How To Backup Your Site and Move WordPress

Moving WordPress to a new host isn’t for beginners.

You can do some serious damage if you don’t know what you are doing.

The reason i have written this guide is to show you the best way to complete the migration successfully.

This tutorial details the easiest, fastest and safest way to backup, migrate and restore your WordPress blog to a new host while retaining your hard earned incoming links.

You may also change your domain name or theme if you wish and you will not lose your SEO settings.

BackupBuddy Tutorial – Backup, Migrate & Restore WordPress

Have you ever tried to move your site to another location or change your domain name?

To avoid pulling your hair out and save heaps of time & frustration, read on and learn how to avoid losing your links and messing up your files and databases.

This WordPress tutorial includes: How To

  1. Complete Full Backup of Your WordPress Site
  2. Setup Your New MySql Database at Your New Host
  3. Change Your Existing DNS Domain Name Servers To Point To Your New Web Host
  4. Upload and Import Your WordPress Backup To Your New Hosts Database
  5. Configure Your Import Settings For Restoration and Completion To Your New Host

Before you start

If you are moving to HostGator as a new customer, they will help you move your site. Click here to go to Hostgator. Use coupon wordpresssites” to get 25% off!

Firstly, you will need to install the WordPress backup plugin that completes this full process.

Then you will need to assign an addon domain with your new host under Domain Manager, Assign a Domain to your cPanel account.

Then go to your current domain manager and under Domains-Domain Manager-Transfer, use the EPP Code to Verify Ownership of the new addon domain you are assigning to your Cpanel Account.

This can be done from your current domain manager (registrar).

Complete Full Backup of Your Blogs Content

  1. Click on Backups under the BackupBuddy tab on the left hand side of your WordPress Dashboard (WordPress Backend Admin )
  2. Click on Full Backup and save it to your desktop. Click on to ImportBuddy.php link and save it to your desktop. Make note of your permalink structure in Permalinks at your WordPress dashboard under Settings.
  3. DO NOT change the name of the full backup zip file. You may need this after Step 5.

How To Setup Your New Database

  1. Login to your Cpanel in your new hosting. If you don’t have new hosting yet, go to WordPress Hosting and choose a host.
  2. Find MySQL Database wizard under Databases
  3. Click on the wizard and follow the steps to create a new database on your new hosting account. Try to name the new database the same as your domain name so its easy to find for the next steps.
  4. Make note of the full database name, username and password as you will need these for Step.5

Change Your Existing DNS To Point To Your New Server

  1. Login to your control panel for your domain and click on Domains. Find and click on Domain Manager
  2. Find your domain and click on it. Then find the DNS tab and click on it.
  3. Edit name server information under Nameservers. This means you change these settings by replacing them with your new hosts domain name servers (DNS).

Import Your Backup To Your New Database

  1. Back in cPanel (Control Panel) at your new host, Find File Manager under the Files Section of cPanel and click on it.

2. You should see the name of the SQL Database you created in Step 2. It should be named something like your domain name and be under the Name Tab.

3. Double click on it and then after you have arrived at a new screen click on the upload tab near the top middle part.

4. Browse for your sites Full Backup zip file and the importbuddy.php file you saved to desktop in Step 1 and upload them both.  They will be imported into your domains root directory public html folder.

Make sure you upload them to the correct location which should be /public_html/Your Database Name.

View a video on how to find your public_html root directory.

Mine is /public_html/wpsites as this is what i named the new database i created with the My SQl Database wizard in Step 2.

This path or location is just one of the databases in my Cpanel account and the full path or location is: /home/wpsites/public_html/wpsites

Enter Settings For Restoration and Completion To Your New Host

Find your importbuddy.php URL and double click on it. Otherwise type your domain name/importbuddy.php into your browser address bar to start the import buddy script (on your new server).

Follow the import wizard to complete the import of your WordPress site backup to your new database.

Enter your new database base name, user name/password into the required fields and follow the instructions. Don’t forget to check your Permalink structure in your WordPress Dashboard after you have finished. You may need to refresh it.

Keep it the same as it was just before you backed up your site.

Note: Your hosting may take some time to resolve (propagnate) therefore your site will be down on your old server after you change the name servers to your new hosts (DNS). To avoid this, consult your web hosts support centre.

Alternative way to install Backup buddy

Due to security issues, some web hosts do not allow script based zip extraction. It also depends on the PHP mode on which the server is running.

If you experience any errors during the process of running importbuddy here is a quick fix that should sort out most of the errors.

1. Go to cPanel -> File manager -> To the uploaded the zip file and importbuddy.php directory
2. Extract the zip file (your backup) without changing any directory location.
3. Run the importbuddy.php file process.
4. Ignore the error in step 4 during the process.

You should now have successfully run importbuddy.

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Comments

  1. Paul says

    Hi Brad
    Thankyou for the great info !
    Can I ask as great as backup buddy is – can it slow down load times ?
    If this is the case would deactivating plug in when its not backing up be
    wise ?
    Cheers
    Paul

    • says

      Hey Paul

      Generally you would only backup once a day at most so it is only during this period when the plugin uses server resources which may slow down your site if you’re on shared hosting.

      The plugin will not effect page loading times simply by being activated as the files simply sit in the plugins folder without using any server resources.

      What size is your database and do you complete a full daily backup or daily database backup only?

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