How to Plan a Successful WordPress Site Migration
Your WordPress website is integral to your business. Developing and tailoring it was probably a major hurdle when you first established your business presence online. Another hurdle you could face at some point is one with your hosting package – it could be too slow, unsecure, expensive, or maybe it doesn’t offer enough to support the growth of your business. If the frustrations become too much or begin impacting your business goals, you may need to go shopping for a better host. Business owners might also choose to move their WordPress site because they want to change their domain name. Or you could do both at the same time. To avoid starting your site over from scratch, you must tackle WordPress migration.
What is WordPress migration? It’s really just like it sounds – migrating your site from one place to another, as in moving your WordPress site to a new host or server from another. When you migrate your WordPress website, you are copying the content and data from your old site to a new server, leaving the site unchanged on the old one. The information on the old host remains the same until you delete it or your previous subscription expires.
WordPress migration can feel overwhelming and daunting. But with a little preparation of your site and research into the approach that is right for you, transferring your WordPress site is a manageable endeavor.
There are three main options to consider when planning your WordPress migration, whether you are looking to transfer your WordPress site to new host or to a new domain.
WordPress migration with your new host
Many website hosting servers offer migration services as part of their packages. Some will do it for free if you are a new subscriber, but most will do it for a fee or offer you a tool to do it yourself with their assistance.
WordPress migration with a plugin or other tool
Migration plugins and tools are designed to provide intuitive, customizable, and affordable (often free!) support to you as you move your website. Many plugins will perform a complete site backup for you and offer recovery services in case anything goes wrong. But it is very important to do your research before selecting one. You will want to make sure the tool you choose supports your existing and new server and that you understand and plan for any site downtimes. Once the migration is complete, you will still need to confirm the site has been migrated fully without any missing content or broken links.
Manual WordPress migration
Plugins and other tools are very helpful when migrating your website, but they can be prone to glitches, especially with larger websites. Transferring your website manually gives you the most control over the process. But if you are going to attempt it, you should first make sure you are comfortable using File Transfer Protocol (FTP), accessing your databases, and modifying files on the backend of your site. Manually migrating your site to a new server involves the following steps:
- Choosing your new host
- Backing up your files using an FTP tool
- Backing up your WordPress database
- Exporting your WordPress database
- Creating your new database
- Importing your content from your old database
- Uploading your site files to your new server
- Updating your site’s wp-config.php file
- Configuring your Domain Name Server (DNS) so it directs to your new host
- Confirming your migration was successful
The method you pursue for your WordPress migration depends on how much time you are able to devote to it, how involved you want to be, and your knowledge and comfort level with executing the process. For example, if that last section looked like it was not written in English (spoiler alert: it was), then perhaps you should consider hiring professional help to support your transition. Whether you are looking to move your WordPress site to a new domain or host, or need some help with your WordPress website management or maintenance, Paradigm has the expertise you need. Please contact us today.