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How to Migrate a WordPress Website to a New Host

Thinking of switching your website to a new host due to slow website loading speed? Well, it can be a cumbersome task, especially if this is your first time.  Losing your website data and experiencing website downtime are two of the biggest risks involve. Not only would it take time to recover the valuable information but also result in lower search engine rankings. 

In this tutorial, we’ll help you understand how to migrate a WordPress website to a new host in a step-by-step guide. Let’s begin!

Step 1. Choose a new WordPress web host

Choosing a new WordPress web host need not be a daunting task, however, it can be confusing with several web hosts available today. 

If you’re a new website with less traffic, then we recommend Shared Hosting. It is affordable and you can scale depending on your growing traffic

If your website had moderate to high traffic then we recommend you opt for Cloud Hosting 

If you are looking for simple and easy management we recommend, WordPress Hosting

Once the choice of which type of hosting you want to opt for is made, you need to decide a web hosting provider. One of the key things to keep in mind are the problems you’re facing in your present web host and see if your new web host offers the right solution. 

Step 2. Install and Setup the Plugin

After you’ve transferred your WordPress website to the new web host you need to install a plugin. Make sure that you do not install WordPress just yet. 

There are several plugins available. Some of them are:

1.Duplicator 

2.UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

3.All-In-One WordPress Migration

4.WP Migrate DB

5.VaultPress

6.BackupBuddy

We recommend the Duplicator plugin as it is simple and easy to use. It  is a free plugin that can help you transfer your website with ease. 

Step 3. Import your WordPress website 

After downloading the ‘Archive’ and ‘Installer’ files, it is time to transfer these files to the new web host. 

You can use the FTP client (File Transfer Protocol) for this purpose – you can choose any FTP client you prefer. Some of the popular FTP clients are FileZillaCyberduckWinSCPFree FTP, etc.

Enter the hostname and FTP/SFTP credentials of your server’s IP address as your domain name is still pointing to your previous web host. 

Upload the Archive and installer.php to the root web folder (usually public_html) of your website

Step 4.Modify the Hosts file on your local computer

Now that you have uploaded the aforementioned files to your new web host, it is time to execute the installer.php file.

Usually, the installer.php file can be access by running the following in the URL in your browser: 
https://www.domainname.com/installer.php

Should you access your installer.php file in such a manner you will most probably get a 404 error. This is a page not found error and you get it because your domain name still points to your old web host. 

To rectify this error, you need to manually change your hosts file on your computer. 

Step 5. Create a database on your new web host

Prior to running the installer on your new web host, make sure you have created a database in cPanel on your new web host. If yes, you can directly skip to step 6. If not, follow these procedures to create your database. We will be creating a MySQL database.

Creating the database:

1.Login to your cPanel account

 2.Scroll till the database section and click on MySQL database

 3.A new dialog box opens. Enter your database name and click create Database

4. After the database is create, scroll down to the Users section and add a new user. Click on the Create User button after entering the credentials.

5.Once the user is create, add the user to the Database you create by clicking on the Add button

6. Manage permissions for the user and give them all the privileges 

7. Your database is ready to be use with WordPress

Step 6.Run the Duplicator website migration script

Now that you have the required files on your new web host, it is time to execute the installer.php file

1.Point your browser to https://www.domainname.com/installer.php. This will launch the Duplicator installer. Now click on Next and keep moving

2.Here you’ll be require to fill in the database credentials.  Fill in the required information and click on Next. In the host section mention localhost

3.Now click on Test Database 

4.If the Duplicator plugin is able to connect, then a string beginning with  Pass will appear, otherwise, you will get database connection error details

5.Assuming you were able to connect. Now click on  Next

6.The Duplicator plugin will now import your WordPress database from the downloaded archive zip to your newly created database

7.Now click on  Next  until you reach the final  Admin Login button

8.Login to your WordPress website on your new host to check if the transfer was complete

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