Whenever launching a new website, we look for 100% uptime, flashlight page loading time, affordable prices, and a rich feature set at minimum cost. Unfortunately, few WordPress hosting providers work that way. Some of them fail to deliver enough capacity, security, and performance making businesses and website owners transfer a WordPress site to another host.
A few are really eager to handle the migration process, as it may result in downtime, traffic losses, etc. On the other hand, if the current hosting platform does not meet project requirements, it may result in much more serious problems in the future especially for growing and salable websites.
Despite the fact there is no perfect scenario for each and every site, we have conducted a list of essential steps to migrate to another host with your WP-based site at minimum losses. You will be able to handle the process yourself with no need to hire third-party specialists.
Key Reasons to Transfer a WordPress Site to a New Host
Before you dive deep into the website transferring process, let’s have a look at some crucial reasons why you may actually want to move to another host. A website defines your future business success despite the niche. That is why you expect 100% safety and performance. Unfortunately, not all hosting providers are able to back up their guarantees. So, the reasons are as follows:
Literally, all hosting providers claim to offer 99.99% uptime. A crucial rate for any website to prevent traffic losses or damaged SEO optimization. Too much downtime may result in the following:
- Sales Losses. Mainly refers to eCommerce projects. When your website is not working, it does not bring revenues. As a result, you lose leads as well as potential customers and money, of course.
- Damages SEO. The longer downtime the more detriment to the website SEO ranks. Search engines will have enough reasons to push your site down compared to competitors that work more stable.
- Bad Web Reputation. Imagine a user desperately trying to browse your website but fail dew to regular downtime. It makes a bad impression especially if you deal with the B2B niche.
Low Website Loading Speed
The bad consequences of low page load speed are practically the same as with regular downtime. It results in poor SEO ranking as well as bad users’ impressions. For this reason, you might need a hosting provider that uses modern technologies to improve that rate. A good idea is to look for the following features:
- Up-to-date SSD instead of typical hard-disk drives to read the data faster resulting in the overall better website performance.
- Enhanced resources with the implementation of cloud-based hosting networks blended with the VPS environment for huge and complex web projects.
- Better caching with the help of additional plugins, CDN access, etc.
Of course, extra features come at extra costs. However, they are certainly worth that money, especially in the long run.
The Lack of Digital Security
When managing your website, you need to be 100% sure it operates in the most secure way. A hosting provider should deliver means to prevent projects from frauds, scamming, spamming, etc. Moreover, you might need more enhanced features to protect the website from DDoS and other types of attacks or malicious programs.
Automatic system updates, regular backups, anti-spam security kits, automated monitoring and error fixing – if a hosting platform fails to provide any of these, you should obviously move your WordPress site to a new host.
Limited Customization Freedom
As an open-source platform, WordPress CMS ensures numerous web design and customization opportunities. However, they require good technical skills while newbies and non-technicians might look for a WP-optimized solution that is easier to use.
For example, it is better to have seamless WP integration rather than set up CMS yourself. In addition, you will be pleased to have plugins fine-tuned and updates automatically instead of managing them manually.
Helpless Customer Support
Having stuck with your website and no one to help is a nightmare. A hosting provider with no experienced support team will result in huge problems every time you have technical issues, website breakdowns, problems with plan renewal, etc.
Those are only a few reasons why you might need to transfer your WordPress site to a new host. With so many WP-optimized solutions, you will certainly find a better solution. All you need is to learn about the migration process as much as possible to handle it on your own.
7 Steps to Move a WordPress Site to a New Host
The migration process only seems to be difficult. It turns out that website owners do not even have to hire third-party specialists to handle it. All you need is a bit of attention and a step-by-step guide with all stages described in detail. So, here you are!
The process includes the following stages:
- Find a good alternative to an existing host.
- Backup the website files.
- Export the website database.
- Create the new WP database on the new host.
- Edit files.
- Import database and upload WP files.
- Update the domain name server and make some final moves.
Now, let’s have a closer look at each stage.
Step 1. Find Hosting Alternative
The first stage is to find a new host with all the features we have discussed earlier. Compare and contrast different options. Make sure the platform totally satisfies you in terms of security, performance, integration or ease of use.
