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Thinking of migrating the WordPress website to a new host or just picturing the nightmare of data loss?
Let us turn the tables for you! WordPress website migration is a crucial operation to conduct, no matter if the web owner is seeking better performance, features, or cost savings.
This comprehensive guide will cover 5 different WordPress migration types and a step-by-step guide for each of them. You can go through each of them and pick out one reading most accessible for you.
In addition to performing the migration manually, you have the option to connect with WordPress migration services offered by an experienced web development company that guarantees a smooth and successful migration of your WordPress website.
Moving ahead, let’s first understand ‘What is WordPress Migration?’
What is WordPress Site Migration
WordPress site migration is the process of relocating your WordPress website from an old host environment to a new one. This migration process could involve changing web hosting providers, new domain names, or server configurations.
The practice of migrating a WordPress website is commonly undertaken for various reasons; including upgrading server infrastructure, rebranding, or simply moving from a development to a production environment.
The standard migration procedure involves several key steps, such as creating WordPress backup, transferring files, exporting/importing the database, and making DNS record updates when required. It’s crucial to execute site migrations carefully to prevent data loss and ensure a seamless transition.
When to Consider WordPress Site Migration to New Web Host
Before implementing the ‘How to Migrate WordPress Site to New Host?‘, clearing yourself with ‘Why and When to Consider WordPress Site Migration to New Web Host?‘ is vital. So that you can step strategically by checkmarking a valid reason to migrate to the WordPress website.
1. Better Hosting Features: When choosing the best WordPress hosting providers, there are multiple factors to consider such as performance, reliability, and scalability.
If your current web hosting isn’t covering any of these, then it can affect the overall web performance – ultimately creating a reason to migrate your WordPress site.
2. Improved Security: No matter whether you are running a blogging site or an eCommerce business, assuring WordPress security for both users and web visitors is important.
If your current web hosting provider has a history of security vulnerabilities or lacks robust security measures, migrating to a new hosting that has a more secure environment can protect your website from potential threats.
3. Redesign or Rebranding: If you are rebranding your website or making significant web design changes, it can be a good time to migrate to a new host.
In such scenarios, you should consider migrating a WordPress site if the changes involve a new domain name or structural alterations.
4. Poor Performance: Slow loading times, frequent downtime, or other vital resources such as a support team that hinder your website’s functionality can be considered as web hosting having poor performance.
To analyze the core reason, you can first check WordPress error logs and consider using web optimization tools. Even after conducting such practices if you’re unable to improve site speed then you should definitely migrate it to a new hosting environment.
We suggest first backing up your WordPress website, researching potential WordPress hosting providers thoroughly, and considering seeking experienced WordPress developers’ assistance if you’re not assured of technical skills to complete the migration successfully.
How to Migrate WordPress Site to New Web Host
Let’s maintain transparency here, migrating a WordPress site to a new host can honestly be a complex task. You have two options here: either you hand over this web migration to experienced WordPress developers or follow a systematic approach mentioned below.
There are different methods you can use for this migration, and you’ve outlined five easy yet effective types of WordPress migration:
- Manual Migration
- Backup and Restore Migration
- Plugin-Based Migration
- cPanel/Plesk Migration
- FTP Migration
Here’s a step-by-step guide for each type:
Type 1: Manual Migration
Manual migration involves transferring your WordPress site manually, including copying files and exporting/importing the database. This method offers more control but requires a higher level of technical expertise.
Steps to Migrate WordPress Site Manually
Manual WordPress site migration is often preferred when you need a higher degree of control and customization during the migration process. Making manual WordPress website migration a choice depends on your specific needs and technical proficiency.
Step 1: Backup Your Site
- Before you start, create a full backup of WordPress website, including the files and database.
- You can use a specific WordPress plugin such as UpdraftPlus or Duplicator Pro for this purpose.
Step 2: Set Up the New Hosting Account
- Sign up for a new WordPress hosting plan with and set up your domain.
- Make sure the server environment meets WordPress requirements.
Step 3: Export the Database
- Access your old hosting’s control panel (usually cPanel) and navigate to phpMyAdmin.
