Changing WordPress Hosting: Everything You Need to Know

Navigate the process of changing your WordPress hosting provider smoothly and efficiently

1. Why Change WordPress Hosting? 🏠

Hey there, fellow WordPress enthusiasts! ⚡️ Ever wondered why you might need to switch up your hosting game? Well, let’s dive right in! 🌟

  • Performance Lag: 🐌 If your website’s loading slower than a sloth on a Sunday afternoon, it’s time to consider a hosting upgrade. A faster host can give your site a serious speed boost, keeping your visitors happy and engaged.
  • Reliability Issues: 🚫 Nothing’s more frustrating than a website that’s down more often than a broken elevator. If your current host is giving you the blues with frequent outages, it’s time to find a more reliable partner.
  • Lack of Features: 🧰 If your hosting provider is stingy with features like SSL certificates, backups, or support, it’s like driving a car without a steering wheel! You’ll need a host that offers the tools you need to keep your website running smoothly.
  • Poor Customer Support: 🆘 When you need help, you don’t want to be left hanging on the phone for hours. A responsive and helpful support team can make all the difference in keeping your website up and running.
  • Growth Potential: 📈 If your website is starting to outgrow its current hosting plan, it’s time to find a host that can accommodate your growing needs. A scalable host will ensure your website can handle the traffic and data as your business expands.

how to change wordpress hosting

© Photographer Andrew Neel

Choosing a New Hosting Provider

When it comes to changing your WordPress hosting provider, choosing the right new home for your website is crucial. It’s like finding a new apartment – you want a place that’s reliable, comfortable, and fits your needs. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Speed: How fast does the hosting provider’s servers load your website? Speed is essential for user experience and search engine rankings.
  • Uptime: How often is the hosting provider’s website up and running? You want a provider that guarantees a high uptime percentage to ensure your website is always accessible.
  • Support: What kind of support does the hosting provider offer? Look for providers with 24/7 support via phone, email, or chat.

Preparing for the Migration 📝

Before embarking on your hosting migration, it’s crucial to prepare your website for the journey. Think of it like packing your bags for a big trip! 🧳

3. Checking for Custom Plugins or Themes 🛠️

If you’ve customized your WordPress site with unique plugins or themes, they may require special attention during the migration. It’s like having a special pet that needs extra care. 🐶

  • Check for Compatibility: Ensure your custom plugins and themes are compatible with the new hosting environment. If they’re not, you might need to update or find alternatives.
  • Backup Customizations: Make a backup of any custom code or settings related to your plugins and themes. It’s like having a safety net in case something goes awry. 🛡️
  • Notify Plugin Developers: If your custom plugins are from third-party developers, reach out to them to inquire about any specific migration requirements. They’re like the tour guides of the plugin world! 🗺️

4. Exporting Your Website

4. Using the WordPress Export Tool

“Exporting your WordPress website is like packing up your digital belongings for a move,” 📦. The WordPress export tool is your trusty assistant, helping you create a complete snapshot of your site’s content, including posts, pages, comments, and custom fields. It’s the first step in your hosting migration journey.

To use the export tool, log in to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to “Tools” > “Export,” and choose “All content.” The tool will generate an XML file that contains all your site’s data. Save this file to your computer as a backup.

4. Exporting the Database Using phpMyAdmin

Your WordPress database is the heart of your site, storing all the information that makes it tick. To export it, you’ll need to use a tool called phpMyAdmin. Log in to your hosting account’s control panel and navigate to phpMyAdmin. Select your WordPress database and click on the “Export” tab. Choose “Custom” and select all the tables associated with your site. Then, click “Go” to download the database as a SQL file.

Importing Your Website

Step 5: Importing the Database

Now, let’s bring your website’s database back to life on the new hosting account. Head over to phpMyAdmin, the trusty database management tool, and create a new database. Give it a name that resonates with your website.

Next, it’s time to import the database you exported earlier. Click on the “Import” tab in phpMyAdmin, select the SQL file you exported, and hit that “Go” button. Just like that, your website’s data is now happily residing in its new home. 🎉

Step 5: Importing the Website

With the database in place, it’s time to import the website itself. Head back to your WordPress dashboard on the new hosting account and navigate to the “Tools” section. Click on “Import” and select “WordPress.”

