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How to migrate WordPress to a New Host or Server With No Downtime

migrate-WordPress-to-a-New-Host-or-Server-With-No-Downtime

Do you plan to move your WordPress website to a new host company or another server? Data loss and downtime are the biggest risks when migrating or switching web hosting. website migration

These two factors can temporarily make your website inaccessible to search engines and users, which can lead to loss of sales or lower search engine rankings.

 This tutorial will walk you through how to website (wordpress) migration to a new host safely and without downtime.

We will also address the most common questions regarding moving a WordPress website to a new hosting provider so that you don’t make any mistakes.

Important: want to make sure you know that there are many things before we begin. Hosting companies for WordPress Offer a free migration service. You can ask them if they don’t have it on their website. It’s usually free, though some might charge a fee.

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Choose Your New WordPress Host

If you are stuck with a slow web host even after optimizing WordPress speed and performance, then it’s time to move your WordPress site to a new host that can handle your growing traffic.

It is important to make the right choice when choosing a WordPress hosting provider.

Here are our recommendations:

  • Reliable hosting shared recommends that you use Bluehost. They are recommended by WordPress.org. WordPress.org recommends them.
  • If you’re looking for cloud hosting Or Location-specific recommend that you visit the following providers Siteground. They have data centers on 3 continents.
  • If you’re looking for managed WordPress hosting, then we recommend you check out WP Engine. They are the most trusted provider in the business.

Do not install WordPress after you have purchased your new hosting. This will be done in a subsequent step.

Your new web hosting account must be empty. There should not be any files or folders in the main directory.

Step 2: Setup Duplicator for Easy Migration

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the free Duplicator plugin on the website that you want to move. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

We highly recommend Duplicator, a free plugin. You can also use it to move your website to a new domain name without loosing SEO.

We will show you how to use it to move your WordPress site to another host with no downtime.

After activating and installing the Duplicator, you can go to the duplicator >> PackagesPage in your WordPress admin area.

Next, click on the “Create New” button at the top right.

Creating a new package in Duplicator

Click the Next button to continue creating your package.

Duplicator create a package wizard

Check that the scan results are correct (everything should be “Good”) before you click on the Click “Construct” button.

Build package

This process can take several minutes, so keep the tab open while the plugin does its thing.

After the process is completed, you will see the download options for the Archive package and Installer. To download both files, you will need to click the “One-click download” link.

Download package files

The archive file is a copy of your entire website. The installer file automates the installation process.

Step 3: Import your WordPress site to the new host

Once you have downloaded the installer and archive files, it is time to upload them to your new website host.

This can be done by connecting to your new WebHost via FTP.

If you’ve never done this before, check out our beginner’s guide to uploading files via FTP to WordPress.

When connecting to FTP, enter the domain name of your website as host.

Your domain name points to the old host. You will need to connect to the server by entering its IP address or hostname. This information can be found in your new hosting account’s dashboard.

Finding server IP or Hostname in cPanel dashboard

If you have trouble finding the information you need, you can contact your web hosting company for assistance.

You will need to use the FTP client to upload your installer.php and archive.zip files to your root directory.

This is usually /username/public_html/ a folder.

If you’re not sure, ask your web hosting company.

Your root directory should be empty. Some web hosting companies automatically install WordPress when you sign up.

You must first delete WordPress if it is installed in your root directory.

Once you have done this, upload the installer.php and archive zip files to your root directory.

Step 4: Modify the Hosts to Prevent Downtime

After you have uploaded the files to your new host you will need to access the installer.php file from a browser.

This URL can normally be used to access the file:

http://www.example.com/installer.php

However, this URL will take you to your old web host, and you will get a 404 error. Your domain name still points to your old web hosting.

You might find other tutorials that tell you to modify your domain nameservers to point it to your new host company. But this is incorrect.

This will cause your visitors to see a broken site when you move it.

We will show you how to temporarily access your new website from your computer without affecting your existing site.

This can be done by creating a hosts file on your machine.

You can use the host’s file to map domain names and specific IP addresses. It allows you to trick your computer into thinking that the website has been moved.

Let’s look at how to add an entry for your domain in the host’s file so it points to your new host company.

These changes will enable you to access files on your new host via your domain name. The rest of the world can still access your site from the old host. This will ensure that you are able to access your files from the new host using your own domain name. with 100% uptime.

First, you will need to find the IP address for your new web hosting server. Log into your cPanel dashboard, click on the expand stats link at the left-hand sidebar and you will find the IP address. The Shared IP Address will display the server’s address.

This information can be found under the ‘Account Information” heading at some web hosting companies.

Find shared IP address

Step 4a: Prevent downtime by Modifying the Hosts

Windows users must now go to the next step. Programs >> All Programmes >> Accessories Right-click on Notepad, and choose Run as Administrator.

You will be prompted by Windows UAC. Click on Yes to launch Notepad administrator privileges. website migration

Go to the Notepad screen File >> Open Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc Folder. Select hosts file from this folder and then open it.

If you are using Mac, you will need to open Terminal and type this command to modify hosts files:

sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

Both Mac and Windows users will need to fill out the host’s file. As an example:

192.168.1.22 http://example.com

You should replace the IP address copied from cPanel with your domain name, and example.com the IP address with your own.

Save your changes once you are done.

Your domain name from your computer can be used to access files on the new host.

Important: After you’ve completed the migration (step 6), don’t forget about undoing any changes made to the host’s file.

Step 5: Creating MySQL Database on Your New Host

Before you can run the installer on a new host, we will need to create and maintain a MySQL database. You can skip the previous step if you already have a MySQL database.

