. All the very best!