How to Easily Convert Your WordPress Website to Another Hosting Site
Have you ever considered creating a parallel site, but using a different hosting service? After creating a handful of blogs for our clients over the years, we’ve found that moving sites to cheaper hosting is something that clients always mention in their review of how awesome our service is. It’s something we love to hear, because it means we’re doing our job right, and helping clients save money while they grow their business.
The Secret to Making the Switch Smooth
Hosting sites are like cars; they each have their pluses and minuses. To make the switch as painless as possible for you, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that will help you easily migrate your WordPress site to another hosting service.
Choose A Backup Script
Using a backup script is the simplest and most convenient way to back up your entire WordPress site, including all your content and settings. There are tons of scripts out there that you can use, but we always advise our clients to try and find one that’s designed specifically for WordPress migration.
Migrate Your Data
Depending on how much data you have stored on your current hosting service, you will either need to perform a full data export, or just empty your database and import everything from scratch. Luckily, most hosting services offer this as a one-click process, so it’s not something you need to worry about at all. Just remember that if you are importing your WordPress site from a.com to a.io, you will need to update all the URLs in your content.
Update Your URL Structure
Changing your website’s URL structure is one of the most involved tasks when switching hosting platforms, but it’s an absolute necessity if you want to keep your posts and pages accessible to search engines and customers. Luckily, this process is also pretty straightforward. You will just need to replace your current domain with your new one, in the same manner you changed your A records in DNS.
Change Your Theme
Changing your theme is a necessary step when migrating your WordPress site to a different hosting service. Luckily, most themes come with a built-in demo site, which you can use to test out the theme’s look and feel before you commit. Just remember that if you are using a premium theme, this process could take some time, as you will need to create a new account and log in to your dashboard to install the new theme.
Change Your Hosting Plan
Changing your web host’s plan is quite similar to changing your theme, but it goes a bit further. Your new host may have a different offering for just a few dollars per month, and you will need to decide whether or not that’s something you can live with. Changing your hosting plan could involve a major overhaul of your site’s architecture, so tread carefully and think it through before making the switch. If you’re worried about running out of space, then consider upgrading to a higher plan while you’re at it.
Check For Updates
WordPress is always updating, adding, and removing features, so you will need to make sure that you keep up with all the latest versions to ensure that your site will continue to function correctly. To do this, you can install an automatic update plugin like UpdraftPlus, or you can check for updates manually by going to your WordPress dashboard and clicking on the check for updates button in the upper right corner. Updating takes only a few minutes at most, and it’s something you should do every few days, or whenever a new version is released if you’re using an auto-updater.
Use A Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A content delivery network (CDN) is a service that improves the performance and appearance of your website by keeping frequently accessed assets like images and videos near to your visitors’ locations, regardless of where they are in the world. The best CDNs allow you to import your site’s content, including posts, pages, and comments, along with your sitemap and other settings, and then map the content so that it appears to come from a different domain. This way, your website’s performance is greatly improved, as your visitors won’t have to wait for content to load, and they won’t be affected by slow servers elsewhere. You can read our in-depth review of the best content delivery networks, or read on to discover how you can use this handy tool to migrate your WordPress site to another hosting service.
Migrate Your Comments
In addition to posts and pages, most WordPress websites consist of a comment section. Depending on the type of content you publish, your comments may either be good or bad. Regardless, you always want to make sure that they are protected by a spam filter, to keep the riffraff at bay. Fortunately, this process is also pretty easy, as you can just copy and paste your existing comments to the new location, or you can enter new comments directly on the new site. Just remember that if you are using a free blogging platform like Blogger, or a self-hosted WordPress site, then you will need to create a new account and login to your dashboard to make your comments appear. Also, if you used the default theme for your site, then you will need to edit the theme’s HTML to remove any trace of the old blog.
Use A Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system (CMS) is a software system, often accessed via a web browser, that allows users to create and edit content, such as web pages, blog posts, and galleries, all while keeping track of their edits using a version control system. Some of the more common CMSs include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla! If you are looking for an easy way to make content for your site, whether it’s a blog or a store, then you can’t go wrong with a CMS. Not only will you have all the tools you need to easily create content, you will also be able to upload and store any files you need, including images, videos, and documents, all with the push of a button.
Create A Sitemap
A sitemap is an XML file that contains a list of each page on your site. When Googlebot crawls your website, it will read your sitemap and spider each page in order, creating a much smoother user experience for your visitors. You can use any XML editor to create a sitemap for your WordPress site. Just remember, this file will only work if you use a CMS, as creating a sitemap by hand is much more difficult.
Taking the time to slowly and carefully plan out the steps involved in changing your WordPress site’s hosting is the key to a smooth transition. By using reputable hosts that offer good support and lots of documentation, along with plugins that automate many of the tasks, you will have an easier time transitioning your site to the new server. Plus, if you stick to the basics (posts, pages, and comments), then you can always go back and update your content at any time. If you are looking for a way to improve your site’s performance, then you can’t go wrong with upgrading your hosting plan or using a content delivery network (CDN). Keeping your comments and social media platforms will also help you reach a larger audience, potentially increasing your site’s traffic and revenue.