So, you’re fed up of host because you’ve been using it forever or just looking to change hosts because you think it would suit you better. Either way, you’re going to have to transfer all that data from your WordPress website to your new host. It is a more complicated than transferring your website from a sub to root directories of the same site, which is very common.
Although the WordPress codex contains a detailed guide on how you can perform this task, it’s something that is mostly likely to cause more confusion than help you. So, here’s a step by step guide no how to get that done without ruining your site or losing any data.
It goes without saying since it’s the golden rule of transferring, formatting or reinstalling anything. But, it is important enough to be mentioned in this guide. Rather than just backing up the entire website, you will have to back up every single one of your files so that you can transfer them on to your new host server.
It’s recommended that you use FTP and SFTP and also to do so manually, so that you can stop the procedure in case something has gone wrong. All you need to do is login to your previous WordPress site and make copies of all of your files onto your computer. Also, look out for hidden files since they can be quite important as well.
Now this is the part where you are going to have to pay special attention as it gets a bit technical. First, you’ll have to login to the site’s cPanel and click on the “phpMyAdmin” page. Once there, choose the database of your site and then “Export” the files to your system.
Once you’ve exported all your data, you’re going to have to construct a database on your new host server, for the old WordPress site. You can do this by:
Once that’s done, add a username to the database and grant “All Privileges”. Be sure to make a note the database name, database username and database passwords somewhere as you will need these details in the future.
As the database construct will differ from your WordPress site and on your new server, you will have to update your site’s “wp-config.php” file with the fresh inputs. You’ll find a wp-config.php file among the numerous files in the install file that was downloaded earlier.
Be sure to save an extra copy of the file and rename it something that you will know is the old file, just in case you make a coding error and have to restore your files. After you open the unaltered file, you’ll have to update the name of the database, its username as well as password that you created previously.
After you have the database up and about, you’ll have to import the .SQL that you exported earlier. Do this by opening “phpMyAdmin” under the cPanel, select the fresh database and click the “Import” tab. You can then choose the file for the database that you had downloaded previously, under the tab, “File to Import”.
Next, you would obviously want to transfer your old site onto the new host server. First, connect to your site using FTP or/and SFTP and direct yourself to the area where you desire to copy throughout the site. In case you’re looking to position the website within the root-directory of the new domain, copy all the saved files to a public_html folder. Save a copy of the site on a desktop or laptop, in case you need to restore the files later.
Once the server is set up, you’ll have to update your domain name in your database if you want images, videos or posts that link visitors to other areas of your site to function. It won’t do you any good if you just open the database and update it yourself because you run the risk of breaking any chronological data if you set an auto feature.
You can make use of Search Replace DB, which is a formidable script for such a purpose as it preserves successive PHP strings while performing find and replace functions. If you do decide to use this script, upload it on your website, check the contents and then punch in whatever it us you are looking for. For example, if you want to locate your old site’s domain name and have it replaced with a new name.
Prior to your website becoming completely functional with the new domain name, you’ll have to first reconfigure the DNS settings for your domain. You will have to log on to the sever site that hosts the domain name and point it towards your new host server. Configuring your DNS settings typically differs from host to host, so get into your host’s customer care if you’re not sure what to do or have made a mistake while configuring.
Once the DNS changes to your domain have fully proliferated, you or your admins will have access your new site on the new server, using the usernames and password that you were using on the old one.
After going through this guide, you’ve probably realized that shifting your WordPress site to a non-WordPress domain host is a fairly simple and effortless procedure and not the nightmare that many people claim it to be. That being said, it is always advised to take your time with each part of the procedure. Also ensure you’ve backed up your site and all essential files in case anything goes wrong. And if you just can’t be bothered to go the effort of shifting your whole site on your own, you can find a variety of plugins that will do the heavy lifting for you.