- Select your WordPress database and export it as an SQL file.
Step 4: Copy Website Files
- Use the hosting’s file manager to download all your website files.
- These will compose the complete website in a folder, containing each web file from the old host to your local computer.
Step 5: Upload Website Files
- Log in to your new web host provider’s panel.
- Upload all the website files you downloaded earlier.
Step 6: Import the Database
- On your new hosting account, create a new database.
- Import the SQL database file you exported earlier using phpMyAdmin on the new host.
Step 7: Update wp-config.php
- Update the ‘wp-config.php’ file on your new host with the new database details.
- These details must include; database name, username, password, and host.
Step 8: Update DNS Settings
- Change the domain’s DNS settings to point to your new hosting provider.
- Please note, that this may take some time to propagate globally (usually 28 hours, depending on your web hosting providers, this may vary).
Step 9: Test Your Website
- In case you encounter any issue, first check out if it’s any of the common WordPress errors.
- If not, consider contacting a trustable and value-driven web development company.
Type 2: Staging Site Migration
As it offers multiple benefits such as core updates, improved customization, and Q/A assurance – creating a WordPress staging site can benefit each business size and editing needs.
Also, migration through staging enables you to set up a duplicate of your WordPress website on a new web host for testing before making it live.
This helps ensure a smooth migration process with minimal downtime. Here are the steps to migrate your WordPress website using the staging site migration method:
Steps to Migrate WordPress Website Utilizing Staging Site Migration
Staging site migration is a reliable method to make WordPress sites migrate to a new web host while minimizing risks for non-technoids.
Step 1: Set Up a Staging Site on the New Host
- Sign up for a hosting plan with your new web host.
- First, ensure it offers a staging site feature.
- Access your hosting control panel or dashboard.
- Create WordPress staging site using the hosting’s functionality.
- This typically involves selecting your domain and creating a copy of your website on a subdomain or a hidden URL.
- Follow your hosting provider’s instructions for this step.
Step 2: Backup Your Existing Website
- Log in to your current WordPress admin dashboard.
- Then choose best WordPress plugin to create a backup of your entire website.
- Download the backup files to the local computer.
Step 3: Restore the Backup on the Staging Site
- Access the staging site’s dashboard on your new hosting account.
- If needed, install a WordPress instance on the staging site.
- Some hosts such as A2 Hosting, Inmotion Hosting, and WP Engine offer a pre-configured staging environment.
- Install the same backup plugin you used for the backup on your old site.
- Then, use the plugin to restore your website from the backup files you downloaded.
- Follow the plugin’s instructions to complete the restoration process.
Step 4: Test Your Staging Site
- Visit the staging site’s URL (usually a subdomain or hidden URL provided by your host) to ensure that your website functions correctly in the new hosting environment.
- Conduct precise analysis on all pages, links, forms, and functionalities assuring.
Step 5: Update DNS Settings
- Once you’re satisfied with the staging site and have addressed any issues, it’s time to prepare for the final migration.
- To point your domain on the right path, update the DNS settings on your new hosting provider.
- This step may take some time to propagate globally, so be patient.
Step 6: Final Website Migration
- Access your new hosting account’s dashboard.
- If required, delete the staging site or remove the subdomain that was used for staging.
- Ensure that your primary domain is correctly configured to display your website.
- Double-check that your DNS changes have propagated, and your domain is now pointing to the new host.
Type 3: Plugin Based WordPress Website Migration
Using the WordPress migration plugin is the most convenient and quick method that utilizes specialized migration plugins to simplify the process. Here are the steps to migrate your site using a WordPress plugin:
Steps to Migrate Site Using WordPress Plugin
As the plugin-based migration method simplifies the process, this type of WordPress migration is most user-friendly, making migration WordPress plugins a popular choice for many WordPress users.
However, always ensure that you choose 100% tested plugins. For successful deployment, follow the plugin’s instructions carefully to avoid any issues during the migration process.
Step 1: Choose a Migration Plugin
- Log in to your current WordPress dashboard on the website you want to migrate.
