How to Migrate a WordPress Site from One Host or Domain to Another

Migrating your WordPress site to a new host can be an essential know-how if you are looking for better performance, enhanced security, or more significant website growth. Whether you’re moving to a provider that offers superior customer service, optimized hosting for WordPress, or more robust resources, the migration process involves ensuring your content and settings are intact in the new environment.

You can migrate manually or automatically with plugins, and while plugins can simplify the process, manual migration gives you greater control. Choosing the right method depends on your technical skill, the size of your site, and your specific needs. In this detailed guide, we will discuss how to migrate a WordPress site from one host or domain to another and help you throughout the journey.


How do I export an entire WordPress site?

To export your WordPress site, you can use built-in tools provided by WordPress. Go to your WordPress dashboard, then to Tools > Export. Choose what content you want to export. After making your selection, click Download Export File to save your content to an XML file. This file can be used to import your content into a new WordPress installation.

What steps are involved in migrating my WordPress site manually to a new host?

Migrating your site manually involves a few key steps. First, backup your website’s files and database from your current host. Then, upload these files to your new hosting environment, typically using FTP. Next, create a new database at the new host and import your website’s data into it. You may need to update the wp-config.php file with the new database information. Finally, update your domain’s DNS settings to point to the new host.

Can I move my WordPress site to another domain?

Yes, you can move your site to another domain. Update the URL settings in your WordPress dashboard under Settings > General. Then, use a search and replace tool to correct any hardcoded URLs in your database. Finally, redirect traffic from your old domain to the new one by modifying the .htaccess file or using plugin solutions.

How do I copy my WordPress site to another website?

To copy your site to another website, create a complete backup of your site, including the database and files. Then, restore this backup to your other website’s server. You’ll need to ensure the database and wp-config.php settings are updated to match the new environment. Copying a site often requires the same steps as migration but within a different context, such as a staging environment or a new WordPress install.

How to migrate a WordPress site to 10Web?

To migrate a WordPress site to 10Web, sign up for a 10Web account and use the automated migration tool provided by 10Web. You’ll need to install the 10Web Manager plugin on your existing WordPress site. Once installed, connect it to your 10Web dashboard. This will automatically copy your existing website’s content and configurations to 10Web’s hosting infrastructure.

Why you would migrate to a new host or domain

When operating a website, you may encounter various scenarios prompting a migration to a new host or domain. Let’s discuss the cases when you’d want to migrate the WordPress site. Then we will learn how to migrate a WordPress site successfully.
Performance improvements: A common reason is the search for better performance. The current hosting provider might not meet your expectations regarding speed and uptime, which are crucial for a positive user experience and SEO rankings.

Cost-effectiveness: Another consideration is cost. You might find another host offering more resources or services at a lower price. Cutting costs without compromising quality is always a sound business decision.

Customer service quality: The level of support provided by your current host might be unsatisfactory. Migrating to a host with robust customer service ensures issues are promptly addressed, thus reducing website downtime.

Scalability: As your website grows, your current host might not be able to keep up with the increased traffic or data storage needs. A new host might offer better scalability options to support your expanding business.

Additional features and technology: Switching hosts can also grant access to enhanced features, newer technologies, AI-powered tools, or specialized hosting optimized for platforms like WordPress.

Domain change: Shifting your brand’s focus or company rebranding efforts could necessitate a domain change, requiring a migration process to align your site’s URL with your new brand identity.

Each of these factors weighs heavily in deciding to migrate, underscoring the importance of a host and domain that align with your goals and needs. Your website’s success could depend on the foundational support your hosting platform provides.

How to prepare for website migration

When migrating your WordPress site to a new host, preparation is the first step. You’ll need to focus on safeguarding your data, selecting a suitable hosting provider, and organizing essential access information to ensure a smooth transition. Let’s discuss each in detail to suffice your searches of how to migrate a WordPress site.

Perform a complete backup

Before you initiate any migration process, it’s crucial to backup your entire WordPress site. This includes your database, files, themes, and plugins. To do this, you can:

  1. Use a backup plugin like UpdraftPlus or Duplicator.Duplicator plugin
  2. Access your hosting control panel and use its tools to back up your database and files.Backup on 10Web dashboard
  3. Manually backup your site via SFTP by downloading all your WordPress files to a secure location.
  4. Export your WordPress database using phpMyAdmin or a similar tool provided by your host.

