No two hosts can offer similar services, right? There could be various reasons because of which you might want to move your WordPress site to a new host. Some hosts do provide good services but might affect your website loading speed or suffer from too much downtime. But the most popular reason that usually people have is that high hosting costs are affecting their budget. Well, whatever may be the reason if you are not happy with your current host, then it’s time to change.
Many of the users hesitate before migrating to a new host because they think that it’s a difficult process that might damage their site. The biggest fear is to lose data and suffer from downtime, which means that your visitors will be unhappy and the sales will be reduced. Many users will not be able to access your site as well. However, all these issues can be avoided if this process of migrating to a new host is done correctly. These few simpler steps, listed down below, you will be able to easily accomplish it:
- Choose your new host Before even beginning to migrate, it is important to choose a new host for your WordPress site. You need to choose a host according to your requirements. There are different kinds of hosts, such as location-specific, or some that offer shared hosting. Research extensively and only then make a decision.
- Back up your data Since, the new host might demand to move your site, which can affect your data, the very first thing to do is to back up your files. It is a requirement for the WordPress installation. You can connect to the web host and copy all your files using an FTP program, in any local computer. It might take a significant length of time if you do have large media files. You can use a Duplicator – a WordPress plugin to also back up your files.
- Export the WordPress database It is important to export your database. All you have to do is log in to the panel of your web server and go to the phpMyAdmin application. A sidebar will appear on the left-hand side of your screen, choose the database that has your WordPress installation. Once you have selected, go on to the navigation many and select Export. The downloading will begin as soon as you press export. Now, both your files and database have been secured.
- Create a new database Before you migrate, it is important to create a database that can import your SQL data. It creates an appropriate environment for the WordPress installation.
Connect to the cPanel by logging into your new host with the credentials they have given to you. Usually, most hosts use MySQL database, but if your new host does not, then you might want to contact it for understanding the process. With the My SQL database, you just need to open the My SQL database and create a new database. Create a new user and secure it with a password. Lastly, add this user account to your new database. Make sure that you duly note your new database name, user and its password as it will be needed later on.
- Restore these changes using the wp-config. php file Open the folder in which you downloaded all your website files to back up them. You will find a file with the wp-config.php name; this file controls the access between your database and the WordPress. Make a copy of this file and place it in another folder, this step is necessary as it will ensure that your data is restored, in case something goes wrong. You need to make some changes in the original version of the file:
• Change the Database name – You will find a line with “db_name”. This will be set according to the MySQL database; you must change it to the name of a new database.
• Change the Database Username and password – You will find a line with ‘db_username” and “db_password”, change the name and password accordingly.
• Save these changes before closing the file.
- Import your database With the help of the cPanel software on your new server, open the phpAdmin. A sidebar will appear on the left-hand side of the screen, choose the new database from the list. In the navigation menu, select the Import button. After this, choose the SQL file that you exported before from the file to import section. Make sure that the format is set to the SQL and untick the partial import button. The import will begin now. It will take some time to import your database, depending upon the size of your database.
- Upload your wordpress files to the new host Using an FTP program, connect to the web host. Browse to the folder in which your website will be held on. It’s easier to upload these files to the public_html. Once, the updated version of the wp_config.php files is uploaded with the remote directory; your import is done. This process might take up some time.
- Search New Domain You need to alter your site URL and home URL values in the database so that you can be redirected to your new domain. If you have added links or inserted images that directly takes you to your older URL, then you can refer to the Search Replace DB. If you don’t want to change your domain name then you can skip this process.
- DNS settings It stands for Domain Name System before you can use your new host, you need to change and reconfigure the DNS settings. This may take up a few days. You need to direct it to your new server IP address. It is best to reconfigure these settings when you expect lower traffic. Avoid making any changes in the site during this period as it might lead to changes in the older site and not the newer one.
Well, these are a few steps that you need to take while migrating WordPress to a new host. It requires a bit of your patience. You just need to take these steps carefully, and always ensure that you have taken a backup in case things go wrong.