Migrating a website from one host to another can happen to you also. You may have a lot of reasons to do that. It might be a payment issue or the host might increase their price plans. There may be a reason where you might find another server or host being very cost-effective with various offers. Nevertheless, migrating from one host to another is never easy unless you know how to do that.
Especially, when you are planning to move WordPress site. There are manual ways of doing it. Of course, it is a cumbersome process. We shall use another method now to move the website from one server to another. We shall use a free Plugin called Duplicator this time. Duplicator can migrate your website in very few steps. More importantly, it is very easy to do that.
What is WordPress Duplicator?
This is a Plugin that helps you migrate, copy, move or even a clone a site from one location to another. Simultaneously, it can be as the backup utility. Duplicator can
- Help you migrate a WordPress site from one server to another server
- Help you migrate locally developed WordPress site to the Live server
- Also, Clone the Live server WordPress site on the local desktop server
In this write-up, we shall demonstrate how to move a WordPress website from one live server to another live server.
This process may involve some technical steps which might be beyond your capacity. This is rare because most of the WordPress plugins and functionality does not require too much expertise. Just in case you find that difficult, you can opt for professional help too. Nevertheless, let us get going.
Migrating WordPress site to a new hosting Server
Let us see the basic steps required to accomplish this task. The process has 3 main steps and it is done within that.
- Files Movement: You have to move the files from Old Server to the New Server. The files are wp-content Folder, WP-config, .htaccess, robots.txt
- Database Movement: You are required to move the database now from the old server to the new server
- Name Server: The last step, please change the Nameserver of the domain from old server to new server
The above-mentioned steps are enough for you to migrate a website from one server to another. You can do it manually, but using Duplicator can make it pretty simple too. As the steps mentioned are practically cumbersome to do it manually and it may consume more time than expected too.
In the case of WP-Duplicator, it has the back up of all the files and database in it. It is just required to place them in the new server and start installing. It is as simple as that. Now that we know the basic functionality, let us see a step by step procedure to accomplish the same.
Get the WordPress site ready for Migration
For this to successfully happen, you must delete all the cache files from your cache plugin. It is also required of you to optimize the WordPress database. This shall make your job easy in taking the back up of the files and database.
Step 1: Log in to your WordPress dashboard with your credentials
Step 2: Please install the WP-Duplicator Plugin
Step 3: Activate the WP-Duplicator Plugin
By doing these three steps, you are preparing to take the back up of all the necessary files and database that needs to be transferred from one server to another. WP-Duplicator creates a package of these files and database.
Step 4: Click on Duplicator
Step 5: Click on Packages
Step 6: Click on ‘Create a new Package’
At this point, you shall find ‘Archive’. Please click on it to deselect a few tables from the database. Also, you can select the directories that ought to be in the archive. As such if you would have deleted the cache files from the cache plugin, this is not required. We have not added this step to the migration process as this is an add-on process that clears all the unwanted junk.
Step 7: Click on ‘Next’ which is at the bottom right-hand side corner
This shall initiate the scanning process by the Duplicator. The Duplicator shall scan the entire WordPress site. You may find a few information popping up like the ones mentioned below
- Extra Large File
- Other Warnings
You may find some errors in this process. Fix the error and allow the duplicator plugin to scan the website from where it has stopped. If there is a need for you to delete any extra-large, you can do that. Ultimately, by doing this, you are reducing the size of the package Duplicator makes. Once the scanning is complete
Step 8: Click on Build
This shall make the difficult task of taking the back up of files and database easy. Once you click on the build, Duplicator shall create the package. That’s shall contain the below mentioned two files
- Installer File
- Archive File
This may take some time. The package creation time depends on the WordPress site’s size. Of course, the process is fast, it may take anywhere between seconds to few minutes.
Once the package is created, download the installer file and the archive file. These are two files that you need to migrate it to the new server. This shall accomplish the hosting process. Once the download is done, let us move on to the further steps to migrate your website to another server.
Get the New Hosting Server Ready for Migration
The best aspect about WP-Duplicator is, it does not require to get installed in the new server. The Plugin shall do all the tasks, all you have to do is, create a new database and user.
Step 9: Create a Database and add the user with full privilege
You are required to note down the following details locally
- Name of the Database
- Database User
- Database Password
You will require these details in few steps from now. Please take a note of it.
Step 10: You must upload the Installer as well as the Archive file
You must access the new hosting server through FTP. In that, you must upload the installer and the archive file at the root location of the domain in the new server.
Once this is done
Step 11: Open the new Server IP having installer.php at the end
It shall direct you to the next screen where the database details are required. Remember, we had taken the details earlier in Step 9. Use those details and fill it appropriately.
You will find a button that says ‘Test Connection’
Step 12: Click on Test Connection
This is done to completely check if everything is fine or not. In most of the cases, the host shall be the localhost only. But the database details shall be the one that you had created now on the new server.
Step 13: Click on Next
This shall ensure that the website is hosted on the new server. Once this is done, the screen shall display the details of the migration.
Keep the FTP handy to check if everything is fine. You can also use the FTP login and see f the files are saved in the appropriate location or not.
There are times when this may fail, as you are doing it for the first time. If that happens, do the same steps on the new server again and it shall work fine. Not all the time, the first attempt is successful.
Once all these are done and your website is migrated, now is the time for you to update your domain server to point at your new hosting server.
On the other hand, when you log in to WordPress dashboard, it will also ask you to delete all existing dump files. These were the files that were used to migrate the website and us no longer needed in the Duplicator Plugin.
While you do this also check for FTP if there are any dump files in it. If so, delete them too. Most of the times you may get an error while doing this. The errors are minimal and it is system directed. You can fix them with ease. Sometimes, the error may cause due to the database that is not properly installed. Check for the tables and repeat the process once again to have it fixed.
You may find an error that says ‘ionCube Encoder for PHP 5’. If this occurs, disable the plugin for a while and continue with the process and it shall get vanished.
WP-Duplicator is a free plugin and it makes life easy in the migration process. If the size of the database is more, the process may take a while but there is no hassle in it. People opt for this option for its free plan. Get the website migrated using these easy steps. As already said, if you find any steps in the process difficult, please consult a technician who can sort this out for you.