How to move your WordPress site from one hosting company to another

Here’s one of those ideas that sounds simple in theory but in practice is actually rather difficult. So before you try this yourself, be sure you know what you are doing.

Own or run a WordPress site for long enough and chances are you will need to change hosting companies. I am on my third webhost in not quite seven years, and I know some bloggers on their 6th or seventh.

In most cases, we have had to move our sites from one hosting company to the next. There are some hosting companies like MediaTemple which will move your WordPress site for free, but generally the site’s owner has to pull it off.

There are several ways to transfer a site from one hosting company to another, but I am going to share the simplest and most universal method. This is the one I would use if you hired me to move your site.

I call it the backup trick. Here’s how it works.

  1. The first step is to install a backup plugin on your old site. I like Vaultpress because it’s bulletproof, but there are many options.
  2. Use that plugin to make a backup of your site.
  3. Then, on the new hosting company, create a new WordPress site.
  4. Install the backup plugin, and then use the backup plugin to restore the backup copy of your site on the new WordPress site.

And BAM, you have moved your site from your old hosting company to the new one.

Now comes the hard part.

You may have moved your site, but you still have to check all the plugins to make sure they work. You also need to make sure that the WP settings are set correctly, and that your images and other files transferred safely. And finally, you will need to redirect the website’s domain so that it points at the new site, and finally delete the old copy of the site.

All that is relatively easy if you have the experience. If not, you could hire an expert like me. I can move your site, eliminate all the bugs, and make sure it is up and running in a minimum amount of time.

Please do contact me if you need help.

image by Stuart Chalmers

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
After six plus years of running The Digital Reader, Nate is a veteran web publisher with experience in design, maintenance, recovery, and troubleshooting. What little he doesn't know, he can learn.

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