Want to move your WordPress site to a new hosting server ? Then you are at the right place. The biggest risk while moving to a new server is the loss of data and the downtime you face while doing. In this step by step guide, I will show you how to properly migrate your WordPress site to a new host with no downtime.
The problems with downtime are that it causes a stir among the visitors. If your website has been down for a long time then regular visitors of your website may think that you have shut down your website. New users who visited your website from any links on google may generate an impression that this website is permanently closed and next time even when they see the website they may decide not to open it. Another problem is the number of alternative websites available now a days for every content.
Ok the first thing to do is creating a backup of your valuable content as sometimes migration may cause loss of data. Duplicator is a famous plugin that not only backups your data but also migrates it to new host without any loss of seo rankings. Thats great right!. Also there is another plugin called Updraft-plus whose functions are same as duplicator.Before starting the process,make sure that there are no applications not even wordpress installed on your new host.Keep it clean.We will install wordpress later. Now follow these steps to move your site.
1.Install the plugin.Once installed, a tab will appear on your WordPress dashboard. Click on it and select the Packages > Create New option. Next, you need to click the Create New button in the top right corner.
Export your websites data into a package and name the package. Now click on Next, it will take a few seconds to scan your site and make sure everything’s working properly for the package to be created. At this stage, a few warnings might pop up. If any warnings popup, you can either open each warning and fix it, or check the box at the bottom of the page to proceed without fixing them.Once you’re ready, click on Build.
Depending on the size of your website, this process might take a few minutes. When it’s done, you’ll see a Package Completed message pop up. You’ll find two buttons underneath one to download your archives, and another for the installer. Click on both and save them to your computer. When complete, you’re ready for step number two. It’s worth noting that all of the steps beyond this point will deal only with your new site, so you can forget about this one until the migration is complete.
2.Now that you have downloaded both the archive and installer files, the next step is to upload them to your new web host.Using your FTP client, upload both installer.php file and your archive .zip file to the root directory of your website. This is usually /username/public_html/ where example.com is your domain name.
3. Now the main step of how to avoid downtime. The isntant next step after uploadin those files to your public html folder is to open the installer.php file in new tab like: http://www.(your website name).com/installer.php- but it will show you a 404 error and thats because the name servers are still pointing to the old host. So you will have to map the domain of your existing WordPress site to your new server’s IP address. This will keep both the sites running until we completely migrate to the new host.
The first thing you need to do is find the IP address of your new web hosting server. To find this, you need to log into your cPanel dashboard and click on expand stats link in the left-hand sidebar. This will expand the sidebar showing you information about the status of your server. The information you need to copy is the Shared IP Address.
To access your hosts file in Windows, navigate to C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/ using notepad. Launch notepad as administrator.On the Notepad screen, go to File » Open and then go to C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc/ . Select hosts file and open it. Once you’re in, you need to add both your new host’s IP address and your existing domain to the file.
Once you’ve mapped your server’s IP address to your existing domain, save the changes to the hosts file. Now, when you type that address into your browser, you’ll be redirected to your new web host but since you have not installed word press yet,it will show the default text ” This is your default page of your site”.
4. Now run the installer.php by simply typing- http://www.(your website name).com/installer.php in a new tab.It will open the duplicator installer. Since i told you at the beginning to create a database, enter the details of the database like its name, duplicator login details,etc and press test connection, to make sure everything is working as it should. If it isn’t, your database might not get imported correctly, so don’t skip this step! Once everything is ready, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Run Deployment.
The installer will now import your database. The process may take several minutes, so keep the tab open as it works.
In step 2 of the installer, you’ll be asked to verify your old and new URL paths. Make sure it’s accurate and click Run Update to update your URLs.
In the final step, you can complete the process and verify that everything is working correctly by clicking the buttons in order.Since everything is complete,now you can undo the changes made to your host file the previous step.
5. Now the last and final step is to change your name servers. The name servers generally look like:
ns2.hostname.com (The actual name of the hosting site in the place of the .hostname)
To change name-servers access your cpanel, go to domain management area. Once you find name servers>click on custom name servers and change them to the new ones. Thats it!!!! It will take upto 24 hours to changes to happen.