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How to Move a WordPress Website to a New Host or Server With No Downtime

Moving your WordPress website to a new host or server is a complicated task. If you need to move your WordPress website, you need to take into consideration the potential data loss or downtime.

Both of these factors can make your WordPress site temporarily inaccessible to all users. It can affect your site’s ranking and lead to revenue loss.

However, there is an easy way to move your WordPress website with no downtime. And, if you want to learn how, then read the step-by-step guide below.

How to Move a Website From One Web Host to Another?

If you are struggling with your existing web hosting provider and facing issues such as slow website speed, low bandwidth, poor security, lack of essential software, among others, then it is high time that you move your site to another web host. However, migrating an existing website to a new host with no downtime can be a tedious task (but not impossible). As such, read this guide to learn how to move your WordPress site to a new host in 7 simple steps.

Moving WordPress to a New Host/Server With No Downtime

Step 1: Start by choosing a new WordPress Host

Most people choose a new host to optimize the speed and performance of the WordPress website. When you’re looking for a new host, you must consider factors like uptime, bandwidth, reliability, flexibility, among others.

  • Here, Bluehost web hosting is an excellent choice as it allows you to migrate a WordPress site in no time. Besides, Bluehost gives you a great discount on website migration.
  • If you’re looking for expansion plans, choose Cloud hosting servers. Here, SiteGround is perhaps the best option for Cloud hosting as they have data centres in three different countries.
  • WPEngine is the best option for Managed WordPress hosting as they provide a range of features for your hosting needs.

Step 2: Duplicator for easy migration

You need to install the Duplicator plugin for website migration. Duplicator is the most popular plugin, with 20 million downloads, that helps you to move, migrate or clone a WordPress site with zero downtime between domains or hosts.

  • Once the plugin is installed, you can access it from the WordPress admin area.
  • Click on the ‘create a new’ button on the top-of-the-page, on the right-hand side.
  • Click on the ‘next’ button and follow all the steps to create your customised package.
  • Lastly, scan the results checkout option and click on the ‘build’ button.

This process may take time; you need to leave the tab open. Once it is completed, you'll notice the download options for the installer. Click on the one-click download link and download both the files. The archive copy is your website copy, and it will automate the installation process for you.

Step 3: Import your site to a new host

After you have downloaded the installer and archive files, it’s time to upload them on a new web host via the FTP.

  • Enter your site’s name as the host when using the FTP account.
  • Your domain name may still point to your old host, so you need to connect it through your server host time and IP address.
  • You’ll be able to find this information from the hosting account’s control panel. If you don’t find this information, contact customer support.
  • Using the FTP client, you need to install both the installer and archive. This may be in the format of /username/public_html/ file. For this, your root directory should be empty.

*If you have WordPress already installed in the root directory, you will need to delete it first. Next, you need to upload both the archive file and installer file.

Step 4: Change the host file

If you have uploaded both the files, you can access the installer.php file in the browser list using this URL - http://www.pattern.com/installer.php.

This URL may take you to the old web host, and you can get a 404 error because of this. It happens because your domain name is still pointing towards your old web host.

Start by finding your IP address.

  • For this, you need to login to the cPanel dashboard and click the ‘expand stats’ feature.
  • Now go to programs » accessories and right-click on notepad. Don’t forget to select run as administrator. Go to the notepad screen and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc folder.

For both Windows and Mac, you need to enter the IP address you copied. Make sure you replace the IP address with the one that you have copied with. Save all the changes and access your files on the new host.

Step 5: Creating MySQL database

Once you change the host, you need to create a MySQL database in your new hosting account. For this, go to your new accounts cPanel dashboard.

  • Go to the database section » click on the MySQL database » click on the icon of MySQL.
  • You will then see a field to create a new database. Enter the name and click the database option.
  • After you finish creating MySQL, scroll down to the users’ section.
  • Enter username and password and create a user option.

You can also do this by scrolling to add a user to the database section. Once your database is ready, make a note of the database username and password.

Step 6: Migration process with duplicator

Once you are ready to run the installer, navigate to the address in your browser window. Thereafter, the installer will run a few tests and show you a pass next to the archive and the validation test. You'll need to check the terms and conditions and click the next option.

  • Here, you will have to add MySQL host, username, database name, and password. Your host may be local, and you need to enter the details of the database.
  • Test the database option to make sure your information is correct. If the duplicator connects, you will see a string with a pass.
  • When you click on the Next button, the duplicator will import your WordPress database from archive.zip to a new database. It will also ask you to update your path or website URL.

You don't need to change anything if you are not changing the domain name. Click on the Next button, and the duplicator will run the final steps. You can then sign into your WordPress site on the new host.

Step 7: Update your domain name servers

To update your domains, you will need to switch to DNS name servers. It ensures that the users are taken to your website’s new location when they type in your domain in the address bar.

  • If you have already registered your domain, it’s best to transfer your domain to the new web host where your website is hosted.
  • In your control panel, look out for domain management areas and name servers.
  • If you need any further assistance, you can ask the hosting company. Also, note: any DNS changes you make can take about 4 to 48 hours to reflect.

*It would help if you waited to cancel your old hosting till a week after switching to a new host.

To Sum Up,

After you move the WordPress website to a new host, go back to the host file and erase duplicate or add entries you made in the migration process.

Check the email configuration to see if it works in your email tool. You can check by sending test emails to yourself from another address. If you aren't receiving it, check with your new host to set up your software.

If the above steps are too technical for you to carry out, you can simply contact your hosting provider’s support team and they will help you to migrate your website effortlessly with no downtime.

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