      A comprehensive backup ensures you can recover your site if anything goes wrong during the migration process.

      Choose a new hosting provider

      Selecting the right new host is the next important step. This decision will impact your site’s performance, security, and reliability. Consider the following when choosing a new WordPress hosting provider:

      • Uptime guarantees: Your site should be accessible at all times.
      • Customer service: Look for 24/7 support with good reviews.
      • Performance: Check if they offer services like caching, or content delivery networks (CDNs).
      • Hosting plan options: Confirm whether they have plans that suit your site’s scale and traffic.
      • Location of servers: Choose a provider with servers near your audience to improve site speed.
      • Security features: Look for SSL certificates, firewalls, and malware scanning.

      For a reliable website host, you can consider using 10Web, which offers managed hosting services, an AI-powered WordPress platform that simplifies and accelerates the entire website building and management process. Most importantly the platform has 99.99% uptime.10Web uptime status

      Gather essential information

      To ensure a seamless migration to your new host, you need to gather all necessary information beforehand:

      Current hosting access: Keep your current hosting account details ready, including username, password, control panel access, FTP/SFTP login credentials.

      New hosting details: Gather your new hosting access information as well. You’ll need your hosting account login details, FTP/SFTP login credentials for file transfer, and details for accessing your new hosting control panel.

      Domain registrar information: If your domain is registered with a third party, have your account username and password handy, as you’ll need to update your domain name servers (DNS) post-migration.

      With thorough preparation, website migration becomes a more reliable and less daunting task.

      How to migrate a WordPress site from one host or domain to another

      Migrating your WordPress site involves moving your website’s files, database, and adjusting configurations to work seamlessly with the new hosting environment. It’s crucial to approach this task methodically to maintain the integrity of your data and to ensure that your site remains accessible to users and search engines. Next, you’ll learn the key steps of how to migrate WordPress website successfully.

      Setting up the new host

      When migrating your WordPress website, establishing a new hosting environment is the foundation of a successful transfer. You need to ensure the new server is ready to receive your website’s data.

      Step 1: Create a new database

      1. Log in to your hosting provider’s account.
      2. Go to the Databases section and click on MySQL Database.Access myPHP from 10Web dashboard
      3. Enter a name for your new database and click Next Step.
      4. Create a database user with a secure password. Write down the database name, username, and password, as you will need them later.
      5. Grant all privileges to the user for the database and Complete the task.

        Step 2: Modify the wp-config.php file

        The wp-config.php file contains the crucial settings of your WordPress website. Modify it to connect to the new database:

        1. Locate the wp-config.php file in your WordPress files.
        2. Open the file and locate the following lines: 
          define('DB_NAME', 'database_name_here');
          define('DB_USER', 'username_here');
          define('DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here');
          define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
        3. Replace database_name_here, username_here, and password_here with the details of the new database you’ve just created.
        4. If your new host provides a specific server name for MySQL databases, replace ‘localhost’ with the provided server name in the DB_HOST value.
        5. Save your changes and upload the modified wp-config.php file to the new host’s server.

          Ensuring the database connection details are accurate in the wp-config.php file is critical for the smooth operation of your WordPress site on the new host.

          Step 3: Migrate website files

          Migrating your WordPress website involves transferring files and the database to ensure your site functions correctly on a new host or domain. This process requires care to protect the integrity of your website’s data and structure.

          To transfer your website files

          1. Access your existing host’s file manager or use an FTP client to connect to your website’s server.
          2. Locate the root directory, often named public_html, and compress your WordPress files into a zip file.
          3. Using an FTP client, connect to your new host and upload the zip file to the root directory (usually named public_html).
          4. Once uploaded, use the new host’s file manager to extract the files from the zip file into the root directory.
          5. Ensure all files are properly extracted and the directory structure looks correct.

          How to configure domain and DNS

          When you migrate your WordPress site, configuring the domain and DNS is critical for ensuring your website is accessible to your audience. Your hosting provider will guide you through the process, which involves updating DNS settings to direct traffic to the new server and configuring domain settings to reflect your domain name accurately.

          Step 1: Update DNS settings

          To direct your audience to the new hosting server, you need to update your DNS settings. This involves changing the nameserver information with your domain registrar to point to your new host’s nameservers:

          1. Log in to your domain registrar’s control panel.
          2. Locate the section for DNS management or nameserver settings.
          3. Replace the existing nameserver records with the ones provided by your new hosting provider.

