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How to Migrate Your WordPress Site to a New Hosting Provider

Moving your WordPress site to a new web host can be a big deal.

Your hosting provider essentially gives your site a home on the internet. That’s why choosing the right one can make a world of difference for your WordPress site.

By following the right steps, you can move your site smoothly, with no hitches.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through preparing for migration, like backing up your site and choosing an awesome hosting provider.

Preparing for Migration

Before we jump into the details, there are a couple of things we need to prepare for our move. Think of a website migration like moving to a new home.

You want to make sure you’ve got all your essentials and maybe some non-essential things as well.

Backing up Your WordPress Site

First things first: back up your site.

This step can’t be stressed enough. It’s like an insurance policy for your site.

If something goes wrong during the migration, a backup would allow you to restore your site just as it was.

Follow these steps:

  1. Install a WordPress backup plugin like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy.
  2. Set up the plugin according to your needs. You can choose what to back up (files, database or both) and set backup schedules.
  3. Run the backup process and make sure to save a copy of the backup file somewhere secure (like your local drive or cloud storage).

Now that we’ve got our backup, it’s time to find our site a new home.

Choosing a New Hosting Provider

Selecting a new hosting provider might seem tricky, but it is all about understanding what your site needs. Here are a few tips:

  1. Consider your site’s size and traffic: Larger sites require more resources, so make sure your new host can handle your needs.
  2. Think about location: A host’s datacenter location can impact your site’s speed for your user. Try choosing a host closer to your main audience.
  3. Check reviews: A quick online search can tell you a lot about a company. Look for hosts with great customer feedback.
  4. Support: Good technical support is worth gold when you need it. Make sure your new host is there for you.
  5. Price: Last but not least, consider your budget. There are various hosting options available at different price points.

Remember, moving to a new host is all about improving your site so take your time to select the best host for your needs!

Alright! All packed? Let’s move to the actual process of migrating your WordPress site.

Migrating Your WordPress Site

It’s time to hit the road and start moving your WordPress site to its new home.

Exporting WordPress Database

The first step of migrating your site involves exporting your WordPress database.

This database houses key information like your posts, pages, and users. It’s like the heart of your WordPress site.

You can export your database to your new host server using a tool called phpMyAdmin or a WordPress migration plugin like WP Migrate DB.

Here’s a simple guide and export method to move your database to your new host server via phpMyAdmin:

  1. Log in to your hosting account’s control panel.
  2. Look for the phpMyAdmin tool under the database section.
  3. Select your WordPress database from the list on the left.
  4. Click on the ‘Export’ tab on the top menu.
  5. Choose a format for your database. SQL is usually a good option as it’s widely supported.
  6. Finally, click ‘Go’ to download your database.

Transferring WordPress Files

Next, you’ll need to transfer your WordPress files to your new hosting provider. You can do this using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client or a File Manager in your hosting control panel.

If you’re using an FTP client, follow these steps:

  1. Connect to your old host using your FTP client. You’ll need your FTP account details, which can usually be found in your hosting control panel.
  2. Navigate to the directory where your WordPress files are located.
  3. Select all files and download them to your local machine, zip files included.
  4. Connect to your new host using the FTP client. Your new host should provide your FTP details.
  5. Upload the WordPress files that you’ve just downloaded into the public_html root directory or any other directory where you want to install WordPress.

Setting Up a New Hosting Account

With all the files transferred, now it’s time to set up your new hosting account and install WordPress.

  1. Access your new hosting account. Often, you’ll do this by logging into your new host’s control panel.
  2. Locate the WordPress installer – it’s usually found under a section called ‘Softaculous Apps Installer’.
  3. Follow the installer’s prompts to install WordPress. Remember to use the same site name and admin details to ensure a smooth transition.

You’ve successfully moved your site over to its new host.

But, like moving into a new house, there’s more work to be done before you can relax and enjoy your new place. So, let’s quickly go over it!

Testing Your Site

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and start testing.

Checking for Errors

Migrating a site, like moving houses, can turn up a few quirks and glitches.

These might be minor things like broken links or more important ones like missing text or images. The good news is most of these are easily fixed. Here is how you can identify and fix possible issues:

  1. Review your site page by page: Take a good look at your home page, blog posts, and other key pages. Check the images, text, links, and videos.
  2. Test the features: If you have an e-commerce store, go through the process of ordering a product. If you run a blog, try adding a comment to a post. This way, you’re giving everything a ‘test-run’.
  3. Give the admin area a look: Check your WordPress dashboard to confirm that everything is as you left it.

Testing Your Site

Besides checking for possible errors, you’ll want to test your site thoroughly to make sure everything’s up to speed. The following steps will guide you:

  1. Check your site’s speed: There are many free tools available, like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix, to help assess your website’s performance.
  2. Check Mobile Friendliness: Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site is well optimised for mobile users.
  3. SEO Audit: There are numerous tools like SEMrush or Moz available to check if your SEO settings are intact after migration.

Your site’s now settled into its new home. There’s one more important task – finalising the migration.

Updating DNS and Finalising Migration

Now it’s time to get the keys to the new place to make it officially yours. In other words, it’s time to update your Domain Name System (DNS) settings and complete the migration process.

Updating DNS Settings

When you switch hosting providers, you also need to switch your DNS settings so your domain points to your new host.

It’s as simple as changing your mailing address when you move houses.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Log in to your domain registrar account (where you purchased your domain name).
  2. Navigate to your domain settings or DNS management page.
  3. Look for ‘nameservers’ settings.
  4. Replace your old host’s name server information with the nameserver information of your new host (your new host should provide this).
  5. Save changes and exit.

And there you have it. Keep in mind, however, that it may take up to 48 hours for these changes to take effect fully, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see the changes right away.

Finalising the Migration

Once the DNS settings have been updated, it’s time to finalise the migration.

Ensure the information, data, and settings of your site are correctly displayed, and your new hosting account is fully functional with WordPress installed.

By now, the heavy lifting is done. Your WordPress site should be happily settling into its new virtual home.

However, before this process can be truly complete, a final walkthrough is needed.

Post-Migration Checklist

So, you’ve moved your WordPress site and ensured that everything’s up and running.

But, similar to moving into a new house, there are a few things left to tidy up. Here’s our simple post-migration checklist.

Updating WordPress Settings

A few settings in WordPress might need to be tweaked post-migration. Here’s what you need to check:

  1. Permalinks: Go to the Permalinks setting under ‘Settings’ in your WordPress dashboard. If things look off, simply re-save your settings. This usually fixes the majority of issues.
  2. Site URL: In the same ‘Settings’ menu, check your WordPress address and site address. Make sure they’re pointing at your new domain if you’ve changed it.

Checking for Broken Links

During migration, it’s possible some links might have been shaken up a bit. More importantly, broken links can affect your user’s experience and your site’s SEO.

Luckily, there are tools available to check for broken links. One such tool is a WordPress plugin named ‘Broken Link Checker’.

Simply install the plugin, let it do its thing, and repair any broken links it finds.

And that’s it. Migration: check. Post-migration cleanup: check.

Conclusion

Together, we’ve successfully navigated through the journey of migrating a WordPress site, just like moving to a new house.

We hope we’ve shown you that even though the idea of migrating a WordPress site to a new hosting provider can seem intimidating at first, it truly isn’t.

It’s all about taking the right steps in the right order, much like following a recipe.

The hosting provider you choose plays a crucial role in your website’s day-to-day performance and overall success. So, if you’re not too happy with your current host, don’t be afraid to make a move.

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