How to Migrate a WordPress Website from a Different Hosting Service

Why Hosting Services?

It happens to the best of us. We set up a WordPress website, get everything polished off, and then…boom! The website goes down. Or the performance takes a turn for the worse. Or the whole thing becomes overrun with spam. Or hackers crack our database and steal our content.

When this happens, there are usually two ways to go about fixing it: rebuild from the ground up or find a new host for the website. But what if we’ve already built out a pretty complex site with tons of content and other plugins, and we don’t have the time or money to rebuild? In these cases, we need to find a new host. But which one should we pick? Let’s take a look.

The Ultimate Guide to Hosting Services

When picking a host for your WordPress website, you have two options: shared hosting or VPS hosting. With shared hosting, all of your websites are hosted on a single server. This means your web traffic is shared with other customers, and your performance drops as more people use the service. While in VPS hosting, your web traffic is separated from other websites on the server, enabling you to enjoy faster speeds.

For the purposes of this article, we will discuss the differences between the two and what to look out for when selecting a hosting service. We will also give you a hand with the technical side of setting up a WordPress site on either type of hosting service.

Shared Hosting Versus VPS Hosting

Shared hosting is the default hosting option for most web hosts, and it’s what almost all of us are used to. Websites hosted on shared hosts are accessible to the general public, and as a result, your site’s performance can vary from bad to great. If you’re looking for a free service that offers great performance, shared hosting is the way to go. Just keep in mind that this type of hosting is shared, which means your site performance will be affected by other users on the server.

VPS hosting is often seen as the next best thing to a dedicated server. This type of hosting allows you to rent a small slice of a much larger server. The advantage to a VPS is that your site’s performance will not be affected as much by other users, and it will always operate at the highest speed. Just keep in mind that the pricing for VPS hosting can be a little higher than that of a shared host. Nevertheless, it’s still considerably cheaper than paying for a dedicated server.

Features To Look Out For

When picking a host for your WordPress website, you should look for a service that has these features:

  • Free domain privacy (Who cares about privacy when your site is free?);
  • Free backups (I like to back up my data myself, so I don’t have to worry about whether or not my host will cover my back.);
  • Free security monitoring (I’m sure many of you get hacked or have your database hacked into every now and then. A host that offers free security monitoring is a must);
  • Multiple PHP versions (If your site is written in PHP, this is a must. The host you choose should be able to run the most recent version. If they can’t, it’s time to find a new host);
  • SSH access (For those of you who are tech-savvy and like to handle the technical side of things yourself. Having SSH access allows you to install WordPress, themes, and plugins without having to ask for help from the support desk. Not all hosts offer this, so make sure you ask about it before you sign up);
  • Multiple data centers (It’s always nice when a service is available in many locations around the world so if you’re ever down a server, you have another to fall back on. If your host is spread across multiple data centers, your site will experience fewer performance drops because the distance between the datacenters is not as great. Just keep in mind this adds to the overall cost of the service).
  • 24/7 premium support (If there is something wrong with your site, you’ll want someone to help you out right away. It’s impossible to tell how bad things can get without proper support)
  • Money back guarantee (If you’re not sure whether or not you’ll like the service you choose, you should be able to get your money back. The host should offer a money back guarantee to ensure you’ll feel comfortable using their service)
  • Reputable company (You want to choose a host that is well-established and doesn’t disappear when things go wrong. If they do disappear, it’s time to find a new host)
  • Live chat (No one wants to troubleshoot over email or phone. Live chat is the best way to get assistance without having to wait for someone to answer your email or call you back. Even if you don’t mind doing tech support yourself, live chat is still preferred because it can be more convenient for both parties)
  • Fully-managed WordPress (If you’re new to WordPress and don’t want to worry about setting up a theme or plugin, this is the service for you. Fully-managed WordPress hosting means the host takes care of installing, updating, and fixing WordPress for you. You just have to tell them what to do and how to do it. It’s great for those of you who want to avoid messing around with settings and don’t want to worry about whether or not your website is going to work after you upload it to the server. In most cases, you won’t need to touch a single line of code to make your site work. Just upload it and you’re good to go.

What About SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for every website. The better your SEO, the more people will find your website when they’re searching for something related to your niche. Thankfully, there are tools like Yoast SEO that make it easy to get started with SEO for your WordPress website. All you need to do is install the Yoast SEO plugin, and you’ll see all of the tools that are available to help you optimize your content.

Let’s say you’re running a photography website. You could use the tools within the Yoast SEO plugin to add a few tags for your photos. Each tag will help search engines categorize your photos and will expose them to more people. The more people who see your photos, the more likely they are to buy your products. It’s all about marketing and sales, which is why SEO is extremely important for your website.

If you’d like, you could also take this opportunity to create blog posts around different aspects of photography. Doing this will help not only with SEO, but it will also drive traffic to your site. The more content you have, the more chances you have of attracting online shoppers. That’s why it’s always a good idea to write articles to put on your site. Not only will this help with SEO, but it will also give you more content to work with.

While there’s no substitute for organic traffic, getting listed on the first page of Google is much easier said than done. Thanks to the ever-evolving internet, the SEO game has changed, and the strategies to get you there may have as well. Because of this, it is extremely important that you constantly monitor and analyze the performance of your site.

If you follow these basic guidelines, you should have no trouble getting your site up and running on any hosting service. Just make sure you read the terms of service before you start using the service and don’t get overloaded with emails from support. These are all things you should have already considered before you started building your site. Not everything is as simple as it seems, so be sure to research any issues that might arise before you start having serious problems.