In an ideal situation, you would never have to worry about switching web hosts. Unfortunately, this perfect scenario might not always apply to you. If your current web host can’t give you what you need, it might be time to move to a better one.
There are various ways to transfer your site to a new web hosting provider, and they aren’t that difficult to do. In this article, I’ll cover four methods to transfer your website.
Let’s get started.
What Methods Can Be Used to Transfer a Website to Another Host
The four methods each have their advantages. According to Hostinger, using a plugin is the simplest way to move your website if you’re looking for the easiest method.
Nevertheless, here are the three most popular methods for transferring your WordPress site:
1. FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
Most web hosting providers include a File Transfer Protocol service in their plans. You can use this to connect to an FTP client. To connect via FTP, you’ll need an FTP program – FileZilla is a great free option.
Besides the secure FTP software, you’ll also need to get the FTP credentials, which are your host, username, password, and port from both your old and new host. You should be able to find this in your hosting dashboard.
If you’re using WordPress, you can always use a WordPress migration plugin like Duplicator or All in One WP Migration. They’re plugins that will help you easily migrate your site or even clone your site without requiring any technical knowledge.
3. Hosting Provider Migrations
A few hosting providers like Cloudways managed cloud hosting offer website migration services, free and paid. The steps to do it vary, and you’ll need to check with them how to do it. Get in touch with your hosting provider, contact support, or look up their respective FAQ to learn more.
4. SQL Backup
If you’re transferring your website’s database, you’ll also need to import it along with your website files. SQL is used to communicate with the database. The SQL is a part of the website, but it needs to be moved separately, so don’t forget it.
Steps for Moving a Website via FTP
1. Download a backup archive from your old host.
You’ll need to login into your old control panel first and connect to FileZilla. Then head to the public_html directory. Once in, select all the files from your old site and download them to your local computer. This is necessary because FileZilla doesn’t have an Extract feature.
2. Upload it via FTP to the new host.
Connect your account to FileZilla. Once you’re in, navigate to the Remote Site panel and click on the public_html folder. You should then head to the Local site panel to see the downloaded files of your old site.
Select the files and upload them to the new public_html directory. It may take a while to both download and upload all of the files for a large site, but in terms of work, you’re done. All you need to do is wait.
Steps for Moving a Website via Plugins
Before I start, make sure you have WordPress installed on your new hosting account and have the plugin activated on both old and new websites. Here, I’ll be using the All in One WP Migration plugin.
1. Backup old site files using the plugin.
Head to your old site’s admin dashboard and select Export on the All in One WP Migration menu. Next, click on the Export to and choose the File option from the dropdown menu. Wait for the plugin to retrieve your site files, then download your site files from the popup window that appears.
2. Import the plugin-created backup file.
Open the dashboard on your new site and head over to the All in One WP Migration’s Import section. Then, click on the Import from, choose File, and find the files you’ve exported. Once the process is done, click Finish.
Moving an SQL Database to Your New Web Host
The simplest way to move your SQL database is by using phpMyAdmin. It’s an open-source and free tool with a user-friendly interface that allows you to run MySQL queries and easily manage your databases, including exporting them.
Many hosting providers have phpMyAdmin in their control panel, so this guide should be relevant to most of you.
1. Export the .sql file.
Firstly, you should enter phpMyAdmin from your hosting’s control panel. Then, on the dashboard’s left side, click on the MySQL database you want to export. Afterwards, click on the Export tab on the top menu bar.
phpMyAdmin has two export options, which are Custom and Quick. If you want the simplest way to export, select the Quick option. Once there, choose SQL from the dropdown menu as your preferred backup format file. Once done, hit Go.
2. Create a database with your new web host.
Before you run the installer on the new host, you’ll need to create a MySQL database on your new hosting account. Go to your new hosting’s control panel, scroll down to the Databases section and click on the MySQL databases.
You’ll be prompted to enter a name for your new database. Once done, click Create Database. Next, scroll down to the MySQL Users section and create a new username and password for the new user.
Then, add the user to your database, which will give all the permissions to work on the database. You can do this by going to the Add User to a Database section.
3. Access phpMyAdmin via your new provider. Import the .sql file.
Open phpMyAdmin on your new web host provider. Your database will be selected by default, so all you need to do is click Import. Then choose a file that has .sql or .sql.zip format.
You don’t need to change anything else on the settings so just click Go. That’s it, and now you know how to import your MySQL database.
There are various ways to move your website to another web host. The ones I mentioned here are beginner-friendly and don’t require a lot of time and effort.
Remember to read the steps thoroughly as you’re moving your site. You don’t want to do it all over again in case you missed a step, right?
All that’s left for you is to start doing it. Good luck!