Migrating a website can be considered a move. This is an action to move the entire web platform (website or application) to another hosting space. Website migration is a relatively simple operation but beware of errors which can be (very) expensive!

There are 2 free methods for your wordpress migration service.

  • Using free WordPress migration plugin (for beginners)
  • Manual transfers of your files and database using FTP (for advanced users)

Free WordPress migration plugin

All in One WP Migration

All-in-One WP Migration

If you choose to use ALL in One WP Migration, it is relatively easy to use, all you have to do is press the big β€œExport” button, and depending on the size of your site, you’ll have to wait a couple of minutes or a bit more.

When all is done, you’ll be able to download the file to your computer. What you do next is install the same plugin on your new WordPress in the new hosting server. Next, what remains to do is simply import the file that contains all your website data.

NOTE: if you face any wordpress migration issues with this method, it is highly likely that the file you are trying to import is too big for the size limit allowed on your site, so you might want to check with your support so they would increase the max_upload_size for you.

Duplicator Plugin – WordPress Migration Service

Duplicator

You can for example use the WordPress Duplicator plugin which will allow you to generate a copy of your pre-configured site, which you can then deploy on a database and a directory (local or remote) of destination.

1) Manual Transfer - Preparing for your website migration

For a successful website migration, the preparation phase is essential. You need to make sure you have all the access you need to migrate your site. You should also back up all of your data.

Getting all your credentials

Before handling, make sure you have all the access that will allow you to:

  • Retrieve your data (your site files) on the server via FTP access,
  • Recover your database on the server via access to phpMyAdmin,
  • Modify the DNS zone of your domain through your registrar (the manager of your domain name).

Data backup and recovery

To avoid data loss due to improper handling, migration is prepared by making a global backup of the site you want to move.

Also, one must be vigilant as to the nature of the items saved. Scripts, pages, and images are usually retrieved using a file transfer manager (Filezilla for FTP), I usually use WinSCP,Β  while the database is most often retrieved from the database manager interface phpMyAdmin.

FTP clients

Make sure you have a backup of the files and database for the site to be migrated.

2) The configuration of the new web hosting account

The backup of the site made, it is now necessary to configure the destination server. To be certain of finding the functional site after the migration, it is first recommended to configure the new server space in the same way as the old one.

This includes configuring a new domain, security services (SSL), and PHP.

Warning: keep the same versions of PHP and MySQL if possible!

3) Transfer of the site to the new hosting account

Following the configuration of the hosting, all the content of the site previously retrieved must then be brought back to the new server. This includes the files in their entirety and of course the database.

For the latter, know that it is necessary to create a new one, to configure it and then to transfer all of its original content to it. Also, the credentials defined during its creation must have the same name and the same password as the initial database.

File Transfert

Renewal of data via FTP and the database on the new server while retaining the same access for the database.

4) Verification of the success of the operation:

That’s it! Your site is hosted on your new server! It is now almost accessible! There are, however, two possible options for completing the website migration:

  • Either you choose to redirect your domain name directly to the IP address of your new server. The risk associated with this maneuver is a total service outage in case the migration went wrong.
  • Or you prefer security by modifying the address file (host) of your computer to access the content hosted by the new server. Only you can see any errors. You will be able to correct them before performing the switch to the new server.

We highly recommend the second initiative! If the migration process seems successful, go-ahead for the last step.

To modify the host file go to the directory β€œc:\windows\system32\drivers\etc.”

Open it using a text editor and edit it as follows:

Edit Host File

The recommended method is to modify the β€œhost” file to verify the success of the migration operation.

5) DNS Change

At this point, the site is migrated. It only remains to modify the DNS zone to make it searchable through its domain name. You just have to change the IP address associated with its domain name from your administration panel.

Example with SiteGround:

Siteground DNS settings
SiteGround DNS Settings

Modification of the DNS zone of the domain name with the IP address of the new server.

SSL Certificate

It only remains to generate an SSL certificate to have the Secure HTTP protocol (HTTPS). For this, you have the choice between free or paid SSL certificates depending on the desired level of security.

If you are not very comfortable migrating your website, do not hesitate to leave us a comment and we will do our best to guide you with the best Advices πŸ˜‰