          It usually takes some time for these changes to propagate across the internet, commonly up to 48 hours.

          Step 2: Configure domain settings

          Adjusting your domain settings ensures that your visitors will reach your WordPress site using your domain name:

          1. Access the hosting control panel for your new hosting provider.
          2. Navigate to the domain management area.
          3. Add your domain name to your hosting account, if not already done.

          Make sure that your domain’s A record points to your new server’s IP address and that any necessary redirects are configured in your .htaccess file. If you’re moving to a different domain, also update the WordPress address (URL) and site address (URL) in your WordPress settings. If required, make changes to your host file to preview your site on the new server before DNS propagation is complete.

          Testing and troubleshooting

          After migrating your WordPress site to a new host or server, comes testing the site’s functionality and troubleshooting any errors to ensure a smooth transition for your users.

          Step 1: Check the website on new host

          1. Visit your domain to check if the WordPress site is loading correctly on the new host.
          2. Ensure that all pages load without errors, and the site displays as expected with complete styling and images.
          3. Log in to your WordPress admin area to ensure your user credentials work and the dashboard is accessible. Check for performance, security and downtime.

          Step 2: Resolve Any Errors

          If you encounter errors during testing, follow these steps:

          1. Plugins: Begin by deactivating all WordPress plugins to see if this resolves the issue. Reactivate plugins one by one to identify a potential culprit. Check for compatibility issues with the WordPress version or PHP version on your new server.
          2. Database: Access your database via phpMyAdmin on the new hosting account. Verify that all tables and data have been imported correctly. Look for common database connection errors in WordPress settings.
          3. Domain and SEO: Confirm your domain’s DNS settings point to the new host. Check Google Search Console for crawl errors post-migration. Scan for broken links that can affect your SEO.

          Always ensure you have a backup of your database and files to prevent data loss.

          Step 3: Manage redirection and propagation delays

          During the propagation period, your visitors may be directed to either the old or new host. To mitigate this:

          1. Place your site in maintenance mode right before initiating the final transfer. This can be done via a WordPress plugin or manually via an .htaccess file.
          2. Once the DNS changes start to propagate, remove the maintenance mode. You might experience a delay during this period.
          3. Set up 301 redirects for any URLs that have changed. This is crucial for maintaining SEO and providing a smooth user experience.

          Use migration plugins and services

          When you decide to migrate your WordPress site, selecting a robust migration plugin and considering professional migration services can streamline the process.

          Choose the right migration plugin

          Choosing the right WordPress migration plugin is crucial for a successful transfer. You can consider using plugins like Duplicator and WPvivid.

          Duplicator is versatile and caters to various migration scenarios, allowing you to copy, move, or clone your site. It’s suitable for both beginners and advanced users due to its straightforward process:

          1. Install the Duplicator plugin from the WordPress dashboard.
          2. Create a new package and download it along with the installer script.
          3. Upload these files to the new domain and run the installation script to deploy your site.

          WPvivid is another powerful option that facilitates the migration of your site to a new host or domain seamlessly. With WPvivid, you can:

          1. Backup your entire site or select files.
          2. Migrate to a new domain with just a few clicks directly from your WordPress dashboard.

          Leverage Professional Migration Services

          If you prefer a hands-off approach or have a complex site, consider leveraging professional migration services. Managed WordPress hosting providers usually offer migration services that guarantee a safe transfer of your data. Here’s how you can utilize these services:

          • Look for hosting providers that provide free migration services like 10Web which specializes in WordPress.
          • Check the availability of add-on migration services if your chosen hosting provider doesn’t offer free migration.
          • the migration request by logging into your hosting provider’s panel and navigating to the relevant section to input details of your existing site.

          Final thoughts

          In conclusion, migrating a WordPress site to a new host or domain is a strategic decision that can significantly improve performance, enhance security, and support growth. This comprehensive guide has provided a step-by-step approach that answers your question of how to migrate a WordPress site.

          The guide covered crucial aspects like backup, choosing the right hosting provider, and detailed migration steps. Whether opting for manual migration for greater control or utilizing plugins for convenience, the process requires careful planning and execution to ensure that your site remains operational and efficient in its new environment.

          Enjoy your new environment.

          Simplify WordPress with 10Web

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