Create a Database in the cPanel

Navigate to the cPanel dashboard for your new hosting account, scroll down to the Databases section, and click on the MySQL Databases icon. website migration

MySQL databases in cPanel

A field will appear to create a new database. Click “Create Database” to enter a name for the database. website migration

Creating new database

Once you have created the MySQL database, scroll down to the MySQL Users section.

Next, enter a username/password for your new user. Click on the “Create user” button.

Create a MySQL user

You will then need to add the user to your database. This will give you the username and all permissions needed to access the database.

Scroll down to the ‘Add User To A Database’ section. Select the user database you have created in the dropdown menu, then choose a database and click the Add button. website migration

Add user to database

Now your database can be used with WordPress. Make sure you take down the database name, username, and password. This information will be required in the next step.

Step 6: Begin the Duplicator Migration Process

Now, we are ready to run the installer. Navigate to this address in your browser window. Replace example.com with your domain name.

http://www.example.com/installer.php

Duplicator installer initialized

After running a few tests, the installer will give you a ‘Pass’ sign next to validation and archive tests.

Check the Terms & Conditions box and then click on the Next button.

You will now be asked to enter your MySQL hostname, database name, username, and password.

Localhost will be your host. Next, enter the details for the database that you created in step 1.

Connect to the database

To verify that you have entered the correct information, click on the “Test Database” button.

If Duplicator can connect, you’ll see a string beginning with Pass. If not, the details of the database connection error will be displayed.

To continue, click on the Next button.

Duplicator will now import the WordPress database from the archive zip to your new database.

It will then ask you to change your site URL or path. You don’t need to make any changes here since you aren’t changing domain names.

To continue, simply click the next button.

Duplicator will complete the last steps and show you the login button.

Duplicator website migration finished

To ensure that everything works as it should, you can log in to your WordPress website on the new host.

Step 7: Update Your Domain Name Servers (DNS)

You have now created a complete backup of your WordPress database, files, and other files on your new server. However, your domain points to your old web host account.

You will need to change your DNS nameservers to update your domain. This will ensure that users go to the correct location when they type in your domain.

It’s best to transfer your domain to another host if you have registered it with your hosting provider. You will need to update the nameservers if you registered your domain with a domain registrar such as Domain.com, GoDaddy, or Network Solutions.

The DNS nameserver information for your new web host will be required. These URLs usually look something like this:

ns1.hostname.com

ns2.hostname.com

We will show you how to modify DNS nameservers using GoDaddy.

Depending on your domain registrar or web host, the screenshots may look different. The basic idea is the same.

First, search for the domain management area. Next, look for nameservers. Your web hosting company can assist you with updating nameservers.

For GoDaddy, you need to log in to your GoDaddy account and then click on Domains.

Next, click on the Manage button beside the domain name that you wish to modify.

Manage domain

To continue, click on “Manage DNS” under the section titled “Additional Settings”.

Manage DNS

Next, scroll down to Nameservers and click the Change button.

Change nameservers

You will first need to change the dropdown for nameserver type from ‘Default to ‘Custom. You can then fill in your new hosting provider’s information at Nameservers.

Updating DNS nameservers

To save your changes, don’t forget to click the Save button

Your domain nameservers have been successfully changed. For all users, DNS changes may take between 4 and 48 hours to propagate.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some questions that many users have asked us when moving WordPress from one host into another.

1. Can I sign up for the new hosting account without registering a domain?

Yes. You can sign up for a hosting account even without having to register a domain name.

Hosting and domain name are two separate services. You don’t need to register a new domain name in order to sign up for hosting. For more details see our guide on the difference between a domain name and web hosting.

Many hosting companies will require you to choose a domain name before you purchase hosting. If you have one, they will allow you to register it.

2. Do I have to transfer my domain to the new host or not?

You don’t have to transfer your domain to the new host. Transferring your domain to the new host will make it easier for you to renew or manage your account under the same dashboard.

For more on this topic, see our ultimate guide on database connection error in Duplicator, then the most likely reason for this is that you entered incorrect information for your database connection.

Verify that your database username, password, and MySQL username are correct. Some web hosting companies don’t use localhost to host their MySQL servers. If this is true, you should ask your web host’s support team for the right information.

4. How can I verify that my website loads from the new host?

There are several online tools that allow you to see who is hosting a website. Once you have moved your website to the new host you can use any one of these tools to see the name of the web hosting provider hosting your site.

It doesn’t take long to migrate your website or make changes to your DNS. Your site could still load from the old host. It can take up to 48 hours for domain name changes to propagate fully.

5. Are there any files or data that I must delete from an old host?

We recommend that you keep your website up to a week after switching hosting companies. You can then delete files from the old web host. Your web hosting provider will then delete your data if you cancel your account.

6. What length of time should my account remain active on the old host server?

After you’ve moved your website to the new host and you haven’t had any other websites hosted by your old web host, you can cancel your old hosting account.

In some cases, however, they may have already charged you for hosting each year. To determine if cancellation is possible, you should review their refund policy. website migration

7. How can I move a WordPress website with SSL/HTTPS

You will need to install SSL certificate on your new hosting provider. You can then follow the steps above. Make sure you use HTTPS in URLs such as https://example.com

8. Bonus: Site migration free of charge by your new host website migration

You can switch web hosting providers if you don’t feel like the above steps are too difficult. They will migrate your site for you.

SiteGround, InMotion Hosting, and WP Engine offer website migration free of charge to WPBeginner customers. website migration

This step-by-step guide will help you transfer WordPress to your new host without any downtime. If you come across any issues with your WordPress migration, then check out our guide on the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them. website migration

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