How To Move a WordPress Blog From One Host To Another

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Almost 12 months ago I decided to upgrade my server to a dedicated server.

I wanted my blog to load as fast as possible and I had added all the plugins that help with load speed. But I still wasn’t happy…I wanted it even faster…hence the upgrade.

After the upgrade, my site did load pretty fast but the server wasn’t that reliable. Quite often it would just freeze. Many mornings I would open my emails and see that the hosting company had to re-book the server and they could find nothing wrong.

The reliability was getting worse so I decided to do some research and find a new host.

I found the answer on Yoast’s site.

He knows what he is talking about. Yoast recommend VPS or WestHost.

I ‘questioned’ their sales teams, compared prices and decided to go with WestHost.

The best hosting around?

This is what webuildyourblog.com is hosted on:

  • WestHost ‘Burst’ cloud server with 1.2GHz Dedicated CPU, 752MB RAM, 20GB Storage, 500GB Bandwidth
  • CDN with RackSpace

Plus I use these cahcing type plugins to improve the loading speed:

Loads in Under 3 Seconds

Both my home page and blog pages now load in under 3 seconds…which is pretty good considering all the images and content I have loading on each page.

And if I’ve not purchased the best package, I can always scale up to the next level. That’s the good thing about cloud hosting…it’s easy to scale up.

Now let’s move onto the real subject of this blog post – the actual moving from one host to another.

I’ve moved many clients from one host to another before and it is normally a matter of running through a few steps and taking your time.

But I nearly called this blog post…

How NOT To Move a WordPress Blog From One Host To Another

Why?

I made several mistakes!

Moving Hosts…Step-by-Step

These are the steps you should take:

  1. Wait until your new hosting server has been set-up
  2. Backup your WordPress database. I used the DB-Manager plugin and downloaded the sql file to my PC
  3. Download ALL the files associated with your website / blog to your pc. Use a FTP tool.
  4. Copy all the files you downloaded from point 3 above to your new host server
  5. Create a new SQL database and database user on your new host server. Connect the new database user with all privileges to the new SQL database.
  6. Edit the WP-Config.php file on your PC (the version you downloaded from point 3) with your new database and database user details.
  7. Upload and override the new wp-config.php file to your new host.
  8. Import your old WordPress Database (from point 2)  into your newly added Database (the one you created in point 5).
  9. Repoint the Name-servers (where your domain name is registered) to your new hosting account.
  10. Be patient and wait to enable everything to settle down. It can take 24 hours before your domain name is connected to the new hosting account.
  11. Add any email accounts to your new host.

That’s it. Sounds simple, right?

It is if you follow those 11 points and I do when moving clients sites.

But when moving my own, I decided to change the order.

I thought I would save time by completing point 9 after the new hosting had been set up.

I thought the name-servers can be “doing their stuff” while I do everything else.

WRONG!

The problem is the data size for my site is over 1GB and downloading that amount of data via FTP took several hours.

It stopped halfway through.

While I was copying the data down to my PC via FTP, the name servers changed and suddenly the FTP stopped working.

So I had to rename the servers back to my ‘old’ host, wait until that had completed, then start again.

Then while uploading the data via FTP to my new host (point 4), I had a great idea!

Why don’t I “zip” the data and upload the zipped file. That will be quicker. I stopped the FTP, deleted the files it had uploaded and zipped the files.

Zipping the files hardly made any difference, so the upload took just as long.

And while all this was going on, I had the ‘site in maintenance’ screen showing for my visitors. In the end it was up for about 2 days…not good.

I am sorry about that and I have also replied to comments now.

So if you have to move hosting companies, don’t try and cut corners…be patient and follow the 11 points above.

If you have any extra tips that work for you, please share your ideas in the comments below.

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25 Responses to How To Move a WordPress Blog From One Host To Another

  1. Steve March 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I have moved many sites from one host to another and your list is pretty good. If the new host will do it for you, then you are set. But otherwise I like to download the wp-content directory and the database tables to my local system. Install WordPress on the new host using an installation tool that is provided. Then copy up my wp-content directory and overwrite the database with the tables that I have saved. Then there’s some cpanel duties too like email accounts, forwards, spam assassin enabling.

  2. Corinne Edwards
    Twitter:
    March 19, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Dear Andrew –

    Youjust wrote the best sales page for your services.

    The heading should be

    LET ANDREW DO IT FOR YOU.

    My head is still spinning. But then, did I ever say I knew anything about tchnology?

    Congratulations! Looks good. Loads fast.

