By Sulserv Hositng / Sep, 15
Thinking of switching your website to a new host due to slow website loading speed? Well, it can be a cumbersome task, especially if this is your first time. Losing your website data and experiencing website downtime are two of the biggest risks involved. Not only would it take time to recover the valuable information but also result in lower search engine rankings.
In this tutorial, we’ll help you understand how to migrate a WordPress website to a new host in a step-by-step guide. Let’s begin!
Step 1: Choose a new WordPress web host
Choosing a new WordPress web host need not be a daunting task, however, it can be confusing with several web hosts available today.
Research well about your needs before narrowing down a web host:
Once the choice of which type of hosting you want to opt for is made, you need to decide a web hosting provider. One of the key things to keep in mind are the problems you’re facing in your present web host and see if your new web host offers the right solution.
Quick Tip: Read reviews on hosting websites and call the support/sales of the new web host to ask your queries. If you believe, they offer good support, as well as, satisfy your website requirements then you can go ahead with your choice of host.
Step 2: Install and Setup the Plugin
After you’ve transferred your WordPress website to the new web host you need to install a plugin. Make sure that you do not install WordPress just yet.
There are several plugins available. Some of them are:
We recommend the Duplicator plugin as it is simple and easy to use. It is a free plugin that can help you transfer your website with ease.
If you’re a beginner, do check out our step-by-step guide on how to install WordPress plugins.
To install the plugin click on ‘Add Plugins’ in your WordPress dashboard and search for ‘Duplicator’. Once you find it, click on ‘Install Now’ and activate the plugin.
Post installing and activating the Duplicator plugin, go to your WordPress admin area.
Here, click on ‘Packages’ nestled under the Duplicator plugin. Next, click the ‘Create New’ button in the top right corner.
After clicking on ‘Create New’ a new dialogue box should appear. Here click on the ‘Next’ button
Now, before you click on the ‘Build’ button, make sure to scan the results (it should be ‘Good’)
Note: This may take a while, make sure you do not close the tab.
After the process is completed, the following page should appear. Click on ‘One-click Download’.
You’ve successfully downloaded the ‘Installer’ and ‘Archive’ files. The archive is a copy of your website whereas the installer file will automate the installation process.
Step 3: Import your WordPress website
After downloading the ‘Archive’ and ‘Installer’ files, it is time to transfer these files to the new web host.
You can use the FTP client (File Transfer Protocol) for this purpose – you can choose any FTP client you prefer. Some of the popular FTP clients are FileZilla, Cyberduck, WinSCP, Free FTP, etc.
Note: Your root directory should be empty. If WordPress is pre-installed by your new web host, delete that before you proceed with the above steps.
Step 4: Modify the Hosts file on your local computer
Now that you have uploaded the aforementioned files to your new web host, it is time to execute the ‘installer.php’ file.
Usually, the installer.php file can be accessed by running the following in the URL in your browser:
Should you access your installer.php file in such a manner you will most probably get a 404 error. This is a page not found error and you get it because your domain name still points to your old web host.
To rectify this error, you need to manually change your hosts file on your computer.
Note: If you decide to change your domain nameservers you may experience downtime. Modifying the ‘hosts’ file ensures that your website is also up and running with no downtime.
Steps to modify the Hosts file:
Note: If such a line already exists, replace it with the new data
Step 5: Create a database on your new web host
Prior to running the installer on your new web host, make sure you have created a database in cPanel on your new web host. If yes, you can directly skip to step 6. If not, follow these procedures to create your database. We will be creating a MySQL database.
Creating the database:
3. A new dialog box opens. Enter your database name and click ‘Create Database’
4. After the database is created, scroll down to the Users section and add a new user. Click on the ‘Create User’ button after entering the credentials.
5. Once the user is created, add the user to the Database you created by clicking on the ‘Add’ button
6. Manage permissions for the user and give them all the privileges
7. Your database is ready to be used with WordPress
Step 6: Run the Duplicator website migration script