Robust hosting providers deliver WP-optimized solutions for different project types. They include hosting packages for simple websites at minimum cost as well as solutions for growing business and eCommerce projects with a set of relevant plugins, security means, and resources for stable performance.
What we are trying to say is that if you make up your mind to move to another host, it should be the best match for your WordPress. Bluehost is probably a top hosting solution with its WP-optimized offers for content-based and eCommerce projects. It has proved to be the most reliable in terms of performance, security, and features set to provide.
Step 2. Backup Website Files
The idea is to download all the website files in the local folder located on your PC or laptop. On the one hand, it will let you save all configurations and crucial website elements. On the other hand, further migration would be impossible without those files.
To handle the process, you will need:
- Get an FTP program tool installed.
- Connect to the current web host.
- Create a separate folder on your computer.
- Download website files under its directory to that folder.
Several plugins may help to make the process less complicated. However, a manual approach is still necessary.
Step 3. Export the Website Database
The process only sounds to be complicated. As a rule, you may complete this stage in two simple steps. At first, you need to log in to your web server and enter the control panel. The next stage is to find a PHPMyAdmin app and located the website database there. The last step is to use the navigation menu and click on the “Export” tab.
As a rule, hosting providers describe this particular stage in their how-to guides and articles. If you still have difficulties with this particular stage, feel free to contact the host customer support team to land you a hand.
Step 4. Create a New Site Database
The last thing you need to prepare before the migration is to log in to a new host and create a new file database there. The idea is to create a suitable environment for the website to feel good in its new hosting ecosystem. The step is also vital for the WordPress installation process as well.
Now you need to do the following:
- Sign in to a new host using credentials provided.
- Enter the control panel and make sure there is a MySQL application.
- Go to MySQL settings and create a new database. Don’t forget to indicate the database name that refers to your website.
- Create a new user account and link it with a new database.
- Write down a username and password and make sure a new user has all the privileges.
Now, you can move on to the next stage.
Step 5. Edit Files
Go to a folder on your computer with exported website files. Find the wp-config.php and copy it to another local folder. The step is vital to prevent the database from file loss or damages in case something goes wrong. The file itself appears to be a link between the database and WordPress. You may use it to restore changes in the future.
Now you need to make several vital changes in the original final to make it suit your new host account. Those changes include database name, username, and password you have written down during the previous stage.
Step 6. Import database and upload WP files
Now, you are ready to import a new database to a new host along with WordPress files. To do so, you need to enter the dashboard of a new account and find phpMyAdmin application. Then we have an already-created new database. Open it and click on the “Import” navigation bar.
The system will let you choose a folder with files from your local computer to download. Choose SQL files we have exported during the first stage. Wait a bit until the folder is downloaded. The time depends on the number of files as well as the folder’s size.
The last is to use the FTP tool to import WordPress website files and place them in a new folder created in the host cPanel. You might also need to wait for some time. Note: keep those files on your local computer unless the import process has been successfully finished. Do not rush to delete them.
Step 7. Final Moves
The last stage is to make sure your website visitors will be directed to a new location. This is where domain server update is necessary. The process depends on whether you have previously registered a domain name separately or using the previous host.
If you opted for domain registrars, you only need to edit DNS nameservers. As a rule, hosting providers indicate them to update in a relevant section. Simply go to domain settings, press “Manage DNS”, and enter values provided by the new host.
If you move to another host along with the domain, you will need to enter the database and change site_url and home URL values in the control panel.
The good news is that some robust WP-optimized hosting providers include free domain and website transfers in their plans. A great feature for those, who do not want to manage the process manually of afraid of redirecting people to the old website location.
As you may seem, WordPress website migration to a new host is not as complicated as it seems. You only need to follow several simple steps or opt for a free website migration feature delivered by some hosting providers.
If you handle the migration manually, you may also opt for some plugins and tools to make the database export easier and faster. No matter what you choose, make sure a new host brings all necessary facilities, instruments, and resources to guarantee the website’s smooth operation. Bluehost is the platform that includes all the above-mentioned offering top-rated WordPress-optimized hosting packages.