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Wordpress Migration: How to successfully move your website to a new host

19 October 2016 | 0 comments | Posted by Shamima Ahmed in nichemarket Advice

How to successfully migrate your WordPress site to a new host

For any number of reasons you could decide to move your website hosting to a new service provider:

  1. Your domain registration and hosting are serviced by two different parties and you long for some consistency in your life.
  2. It makes more technical sense you use the new host you have your eye on.
  3. Better service or more cost efficient, or
  4. Your old host sucks and you ready to move on with your life.
Whatever your reasoning is, the process is not as daunting as you think. I’ve recently had to this for a client and it was pretty successful even though I was a migration virgin prior to this experience. The trick is to be prepared, this will make the move smooth an easy. I was however not prepared as the hosting was moved without my knowledge. Also when the service provider indicated that the hosting will be moved and not the content, the site owner did not understand that content actually meant the website. Lesson learnt, and now we all know that “content” has to be moved manually. In the spirit of learning from mistakes and to serve as a resource for other small business owners, I have put together a quick guide for WordPress website migration in the hopes that history will not repeat itself. Follow these easy steps and your migration will be as smooth as Bruce Willis’ baldy.

Essential Ingredients for a successful move:

  1. FTP login details for old host.
  2. FTP login details for new host.
  3. kosoleH logins or Cpanel (same as FTP) – admin or domain level is efficient.
  4. FTP Program (I recommend FileZilla)
    1. Set up both your old and new host FTP details
  5. A text editor (I recommend Sublime Text but notepad will work fine too)
  6. A little hair on your teeth!
Now that we have what we need, we ready to rock ‘n roll.

Step 1: Create a back up of your website files

Here we will copy all the website files and folders, including the WordPress themes and plugins associated with your site. This can seem like bit of a challenge if you not a natural techie but that’s why there tools and software to help us out!
  1. Open up your FileZilla FTP program.
  2. Connect to your old host.
  3. Force all hidden files to show (filezilla: Click on server in the main menu and select force hidden files).
  4. Navigate to your website location (usually found in public html).
  5. Create a folder on your local computer.
  6. Copy all files and folders to this location.
  7. Allow the copy process to proceed
Depending on the size of your site, this process can take a bit of time. While the files are copying we can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Exporting your sites’s Wordpress database

Don't let all the points below scare you, exporting your database really quick. It’s the downloading that might take a while.

Access phpMyAdmin

  1. Login to Konsole or Cpanel
  2. Choose the website or domain you want to move.
  3. Choose managed services from the left sidebar
  4. Select Manage MSQL
  5. Select phpMyAdmin.
A new window will open up. Proceed with exporting the database.

Export database from phpMyAdmin

  1. From the left sidebar menu select the database that contains your WordPress installation.
  2. Select the export tab
  3. The default settings are sufficient for export.
  4. Click the Go button and choose a location to save on your local computer.
Once the database export and FTP transfer is complete you ready to move your website. FYI: If you haven’t registered with the new host, now would be a good time to do it as we cant proceed to the next step without it.

Step 3: Create a new database on your NEW host

This is an essential step before we can proceed with migration. It literally takes a minute to complete.
  1. Login to KonsoleH or Cpanel of your new host.
  2. Select the domain
  3. Choose managed services from the left sidebar
  4. Select Manage MSQL
  5. Click add new database
  6. Confirm with add and you done.
Note the database name, details and passwords. You will need this in step 5.

Step 4: Import the old database:

  1. Launch phpMyAdmin on the new hosting account from the konsole or Cpanel dashboard.
  2. Select the database you just created from the side panel.
  3. Choose import from the top navigation.
  4. Select choose file and browse to the location you saved the old the old database to.
  5. Uncheck partial import checkbox.
  6. Click Go
The database will now import. You will received confirmation once it’s successfully uploaded.

Step 5: AMEND the wp-config.php file of your site.

This file configures all the details of your website including which database to pull information from. We will now update this file with your new database details:
  1. Navigate to the back location your site on your local
  2. Find the wp-config.php file
  3. Open up in your text editor.
You will then need to change the following:
  1. Database name:

Find the following line in the wp-config.php file:

define('DB_NAME', 'db_name'); andnbsp;

The db_name will contain the name of your old MySQL database. Replace this with the name of the new database you created in step 3.

  1. Database username:

Find the following line in the wp-config.pho file: andnbsp;

define('DB_USER', 'db_user');andnbsp;

Replace the db_user with the new one created - also labelled as login sometimes in the database info.

  1. Database password:

Find the following line in the wp-config.pho file:

define('DB_PASSWORD', 'db_pass');andnbsp;

Replace the db_pass with the new password provided by the host.

  1. Database host:

Find the following line in the wp-config.pho file:

define('DB_HOST', 'db_host);andnbsp;

Replace the db_host with the new host details provided in your database details. Its also ften labelled as server.

Once these attributes have been changed, SAVE your wp-config.php file.

Step 6: Upload the Wordpress files to your new host.

We almost there! All we have to is upload the WordPress files to the new host.
  1. Open up your Filezilla FTP program.
  2. Connect to your new host.
  3. Navigate to the public HTML folder.
  4. Copy all the files from the backup folder on your local computer to the public HTML file.
Once this upload is complete, your site should be up and running. If not and you still see the domain splash page, find the index.html in the public HTML folder and rename it. Your site should render now. And there you have it! Good luck and here’s to a smooth migration!

Tags: host migration, How to, Wordpress, wordpress migration

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