How to Migrate Your WordPress Site to a New Domain Without Losing Your Sh**

Author: Tom Cottrill | Date Posted: Jul 6, 2021

Believe it or not, it can be done. Migrating your WordPress site to a new domain doesn’t have to be a cuss-filled, frustrating experience. But if you just like to cuss, we’re not here to judge!

The biggest thing that our clients don’t realize about migrating a WordPress site is that there are actually two ways to do it. And if you’re a web developer, then both are super easy. If you’re not a web developer, well, then you should either choose the automated option or invest in a good web developer.

If you choose the manual route, even though we told you not to, you must be comfortable with File Transfer Protocol (FTP). If you decide to use a WordPress migration tool to automate the process, the key is to choose the right one. They aren’t all created equally, and some larger websites can run into issues when using the wrong migration plugins.

Making it a Manual Process

If you’re a glutton for punishment who likes a challenge, then we applaud you for it. Migrating your WordPress site manually is not impossible. It can just sometimes feel a little like an uphill battle.

The first thing you need to do is to find a new server. There are a few options when it comes to choosing a new server, so do your research:

  1. Shared – This is when one server houses many websites that all share resources. It’s typically a budget-friendly option for agencies or managing multiple sites at once.
  2. Virtual Private Server (VPS) – A VPS involves virtual partitions within a shared server so that your website is guaranteed to have dedicated resources available to it at all times.
  3. Dedicated – Costly, but also the most secure, a dedicated server only houses and supports your website.
    Managed – Any type of hosting plan can be on a managed server. All it means is that a hosting provider manages technical aspects such as backups and updates for your website.

After choosing the right server provider for your WordPress site, you have to backup all your files using an FTP. The process is simple once you find the right FTP for your site. You simply connect to the site’s server on the FTP, find the root file, and then download all your files.

Next, you’ll want to back up your database. Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? If so, get out now and find some help! If you’re still on track, you need to back up your WP database. Most hosts offer this in the control panel and allow you to download a file to your computer to begin the database export process.

From there, you need to create a new SQL database (if your new host uses cPanel).

  1. Go to the Databases section in cPanel, and choose the MySQL Databases option.
  2. Create a new database and add a user to it from this same tab (and take note of the names you use for later).
  3. Access the new database using phpMyAdmin, as you did during the previous step.
  4. Go to the Import tab within the new database and upload the .sql file you generated.
  5. Finally, you are ready to import the old site’s files to the new site. Log into your new FTP server and find the root folder you created earlier. Upload the files to your computer and then update your wp-config.php file.

    Obviously, we summarized the process slightly. If you’re looking for more detailed tutorials, we recommend YouTube. Just make sure you find a reliable video that will walk you step by step through the process. If you run into any issues along the way, you may have to troubleshoot them with a trusted resource.

    Making the Process Automated

    If you aren’t working with an agency or web developer, we recommend taking the automated route. Using a plugin for a small website will give you the highest success rate, especially if this is something you’ve never done.

    While there are plenty of plugins to pick from, we recommend one of the following:

    WP Engine Automated Migration
    WP Migrate DB

    Even with an automated approach, there is no guarantee that you won’t end up hitting a snag and losing your sh**, but at least this way, you have a better chance at success.

    When it comes to home projects, we are in full support of your DIY spirit. When it comes to your business’s website, we would probably recommend you just leave it to the professionals. It will save you a lot of headaches, frustration, cussing, and most importantly, it will eliminate the risk of losing any important information.

    About Ignitro Studios

    Since 2013, Ignitro Studios has been working to blend marketing and technology in support of agencies and other marketers. By understanding both sides of web development, we have a unique perspective and advantage within the industry. We provide design, development, project management, QA, and strategy, driving the bus so our clients don’t have to. We will work with our clients to get results while also empowering them to do their job better. Learn more about Ignitro Studios.

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