How to migrate your WordPress website

It can be quite a complicated process if you are interested in learning how to move your WordPress website especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Here is a break down of the different types of migrations, depending on your needs.

How to transfer your website from one hosting provider to another:

If you are told that the conditions of your hosting provide has changed and you need to move your WordPress website’s content to another provider. It’s not an ideal situation but all it takes is a little research to figure out which new provider will suit you best. First and foremost, contact the hosting provider’s support team to confirm if they:
assist with transfers, and
what type of transfers they actually assist with.
Many hosting providers will be happy to assist you with a full hosting transfer and some will even assist you with the transfer of one WordPress website.

After you’ve chosen your new hosting provider to migrate to, is recommended to check the transferred content of your existing hosting account. Make sure to do this before you officially migrate and re-point your domain name. Also, to avoid any downtime related to the pointing of your domain name, please refer to this guide.

How to migrate from one hosting account to another:

if your decision to migrate to another account is only because you need more hosting resources for your WordPress website, it is advisable you upgrade your hosting plan. In this particular scenario, your hosting provider should be able to take care of the migration process for you, leaving your website untouched.
But,if you want to move your WordPress website for a different reason, e.g. transferring your website’s ownership, there are a couple of ways to go about this:

manually transferring via an FTP, or
transferring with transfer scripts.
Always make sure, though, that the new hosting space you plan to move to will be able to handle the load your website already has.

How to migrate a website manually:

If you decide to move your WordPress website manually from local host or from an online hosting account, you’ll more than likely be doing it through an FTP (file transfer protocol). This means taking your files and database on the original server, packing them into an archive, moving that archive to another server, and restoring the files there.

Here are a few ways to back up your website manually before migrating:

Using a backup tool
A backup tool such as cPanel backup literally backs up all your data (yes, even emails and settings!) but it’s super reliable and quick, too.

Using the Softaculous app installer
If you installed WordPress using the Softaculous app installer, you can easily export a backup via your cPanel. This backup, however, only contains files of that particular website.

Backing up manually
If you decide to do it yourself, you’ll have to make sure that you don’t miss any important files and that you create a file archive that belongs to your respective WordPress website. These should be files and folders labeled with the “wp-” prefix and index.php.

WordPress files screenshot
Then, after archiving your files, download them to your computer. Download your database. If you have more than one WordPress website in your account, check the database name that’s mentioned in the wp-config.php file of your website. Now visit the phpMyAdmin, choose the respective database, select all tables, and click “Export” using an sql format, as indicated below:

phpMyAdmin screenshot
Exporting tables screenshot
Once you’ve downloaded everything and safely acquired the respective files and database for your website, you’re safe to begin the restoration process.

WordPress on laptop with gears
Plugins for WordPress migration
The beauty of WordPress is that no matter what problem you face, it can almost always be solved by a plugin. Here are two of our favorite migration plugins that’ll get the job done.

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