The Best Way to Migrate WordPress Website in Just 7 Steps

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Cloudington Blog 09-09-2021
best way to migrate WordPress website

Being a WordPress hosting service user, have you ever experienced issues such as slow website loading speed, frequent security issues related to hosting, scaling problems, and high hosting charges? If you are experiencing such issues, then it is high time you should consider migrating your website to a new host. With this article, we explain some of the best way to migrate WordPress website to a new host smoothly.

Before we begin discussing the migration steps, let’s take a quick look at what website migration means and when you should migrate your site to a new hosting provider.

What is Website Migration?

Website Migration is the process of changing a website from one server to another. But in some cases, you may want to change the domain name as well. During the website migration, all the contents including files and database on your current site will be copied to the new one. There won’t be any change on your old website. If you wish to delete the old site, you can do it manually or else it will be removed by the providers once your subscription expires.

When Should You Migrate to a New Host?

Even if you have a good website that suits your business model well, having the wrong host can make your business go dull. Hence choosing the right host is important for any business. 

You should move to a better hosting provider if you find these issues with your website:

  • Your website runs too slow which affects your SEO ranking and hence low traffic flow.
  • Lack of right resources since your host doesn’t provide scale-up services which will affect the business growth.
  • Very low security features.
  • Lack of a good support team and charging huge amounts for services.

Related Article: How Does Hosting Affect SEO Rankings?

Best Way to Migrate WordPress Website

You can migrate your website manually or automatically. But, it is encouraged to have a manual migration for your WordPress website. There are several reasons that make manual migration the best way to migrate WordPress website. The Manual WordPress migration can be done if you know how to use File Transfer Protocol (FTP), have database access, and understand the back end operations of your site. Hence, manual migration is an ideal option for those who know the inner workings of WordPress. 

This article helps you with the best way to migrate WordPress websites manually.

1. Decide Your New Host

This is a basic but important task when you finally decide to migrate from your existing host. At this point, you have to keep in mind what made you migrate and should consider all your requirements before selecting the new host. For example, if lack of security and support was your reason behind the migration, then you should choose a reliable and secured cloud host that can offer you the best support to assist you in case you face any issues.

Most of the hosting companies offer free migration services. If you are looking for a reliable migration partner to help you with WordPress migration, you can get in touch with us. Cloudington offers fully managed WordPress hosting services and helps ensure a smooth and seamless transition of your website to Cloudington.

2. Backup Your Website Files

Using FTP tools, you should copy all your data so that you won’t lose any content on your website. You should always consider backup as good practice before you are going to do any major change. It is a part of data security. 

WordPress supports plenty of a WordPress plugin. These plugins use a built-in setting to manage the files you want to backup. You can schedule how often you want to backup and where the backups should be stored. WP vivid is one such plugin that offers a powerful backup option on your WordPress site. 

If you want a manual approach for the backup, you require FTP to access your files on your site. FileZilla (PC) and Transmit (Mac) are two popular file transfer protocols. (You may need to contact your web host to get the credentials of SFTP). After installing an FTP program, you can connect to the server using the SFTP. Collect all the files under your website directory and remember to download the .htaccess file which may be kept hidden. Depending on the number of files, the time taken for the download may vary. Once the download is completed, you can proceed to the next step.

3. Database Backup

A database is a place where all the website information, user information, and many more is contained. To backup your database, you will need access to your database. You can access it through the control panel, provided by your host.

If you are using cPanel, follow the mentioned steps.

  • Log in to the cPanel account using the right credentials
  • Select phpMyAdmin Application
  • Choose the database that contained your WordPress installation from the list displayed on the left sidebar
  • Click on the “Export” tab
  • Select “Quick” under the Export Method and “SQL” for format
  • Hit on the “Go” button

After completing these steps, the download will begin and all your data (.sql format) will be stored on your local computer. Now you have a copy of both WordPress files and the database. You may now proceed with the next step.

4. Create Your New Database & Import Your Database and Files

This is the step you begin with before you migrate your site. By creating the database on your new server, you are creating a fine room for your website. If you are using cPanel you can follow the steps to create the new database for your site.

  • Login to the web host using the credentials and connect to cPanel
  • Navigate to the” Databases” section and choose “MySQL databases“.
  • Create a new database with a suitable name and add a user with a secured password
  • Using phpMyAdmin, access the new database.
  • Select the “Import” tab and upload the file you downloaded earlier from your old site.

After completing these steps, the new database will be active and you can reupload all the files to your new database. Note the new MySQL username and password for your next use.

5. Upload the WordPress Files

Steps to upload the WordPress files collected from the older site to your new WordPress site:

  • Connect to your new web host using FTP. 
  • Navigate to the WordPress root folder where you want your WordPress files to be held. 
  • Right-click anywhere in the folder and select the “Upload” option. 

The files that contain the updated wp-config.php file will be now uploaded. Do not delete the files once you complete the upload. All these files should be kept on your local computer until you successfully complete the final steps.

6. Edit Your wp-config.php File

You have to update your wp-config.php file to visit your website because it may point to your older site. To edit this file follow the steps.

  • Access the WordPress root folder and find where the wp-config.php file is located 
  • Select view/edit option
  • Using the given codes to update database name (‘db_name’), database username(‘db_user’) and user password(‘db_pass’)

    define(‘DB_NAME, ‘db_name’);

    define(‘DB_USER, ‘db_user’);

    define(‘DB_PASSWORD, ‘db_pass’);

  • Save the changes made within the wp-config.php file and close. You are now able to access your WordPress website.

7. Update Your Domain Name Server (DNS)

Updating your DNS is the last step to complete your migration process. If you are moving your site to a different domain, you should check if your DNS is pointing to the correct host. If not, you have to update and should make the DNS point to your new WP engine.

For this, collect the details from your host and access to the registrar of your new host. Access your user portal and select “Domains”. From there you can collect the domain name details.

Final Thoughts

If you are experiencing poor website performance, security issues, resources limits, and poor hosting support, It is time that you consider migrating your site from your current host.

Even though there are several methods to migrate WordPress site to a new host including automatic migration and migration using WordPress plugins, manual WordPress migration is considered as the best way to migrate WordPress website. It’s not that much hard to do the migration and a little easier for those who are aware of how WordPress works. 

This article is all about manual WordPress migration,  the best way to migrate WordPress website. If you are looking for a reliable web host to migrate your website, get in touch with us. We provide fast and secure managed cloud hosting services, that are designed specifically to host your WordPress websites.

Related Article: AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Comparing the Top Cloud Platforms

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