How to Move WordPress to Another Hosting Service (Without Losing Your Data)
You might be thinking about moving your WordPress blog to a different web host. There are a variety of reasons why this might be a desirable choice. Maybe you’re dissatisfied with your current hosting service’s performance or price. Or maybe you’re curious about trying out a new platform.
The problem is that whenever you make a major change to your WordPress website (such as moving it to a different hosting service), you run the risk of losing all of your site’s content. This is especially frustrating if you’re already preparing a blog post when you realize that all of your content is lost. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most useful tips and techniques for ensuring that your data is always preserved, even if you move your blog to another web host.
Back Up Your Data
One of the first things you should do before you start making any major changes to your WordPress installation is to make sure that you have everything backed up. This is simply a matter of ensuring that you have all of the sites’ files and database in case something goes wrong. If you’re running WordPress on your own web server, this can be a relatively simple process. You just have to make sure that every site is being served from an alternate location, in case your server gets affected by a hack or data loss incident. In most cases, this is as simple as copying and pasting the WordPress files to a different location and then redirecting your domain to use the new location.
If you’re using a third-party hosting service, this process can be more complicated, as they might not give you access to the files directly. Some of them will even charge you for making backups. To avoid any additional fees, you should look for a service that offers a free backup solution. A few of the biggest web hosts even offer this as a part of their basic plan.
Set Up Regular Backups
Another important step you should take before you start making any major changes to your WordPress installation is to set up regular backups. This is especially important if you’re using a third-party hosting service, as cyber crimes and data loss incidents can and do happen. You should look for a hosting service that offers automated backups, so you can simply log in once a week and activate them. In some cases, you might have to pay for this optional backup service, but it’s well worth it.
Backing up your data is necessary, but it’s not sufficient. You also need to know how to restore your data if something happens. This is where having a regular backup significantly differs from using a one-time-use automated restore tool. While the latter will help you quickly get your website up and running again after a disaster, the former will help you regain full control over your content.
Use A Different CMS
Depending on how much of a developer you are, you can choose from a variety of free and open-source Content Management Systems (CMS). There are a few good options, such as Joomla and WordPress, that offer a basic blogging platform, as well as features that allow you to further develop your site. As a general rule of thumb, the more features a CMS has, the more difficult it is to migrate to another hosting service.
Migrate Your Data
Once you’ve set up regular backups and determined that the CMS you’re using is easy to migrate to another hosting service, it’s time to start the actual process of moving your content. To do this, you need to follow a set of steps, which we’ll discuss in detail below.
Make Sure You Have Everything Cleared
Before you start the actual process of moving your blog, you need to make sure that everything is cleared. This means removing all links to your old site from your social media, email marketing, and websites. Make sure that all of your content, including posts, comments, and media files, is copied to the new site. You also need to clear all of the spam/junk mail that was accumulated over time from your previous host.
Create A Back-Up Name
If you’re using a third-party hosting service, it’s a good idea to create a back-up name for your blog. This is simply an easy way to identify your blog if something goes wrong during the process. You can use your regular blog name, or you can use the name of your first blog as a back-up name. An easy way to find the name of your first blog is to visit its origin site and copy the name from the address bar. In most cases, the origin blog is available in your dashboard. If you don’t see it, you can access it via the blog’s homepage.
Choose A New Domain
Once you’ve copied all of your content and taken care of any linking issues, it’s time to choose a new domain. Make sure that you choose a.com, as this is the most common and popular choice for a web address. If you already have a domain that you’re planning to use, you can choose this as an alternative.
Update Your DNS
You need to update your DNS to point to the new domain you’ve chosen. To do this, visit your domain’s name registrar (usually named GoDaddy or 1&1) and follow the instructions.
Create A Folder For Uploads
An easy way to keep your content organized is to create a folder for uploads. This way, you can keep all of your images, videos, and other content in one place. If you’re following the WordPress default naming conventions, this folder should be named media.
Create A Folder For Posts
A similar approach can be used for posts. Create a folder for your blog’s content and then use subfolders to organize posts on a topic. For instance, you might have a folder named food, which contains posts about food, and a subfolder named bakeries containing posts about different bakeries around the world. This way, all of your food-related posts will go into one place, which is much easier to find and review later on.
Put Everything In Its Place
Now that you have a back-up name and all of your content is in its place, it’s time to review and organize everything. Take a few days to go through each and every blog post, moving all of the content to its appropriate place. Then take a little less time to reorganize your media files and folders. This will make sure that everything is easy to find when you need it.
Once you’ve done all of this, visit your blog’s dashboard and check out the differences. You should now have a clear picture of what needs to be done and a good starting point for the task. From there, you can take it easy for a couple of days and then jump back in to make sure that everything is up and running smoothly. This process can be time consuming and a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end.
One More Thing
There are a few more things you need to do to ensure that your data is preserved even if you move your blog to a different hosting service. These include making sure that your posts are all tagged correctly and checking out the settings for your new account. We’ll discuss how to do these things below.
Moving your WordPress blog to another hosting service is not a straightforward process. It’s not easy to do, and it’s not something that can be done quickly. However, with a little planning and research, it is very doable. Just make sure that you have everything backed up before you start. This way, you’ll have all of the content that you can get back if anything goes wrong. And last but not least, be sure to document everything on a blog post so that you have a clear guide for other people in a similar situation.