How to Migrate a WordPress Site to a New Host

A common question among WordPress users, especially for beginners who want to move their WordPress site to a new host, is “How to migrate a WordPress site to a new host?”.

Many reputable hosting providers offer free migration as part of their service which makes it a helluva lot easier to move your website from one host to another. So if your new host is offering such a service, I would suggest that you contact their support and ask for details on migration. If not, then you can continue reading to learn how to migrate a WordPress site.

The WordPress migration process is easy and neither does it require any coding skills which means that you are fully capable of migrating your website yourself without spending any money on hiring a web developer.

In this tutorial, I will take you through a step by step guide to migrate a WordPress site to any host. But before that, you need to understand the common scenarios because there is a possibility that you might fall in one of these scenarios but that doesn’t mean that you would need a different migration process. The methods I covered in this article apply to all of these scenarios.

1. cPanel to cPanel hosting

cPanel is one of the most popular GUI based dashboards that are commonly used by shared hosting providers.

This is the first migration scenario where your website is hosted on a cPanel based hosting and you wish to migrate to a new cPanel based hosting. For instance, you want to move your site from Hostgator hosting to Bluehost hosting or vice versa.

2. cPanel to Managed WordPress hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is a platform where you can host your WordPress website and manage all application-related issues from a single dashboard, for example, SSL installation, creating backups and much more. Some popular managed WordPress hosting providers like Cloudways and Kinsta offer free migrations which are either carried out by their support team or are done automatically through their own built-in migration plugin.

This is the second migration scenario when you have a cPanel based hosting and want to transfer your entire site to a new hosting platform that has its own dashboard. For example, you want to move your site from Bluehost to Cloudways.

3. Managed WordPress hosting to Managed WordPress hosting

This is the third scenario when you want to migrate your WordPress site from a managed hosting platform to a new managed hosting platform. Suppose you want to migrate your WordPress site from Kinsta to Cloudways or vice versa.

How to Migrate a WordPress Site to a New Host

In this article, I’ll show you an all-round migrating solution that can apply for any type of scenario. It means you can easily migrate a WordPress site to any new host independent of the platform, hosting, etc.

There are 2 methods to migrate a WordPress site to a new host:

  1. Migrate a WordPress Site With Plugin
  2. Migrate a WordPress Site Manually

So, Let’s get started!

1) Migrate WordPress Site to a New Host With Plugin

This migration method is the easier of the two and is independent of your current host. All you have to do is just follow the simple steps that I have mentioned and your website will be migrated successfully.

Step 1: Backup your WordPress Site

Before you learn how to migrate a WordPress site you need to create a backup file for your website. For this purpose, you can use any WordPress backup plugin.

Note: It’s highly recommended to take a backup of all your files because if something goes wrong while transferring your WordPress site, you can always revert to the original version.

Step 2: Choose a New Hosting

After creating a backup for your WordPress site, the next step in the process is to choose a good web hosting providers.

Choosing a hosting provider can be tricky as there are a lot of options available and you need to make sure that you select the one that is perfect for your needs. Here’s the head to head comparison between the best WordPress hosting providers and also, if you’re looking for the hosting discounts here’s the exclusive coupon codes.

Step 3: Install WordPress and Delete Tables

Next, you need to install a WordPress application on your new hosting server and delete the DB tables. To delete, go to your Database manager and check on Tables to select all the tables in the database and click the Drop button to delete them.

Step 4: Install Migration Plugin and Create Package on your Existing site

Next, install a WordPress migration plugin to transfer a WordPress site to a new host. I’ll use the Duplicator plugin for this process because it’s free and it provides enough features.

1. To install a duplicator on your existing site, go to Plugins > Add New > type Duplicator then click on Install > Activate.

install a duplicator plugin on your existing site

After activating the Duplicator plugin, a new menu “Duplicator” will appear on your Dashboard panel.

2. Next in the process is to create a package, go to Dashboard > Duplicator > Packages > Create New Package.

Create New Package

3. Then, just click on next, and build the package (this will take a few seconds) and once it’s done, download the files by clicking on One-Click Download.

download the files

Step 5: Upload the Archive & Installer.php to a New hosting

Next in the case, upload archive and installer.php files to your new server. For this, you need an FTP client and I’ll use FileZilla FTP client for this process.

Next, open FTP client and provide the new hosting server credentials to connect.

