Moving your WordPress website to a new host may initially seem daunting, but fear not! It’s actually a straightforward process, especially for smaller websites. In this article, we will walk you through the steps required to successfully transfer your WordPress website to a new hosting provider using a migration plugin. Whether you’re changing your domain or keeping the same one, we’ve got you covered.
Step 1: Choose the Right Migration Plugin
When it comes to migrating your WordPress website, there are a few methods to consider. For smaller websites (under 500MB in size), using a duplicator or migration plugin can be the easiest and most efficient option. These plugins allow you to compress your website’s content, themes, plugins, and database into a single file that can be seamlessly imported to the new host. We recommend the All-in-One WP Migration plugin or the Duplicator plugin, but for the sake of this guide, we will focus on the former. If you would like a visual tutorial on how to use this plugin, you can watch this video guide on Youtube.
Step 2: Schedule Your Migration
If you plan to keep the same domain while moving hosts, it’s wise to schedule the migration during off-peak hours to minimise any potential disruptions for your visitors. Consider performing the migration during quiet hours such as late evening or after midnight when traffic to your website is at its lowest.
Step 3: Backup Your Website
Before initiating the migration process, it’s crucial to create a complete backup of your website. This step ensures that you have a copy of your website’s data in case anything unexpected occurs during the transfer. Most migration plugins include a backup or export feature, allowing you to generate a complete export of your website effortlessly. With All-in-One Migration, head over to the plugin options and select Export and then select Export To > File.
Step 4: Download and Store the Export File Locally
Once the backup/export process is complete, download the file to your local computer or an external storage device. It’s essential to keep this file in a safe location as an additional precautionary measure.
Step 5: Install WordPress on the New Host
Install WordPress on the new host. Many hosting providers offer simple and user-friendly WordPress installation options, often with one-click installations. Follow the provider’s instructions or seek assistance from their support team if needed. You will need a fresh blank install before you can import the export file.
Step 6: Install and Configure the Migration Plugin
In order to import your website to the new host, install the All-in-One WP Migration plugin you selected earlier. Activate the plugin and from the left-hand side menu on the backend of WordPress select All-in-One WP Migration > Import.
Step 7: Import Your Website
Using the migration plugin, import the backup/export file you downloaded in Step 4. The plugin will guide you through the import process, extracting the contents of the backup file and transferring them to your new hosting environment. Depending on the size of your website, this process may take a few minutes.
Step 9: Test and Verify
Once the migration process is complete, it’s essential to thoroughly test your website on the new host. Verify that all pages, functionality, plugins, and themes are working as expected. Perform a comprehensive review to ensure that the migration was successful and that your website appears and functions correctly.
Congratulations! You have successfully migrated your WordPress website to a new host. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ve simplified what may initially seem like a complex task.
Websites Over 500MB in Size
When it comes to moving websites over 500MB in size, relying on a migration plugin is not recommended. This approach can lead to potential issues such as timeouts and data loss. For websites exceeding 500MB, it is advisable to opt for manual migration. However, don’t be intimidated, as the manual process is not as challenging as it may initially seem. If you are tech-savvy and familiar with FTP usage and database management, you can easily handle it.
To get started, follow these steps:
- Access your current web host via FTP and download the entire WP-Content folder.
- Create a backup of your database using a suitable tool or interface provided by your web host (such as PHPmyAdmin).
- Install a fresh WordPress instance on your new hosting provider.
- Connect to your new host using FTP.
- Upload the entire WP-Content folder to the appropriate directory on your new host.
- Import your database backup into the newly created WordPress installation using a tool like PHPmyAdmin. Remember to delete all existing database tables from the fresh installation before performing the import.
If you find yourself in need of assistance with the WordPress migration process, we offer a dedicated WordPress hosting transfer service that can help streamline the transition for you.