3 Steps to Move a Website to a New Host – WordPress Migration Guide

Web hosts are bought and sold all the time. Rates and feature sets are always changing. And some providers even overhaul their business models and suddenly want to host only dog-related sites, giving other users 30 days to get off their servers.

Moving websites between hosts is a reality all site owners must face. With a WordPress site, you have to move all your plugins, themes, and the database. Once they are relocated, they may not even work with your new host because critical server systems may have different paths. I’ve been through many host-to-host moves with the sites I manage, and I’ve figured out a few ways to make migration easy and safe. Here, I’ll pass along some of that knowledge to you.

1. Find a Host That Suits Your Needs With Hands-on Migration Support

You simply can’t expect to start up with one hosting provider, run a website for years, and never have to move to a new host. Web hosting companies compete vigorously with one another, and feature sets and pricing schemes are in a constant state of flux. In some cases, these changes can inspire users to jump ship. In other instances, your website may simply outgrow its current hosting environment. The more popular a website becomes, the more server resources it requires, and not every hosting provider can offer all the resources your site might need. You may also find that you want more features from a hosting provider than your current host offers. Do you want more mailboxes without paying extra? How about a free SSL certificate or stronger DDoS protection? Or maybe your host has just gone to the dogs like that one mentioned above.

Whatever your reason for wanting to make a move, one huge way you can make that easier is to find a new hosting provider that offers free migration and after-move support.

Many web hosts, like those in the table below, are both WordPress-friendly and offer users assistance during migration. When selecting a new host, it’s important to ask if it will help move your files, including uploads, themes, and plugins, and your site’s database. Dive in and see if the host will help make sure paths are updated in the database and website so that everything works on the new server just as it did on the previous server — and hopefully better.

Here is our top choice of host who make migration a breeze:

ASPHostPortal.com

Without further ado, ASPHostPortal.com was one of our top performers, and is especially impressive considering the $3.81 price point for their startup WordPress 5 hosting plan. ASPHostPortal has been offering hosting services for more than 10 years and is a good option if you are looking for shared hosting. They offer great, reliable hosting at an incredibly good price that is hard to beat from a reputable company. Not only that ASPHostPortal also offers very reliable hosting with easy installation of WordPress 5, 24/7 support, and a long track record.

ASPHostPortal.com – Fully Support WordPress

All of their servers run the latest versions of WordPress so they will always be able to support your site. All of their servers run the latest versions of WordPress so they will always be able to support your site. You will install WordPress site for free. ASPHostPortal provides multiple server locations, free CDN and advanced caching options to make both yours and your customers’ experience with WordPress really fast and enjoyable. They also make sure that your WordPress website is safer and better supported than anywhere else.

ASPHostPortal.com – Expert Support Team

Everything starts with impeccable support. The unmatched knowledge, experience, and dedication of their team truly make them stand out. They understand that people are the most important piece of the service they provide, and that is why they are at the top of the list. You’ll notice the difference the first time you talk to one of their WordPress experts.

ASPHostPortal.com – Offers Affordable Price

ASPHostPortal offers affordable price for WordPress hosting plan. Customers can start their WordPress site just from $5.00/mo. They are so confident that you will like their service, so they brave to offer a 30 day money back guarantee on hosting fees. Just cancel before 30 days, and they will refund your entire hosting fee. You can get cheaper price with their hosting promotion and free add-ons too, for more information just visits their official site at http://asphostportal.com.

ASPHostPortal.com – World Class Data Center

Their data centers are strategically located around the country to provide their customers with the highest levels of availability, service and support on the market. Their data centers located on US (Washington & Seattle), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom (London), Australia (Melbourne), France (Paris), Germany (Frankfurt), Italy (Milan), India (Mumbai). Each Data Center is custom designed with raised floors. Each Data Center is equipped with HVAC temperature control systems with separate cooling zones, seismically braced racks, advanced early smoke detection and fire suppression systems. Their Data Centers are supported by some of the most powerful physical security in the business. They have 24/7 video surveillance, security breach alarms and Biometric thumb print scanners at every entryway.

