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How to Migrate a WordPress Site to a New Web Host

Jun 15th, 2017

While there are many reasons a person running a WordPress website might want to move their site to another web host, the thought of actually doing so can be enough to have them breaking into a sweat. Luckily, the entire process could take just a few hours and be quite simple, if the right tools are used. The most important thing to remember is that plugins are your friend if you’re going to be moving so that you don’t have to manually copy every single file. With the right plugin, your site can be moved with just three steps.

While there are many plugins that can help, All-in-One WP Migration is the easiest to use. To start, install this plugin onto the site that you want to move. Then you need to set up WordPress and get it ready with the new web host.
After this has been done, the site needs to be exported from the original web host. This can be done by opening the WordPress dashboard and clicking on the All-in-One WP Migration tab. Then click on the ‘Advanced options’ link. You’ll be given a list of options pertaining to the content that you do and don’t want moved to the new web host. If you want an exact replica of the site, leave all of these options unchecked but you can choose to leave the spam comments, post revisions, and more so they aren’t carried over to the new web host.

Once you’ve selected your options click on ‘Export To’ and choose ‘File’. The plugin will then place the entire website into one single file. Depending on how large your website is, this could take several minutes. Once it’s finished, you can then download that file to your computer.

After the website has been exported, you then need to head over to the website that’s been installed with the new web host and again install the All-in-One WP Migration plugin. Once installed, click on the ‘All-in-One WP Migration > Import’ tab. Here there will be an option for uploading the WordPress file. Click on that option and choose the website file that you downloaded and saved to your computer. This may also take a few minutes but this time it depends on the speed of your Internet connection, not the size of the file.

When the file is uploaded, you will see a warning that this file will override any current content on the site, which is exactly what you want since there shouldn’t currently be anything on the site. Click ‘Continue’.
The plugin will then also tell you to go to ‘Settings > Permalinks’ and click the ‘Save’ button twice. After doing this, you will have an exact replica of your site on the new web host.

At this point many people will think they’re done, but the chances are good that you’ll also have to change the domain name as it is likely still going to be pointing to the original site and web host.

This process can vary because there are so many different registrars, but it typically involves finding the domain management settings and choosing an option asking you to update its nameservers. You’ll then need to replace the old web host’s nameservers with the new. This part can be a little confusing and if that’s the case, just contact the registrar’s support team and ask them to help you. They’ll likely be able to walk you through it in just a couple of minutes.

Once the changes are all made, your website will be successfully transferred from the old web host to the new one, but it can take as long as two days for those changes to make their way through the web. After the changes are made, you can either delete the old site entirely and close your account with that web host, or turn it into a new website.

WordPress plugins make it very easy to transfer a site from one web host to another. So if that’s the route you’ve chosen, there’s no need to break into a sweat!