How to Transfer WordPress to a New Server or Host in 7 Easy Steps

Many users are faced with the need to transfer their website to a new server or web host. The reasons why could vary from not getting enough resources to sustain the website or having a bad customer experience while using the hosting service. 

Nevertheless, transferring your WordPress website can be bothersome. Thus, many people tend to hire professionals to help move their site or search for a hosting provider that includes a migration service as part of their hosting plan.

But worry not. With the proper preparations and steps, migrating your WordPress website is a relatively simple task. This article will walk you through the seven easy steps to transferring your WordPress website to a new server or host.

Let’s get started. 

1. Choose Your New WordPress Host

Image is taken from Unsplash.com.

Of course, when you want to transfer your WordPress website, you’ll need to choose a new WordPress hosting provider beforehand. You need to know why you’re changing your hosting provider. Is it because of lack of performance? Customer service? Or lack of resources for your growing website?

You then need to find a hosting provider that solves your issues and provides you room for growth. Ensure that the new hosting provider has various hosting plans, an excellent reputation for its uptime, exceptional customer satisfaction, and flexibility to choose the resources needed for your website. 

2. Back Up the Website Files

To start moving your WordPress to a new server, you should first create a backup of your website. There are many ways to backup your website files. The easiest way is to use the various backup plugins available in WordPress.

Alternatively, you can also do the backup process manually. To do this, you’ll need a file transfer protocol (FTP) tool to access and transfer your website files. FileZilla is an excellent FTP tool to assist you.

You’ll need to install FileZilla, then use the FTP credentials that you received from your web hosting account and connect with your site’s server. The next step is to select and download all files under your site’s directory, including the .htaccess file

Since conducting a backup can take some time,  you can move to the next step while waiting for the backup to finish. 

3. Export Your Database

To export your database, you’ll first need to log in to your cPanel or any control panel you use on the webserver and access the phpMyAdmin application. Then, select the database that has your WordPress installation files next to the left sidebar. Once you’ve chosen it, click Export.

You’ll then be prompted to change the database format for the export. Using the default settings is sufficient, so you can go ahead and hit the Go button. Then the database export process will begin. 

Once both your backup and database have finished their processes, you can move to the next step. 

4. Import Your WordPress Database on The New Hosting Platform

Before moving your database, you’ll need to create a new WordPress database on your new web hosting server. To do this, you can use the MySQL Databases application or any other tool to import SQL data.

To start, open the MySQL database and create a new database. Make sure to name it with your website. Then create a new MySQL user, move it to the new database and grant it all privileges.

Once that’s done, you can begin importing your database. Start by launching the phpMyAdmin from the cPanel on your new server and select the new database on the left sidebar. Then select the Import tab.

On the File to Import section, hit the Choose File button and click the SQL file you imported before. Then untick the Partial Import check box and double-check to make sure the format is set to SQL. Finally, hit the Go button, and the database import process begins. 

5. Edit the wp-config. php file

Before you can upload your website files, there is one more change you need to make. Head to the folder where you downloaded the website files on your local computer. There will be a wp-config. php file, which controls the access between WordPress and your database.

You’ll want to edit your old host’s name with the new one. But make sure to make a copy of this file and store it somewhere else in case something happens during the changing process. 

Then, using a text editor like Notepad, open the wp-config. php file and locate the following lines:

define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘db_name’);

The ‘db_name’ will be under your old host, you want to change it to your new host.

define(‘DB_USER’, ‘db_user’);

define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘db_pass’);

The same goes here. The ‘db_user’ and’db_pass’ is the username password from your old host. Replace it with your new username and password.

6. Upload Your Website Files to the New Host

Once everything above is complete, you can start uploading your website’s files. To start, connect with your new web host using an FTP program and click on the folder where your website’s files are located. Then upload it to the public_html folder.

Depending on the file size, the upload can take some time to complete. Don’t delete the files on your local computer yet, because they’re needed in the next step. 

7. Update Your Domain Name Server

The final step you need to do is update your domain name server. This ensures that your domain points to your new web hosting account instead of the old one.

To update your domain, you’ll need to change your DNS nameservers from the place you registered your domain with. The DNS nameserver information will look something like this:

ns1.webhostname.com

ns2.webhostname.com 

The process or naming convention when changing your domain may differ between domain registrars or web hosts, but the basic process is the same. 

In general, you’ll need to look for a domain management area and search for nameservers. Once you find the Nameservers section, you’ll want to change the nameservers type from default to custom. Then fill in your new hosting provider’s information and hit Save.

You’ve successfully updated your nameservers. The DNS change process can take somewhere from four to 48 hours to propagate for all users. 

Conclusion

Situations might come where you need to transfer your website to a new server or web host. And when that happens, it’s a good practice to know how to do that quickly and efficiently. 

To summarize, here are the seven easy steps to help guide you through. Let’s recap:

  1. Choose Your New WordPress Host
  2. Back Up the Website Files
  3. Export Your Database
  4. Import Your WordPress Database on The New Host
  5. Edit the wp-config. php file
  6. Upload Your Website Files to the New Host
  7. Update Your Domain Name Server

All that’s left now is for you to follow these steps and start migrating your website to a new and better web hosting environment.

Good luck!

Picture Courtey: Unsplash.com