At some point you may want to move your website or blog from one domain to another, or change hosting providers. How easy is it to migrate WordPress from one domain or hosting provider to another?
How Do I Move My Blog To A New Domain?
When you started your business or blog and set up your WordPress website or blog, you might not have been able to get the domain name you really wanted. “Dot com” is the most popular top-level domain in the world, and the name you wanted for your business or blog might not have been available. Domain owners often unintentionally or intentionally let their domain registrations lapse, which means the domain you originally wanted may now be available! But how easy will it be to migrate your website or blog to this new domain?
Moving Can Be Good
Perhaps when you first decided to setup your website, you chose a hosting provider based on a special introductory price, or maybe you chose your hosting provider based on a flashy Super Bowl commercial. Now you’ve discovered that your hosting provider has doubled your monthly rate, or perhaps they bombard you with up-selling offers. Maybe you’ve experienced issues with website and email downtime. Switching to another hosting provider can prove to be advantageous for any number of reasons.
Finally, you may be technically-proficient enough to operate your own server; if so, you already know that physical hardware will not last forever and it will eventually become necessary to migrate your site to a new server.
How difficult will it be to move your website or blog to another domain or hosting provider? With some Content Management Systems (CMS) and blogging platforms, it can be difficult and risky to make significant changes to your current configuration. However, with WordPress the process is straightforward and easy!
Where Do I Begin?
First, it is advisable in all situations in which files are copied, moved and/or deleted to create a backup of your WordPress installation. If something goes wrong and you need to quickly reinstate your old installation, a recent backup will ensure that none of your data is lost.
Scenario: Don’t Change URL’s
In the first migration scenario, we will assume that your domain name and URLs (the web addresses that link to a specific pages or file on your server) do not change. This would apply if you are switching your hosting provider or moving to a new server, but are planning on keeping the same name and URL structure. In this scenario, the process can be as simple as copying your files to your PC hard drive or a flash drive and transferring those files to the new server! If the database or user changes, simply edit the wp-config.php file and set the correct values.
Scenario: Domain Name Change
Next, we will discuss a migration scenario in which the domain name changes. Due to references to the old domain name in the your database, which may cause issues with your links or theme display, there is an additional step required after you transfer your files to the new server. It is important to use a script to change all references from your old domain to your new domain in your database; WordPress recommends using the Search and Replace for WordPress Databases Script. Do not make these changes manually because some themes and widgets have values stored in the database with the length of your URL marked.
More Detailed Scenarios
In other, more complex scenarios – such as moving your installation from your root directory to a specific folder, or moving a multisite WordPress installation – it is advisable to consult the WordPress documentation directly for detailed, step-by-step instructions. If you are uncomfortable completing a more complex migration on your own, we will be happy to assist you with the migration process.