How To: Move A WordPress Website

How To Move A WordPress Website

Disclaimer: Prior to completing our tutorials, we always recommend that you take a full backup of your website (both database and files) just incase that something goes wrong (every website is different).

In this S9 guide we will show you how to move a WordPress website including manually and also by using a plugin.

What's included in this guide:​

Why would I want to move a WordPress website?

There are multiple reasons why you may want to move a WordPress website. From experience this could be:
  1. You are looking to move your website from one hosting provider to another, this could be because you have found a better deal or service elsewhere and want to move from your old host over to your new host or if your web designer is taking too long to respond and you want to move your website to a company who responds much quicker.
  2. You have developed the WordPress website on a staging server or on your local computer and want to move it to the live server where your website is hosted.
  3. You have made a backup of a website before you replaced it with the new one and have forgotten some content from the old website so need to restore the backup (I promise we have never done this in the past…!) to get the content from it.

The Manual Method

First step: How to backup your WordPress website

There are two parts to a WordPress website that you will need to backup, one part is the website database and the other part is the website files.

How To Move A WordPress Website

To download the website database, install the plugin Search & Replace and activate it. Once activated, head to Tools > Search & Replace. The first tab says ‘Backup database’, click the ‘Create SQL file’ button and download the file created. This is the backup of the database. Make sure you keep the plugin installed as we will need this later on!

The easiest way to create a backup of the website files is by connecting to the site via FTP using an FTP client such as FileZilla. Once you have connected, the way you know that your site is WordPress is that there will be a file in the WP folder called wp-config.php. Download all of the files in this folder (the one that has wp-config.php in) to your computer and that is the complete website files that make your WordPress website function.

You may be able to download all of the files via the online file manager rather than FTP. With our host 20i you are able to do this and it looks like the following.

File Manager

Second step: How to move your WordPress website

Dependent on your hosting provider, you will either need to connect via FTP to upload the website files or the online file manager viewer. With our hosting provider 20i it is much easier to upload the files via their own online file manager rather than connecting via FTP (every host is different though).

Once you have connected, create a file called index.html (this is will prevent any files being uploaded being displayed publicly prior to configuration). Then upload the .zip of the website files you have backed up (do not upload the database, only the main website files). Extract the files within the zip and then we can start configuring the hosting.

Once completed, go to the MySQL section of your hosting panel and create a database for your website. The database will consist of a database name, username and password. If you are using the cPanel control panel, you will need to create a database first, then assign a user to it (and give it full rights) – other hosts may have this already created and preconfigured, make sure that you check with your web host first if you have any questions.

As the database has now been created, login to it via phpMyAdmin (it should look like the following):

phpMyAdmin

Make sure that if you have any existing data within the database that you need to remove to import the new database, you can click the database name on the left hand side (where it says SCWORDPRESS, yours will be different), which will then display the image below.

Click the ‘Check all’ field and select ‘Drop’ from the ‘With selected:’ dropdown. It will then clear the existing database.

Then once that has been cleared, click ‘Import’ and import the database from the backup.

Once completed, click the database again and select the wp_options on the left hand side. Amend the ‘site url’ and ‘home’ fields to the new website address.

This should be everything with the database completed. Go back to the file manager, edit the wp-config.php file and where it has the database name, user, password and host, replace these with the actual ones from your hosting. Once amended, click save and then delete the index.html file.

Your website should then display.

phpMyAdmin Table

How to configure once your website has been moved across

Firstly, login to yourwebsiteurl.com/wp-admin with the login details that you used prior to the website being moved across.

Elementor Replace URL

Once you login, if you are using an Elementor theme (you will know this as an Elementor tab will appear on the left hand side in the dashboard), you will need to go to Elementor > Tools and select the ‘Replace URL’ tab. Enter the old website URL in the ‘Old URL’ Feld and enter the new website in the ’New URL’ field. Make sure that in the ’New URL’ you include the https:// as this will ensure that your website displays the green tick if you have an SSL installed.

Once this has been completed on Elementor websites, head to Tools > Search & Replace (this should appear if you kept the Search & Replace plugin installed). On this page, enter the old website URL and new website URL (this will search your database and replace the old website URL with the new website URL).

Follow our guide on how to configure an SSL certificate in WordPress.

This should be the manual method completed, if there are any issues, please either contact your website host or contact us.

The Plugin Method

For this we will use the All-in-One WP Migration plugin by ServMask.

The first step is to install the plugin onto your existing WordPress website. Once completed, click the All-in-One WP Migration tab on the left hand side and click ‘Export’.

Click the ‘Export To’ dropdown and select ‘File’. Once the export has been completed, on the destination hosting, you will need to login to WordPress (on the new URL) and make sure the All-In-One WP Migration plugin has been installed. Then click the button Import and it will replace the new WordPress installation with the website imported.

If you don’t have WordPress installed on the new URL (destination server), follow this guide on how to install WordPress to your hosting.

After this has been completed, you will need to ensure to complete the steps above under the section ‘how to configure once your website has been moved across’.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team members via email on team@s9.uk and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We would love to hear your feedback also, whether positive or negative.

Thanks for taking a look at our guide on how to move a WordPress site.

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