Hi there, Mark Rudder with OnSiteWP.
I’m going to show you how to migrate a website from one hosting environment to
another, or from one hosting company to another.
These are WordPress websites and it’s pretty easy to do.
We’re going to use a few plugins to do it.
Say you’ve decided that you want to upgrade your hosting platform to
run your business, and you’re going to move from one hosting company to another.
Or maybe you’ve built a website for a client and now you need to move it live
to their hosting company or their hosting account.
Or you built it on your localhost and need to move it to a server.
Or say maybe you and your girlfriend we’re sharing hosting and she caught you using Internet Explorer and just told you to move out. Anyway let’s move on.
This site has some some fake content, but it is a real site.
I used a plug-in called FakerPress which creates pages, posts and images to see what new site might look like.
I also noticed it has quite a few spam comments. For a site that has nothing.
it seems to be pretty popular. I guess I ought to get rid of those.
So let’s look at the plugins that I have installed.
I like to start with All-in-One WP Migration. It’s not the only way, but I have found it be one of the easier ways.
I also have Duplicator and UpDraft Plus, which both can be used to migrate a site.
We use UpDraft Plus on all of our client sites for backups.
Off-site is the preferred way to store backups, and much safer than storing them on the same server as your WordPress installation.
We can also use UpDraft Plus to restore a website which is kind of cool as well.
The steps are:
Create a copy of the entire site that will be uploaded to the new hosting server
Create a brand new blank WordPress installation on our new hosting company.
Use All-in-One WP Migration to upload and install the entire site at the new hosting location.
Go to the All-in-One WP migration tool on our exiting site and we’re
going to create a complete copy of the site.
It’s going to create an install-able file to use for migrating.
Click the Export button.
It gives some options where to store the file, but we’re going to just create a downloadable copy.
Download it to our computer where you can find it later.
It won’t take long because this is not a very big site.
If you have a larger site over 500 MBs I can show you how to edit the code a little bit to increase that size, but you have to contact me on our contact form,
or connect with me on LinkedIn. Mark Rudder on LinkedIn.
and I’ll send you info on how to do it.
When it’s done creating the “package”, the package that All-in-one WP migration uses, download that file.
It won’t work with any other plugins. It only works for All-in-one WP Migration
Now we need to go to our new hosting platform or our new hosting Environment.
Yours will be similar to this. This is cPanel with the paper lantern theme.
There are a few things we have to do to set up your new hosting account or platform
First of all we need to “Addon” the domain name if it wasn’t the one you used when you created the account.
Your domain might be coming from another hosting company or another environment (domain registrar).
It doesn’t matter where it is. The steps are the same.
First, we need to create a place for it on our new hosting account.
Let’s say we finally bought WPblockchain.com for our domain.
This is not available so don’t even check. I wish it was.
(in acknowledgment of the blockchain technology)
Just click Add domain.
Once we create the addon domain it’s going to create a new directory in the root of
our hosting account or our hosting environment.
I’m sure you’re thinking “well how is this going to work if you don’t own WPblockchain.com?”
I’m glad you asked and I’m going to show you how to get around that.
It’s a way to set up in a working WordPress installation and test it before actually launching it or making it “live”.
Once the site is built and tested, then you point the domain name at your domain registrar dns settings.
That way you have no downtime when you’re migrating a site.
Now we need to spin us up a WordPress site.
You can do that in Softaculous or whatever option your hosting provider offers.
It only takes a minute.
We just click install to create a WordPress installation.
We can use HTTPS for now.
It will probably show the non-secure warning in Chrome but that will get fixed after the new site is up and running.
We need to pick a directory for the new install.
Remove any directory info, otherwise it will install the new site there:
/wp for example. We don’t want this.
If it does get installed in another directory, you won’t be able find your site with just the domain name. Trust me.
Enter a username and password, but keep in mind, this will get overwritten when we move the site over. I normally just use the same username and password for the existing site.
This blank site you’re creating will get wiped out and replaced with the site we are moving. Just use the same login info.