Now, it’s time to feed WordPress the XML file you exported earlier. Click on “Choose File,” select the XML file, and hit “Upload file and import.” WordPress will work its magic, importing all your posts, pages, and settings.

And there you have it! Your website is now up and running on its new hosting account. Take a moment to celebrate this milestone with a virtual high-five. ✋


Updating DNS Records 🌐

When you change hosting providers, you’ll need to update your DNS records to point to the new server. It’s like changing the address on your mail when you move. The DNS (Domain Name System) is the phone book of the internet, translating your website’s name (like “”) into its numerical IP address (like “123.456.789.0”).

To update your DNS records, you’ll need to log into your domain registrar’s website. This is the company where you registered your domain name. Once you’re logged in, find the DNS settings for your domain and change the nameservers to the ones provided by your new hosting provider.

It takes some time for DNS changes to propagate, so don’t panic if your website isn’t immediately accessible after you update the records. Just give it a few hours and it should be back up and running.

7. Testing Your Website 🌐

After the migration, it’s crucial to verify that your website is up and running like a well-oiled machine. Like a doctor checking a patient’s vitals, you need to give your website a thorough examination.

  • Accessibility Check: Visit your website from multiple devices and browsers to ensure it’s accessible to all visitors. If it’s not loading or displaying correctly, it’s like having a broken leg – you can’t walk on it!

  • Broken Links: Use tools like Google Search Console or broken link checkers to scan your website for any broken links. Broken links are like potholes on the road to your website – they can ruin the user experience and make it hard to navigate.

  • Error Monitoring: Keep an eye on your website’s error logs to catch any unexpected errors or issues. Errors are like warning lights on your car’s dashboard – they tell you something’s wrong and needs attention.

  • Performance Check: Use website speed testing tools to measure your website’s loading speed. A slow website is like a sluggish snail – it frustrates users and makes them less likely to stick around.

Canceling Your Old Hosting Account

8. Requesting Account Cancellation

Once you’ve got your new hosting provider up and running, it’s time to bid farewell to your old one. Just like breaking up with an ex, it’s important to do it cleanly and without any lingering drama.

Contact your old hosting provider and let them know you’re moving on. They’ll likely ask you to confirm your request, so make sure you’re absolutely certain before you hit that “cancel” button.

It’s also a good idea to check if you have any remaining files or data on your old hosting account that you need to transfer. If so, do it before you cancel your account to avoid losing anything important.

Optimizing Your New Hosting 🌐

Once you’ve made the switch to your new hosting provider, it’s time to optimize your website for maximum performance. This is like giving your website a well-deserved spa day! 💆‍♀️

Caching Plugins 💨

Caching plugins are like little helpers that store copies of your website’s pages, so when visitors return, they can load faster. It’s like having a shortcut to your favorite restaurant – you get your food in a snap!

SSL Encryption 🔒

SSL encryption is like a secret code that protects your website’s data from prying eyes. It’s like having a bouncer at your website’s door, keeping out any unwanted guests.

Monitoring Website Performance 📊

Keep an eye on your website’s performance with monitoring tools. They’re like your personal trainer, giving you insights into how your website is doing and where you can improve.


The Journey’s End, A New Beginning

Changing WordPress hosting can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a smooth and seamless transition. Remember, the key is to plan ahead, prepare thoroughly, and execute each step with care. By following these steps, you can ensure that your website remains accessible, functional, and optimized throughout the entire process.

Just like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, changing your WordPress hosting can be a transformative experience for your website. It’s an opportunity to upgrade your home, enhance your performance, and soar to new heights. Embrace the change, and your website will thank you for it!

About David Damstra

Business Leader and Business Developer, Project Manager and Full Stack Developer & Designer Creative Director, Brand Guardian, Minister of Company Culture Co-Author of Professional WordPress. Currently in Third Edition. Seasoned web developer using practical technology to rapidly create standards compliant dynamic websites. Experienced with web development, software development and systems and network management and consulting.