    Now take a week off and walk the beach.
    Corinne Edwards recently posted..SALES, LIES AND NAKED TRUTHS – Got a minute? Now on AmazonMy Profile

  3. Amrik March 20, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    Great post and very clear point.
    This is very clear idea and really very helpful to move my wordpress site.
    Thanks for sharing us

  4. abhiz
    Twitter:
    March 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Great tutorial Andrew. Specially for that caching plugins info, me currently using wp-supercache for my blog
    abhiz recently posted..Magento Fashion and Shopping Themes | Magento Best Fashion and Shopping Cart ThemesMy Profile

  5. Andrea Hypno
    Twitter:
    March 21, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    Luckily I’m fine with Bluehost but in case I need to move my blog this article will surely be useful. Great post Andrew, as always.
    Andrea Hypno recently posted..How to Lose Belly Fat with Creative VisualizationMy Profile

  6. Dee March 21, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    I use Backup Buddy.. and it’s saved me on more than one occasion, including moving sites.

    My son actually handles that part for me, but I think it takes like 10 minutes or something to fully restore a site.

    dee

  7. Chris Barker March 21, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Hi Andrew!

    I’m glad you came up with this topic. I’m having the same problem as well with my server and been gathering reference around for a good one. I’m thinking of switching service, now that you suggested one, i would definitely look into it. I was thinking of moving my WP blog when i have a new host, and thankfully you made a step-by-step guide on it. I’m not that well-versed in matters like this..so your post really comes in handy and would totally bookmark this. Thanks!

  8. Amit Shaw
    Twitter:
    March 22, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Yes Great tutorial Andrew. Currently i am using my friends hosting and soon means may be on next month i will change it and this article gonna help me a lot. Thanks for this simple tutorial.
    Amit Shaw recently posted..Tips to Secure your Blogger Blog from HackersMy Profile

  9. Prithvi
    Twitter:
    March 23, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    If i have to summarize my comment in a short para, i’ll just say it was nice.. Short step-wise and knowledgeable guide. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep up the good work. 🙂
    Prithvi recently posted..How to make phone call from iPad??My Profile

  10. Jack Sander March 25, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    This tutorial is awesome. I plan to move my blog to other hosting, therefore I enjoyed reading this post. I just hope to be a straight-forward process, without having to face serious issues.
    Jack Sander recently posted..How to bend drywallMy Profile

  11. Maryden25 March 26, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    Thanks Andrew! It was a great tips on how to do the moving in a right way. I hope it will continue to give you faster service just like what’s giving you today.
    I do have a second thought of doing that before but thanks to you, this really helps.

  12. Felicia April 1, 2012 at 4:34 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    Thank you very much for sharing with us the 11 steps on how to move a WP blog from one host to another. I’m not much of a techie/programmer, and this post will surely help me and many of those who are planning to move their WP blogs to another host.
    Felicia recently posted..BREAKING NEWS: Full Tilt Poker Open For Business!My Profile

  13. Wade
    Twitter:
    April 1, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    I too have moved my blog. To WordPress. I thought it was going to be harder than it was, but it was surprisingly easy to move. WordPress just has better features. These are great tips for someone who needs this help.
    Wade recently posted..3 Steps On How Bloggers Make MoneyMy Profile

  14. Heidi19 April 2, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    Hi Andrew! thanks for providing this awesome tutorial and i really enjoyed reading this post. I plan to move my blog and i will definitely follow all the detailed guide that you’ve shared with us here.

  15. Ayesha April 2, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Great points! By following your post we can move wordpress blog from one host to another. All points are very easily describe each and everything, moving blog becomes easy.
    Ayesha recently posted..Top Five Plasma LCD TVsMy Profile

  16. Maja April 2, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    You have did good decision that was the need of time. Very informative tutorial on migration.

  17. Azam April 15, 2012 at 4:24 am #

    Sometimes we are annoyed from one hosting service but the main problem is how can we move our all of data from one host to another host.I have bookmarked this post as I many need this in near future.
    Azam recently posted..Being a Sales Rep for Silpada DesignsMy Profile

  18. WordPress Blogging May 12, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    I want to change my namecheap hosting with bluehost. Your guide help me the most.

    Thank you and Best Regards!

  19. Arun June 19, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    I recently moved my word press blog between shared hosting providers. Besides moving the content, exporting the database, I also had to setup my .htaccess file on the new server on the new server correctly. I was getting a lot of 404 errors before fixing the .htaccess file. I will try the hosting plans recommended by you once traffic to my blog increases.

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