Transferring WordPress Website Between Hostings: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ensure a smooth transition of your WordPress website from one hosting to another without losing data

Choosing a New Hosting Provider

When it comes to finding a new hosting provider, it’s like going on a blind date – you want to make sure you’re a good match! Consider factors like reliability, speed, and customer support. Check out reviews and recommendations, and don’t be afraid to ask potential providers questions.

Just like in a relationship, communication is key! Look for a provider that’s responsive and helpful, because you’ll need their support during the migration process.

Remember, choosing the right hosting provider is like finding your soulmate for your website. Take your time, do your research, and make an informed decision.

how to transfer wordpress website from one hosting to another

© Photographer cocarinne

Section Two: Backing Up Your Website 🌐

Just like you wouldn’t embark on a road trip without a spare tire, you shouldn’t migrate your website without a backup. It’s your safety net, your peace of mind. Imagine if something went wrong during the transfer and you lost all your precious content? 😱

There are two main ways to back up your WordPress website: using a plugin or exporting it manually. Plugins like “UpdraftPlus” make it a breeze, while the manual method involves using tools like phpMyAdmin and FileZilla. Either way, make sure your backup includes both your database and all your website files.

Table: Backup Methods

Method Pros Cons
Plugins Easy to use, automated May require premium features
Manual More control, free Requires technical knowledge

Remember, a backup is like a life insurance policy for your website. It’s not something you want to use, but it’s there to protect you in case of an emergency. So, take the time to create a complete backup before you start the migration process.

Section 3: Exporting Your Website 🌍

3. Selecting the Export Format 📥

When exporting your WordPress website, you’ll have the choice between two main formats: XML and WXR. XML is a generic format that can be used by various applications, while WXR is a WordPress-specific format that includes additional information like comments and post revisions.

For most cases, the WXR format is recommended as it provides a more complete backup of your website. However, if you’re experiencing any issues with the WXR format, you can try using the XML format instead.

Format Description
XML Generic format that can be used by various applications
WXR WordPress-specific format that includes additional information

Ultimately, the best export format for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re unsure which format to choose, you can always contact your new hosting provider for assistance.

Section 4: Importing Your Website to the New Hosting 🌍

4. Importing the Exported WordPress File 📦

Once you’ve created a new database and user on the new hosting, it’s time to import your exported WordPress file. This is like moving your website’s furniture and belongings into its new home!

To do this, head over to the “Import” section in your new hosting’s control panel. Select the “WordPress” option and follow the prompts. You’ll need to upload the exported XML file and provide the database name, username, and password you created earlier.

It’s like giving your website’s new address and keys so it can settle in! 🔑 Once the import process is complete, your website’s content and settings will be transferred to the new hosting.

Updating Database URLs

When you transfer your WordPress website to a new hosting, it’s crucial to update all database URLs to reflect the new location. This ensures that all internal links and database references are correct, preventing broken links and errors.

Imagine your website as a house. The database is like the blueprint, containing all the information about the rooms, doors, and windows. When you move to a new house, you need to update the blueprint to reflect the new address. Otherwise, you’ll end up lost in a maze of broken links and missing content!

To update database URLs, you can use search and replace tools like the “Better Search Replace” plugin. Simply enter the old URL and the new URL, and the plugin will automatically update all occurrences in the database. This process is like finding and replacing all the old addresses in your blueprint with the new ones.

By ensuring that all database URLs are correct, you can guarantee that your website will function smoothly after the transfer, just like a house with a clear and accurate blueprint.


SECTION SIX: Uploading Files to the New Hosting 🌐

Uploading your WordPress files and folders to the new hosting is a crucial step in the migration process. Here’s how to do it like a pro:

  • FTP or File Manager: Use an FTP client or the file manager provided by your new hosting to connect to your website’s files.
  • Transfer Files: Select all WordPress files and folders from your old hosting and upload them to the corresponding directory on the new hosting.
  • Verify Permissions: Ensure that the files and folders have the correct permissions (e.g., 755 for folders, 644 for files). This will allow WordPress to access and modify them as needed.

Remember, this is like moving your furniture to a new house. You want to make sure everything is in its place and ready to use!

Configuring WordPress Settings 🌐

7. Updating WordPress Address and Site Address Settings ⚙️

Just like when you move to a new house, you need to update your address. Similarly, when you transfer your WordPress website, you need to update the WordPress address (URL) and site address settings. These settings tell WordPress where your website is located and how to access it.

To do this, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Settings > General. Here, you’ll find fields for both the WordPress address (URL) and the site address. Update these fields to reflect the new domain name and URL of your website on the new hosting.

By updating these settings, you ensure that your website will load correctly from the new hosting and that all internal links will work properly. It’s like giving your website a new GPS address so it knows where to go! 🗺️

Section Eight: Testing Your Website 🧐

After meticulously transferring your WordPress website to its new hosting abode, it’s time to give it a thorough checkup. 🔎 Let’s dive right in!

Like a meticulous detective, access your website from a browser and scan it with eagle eyes. 🕵️‍♀️ Look for any glaring errors or broken links that might disrupt your visitors’ experience. These pesky glitches can be like annoying potholes on the road to your website’s success.

9. Testing All Functionalities 🧪

Don’t just stop at checking for errors. Give your website a complete workout! Test all its functionalities, from forms to plugins. 🏋️‍♀️ Make sure everything is working smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. After all, you want your website to perform like a champ for your visitors.

10. Troubleshooting Common Issues 🛠️

If you encounter any hiccups along the way, don’t panic! 🚨 Most migration issues can be resolved with a little troubleshooting. Refer to our “Section Nine: Troubleshooting Common Issues” for guidance on fixing database connection errors, broken links, and other potential roadblocks. Remember, it’s like solving a puzzle—with a little patience and problem-solving skills, you’ll get your website up and running in no time. 🧩

Troubleshooting Common Issues 👨‍🔧

9. Addressing Potential Migration Issues 🛠️

Migrating a WordPress website can sometimes encounter hiccups. Don’t fret! Here’s a handy guide to help you troubleshoot common issues:

  • Database Connection Errors: 🔌 If you’re struggling to connect to the database on your new hosting, double-check your database credentials and ensure they match the ones you used during the export process.

  • Broken Links and Image Paths: 🔗 Broken links can be a pain! To fix them, use a search and replace tool to update any outdated URLs in your database. For image paths, make sure they point to the correct location on your new hosting.

  • Other Migration Issues: 🤕 If you encounter any other unexpected issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to your new hosting provider for support. They’re usually well-equipped to help you resolve any migration-related problems.


The Final Touch

And there you have it, folks! Transferring your WordPress website between hostings can be a breeze if you follow these steps meticulously. Remember, the key to a successful migration lies in meticulous planning and thorough testing.

Just like a well-oiled machine, your website should run smoothly after the transfer. If you encounter any hiccups along the way, don’t panic. Troubleshooting common issues is part of the process. Think of it as a puzzle-solving adventure, and you’ll be back up and running in no time.

So, go forth and conquer the world of web hosting migrations! 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.