Ultimate Guide to WordPress Web Hosting Migration

wordpress host migrate

If you optimized WordPress speed and performance, but your web host is free anyway, migrate your WordPress website to another host that can deal with your growing traffic.

Step 1: Pick Your New WordPress Host

Select a new WordPress hosting provider carefully if you don’t want to move again soon.

We recommend you the following ones:

  1. Bluehost is the best for reliable shared hosting.
  2. Siteground should be your choice if you are searching for location-specific providers or cloud hosting.
  3. InMotion Hosting proposes the best dedicated servers.
  4. WP Engine proposes the managed WordPress web hosting.

Do not install WordPress after you have bought a new hosting. We will do it later. Your web hosting account should be empty.

Step 2: Install Duplicator for Simple Migration

First, install the free Duplicator plugin on the site you want to move to.

duplicator plugin

Photo Credit: WordPress.org

We strongly recommend Duplicator because you can move your site to another domain name and not lose your SEO.

After the activation, visit the Packages page. Click the ‘Create New’ button. Create your package by following all the steps.

duplicator create

Photo Credit: WordPress.org

Ensure that your scan your results and click the button “Build”.

When the process is complete, download the Installer and the Archive package in one click.

Step 3: Import Your Previous WordPress Website to The New Host

After downloading both files, upload them to your new host.  FTP can help you do this. It is possible to connect when entering the IP address of the name of your server host. This info is situated on the dashboard of your new account. Turn to support if you have some problems.

If you need a dedicated IP, read some additional information and consider all the pros and cons.

Upload both archive .zip and installer.php files to the root directory of your site. As a rule, it’s /username/public_html/folder. Ensure that the root directory is empty. Many hosting providers automatically install WordPress after you sign up. Delete WordPress from your root directory if you had it before.

Step 4: Modify The Hosts File

After uploading the aforementioned files to the new host, access the file “installer.php” in a browser.

Use the host file to map domain names to a definite IP address.

Find your new server’s IP address. Sign in your cPanel and expand stats. The address of your servers will be called the Shared IP Address.

After this, enter the section “Accessories”, and choose Run as Administrator. After a Windows UAC prompt appears, agree to launch Notepad with the privileges of an administrator.

On the screen of your Notepad, go to File » Open and go to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc after this. Choose hosts file and open it.

After this, enter the copied IP address in order to enter the name of your domain. Like this: www.site.com

Step 5: Make a MySQL Database on Your New Web Host

Before running the installer, make a MySQL database on your hosting account. After having made it, proceed to the next step.

Visit cPanel dashboard, move to the section “Databases” and click on the icon MySQL databases.

cpanel database

Enter the name of the database and create it. After this, create the new user’s username and password and click on the button “Create a user”.

The new user should be added to the database. Now your database can be used with WordPress.

Step 6: Start the Duplicator Migration Process

Navigate to the address http://www.example.com/installer.php and replace example with your domain name. After a couple of tests, click ‘Pass’ button. Look through the checkbox with terms and conditions.

duplicator test

Photo Credit: WordPress.org

After this, enter all the required data.

Test your database to ensure you entered the information correctly. Click on the ‘Next’ button. On this stage, duplicator will import your WordPress database from the zip archive. Next, update site URL or Path. Proceed to the next step. After Duplicator finishes its work, you will see the login button. Now you’re able to login to your WordPress website to check the way it works.

Step 7: Update Your Domain

Now your WordPress database is copied completely. Yet, you still have to update the domain. To do this, switch your DNS nameservers.

In case you registered and set up the domain together with your hosting provider, it is better to transfer the domain to your new host. In case you take advantage of a domain registrar,  you have to update your nameservers.

Get the information about the nameserver from your new web host.  As a rule, it looks like this:


Search for domain management area and for nameservers after this.

Log in to your account on Godaddy or other domain registrar and click on Domains. Later click on the manage button.

In section ‘Additional Settings’, click on ‘Manage DNS’ to move on.

Go to the section ‘Nameservers’ and click the button “Change”.

First, change the type of the nameserver from ‘Default’ to ‘Custom’ and fill in the info about your new hosting provider under Nameservers.

Save your changes. It takes  4 – 48 hours to change DNS.

WordPress migration has successfully completed!