This tutorial will guide you through the steps to move WordPress site to a new host (or server) without any downtime, i.e. 0 minutes and 0 seconds – your site visitors won’t even know that you’re switching the servers. You may be wondering “why should I do this to my website?” – Let me tell you why!
1. When you started your website you did not have enough funds to buy web space from a reputed company. (very common reason!)
2. Your current host does not satisfy you, it’s slow, causes problems, bad support, blah blah…
3. You manage multiple sites on multiple accounts, but now you want everything to be at one place.
4. Any other reason? (Think about it by putting yourself in the situation… do you need to change your hosting provider? Are you satisfied with your current performance?)
Now you know the reasons, do you think you should change it? Are you afraid that changing your website’s server will harm your site’s ranking or will require a lot of time and money? – You are absolutely wrong! Please, don’t let your website suffer and move it to a new host, manually and it’s FREE and with ZERO downtime.
Steps To Move A WordPress Site To A New Host/Server:
Step 1. Download Your Current Site:
The very first step requires you to download the files from your current server to your computer (of course! You are changing the servers, right?). There are many ways to do it. Basically, you need to download the front-end (public) files.
— If you have cPanel on your server:
Open your website’s cPanel.
Go to Backups.
Click on “Download or Generate Full Website Backup”
Generate a new backup of Home Directory.
(It will take a few hours to generate the backup, provide your email address there and you will be notified when it gets completed.)
After the backup is ready, download it to your computer.
— If you don’t have cPanel:
Log-in to your FTP server.
Locate the front-end/public files of your WordPress site (usually found in “/public_html/” or “/public_html/your website’s folder/”).
Download them to your computer.
Step 2. Add Your Domain On The New Account:
If your new hosting service supports multiple domains then you need to add the domain to “Addon Domains”. I hope you know how to do this, but if you don’t then:
— Log-in and navigate to “Addon Domains”
— In the “New Domain Name” field enter your domain name.
— It will automatically fill the second and third field, change them if you want to.
— Assign a password and click “Add Domain”. Done!
Step 3. Upload Your Site:
Now, you have the files of your current server on your computer, all you need to do is upload them to their new destination. How To:
— Open any FTP File Manager and connect to the NEW server (where you want to move your site).
— If you downloaded the backup using cPanel >> Backups, then you need to unzip the files and upload the front-end/public files
— Upload them on the server in the folder created in step 2 (or an appropriate location).
Note: After the upload process gets completed, don’t forget to check file permissions. Generally, a directory has value
‘755’ and files ‘644’ (though, wp-config.php should be ‘600’ for security purposes).
Step 4. Transfer The Database:
If your website receives comments very frequently, consider repeating this step after your domain moves to the new host (see step 6 for details).
— If you have cPanel installed on your server, go to “Backups.”
— If you don’t have cPanel, navigate to the location from where you can download the databases.
— Download your current database from the list.
— Login on your NEW host, open “Databases”
— Upload the database you just downloaded.
— You can easily transfer the Email Forwarders and Filters (if you want) to the new server, just download them and upload to the new one.
— Assign a user to the database you uploaded (Note down the password, you will need it in the next step).
Step 5. Configure WordPress On The New Sever:
After you have successfully moved the database to the new server, it’s time to configure WordPress to use the database
from its new location. Thanks to the easy-to-use interface, you just need to edit one file. Follow these steps:
— Open wp-config.php in editor.
— Edit the following lines:
— define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘PUT YOUR DATABASE NAME HERE’);
— define(‘DB_USER’, ‘DATABASE USER – ASSIGNED IN ABOVE STEP’);
— define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘DATABASE USER’S PASSWORD’);
— define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost‘);
— Save the file and exit editor.
Note: if ‘localhost’ does not work, enter the database host address instead.
Step 6. Change Name Servers:
You’re almost done. Now just change the name servers of your domain to the new servers! You can do so by going to the settings of your domain and edit name servers from there.
They say that it takes 24-48 hours, but normally it takes around 6-12 hours only.
If your WordPress site received any comments or added/updated the content AFTER moving the database and BEFORE your domain moved to the new host, you need to repeat step 4 for the changes to take effect on the new server.
You may now go to sleep, and probably when you’ll wake up, you will notice something new. Good night!
If you are experiencing any problems or need any assistance, please post it in your comments below. Your comments keep us happy and motivated.