After everything is entered, click install and it’s done.
We will not be able to view our new site because the domain is not pointing to our hosting server… yet.
If you’re keeping the same domain name, it still points to the old server.
You don’t actually don’t want to point the domain name to the new hosting/server until you get the site up and running, and completely working.
You will essentially have two versions of the same site.
After it’s thoroughly tested, can then flip your domain name from your domain registrar over here to the your new hosting account.
I’m going to show you how to get around the domain thing prior to actually pointing it at the domain registrar.
On Windows it’s pretty easy. I’m going to show you how to do it here.
On a Mac, here are instructions: Hosts File on a Mac
On Windows find notepad, and right click and “run as administrator”.
Then we’re going to look for a file called “hosts.
It’s in Windows/system32/drivers/etc
The directory will appear empty because it’s not a standard text file.
It’s a special file.
You will need to select “All Files” in the drop down at the bottom.
We’re changing the dns/domain name locally, on our system, to point to the IP address on our new hosting account.
It’s really simple.
Look in your server info on the new hosting account.
It’s the shared IP address. That’s the number we need.
This is the IP Address of your hosting account.
Copy that and stick into our hosts file and then enter our domain name without the www.
The do it again with www.
We’re telling our computer that if we go to that domain name to use this dns number or IP Address.
Save that file. Keep notepad and the Hosts file open in case we made a mistake.
Let’s see if we can now get to our new hosting account and the blank WordPress installation we created. Click on your domainname.com/wp-admin.
You can also click on the link in the WordPress installer in Softaculous in cPanel.
If everything works, you should automatically be in the new site’s backend.
We’re getting an error now because we told it to do SSL/HTTPS but there’s no SSL installed yes.
We use LetsEncrypt on this hosting company, but it won’t install an SSL Certificate until the domain is actually transferred at the domain registrar.
There is not much to the site. It’s just a standard blank WordPress install
Now we will add our all-in-one WP migration plugin.
Just do a search in the plugins area for migration.
Now let’s go import the file that you downloaded from the existing site.
It will display a warning that it’s going to overwrite your database, media, plugins and themes.
It will overwrite the entire website and all the files at this location. It’s an empty site so it’s fine.
This includes all usernames and passwords.
This is why we just use the same login info for both sites.
After it completes the upload just click close.
Because I didn’t change my admin email, it’ll be very difficult to reset it, so I
use LastPass username/password for our previous site.
We copy username/password from our the existing site and log back in.
The site is essentially installed
it’s overwritten everything, which means we have a cloned website.
All content, users, everything.
Click the Update Permalinks button and the dialog will close and you will be logged out.
Log back in and update the permalinks.
The most common permalink structure is %postname% and is generally accepted as the best for SEO.
Now let’s go look at the front of the site see what we have.
It should be a complete cloned version but on a different hosting server.
Check the site and make sure everything is working and all content is there.
We cheated the DNS system for the URL by using the hosts file.
This is how you move and migrate a site.
Now you need to go into your domain registrar and point the domain to your hosting
company by changing the name servers.
For example: OnSiteWP Hosting uses:
It may take some time for the DNS to update your domain to the new IP address.
Once it is resolving to the new host, delete the dns numbers in the hosts file.
Excellent service is the number one goal at OnSiteWP. Our WordPress support service grew from the fact that we saw many neglected websites.
We hear a lot of reasons why websites fall behind in updates. It ranges from my developer is supposed to be doing them to I didn’t know updates were needed. Other people know updates are needed but fear breaking something.
Whatever the reason, having a website on the internet comes with great responsibility. You can shoulder that responsibility yourself or you can use a WordPress maintenance company like OnSiteWP to handle the upkeep of your website for your business.
The most successful businesses in the world have a good manager at the top. You don’t think Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is applying updates to the apple.com website, do you? No, he conducts an orchestra of salesmen, marketers, financiers and engineers to make his business outperform all of the others in his market.
