How to Install WordPress on Another Hosting Company Site
Many times our clients ask us if it’s possible to install WordPress on their existing site hosted on a different hosting company than their existing site. For example they have a site that they built on Bluehost but want to switch to Hostgator for some reason. Or they want to add a few extra tools or features to their site that would require the use of premium WordPress plugins.
In most cases the answer is yes, it’s absolutely possible to install WordPress on another host. But it’s not quite that simple. You have to follow certain steps in order to ensure that you end up with a fully operational website once you’re finished.
Get A Dedicated IP
You’ll first want to secure a dedicated IP with your new hosting company. A dedicated IP is an IP that is assigned to you and only you. It is usually a longer address and doesn’t point to another website when someone else is accessing the internet via that IP address. This way if you ever needed to take down your site for some reason, the people who host your content won’t be effected.
Dedicated and registered IPs can become quite pricey if you ever decide to sell them. So if you’re on a tight budget or just want to ensure that you have this option available then look for dedicated IPs that have been registered with a company. One of our favorite registrars is dedicatedip.com as they offer very affordable prices and have great customer support.
Once you have your dedicated IP you can proceed with installing WordPress on your site. Follow the instructions that your new hosting company provides and ensure that you use a strong password. Also, choose a unique name for your WordPress installation and make sure that you update your site’s URL (the address that humans will use to find your site) with your new domain name. This is especially important if you’re installing WordPress on a site that is already live (i.e. if someone else is already using the URL).
Once you have WordPress installed you can then begin making the necessary adjustments to ensure that it functions on your site’s existing platform. If you’re not familiar with web design or coding then this can be somewhat of a daunting task. You’ll likely need some help from someone who is or knows exactly what they’re doing in terms of designing and setting up your new site. You can also use the free WordPress manual to get you started with basic website design and coding.
Customize Your Theme
After you’ve made some basic adjustments to get your site up and running you can then proceed with customizing the appearance of the site. You can use any number of free and premium WordPress plugins to change the way your content looks on the site. Some of our favorites are listed below. Just keep in mind that if you’re using any of these plugins then you won’t be able to take advantage of the site’s existing platform (e.g. if you use a WP plugin to change the background image of your site then you won’t be able to display blog posts on the front page).
- Catchy Presentations
- Custom Favicon
- WP Smart Menu
- Responsive Gallery
- Custom Header
- Revised Theme Options
- Neat Favicon
Set Up Automated Backups
Now that you’ve got WordPress installed and customized you can then begin setting up automated backups. Backups are important in case you ever need to revert back to a previous version of your site’s content or settings. You can use a free service like BackupBuddy to make automated backups of your site to your PC. You’ll want to make sure that you back up your site every day, and sometimes even multiple times a day. We don’t recommend backing up your site manually as this can be a tedious and time-consuming process that often results in overwriting files due to a lack of manual precision.
Configure Email Forwarding
Once you’ve got your site set up and backed up you can then move on to configuring email forwarding with your new host. Forwarding emails allows you to specify an email address (i.e. email@example.com) that all of your incoming emails will be forwarded to. You can then monitor and respond to all of your communications from one place. This is particularly useful if you’re on vacation or busy with work remotely then you can’t check your email frequently.
Configuring email forwarding is fairly easy and can be done in a couple of minutes. Your host will have you input the email address that you’d like all of your incoming emails to be forwarded to and then click to confirm.
Review And Test Your Site
Once you’ve finished installing WordPress on your site you can then review the work that you’ve done and test your new site’s functionality. This is particularly important if you’re using a CMS (content management system) like WordPress as they can be very complex to administer and use correctly. Testing your site’s functionality helps eliminate any bugs that may exist and ensure that everything operates as expected. Use a free tool like WP Test Tool to test the functionality of your site before you begin using it in a production environment.
Now that you’ve got your site up and running you can then begin making additional edits and additions as needed. Be sure to review the above steps again before you begin making any changes as this will help ensure that you don’t end up creating more work for yourself later on. Just remember that this is a time-consuming process and can take several days to a week to complete depending on the number of steps that you have to go through in order to get everything set up and functioning correctly. But once everything is said and done then you’ll have a fully functional and customized WordPress site that you can use for future projects.