Transfering a WordPres Site to a Different Server
I am going to try to document the steps I have taken to transfer my wife’s WordPress site masViva that I had hosted at DreamHost to HostGator. The reason for doing the transfer is just that we want to keep several sites together on the same provider instead of spreading out the payments, and knowledge of each panel, also the access speed to Dreamhost seems to be a bit slower than to Hostgator, but please dont take this for a fact and take action just because of my words.
Anyway, I’ll try to capture all the steps. Just to keep things sufficiently neutral I am going to call Origin to the service I am moving to, and Destination to the service I am moving to.
- If you have your domain registered at Origin, the first thing you need to do is move your register to Destination or to an independent Domain Register Service. In my case I have all my domains hosted at NameCheap, (independently of my hosting services) so I did not need to do this step. Just for the sake of completion, you should do this in 3 steps:
- Request transfer from New Register Provider.
- Confirm from Origin
- Do not change the configuration. Everything should keep pointing at Origin.
- Install XCloner plugin in your WordPress site.
- From your WP Admin menu, go to Plugins->Xcloner and generate a new backup, complete with all information (do not exclude any files). Be sure to name it in a way you will be able to recognice it.
- As of this moment, do not make any more changes to your existing website, as they will not be transfered.
- Make sure you have a domain name or address with which you can temporaly reach Destination. This will be needed to execute the cloning automatically through a PHP file that XCloner will set on your Destination. (The other option is to point your DNS name servers to Destination in advance, but then, you might run into problems and leave your website without service). In my case I set up a subdomain test.masviva.net and pointed it to my Destination. Only after I could access test.masviva.net did I start the process.
- Once the backup is created, you will need to Clone it to Destination. Enter the website URL where you want the backup to be moved, enter all the FTP connection settings, and the directory where you want to move the backup to.
- Make sure you check out this documentation on XCloner
- Create your MySQL database in advance along with its user. This differs from service to service (In HostGator, which is my Destination, I do it from the Panel at MySql Databases)
- Follow the steps at this documentation on XCloner to complete the instal. Fort HostGator I did not mark the following options on the file transfer:
- Skip files restore
- Restore by using server utilities (gives an error with HostGator).
- Delete the XCloner.php file, as soon as this is done and you confirm that you can access Destination, and it contains all the information you expected.
- After doing all checks (enter admin, make changes, check on the website, all pictures and formats are correct etc), go to your domain register service and point the domain to destination. Delete also the test subdomain if you also created it like I did.
- Enter config.php, and remove references to test.domain (in case you used it).
And thats that, if everything runs smoothly this is all there is to it. I hope it has been useful to you, just drop a note in case it has, it will make me happy.