- In the WordPress admin area.
- Go to ‘Plugins‘ and click on ‘Add New.’
- In the search bar, look for a reliable migration plugin. The popular choices include WP Migrate DB and All-in-One WP Migration plugin.
Step 2: Install and Activate the Migration Plugin
- Once you’ve chosen a migration plugin, following the standard WordPress plugin installation process – click the ‘Install‘ button next to the plugin’s name.
- After installation is completed, click the ‘Activate‘ button to get the plugin in use.
Step 3: Create a Backup
- In your WordPress admin area, locate and access the plugin you’ve installed.
- Use the plugin to create a backup of your entire website.
- This typically includes your website files and database.
Step 4: Download the Backup Files
- After the backup process is complete, the plugin will generate backup files.
- Download these backup files to the local computer environment.
- These files usually include an installer script and a compressed archive of core and site files.
Step 5: Set Up Your New Hosting Account
- Sign up for a hosting plan with your new web host, ensuring that it meets the WordPress requirements.
- Access your hosting control panel or dashboard to set up your hosting environment.
- Note down the database credentials as you’ll need them later.
Step 6: Upload and Install on the New Host
- Access the new hosting account’s control panel or dashboard.
- Use the file manager to upload the installer script and the backup archive to your new host’s server.
- Access the installer script through your web browser by navigating to the URL where you uploaded it (e.g., ‘http://yourdomain.com/installer.php’).
- Follow the on-screen instructions provided by the plugin to complete the installation process.
- This typically involves providing the database credentials we asked you to note earlier.
Step 7: Update Permalinks and Test Your Website
- Once the migration is complete, log in to your WordPress dashboard on the new host. You can do so by adding ‘/wp-admin‘ at the end of the domain URL.
- If set to the custom login page then can then would need to conduct a few practices for finding WordPress login URL.
- Update your permalink settings (if needed) by navigating to ‘Settings‘ → ‘Permalinks‘ and saving the settings.
- Test your website thoroughly. Ensure that everything is functioning correctly in the new hosting environment.
- Also, don’t miss out on verifying links, images, forms, and the complete site functionalities.
Type 4: WordPress Site Migration Operating cPanel/Plesk
Migrating a WordPress website via cPanel is a common method that involves using the hosting control panel’s features to move your site from one server to a new server. Here are the steps to migrate your WordPress website using cPanel:
Steps to Migrate WordPress Website Via cPanel
No rocket science at all! Migrating WordPress via cPanel is a straightforward yet reliable method, but it requires attention to detail and the accurate configuration of database and file transfers. This is why taking precautions and creating backups before performing migrations to minimize potential data loss or downtime.
Step 1: Backup Your Website
- Log in to your current hosting cPanel.
- Find and access the backup or file management tool.
- The exact location and name of this tool may vary depending on your hosting provider.
- Create a full backup of the WordPress website including core files and database.
- You can typically use options like ‘Full Backup‘ or ‘Backup Wizard‘.
- Download the backup file on the local computer.
Step 2: Set Up New Hosting Account
- Sign up for a hosting plan with your new web host.
- Access the cPanel of the new hosting account.
Step 3: Upload Your Website Backup
- In the cPanel of your new hosting account, locate and access the backup or file management tool.
- Upload the backup file you downloaded from your old host to the new hosting server.
- If you compressed the backup file, make sure to extract it after uploading.
Step 4: Create a New Database on the New Host
- In the cPanel of your new hosting account, find the database management tool (often labeled as ‘MySQL Databases‘ or similar).
- Create a new MySQL database, and also a user with the necessary privileges for your WordPress site.
- Make sure you note the database name, username, and password, as you’ll need them in the next steps.
Step 5: Import the Database
- In the cPanel of your new hosting account, locate ‘phpMyAdmin‘ or a similar database management tool.
- Access ‘phpMyAdmin’ and select the database you created in the previous step.
- Choose the ‘Import‘ option and upload the database backup file from your old host (typically an SQL file).
- To step into the correct web files, make yourself a bit familiar with the standard WordPress file and directory structure – so that you prevent complexities and web migration downtime.
