WordPress Migration: How To Move WordPress Site To New Host
I’ve been looking for a new hosting company for a while after becoming VERY disappointed with Bluehost. So I’ve just moved all my WordPress sites from Bluehost to Siteground (you can read my ‘not so good’ review of Bluehost here or see my Bluehost review video on Youtube) and because I had a few websites to move, I was looking for a quick and easy way to do it.
It had been a while since I’d done anything like this and the prospect of having to move my websites was stressing me out a bit… To be honest I couldn’t remember how to move WordPress even though I’ve done it a few times in the past…
Well I’m happy to say I found an easy way to migrate or clone WordPress sites (as long as your site isn’t too big). I thought I’d make a video and share the ‘how to’ with you, my readers, as well as saving the ‘how to’ for myself for the next time I need it (my ulterior motive 🙂 ).
This is how I did it.
How To Move Wordpress To A New Host The Easy Way
- Search for and install the Duplicator plugin (made by LifeInTheGrid)
- Activate the plugin
- Scroll down and go to Duplicator (on the sidebar) and then Packages
- Click on ‘Create New’ button (top right corner)
- Ensure that ‘Requirements’ says ‘Pass’ (If not I think it will tell you why not – I haven’t experienced that problem).
- Click on ‘Next’ button then ensure all links on the next screen are green, ticked and say ‘Good’
Note: If any of these come up with a big red cross and a ‘Fail’, click on the link as there will be information that will tell you what the problem is. If possible, correct the problems and try again (you may have to remove large files, copies of backups or large images). I have had success moving one site even though the plugin was indicating that it may be too big, so once you’ve made the site as light as you can, give it another go. If it is still too large or there is another reason, the plugin will let you know.
7. Click ‘Build’
8. Once the build package has been completed download both the Installer file and the Archive file to your computer by clicking on them (make sure you know where they are saved!)
9. Go to your host and log in to your Cpanel
10. Create an Addon domain for your website if necessary (this is not necessary if you have only one website or if the website you are moving is the domain name that is associated with your hosting account)
11. Upload the installer file and the archive file to the root directory of your website (or folder if the site is an addon or subdomain) using either File Manager in Cpanel or an FTP program such as Filezilla
12. Using MySQL Databases (in Cpanel), create a new database, a new user (ensuring that you give them ALL privileges) and assign that user to the database (make sure you write the database name, user name and passwords down for future reference!)
13. Change the DNS (domain name system) settings to point to your new host. If you’re not sure how to do that see this video
14. Once the domain name change has taken place, open your web browser (Chrome, Firefox or whatever you use) and enter the URL for your website. You should see the contents of the folder or root directory for your site including the installer file and archive file that you have uploaded
15. Double click on the Installer file
16. You will see a page titled ‘Duplicator – Installer’ – ‘Step 1: Files & Databases’
17. Leave the first field as is containing ‘Localhost’
18. Enter your database name, user and password that you created earlier in the following three fields
19. Click on ‘Test Connection’ to confirm that you have the correct settings
20. Tick the box that says ‘I have read all warnings & notices’
21. Click ‘Run Deployment’
22. The next screen will read ‘Step 2: Files & Databases’. Confirm the settings and then click ‘Run Update’
23. The final screen will read ‘Step 3: Test Site’
24. Check that there are no errors or warnings
25. Click ‘Save permalinks’. This will take you to the permalinks area of your website. Make sure your permalink settings are correct and then save them.
26. Test your site to ensure everything is working.
27. Click ‘Security cleanup’ to remove installation files etc
I hope that all makes sense.
In the video I created a test.html file. I’d like to point out that this step is not necessary.
I did this because I found it made it easier to tell whether the domain name change was complete.
You see the DNS change can take a number of hours or even a couple of days to propagate throughout all the required servers around the world. What this meant for me personally (and I’m sure many others), was that the change happened almost instantly when I tried viewing the site on my phone, but took almost 24 hours when viewed on my computer.
Because the change was so fast on my phone each time I moved a site, I took the opportunity to run the installer file on my phone and then used the test.html file to ascertain when the change had taken place when viewing on my computer.
This not only meant that I could just get on with it, but also meant that there was very little downtime for my sites due to the change.
As I said earlier, this process works incredibly well for smaller sites. If your site is too large you will have to do the move manually.
If you have problems doing this, get in touch with your hosting company support team and they will usually help out. If not, change hosts! I can now highly recommend Siteground. They have awesome support and loads of other features for a great price which I’ll be writing about in a future post. 🙂
Leave a comment below and let me know if you had any problems.