There could be so many reasons why you would want to move your WordPress site to a new host. Maybe the hosting is not that great, maybe you are facing downtime issues, maybe you now want a better host. I can recommend you are few better hostings, but it’s okay if you’ve already picked one for yourself.
In this article, we are going to find out how can we move a WordPress site to a new host without much pain or without facing any kind of downtime.
Make sure you already have got the new hosting set up and have the login credentials handy. Many hosting providers offer you a way to access it before making your site live, you can find that out in the welcome emails from your hosting provider.
Step 1: Set up WordPress on your new server
There are various ways to do it, mostly every hosting provider offers a one-click solution to install WordPress. You can use any method. There are tutorials already available for every host. I’ll try to link them up below.
Installing WordPress on Hostgator
Installing WordPress on Godaddy
Installing WordPress on Namecheap
You do not have to do anything other than doing a fresh install of WordPress on your new server.
Step 2: Install All in One WP Migration on WordPress (Your Old Server)
(a) All in One WP Migration is an amazing plugin which makes the job easy. And if your current blog is fairly new, or doesn’t have a lot of images, you really don’t have to do anything else other than using this plugin to move your WordPress blog to the new server.
After installing the plugin, go to Export and Click on Advanced options.
Again, you can leave it as it is and click on ‘File’ under ‘Export To’ written in green at the bottom. There are other options available but it’s best to have it downloaded to your Computer. You can skip the section (b) and Step 3 if your file size is within the upload limit size on your new server.
(b) If your blog is a few months/years old, and your entire backup size is going to be huge, be aware that WordPress won’t allow you to import such a big file. Most of the hosting providers offer 65MB to 512MB upload limit.
If that’s the case, you can check these four options as shown in the image below.
The backup will be prepared and you will be given the option to download it, download it on your PC.
Step 3: Backup WP-Content folder of your Old WordPress & Restore it to New WordPress
Accessing the Wp-Content folder is pretty easy if you are using a hosting provider who gives you a visual dashboard, like the cPanel. You can go to the file manager, click on the public_html folder to view the wp-content folder.
You can compress the entire folder and then click on the refresh/reload button from the options in the menu section. You will see a wp-content.zip file, select the file and click on download to download it on your PC.
The time to download will depend on the size of the file and the internet connection. So be patient.
You can then log into the cPanel of your new server, navigate to the public_html and then upload the wp-content.zip file. Once uploaded, reload to find the file and select and Extract it.
Alternatively, you can also use FTP clients like Filezilla to download (from old server and upload (to the new server), although it takes a little extra time.
Once you are done, you can follow step 4 for the rest of the migration process.
Step 4: Install All in One WP Migration on WordPress (Your New Server)
After you install the plugin, click on Import. When you are on the Import page on your new WordPress, find out the upload limit on your new server. As we mentioned, it can range between 64MB to 512MB, if the backup file size is within the limits, you can go ahead and upload the file.
Else, you’ll need to refer back to option (b) of Step 2, and backup only the Database. And use Step 3 to backup and restore additional files such as Themes, Plugins, Media files.
You can also try increasing the upload limit, but it’s a little technical and requires touching codes which won’t be comfortable for many people.