Moving your WordPress website to a new hosting service can be daunting. Many moving parts are involved, and it can quickly become a nightmare unless you know what you’re doing. That’s why we created this step-by-step guide to help make the process as easy as possible. In it, we’ll cover everything from how to backup your site beforehand so you don’t lose any data, how to change your domain name servers (DNS) so that they point to your new hosting provider, and finally, how to move over all of your files while keeping everything intact so that no one even knows you moved!
Step 1: Back Up Your Website
To back up your WordPress site, you will need to use a backup plugin. The most popular one is BackWPup, and it’s free! Once you’ve installed this plugin, go to Tools > Backups in the dashboard menu to set up automatic site backups. This process is pretty straightforward, but here are some tips:
- Choose an external storage location or service like Dropbox or Google Drive for storing your backups (this makes them accessible from anywhere). You can also set up scheduled backups to run automatically at specific times of day or weekdays only if needed.
- On each new version update, there may be compatibility issues between older versions of WordPress core code and newer versions; therefore, we recommend upgrading before doing any major changes, such as moving hosts, so as not to risk losing all data due to incompatibility issues caused by updates made by other companies outside our control (e.,g., host providers).
Step 2 – Change the Hosting Provider’s Domain Name Servers (DNS)
The next step is to change the domain name servers for your domain name. This is done by changing your web host’s DNS settings, which will map your website’s traffic to a different server.
- Navigate to “DNS Zone Editor” under the Advanced Features section of the DNS Manager page
- Change the DNS Records that now points to the new Hosting IP Address.
In addition to moving WordPress sites, it’s worth noting that some hosting providers offer specialized services for migrating websites from other platforms like Drupal to WordPress migration services, ensuring a seamless transition even for those with complex content management systems.
Step 3 – Setup WordPress on Your New Host
Now that your domain name and hosting service are set up, it’s time to install WordPress. If you haven’t done so already, please refer to our previous article titled “How To Install WordPress” for instructions on installing the latest version of WordPress on your new hosting service.
Once you’ve installed the application, log into cPanel (if they provide one) or go directly into phpMyAdmin by entering your domain name followed by “/phpmyadmin” in your browser’s address bar (for example, mydomainname/phpmyadmin). This will take you directly into the database management tool, where all your information is stored.
Make sure there is no existing data in this database before proceeding with this step, as we want to avoid any conflicts between databases later down the road! If there is already content from another site hosted at this location, delete everything except tables called ‘wp_posts’, ‘wp_postmeta’, and ‘wp_term_relationships’. These three tables are mandatory for running WordPress properly, so no matter what happens later down this process–you cannot delete them!
Installing an SSL certificate on the new host is advisable if one wasn’t already in place. This helps ensure secure connections for your visitors.
Step 4 – Load a Fresh Copy of Your WordPress Install to Your New Site
- Import the database. This is the most important step in ensuring you don’t lose your content. You can do this by going to Tools > Import and clicking “Import database.” Choose MySQL as the file type, then select which database file you’d like to import (usually wp-content/database).
- Import all files from your old site into their new home on your new host using FTP or CPanel’s file manager tool, depending on how they’re set up with their service provider.
- Reinstall plugins and themes if necessary–some may not work properly when moved between hosts because they need different versions of PHP or other software installed on them than what comes with most shared hosting plans (WordPress itself isn’t affected by this).
- In addition, Besides importing the database, users should update the wp-config.php file with the new database details to ensure proper connection.
- If the site uses any custom configurations or settings (e.g., custom permalinks, security configurations), these should be replicated on the new hosting environment.
It’s recommended to thoroughly check the site’s functionality after migration to catch any potential issues.
The takeaway from this guide is that it’s important to always back up your website before making any changes. The same goes for moving your WordPress site to a new host: you’ll want to ensure your content is safe and secure before switching over.
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Moving your WordPress site to a new host can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple steps, you can ensure you’re on the right track and avoid any unnecessary headaches.