How to Move WordPress to a New Host or Server with No Downtime

How to Move WordPress to a New Host or Server with No Downtime

How to Move WordPress to a New Host or Server with No Downtime

There are two primary concerns when moving your WordPress website to a new host or server. The first is making sure everything is moved accurately and the second is minimizing downtime. Moving your website and ensuring everything is moved correctly is fairly straightforward. With the correct strategy it is possible to move your entire website with zero downtime which is what this article is going to focus on. In fact, if you move your website to a new host or server was zero downtime following the correct steps then you are almost guaranteed to move it accurately.

The Easy Option

The easy way to move your WordPress website with zero downtime is by taking advantage of a company or service provider who will move it for you. Depending upon the hosting company you switch to they may offer this service for free or a nominal charge. If you are unsure as to how to move your website quickly and efficiently with no down time that these services may be well worth the money. They provide a hassle-free solution.

The Manual Option

There are several different ways you can move your WordPress website manually to a new host with no down time. While each method is slightly different they fundamentally follow the same processes. Instead of focusing on specific solutions we will take a look at the process as a whole.

1. Backup Files

The first step is backing up all of your files. It is important to either back them up manually or choosing the correct plug-in to back them up for you. This is important because some plug-ins will only backup certain files. Since you are moving your entire website you want to make sure that absolutely everything is backed up and copied correctly. This includes all of your files, images, themes, settings, and MySQL databases.
To do this manually the first thing you want to do is create an archive of your wp-contents directory and downloaded to your computer. Next you’ll want to go to your databases and back those up as well.

2. Migrate Your Website to Your New Host

Once you have all of your files and databases backed up you can migrate them to your new website. Copying all of your files into your new host’s server is fairly straightforward. The one step that some people have problems with is their MySQL database. This is because you will need to change your database details in order to reflect your new web host.

3. Change Your DNS Settings

Assuming you have moved everything correctly and/or tested out your new website, the final step is changing your DNS settings. Name servers can take up to 72 hours to propagate. This means for up to 72 hours your users will actually see the old hosting string. As a result, you don’t want to cancel your old hosting service for several days following the move.

Note: during this process it is important not to update your website. If you know you’re about to move everything to a new host or server then you should plan on not updating your website for several days. This will ensure the move goes smoothly and that all of your users are seeing and accessing the exact same website and not missing new content.

1 Comment
  • Opal C. Vogt says:

    I hate moving my WordPress website from one host to another. I have tried a variety of different hosting companies over the past five years and it seems like they are always good in the beginning but the service or speed falls off over time. This could be a case of bad luck because I feel like I do my due diligence when researching new hosting companies.

    If the new hosting company will move your website for you I would definitely recommend taking advantage of it. Today, nearly every legitimate hosting company will do this for you. All you have to do is switch your DNS information once they are done.

    For people who prefer to do things manually, which I can understand because it allows you to troubleshoot problems, there are a number of WordPress plug-ins that make it easy. You can either combine a handful of free plug-ins or purchase a premium plug-in to take care of this. Either way the process is fairly similar although if you are moving a large number of sites from one host to another a premium plug-in that does everything for you might be a better choice because the nominal cost is well worth it considering the time savings.

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