How to Transfer WordPress Website? - 3 Ways That Work

Juhil Mendpara

Content Manager

It’s possible that the last time you hosted your website, our web hosting recommendations lists didn’t exist. And now that your current host failed to deliver ⁠— on uptime, performance, customer support, or just about anything ⁠— you want to switch to one of our reviewed & advised web host.

Smart choice!

Once you switch the hosting, the problem will hopefully be solved. However, there’s one hurdle you’ll need to face before having your perfect site on the ideal host, and that is site migration. After all, you don’t want to lose your months/years of hard work.

The hurdle’s not that big, though. You can follow one of the following methods and have your site up with the new host in no time.

Method-1: Ask the customer support

Many quality hosting providers give a free website migration service to new users. If you want to use the offer, all you need to do is ask.

Just get in touch with their customer support, preferably via live chat (because they will need some credentials). And BOOM! Your site will be on their servers in no time. 

Our recommended hosts in this particular aspect are Hostinger (#1 Recommendation), Kinsta and  A2 Hosting.

Method-2: Use a plugin to Transfer WordPress Website

One of the many reasons to use WordPress is the wide variety of plugins you can use. You can add almost any functionality you need, including site migration.

Using the site migration plugin demands two steps: 1. Backup (from the old host) 2. Restore (to the new host). 

There are quite a few plugins that can help you transfer your WordPress site. Duplicator, All-In-One WordPress migration, BackupBuddy, and UpdraftPlus are some we recommend.

Here’s an example of using UpdraftPlus:

UpdraftPlus is a freemium backup plugin that helps you take a timely backup of your full website directly to the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.)

Here’s how you use it:

1. Log in to your WordPress site.

2. Hover over Plugin, and click Add New.

3. Search “Updraftplus” and install & activate the first plugin.

Transfer WordPress Website

4. Now, you’ll see UpdratPlus on the topbar of your WordPress Dashboard. Hover over and click Backup/Restore.

transfer wordpress website different host

5. Click on Backup Now for a fresh backup of your whole WordPress site. A zip file will be created, which will include all your databases, plugins, themes, and other files.

transfer wordpress website using plugin

6. Now, install WordPress on your new host and perform step 1-step 4.

7. Once done, upload the backup files. The option’s available under “More tasks” on the same Backup/Restore page.

transfer wordpress website manually

8. You’ll see an option to Restore after completion. Click it, and the site migration will be successful!

migrate wordpress website

Easy Peasy.

Method-3: Migrate WordPress Website Manually

In most cases, either method-1 or method-2 will do. However, if nothing works, or you simply want to learn to Transfer WordPress Website manually, you can follow the following steps to get the job done.

Firstly, let us tell you about FileZilla. 

FileZilla is a free software, cross-platform FTP application, consisting of FileZilla Client and FileZilla Server.  For those who don’t know, FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a standard way to upload/download files between your local machine and your web server.

In short, here also, we are going to download the full website from the old host and then upload it on the new host.

Download from the old host

  1. Connect the FileZilla client with your old hosting server. Here’s a useful resource you can follow to execute this step.
  2. You will see a folder titled “public_html.” (Right-click &) Download all the files under it. It’s basically your whole site...just not the databases.
  3. To download databases, go to phpMyAdmin via your control panel. Select all your WordPress site’s databases and Export.

Upload on the new host

  1. Connect the new site server with FileZilla.
  2. Under the Remote Site section, go to the public_html folder.
  3. Navigate to the downloaded files on your computer (the ones under the previous host’s public_html), select all, and (right-click &) upload.  
  4. Now, upload the databases. For that, go to your provider’s control panel, open MySQL Databases, and create a new database. Remember database name, username, and password.

Go back to Database and open phpMyAdmin. Select your new database there. You will see an Import button now at the top; click it and import all the databases you had exported.

Edit wp-config.php

Your whole site is now on your new hosting provider’s server. Just one thing is remaining - configuration. We created a new database here, right? But the credentials on the uploaded file will be of the previous host’s MySQL database.

  1. To change the configuration, edit wp-config.php located under the public_html folder on your FileZilla interface. 
  2. Locate and change the following values:

Remember, we asked you to remember these details when creating the new database?

Once you change the credentials to that of your new database, save and close the file.

Your WordPress migration process is complete! 

Your PHP ZIP module is installed.

Final words

Transferring a WordPress website can be a walk in the park or a tedious process; it depends on the method you use.

The easiest method is to choose a hosting that offers free migration; let them do the job. If that’s not possible, using a plugin like Duplicator or UpdraftPlus can also be a quick way to transfer  WordPress Website. However, if there’s no other option than manual migration, well, that’s an option as well.

You can read our Blog for more such Tutorials:

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