This is the mindset you need for your business. Be a specialist in what you do best and form a team of professionals to handle the areas which take away from your core mission.
In the same way you hire a CPA for accounting and an attorney for legal matters, a company like OnSiteWP will keep your website operating problem free. (and we’re affordable too)
Before you leave to type “wordpress support services” into Google, let me tell you a little secret. Not all WordPress support companies are the same.
About WordPress Support Companies
WordPress support companies come in a wide variety of sizes and experience levels.
Some are hardly considered companies. They are a single guy, working from his house, who has never filed for incorporation and is starving for business. Mark and I have witnessed these people telling the potential client anything to get their business. While it is unfair to generalize, we think this is the riskiest person to do business with.
On the opposite end of the spectrum you find “enterprise” oriented support companies. They charge thousands of dollars per month to give you support. Their clients are the multinational corporation who may have an internal IT staff but also want a WordPress support specialist on call just in case a problem crops up that requires collaboration.
The most common WordPress support company you’ll likely run into is a web development agency who also does maintenance. They have real clients who they have done work for. The danger is building a website and maintaining a website require vastly different processes.
Building a site is project based — a sale is made, a few weeks of labor is performed, the finished site is launched. Then on to the next development project.
Maintaining a website is an ongoing service. It needs to be done regularly (weekly at a minimum). It isn’t creative like building a logo and has serious security consequences if nobody gets around to doing the updates.
This is why support specialists like OnSiteWP are here. WordPress support is what we do. We have special software tools designed to maintain your website. We will see when plugins need to be updated and with several of us on staff, we make sure a tech’s vacation schedule doesn’t stop your updates from being performed.
Our staff includes people who understand business, experienced designers, and some of the best IT server hosting talent you will come across in the WordPress space. We are all based in the U.S. and communicate at the proper tech level from respectful high level situation overviews down to “here talk to my IT guy” level depending on how much detail you want to hear.
Benefits Of Our Awesome WordPress Support Services Team
When you’re busy with the details of running your business and making money, you need to know how to prioritize the aspects of your business that are necessary but not your expertise. Unfortunately for your WordPress website, keeping it up often ranks down there with cleaning the company fridge.
This might explain why so many small business owners just skip the ongoing WordPress upkeep and deal with problems as they arise.
The problem is, if you’re spending your valuable time monkeying around with a hacked website or figuring out why your plugins no longer work, you’re no longer attending to your business.
Most small business owners know this, yet they skip the regular housekeeping of their WordPress website. That leaves them dealing exclusively with emergencies, hopping from one catastrophe to the next.
Many WordPress updates consist of security patches. In our WordPress support services business, one of the most alarming things to hear is that a company isn’t doing their WordPress updates. In other words, if you are running your business website on an outdated version of WordPress, you’re practically asking for hackers to get in.
Much of what WordPress employees are doing every day is constantly tightening up the WordPress ship, in order to stay at least one step ahead of those hacker-pirates.
And it’s not only WordPress updates. It’s all your plugins that need regular updating too. Plugins are written by thousands of third-party app developers who, at any moment, may update their products for enhanced security.
2. Stop Fighting Fires
After reading #1, you’ll find it hard to believe, but some business owners intentionally skip essential updates. That’s because a lot can go wrong when you update everything. Sometimes a single update can create a terrifying avalanche of problems…
Your old plugins aren’t compatible with the new version of WordPress
Your nice theme isn’t compatible with the new version of WordPress
You newly updated plugin suddenly doesn’t play nice with all the other plugins
Plugins aren’t the only source of vulnerability. Server update compatibility is another fire you don’t want to have to put out. Ever.
Each of these situations is terrible news for any business that relies on its website traffic for revenue or… anything, really. One single WordPress update can cause a series of small ‘fires’ that you or your employees will need to attend to: immediately.
A dedicated WordPress support services team has your back, however, so you don’t have to drop everything and fight those fires.
