There’s many ways to backup WordPress and move to your new host.
I have already written a post on how to fully backup your website and migrate to a new host. This method uses a premium plugin which also allows you to automatically schedule new backups for the term of the license which is normally one year.
This is the method i use because it only takes 5 minutes once you know what you are doing and you also get to keep using the plugin for one year.
There’s also another way which i will discuss today which is free but possibly more complicated depending on your experience.
Unfortunately, some seem to think a full database copy is all you need to create a full copy of your site. This is definitely not the case as it doesn’t preserve & copy your seo settings, images (uploads) , plugins, theme and settings to name a few.
The 7 main steps involved are:
- Creating a full copy of your files including plugins and configurations, theme settings and all non database data
- Creating a full backup of databases
- Create a New Database Using Your Hosts Cpanel MySql Database wizard
- Editing Your Sites Config File Database Settings
- Choosing a new web host and setting up your hosting in cpanel
- Restoring your files on your new server and importing your database using PhpMyAmin
- Domain name DNS (nameserver) change
Let get started on the first step towards completing a full site move to a new host.
If at any time you prefer an professional to take care of the full process for you, please order the site move package from the services page.
1) Making a copy of your files is very easy.
Simply download the full folder which contains your site using FTP or file manager in your hosts cpanel and save the full contents in a folder on your desktop.
- Login to your favourite FTP client and navigate to your remote site folders
- Click on the Public_Html folder and locate your website folder which contains all your site files
- Highlight the folder and right click it. You can then click download
- Download your full website folder contents into a new folder on your desktop
2) How to create a full MySql Database backup using cpanel:
- Login to your existing webhosts cpanel and navigate to databases
- Click on php MyAdmin and find Databases
- Select the database that you would like to backup from the drop-down menu called Database (located in the upper left corner of the page).
- Find the export tab at the top of the page and click on it then select add drop table and save as to export a full copy of your database for the site you wish to move.
- Click the Go button and save to your desired location on your local computer and your done!
3) Save the new database details to notepad as you will need to paste this info into the config file to tell your site that you have a new database to connect data from.
- Login to your new hosts Cpanel and scroll down to databases
- Click on MySql database wizard and enter a name for the database (Keep the old database name)
- Follow the simple steps and enter a username and password to cerate your new database
- Add user to database and Select all privileges and your done.
4) Edit your sites wp-config.php file to match your new database settings on your new host.
You can edit this file on your desktop before you upload your sites backup files or you can edit it after you have uploaded it.
To edit after you have uploaded your files, go to your hosts cPanel –> File Manager.
Find the file, click on it and from the top menu choose “Edit”.
To locate the wp.config.php file, simply click on the main directory folder that houses your full site files and you will see it second from the bottom.
You’ll need wordpad or notepad++ to edit a php file unless you are editing it in file manager which has a built in editor.
Locate the database information and change it to your new database name, username and password which i asked you to save beforehand.
Your wp.config.php file is edited and should now connect to your files.
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6.) Restoring your backup to your new host.
You can actually use a plugin to import your sql database into your live installation however its better to import you Sql database backup to PhpMyAdmin and restore your database using cpanel.
- Login to your new hosts cpanel and scroll down to the database section
- Locate the new database you created on the left hand side of PhpMyAdmin using the drop down menu and click on import
- Locate the file from your computer then click on the Go button at the bottom-right corner to start the restoration process
You will also need to upload your complete website backup files using FTP to your Public_Html folder which is your root directory.
You can crete a new folder and upload the contents of the backup folder from your desktop which will include your edited wp.config.php file and all your sites contents excluding the database.
You can simply drag the whole folder inside FTP from your local system to your remote site
7.) How To Change Your DNS (Domain Nameservers) To Point To Your New Host:
This is very simple.
- Login to your domain registrars control panel
- Locate the domain manager tab and click on it
- Find DNS or Nameservers and click on it
- Replace the nameserver settings with your ne hosts settings which they will supply you with once you have finalised your purchase with them
This may cause your site to go down for a short while which is called prognation.
It won’t last long and your site should be live on your new host within 24 hrs.
Mostly it will take less than an hour to change and have your site backup and running.
You can avoid this by contacting your new host who will help you avoid this entirely if you desire.
Tip: If you decide to change your domain as well to something more search engine friendly, i suggest you use the plugin to complete this process or you may create broken internal and image links within your site due to the URL change.
If you got this far you will probably understand how much time you can save by using the plugin!