- Confirm the import and the database will be occupied with your old site’s data.
Step 6: Update wp-config.php File
- Using the cPanel file manager, redirect to the root directory of the WordPress installation on a new host.
- Find and edit the wp configphp file updating database credentials to match the information of the newest database you created.
Step 7: Update DNS Settings
- If you’re changing hosting providers, updating your domain’s DNS settings to point is most important.
- DNS settings ensure that the web has the exact hosting base it belongs to.
- This configuration also plays an important role for other integrations such as web mail and IP addresses.
- DNS propagation may take some time usually 28 hours, depending on your web hosting providers, the timing may vary).
- Once these procedures are complete you can revisit the web URL and ensure everything is working well.
Type 5: Migrate WordPress Site Connecting Web With FTP
Similar to manual WordPress migration, FTP is another manual method involving downloading website files from the old host and uploading them to the new host using an FTP client.
Steps to Migrate WordPress Site Connecting Web With FTP
FTP migration also offers more control over the migration but does demand careful handling of files and databases.
If you are new to WordPress or programming terms better go for plugin based WordPress web migration or request assistance from dedicated WordPress developers.
Step 1: Backup Your Website
- This backup WordPress site should include both website files and the database, i.e. full backup.
- You can conduct this site backup using any method, including via web host, plugin backup, and using c-panel.
Step 2: Set Up the New Hosting Account
- Sign up for a hosting plan with your new web host.
- Access the hosting control panel or dashboard of the new hosting account.
Step 3: Download Your Website Files
- You can download any of the best FTP Client for WordPress users such as FileZilla if you don’t already have one.
- Open the FTP client and connect to your old hosting server using the FTP credentials provided by your old hosting provider.
- Once you are connected, navigate to the root directory of the WordPress website on the old host.
- Select all website files and download them to your local computer.
- This will include folders like ‘wp-admin,’ ‘wp-content,’ and ‘wp-includes’, among others.
Step 4: Export the Database
- Access your old hosting account’s control panel or use ‘phpMyAdmin.
- Export your WordPress database in the SQL file format.
Step 5: Create a New Database on the New Host
- In the control panel or dashboard of your new hosting account, find the database management tool (usually called MySQL Databases or similar).
- Create a new MySQL database with a custom user with the necessary authorities.
- Write down the database name, username, and password for the next step.
Step 6: Upload Website Files to the New Host
- Open your FTP client and connect to your new hosting server using the FTP credentials provided by your new hosting provider.
- Navigate to the root directory of the WordPress website on the new host.
- Upload all the site files that you downloaded from the old host to the new host.
Step 7: Import the Database
- Access the database management tool in the control panel or dashboard of your new hosting account.
- Select the database you created.
- Choose the ‘Import‘ option and upload the database SQL file that you exported from the old host.
- Confirm the import to populate the database with your old site’s data.
- At last, all you need to do is update the ‘wp-config.php’ file and DNS settings aligning to the new web host configuration.
There we are done with 5 types of WordPress Website Migration and a step-by-step guide to each of them.
If you have any specific WordPress theme and its migration query, you can drop it in our comment section below and our experienced WordPress developers will be right there to assist you with the same.
FAQs About Migrating WordPress Site to New Host
Hence, from struggling to even hop on the right WordPress migration decision, now we are all set with five different types and methods to answer your ‘How to Migrate WordPress Site to New Host?‘ query.
Moreover, as we noticed in the article – the migration of WordPress sites can be a bit complex, so careful planning and following the right steps is vital.
Whether you choose to migrate manually, use a plugin, set up a staging site, or use FTP or cPanel, it’s essential to back up your site, test it thoroughly, and update DNS settings to minimize downtime and potential data loss.
Before starting the migration, consider your reasons for moving to a new host, such as better features, improved security, or rebranding. This will help you choose the most suitable migration method and ensure a smooth transition.
If you’re not familiar with the technical aspects of migration or any other WordPress related query, you can drop it to us; our 5+ years of experienced WordPress developers will ensure a hassle-free and successful migration process.