In my case i..e FileZilla FTP client:

  • Host = Public IP of your new server.
  • Username = Your new hosting username.
  • Password = Your new hosting password.
Upload the Archive

After connecting to your new server, go to application > public_html and delete the wp-config file. Then, upload the archive and installer.php file from your desktop.

Step 6: Run Installer.php on new Hosting Server

After uploading the files, you need to run your new WordPress site and then you will see the WordPress installation setup on your browser.

Next, just remove the “wp-admin/setup-config.php” from http://YourSiteName.com/wp-admin/setup-config.php URL and replace it with “installer.php” http://YourSiteName.com/installer.php.

Then, the configuration screen will appear and all you need to do is just click on the Next button and follow the simple duplicator installation setup.

duplicator installation setup

After the successful setup installation, you can test your WordPress site.

Step 7: Domain Name Changing

You can skip this step if you want to use a new domain name.

Here you need to transfer your DNS records from the old hosting server to a new hosting server.

Note: Records Change will take up to 48hours to complete the DNS changing.

To change the DNS records, just follow these steps:

  1. Open your domain registrar platform.
  2. Go to the DNS section
  3. Change the old hosting server information with your new hosting server information.

The plugin method is effective, stable and reliable which is why I’d personally suggest this method for the migration process.

Now that we have learned how to move WordPress site to a new host, it’s time to check out the manual method.

Migrate a WordPress site to a New Host – Manually

To manually migrate your WordPress site, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps.

Step 1: Backup your WordPress site

This first step is to take a site backup. For this, you can use any backup plugin that’ll help you to create a backup file.

Step 2: Choose a new Hosting

After creating a backup of your WordPress site, you need to choose a good web hosting that provides high speed and performance for your WordPress site.

Then, install a normal WordPress application on your new hosting.

Step 3: Delete the Database Tables of your new WordPress site

Next, you need to delete your database files from your new WordPress application. It’s easy. All you have to do is open your database, go to the application database and check all the tables then click on the Drop > Go button.

Delete the Database Tables of your new WordPress site

Step 4: Export your Database files

Now, you need to export the database file of your running WordPress site. For this, open your old hosting database then select your WordPress site database > export > Quick Export Method > SQL format then click on the Go.

export the database file of your running WordPress site

Then a new .SQL file will be downloaded on your desktop.

Step 5: Import your Database Files to a New Host

Next, you need to import the .SQL file to your new hosting WP application. For this, open your new hosting database then click on Import > click on Choose a file button and select the .SQL file (previously downloaded) then click on the Go button.

Import your Database Files to a New Host

Step 6: Change Site URL, Home, and Blog Name

After uploading the .SQL file you need to change the old values of your SiteURL, Home, and Blog Name. For this, open your new hosting database and go to wp_options > click on edit site URL. Change the option_value from your old URL to your new URL.

Change Site URL Home and Blog Name

Similarly, change your home and blog options_value.

Step 7: Download WordPress Files

Next, you need to download your WordPress site folder (complete folder) to your local PC and for that, access your server and download your site folder to your desktop via an FTP client.

Download WordPress Files

It’ll take a few minutes to download your WordPress site folder

Step 8: Configure wp-config File and Upload the WordPress Files to your New Hosting Server

After downloading the WordPress files, open the wp-config file and configure the Database Name, Username, and Password.

Note: Configure means changing the old hosting values to new hosting Database Name, Username, and Password.

Configure wp-config File

Next, just upload the WordPress files along with these file changes to your new server (public_html folder).

Step 9: Domain Name Changing

You can skip this step if you want to use a new domain name.

In this last step, all you need to do is transfer DNS records from your old hosting server to the new hosting server.
Note: Records Change will take up to 48hours to complete the DNS changing.

To change the DNS records, just follow these steps:

  1. Open your domain registrar platform.
  2. Go to the DNS section
  3. Change the old hosting server information with your new hosting server information.

Tada! You’ve successfully migrated your WordPress site to a new host.

Final Words

Hopefully, the above-mentioned methods will help you to migrate a WordPress site to a new host. In this article, we’ve discussed the three migration scenarios, 2 all-around migration methods, and a step-by-step process to migrate your WordPress site.

Let me know if you have any queries, and I’ll get back to you with a detailed answer in the comments below!

Author: Bio

Farhan is a community manager at WPblog. He loves to work with WordPress and has a passion for web development. Mostly, he spends his time interacting with the people in the WordPress community. Apart from his work life, Farhan spends his time gaming and playing sports.

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