2. Save Your Site’s Files, Transfer Databases, and Setup Applications

If your hosting provider doesn’t offer a free migration, you can accomplish the migration yourself without much difficulty.

To move your WordPress-powered website you will need to do the following:

  • Transfer the WordPress engine files. This is optional if your host has a WordPress installer
  • Transfer site files (i.e. uploads, themes, and plugins)
  • Migrate the database containing your blog posts, pages, comments, and WordPress settings
  • Update the WordPress configuration

The easiest way to accomplish the migration, short of having your hosting provider do it for you, is to use a plugin like All-in-One WP Migration. You install it on your existing site. It then exports all your files and even your database to a portable package.

Install a clean, new version of WordPress on your new server and add the All-in-One WP Migration plugin to that installation. Then, within the plugin’s configuration page, choose Import Site. You then drag the site package you previously exported right into the plugin, whereupon it will restore your old site right over the new installation.

If you’re the DIY-type, you can do everything by hand.

Both the WordPress engine and all the other files that make up your website can be transferred via FTP from your old server and then to your new server. You will need an FTP application like my favorite, the cross-platform and free FileZilla. Both of your hosting providers will provide instructions for accessing your site via FTP, including how to configure an FTP program like FileZilla. If you can’t find that information in your host’s tech support documentation or in your welcome letters, simply open an online chat or call your provider. Usually, technicians will gladly walk you through setting up your FTP program.

Once it’s set up, just download your entire site from your old host — everything in the directory or folder that is above or contains the wp-admin folder — including all the files and subfolders to your computer. It may take a while.

When the download is finished, disconnect from your old server, connect to your new server, and upload all those files. This, too, may take some time.

Migrating your database — all the actual content of your blog or website — is trickier and can’t be done through FTP. Fortunately, it’s nowhere near as tricky as it used to be. Follow these directions from the official WordPress Codex to export your database from MySQL and download it to your computer. Then, follow the directions within that document to update the paths between the servers and update the WordPress configuration and variables for the new server’s environment.

3. Change Your Nameservers to Point to Your New Hosting Provider

The final step in moving your website is to file a change of address. You don’t file this one with the Post Office. Instead, you need to update your domain name servers to point to those of the new host’s.

When you sign up for a new hosting account you’ll usually receive a welcome letter email, and within that email is often the new nameservers you should use. If you didn’t receive that information, a quick phone call or online chat to your hosting provider’s tech support department will gladly give you the proper nameservers. They often look something like the below:

ns1.servername.com
ns2.servername.com

Go to your domain name registrar and update your domain’s nameservers. This process is different for every registrar.

Typically, you log into your domain registrar’s account, click on the domain name in your list of owned domain names, and look for an option to mentioning “Name Servers,” “Nameservers,” or “Host Address.” Replace whatever nameservers are listed with the ones you obtained from your new host. You will always have at least two nameservers to enter, but you may be given third and fourth options, too. Save the changes, and then, within 12 to 72 hours, all requests for your domain name will begin forwarding to your new hosting provider. Until then, your old host account may be served to some visitors, which is why it’s important to ensure both your old and new servers run concurrently for three days.

Make the Move Today and Get Up and Running With Our Top-Rated Hosts

Moving websites between hosts is a fact of running websites. Sooner or later, many site owners decide to migrate to a new provider. With all the WordPress-powered sites I own and manage, most with different web hosts, I’ve gotten good at moving around. If you follow the three steps above, you’ll be able to move your WordPress site with no downtime and very little hassle. It should take you less than an hour. In fact, the only thing that should take more than an hour is waiting for the nameserver change to take place. Expect as much as 24 hours for the changes to propagate around the world, informing all the other servers about your site’s new location.