3. Get Your (Productivity) Mojo Back
When you aren’t tied up putting out fires or wrangling sporadically functioning plugins back into line, you get to focus on what you do best. Productivity shoots ever-upwards and everyone is happy.
4. Never Lose Your Stuff Again
One critical component of a WordPress support services package is offsite backups. This is a prime example of one of the vital routines that many small business owners don’t even know about. Many simply have no idea they need to backup their WordPress websites and databases.
If you’re interested in never losing precious data about your business, you’ll want regular backups—daily is best.
5. Know When Visitors Can’t Reach Your Site
Sometimes your site goes down and you don’t even know until a customer complains on social media. Or your shopping cart is acting whacky, causing people to abandon and shop elsewhere.
You can’t always be around to monitor every aspect of your site, but our WordPress support services team will find a problem before your customers do. We monitor your site and take action to minimize downtime.
6. Recover From Incidents
There’s a fundamental, hard-fast rule to incident response management:
The faster you identify and respond to problems, the less damage your businesses incurs.
A dedicated WordPress support services team knows exactly what to do when problems arise. There’s a contingency plan for everything, and with a dedicated team, you’re automatically covered.
7. Add Flexibility To Your Team
With all the expertise that jumps on board the moment you outsource, your own team has more time for what they do best. With a dedicated WordPress support services team, you’re adding specialized skills to the bench.
This goes beyond productivity, though. It leaves more time for what makes your businesses really thrive and grow: innovation.
8. Cut Costs With A WordPress Support Services Team
Until a few years ago, the tinkering and fixing of a WordPress website and its plugins was left to individuals who knew the ins and outs of web development simply from running their own web dev businesses. Try hiring one of them and you’ll end up paying top dollar for their time. Many are trained programmers, after all, so they can command the type of hourly rate that most small businesses would balk at.
But once WordPress virtually cornered the content management system (CMS) platform market and everyone from Joe’s Barbershop and your cousin’s Walking Dead fan site to The New York Times and Sony started using it, something had to give.
The time was ripe for a new kind of service to step in and close the gap between bare-bones WordPress, its unwieldy army of plugins, and the small business owner.
The result is a whole new generation of dedicated WordPress support services businesses. We’re one of them! With affordable packages created expressly for small businesses, we give small business owners … like you … the freedom to focus on your business without having to worry about your WordPress website.
The Misery That Stems from Ignoring WordPress Updates
Plugins break. Updates get ignored. Soon, emails aren’t being captured. Contact forms send data into black holes, shopping carts are suddenly incompatible with themes. Or they don’t calculate shipping charges properly. Sites get too slow to load quickly. Images are screwy-looking. Menus overlap sidebars or don’t show up in the right places.
It’s a nightmare.
Much can go wrong if you don’t put someone on the job keep your WordPress website up to date and healthy. Let us help you!
I ran into an interesting problem today. A client who was not under a maintenance service contract was updating their own site. The WordPress core update had a conflict with their WordPress theme which resulted in a website crash. Naturally they called us.
I fixed the programming conflict in their theme. The site owner attempted to login to the WordPress dashboard to continue his updates when he found that he could no longer load the wp-admin page.
This got us thinking about all of the basic things… was he using the correct username and password? Did he have an old version of the website cached from the crash? Did his previous update “half-apply” and confuse WordPress? Was Google Chrome suddenly failing? (IE had the same 404 error)
It was a real head scratcher because nothing I could do over the phone was getting him past the 404 error. My next step was to look into the web server logs for possible clues.
After a little searching, I found his login attempts:
Do you see the problem? He was attempting to login at /WP-ADMIN in upper-case! Their store inventory system uses all caps so this was normal for him. Once I informed him that the path part of URLs are case sensitive, the regular lower-case /wp-admin login worked like a charm.
These simple mistakes can be very time consuming. This client is a successful building supplies company. They are great at what they do but being WordPress IT experts isn’t their core business. OnSiteWP exists to help clients with WordPress support and maintenance. With our maintenance service contracts, we handle the WordPress updates and allow you to focus on your business. Sign up today!