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How to properly move a WordPress site to another web host with a plugin

When creating a website, the main goal of the administrator is to reach the widest possible audience. To achieve this, it is necessary to constantly develop the site – constantly enriching its content, improving the graphic design or adding new options. However, along with new elements and increasingly rich content, memory consumption also increases. Thus, over time, it may become necessary to use another hosting or server and move our site.

Differences between server and hosting

Many people use the terms server and hosting interchangeably, but in reality the two terms have different meanings.

Hosting is usually a good choice for people starting out in web content creation, whose sites are not too complex and do not require a lot of space. It consists in providing disk space on the server – the client can use its capacity freely, while the administration is handled by the relevant company.

Buying a server (part of it or all of it, depending on your needs) gives you the opportunity to store a much larger number of files and removes various limitations that we encounter with hosting. With this solution, the customer has unlimited access to the disk and can manage the space according to his needs – creating, for example, extensive databases or email accounts.

When to move your WordPress site

As was said in the introduction, as the site grows and becomes more popular, the hosting you use can slow down significantly – this is the most common reason for changing it. Sometimes it can be only periodic stagnation, and sometimes it can be a complete slowdown of the site. Also important is the service provider itself and its professionalism – there is nothing more annoying than constant failures and lack of timely response on its part. The level of service and the lower price from competitors also often contribute to the change of hosting.

4 most popular ways to move a WordPress site

There are several common ways to move a WordPress site smoothly to another server. If you decide to do it yourself, you should prepare well to ensure that the site runs as smoothly as possible. When entrusting this task to specialists, this problem usually does not occur, as the domain is changed only after the files are transferred to the new server. There are 3 basic ways to move a WordPress site.

Using the Updraft Plus plugin

UpdraftPlus Backup Plugin

The biggest advantage of UpdraftPlus Premium plugin is that it is not limited by memory limit. Its operation involves backing up the content of our site and transferring it to a new server. The process is relatively quick and simple.

  • In the first stopper, we install the plug-in and set the most important parameters (the number and frequency of copies or the place where the backup is created);
  • Then in the appropriate tab we start the process by clicking “Make a copy now”;
  • After installation at the new WordPress site, we download the created backup to disk and upload the files from the disk belonging to the previous server;
  • We properly configure the DNS settings to point to the new hosting or server;
  • Finally, upload the packages to the new site using the configurator.

Using the Duplicator plugin

Duplicator Pro WordPress Plugin

This is a fully automated, uncomplicated way to move a WordPress site quickly and without errors. However, unlike the previous plugin, Duplicator Pro has limitations on the size of the site, so you may not be able to perform the service. In addition, once the process is complete, the option to restore the older version of the site is no longer available. The plugin’s workflow is very similar to the previous one:

  • We install the plug-in and go to the appropriate tab;
  • The system checks the files and the server for existing limits and displays the corresponding report;
  • We create a new package, download the archive containing the site files and the installation file;
  • As before, we set the DNS server;
  • Then we type the address of the new server in the browser, adding “/installer.php” to start the installation. In the window, we enter the relevant information about the host, etc.;
    finally, we follow the subsequent commands, checking that the process has been completed successfully.

Using the All-in-One WP Migration plugin

All-in-One WP Migration is one of the market’s most powerful WordPress migration plugins. With minimal downtime, it can help you move your website from shared hosting to VPS or from one domain to another.

All-in-One WP Migration Extensions Pack

It’s easy to use the plugin:

  • After installing and activating the plugin;
  • Run the plugin from your WordPress admin panel;
  • Choose whether to export or import your data;
  • Select your options, such as how you want to handle duplicate posts and pages, whether you want to enable global search & replace features (like changing all instances of “https://www.” in URLs), where you want to save or retrieve your files from, etc., then click on the “Export” or “Import” button.

Read our comprehensive All-in-One WP Migration Review – The Best WordPress Migration & Backup Plugin in 2022?

Manual transfer with the help of an FTP client

A universal and always effective way to transfer even the most complicated sites. It gives the administrator full control over the process. This can be done either by transferring the wp-content folder and database to the new server after installing WordPress, or by transferring the directory with the site files and MySQL database as a copy to the new server.

With this method, it is necessary to have one of the FTP clients and access credentials (for the new and old hosting), access to the application that allows data migration and access to our admin panel. The next steps are simple and clear:

  • We make a backup of our WordPress data;
  • We copy the WordPress files from the previous FTP server (we copy only the directory with WordPress);
  • We import the previous database at the new location;
  • We update the wp-config.php file in the created copy of WordPress (so WordPress can connect to the new database);
  • We copy the WordPress files from the disk to the new FTP server;
  • Finally, we redirect our domain to the new server.

What to do after moving the site

After you have finished moving your WordPress site, there are a few things you should check. First will be internal links that stop working after the change – so scan the site to locate them. After changing the domain, redirect all links from the old site to it.

Although the description of the procedure is accessible, not everyone may feel proficient enough to move the site themselves. In this case, you should not hesitate and it is worthwhile to outsource the task to professional outlets. This will guarantee a safe transfer and save us time by avoiding possible errors.

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