Moving a WordPress Website from one Host to Another

We are hoping you are reading this article because your impressed with the services Small Biz PC Cloud Services has to offer, and want to let us host your web site. If not, that’s O.K. you just don’t know us yet, and you will eventually move your site(s) onto our servers. To that end, all you really want to do is just move your sites from one host to another, and you want to know the easiest way to do it yourself for free. We get that, so read on.

If you are moving your site to Small Biz Cloud Hosting Services we do provide help along the way. Please feel free to use the help button in your Small Biz PC Cloud Hosting Services Control Panel. You will usually have an answer within 20 minutes from one of our engineers.

Nine steps to moving your websites to a new location: – (Don’t do this if your on WordPress Multisite)

Move the WordPress Database

  1. From your existing installation, download and install the wp-db-backup plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/)
  2. Log in to your WordPress Administration Panel and go to the Manage > Backup menu. Select all the tables (including those tables created by the plugins) and click on the Backup button to download the gzip backup file to your computer.
  3. On your computer, extract the gzip backup file. You should now have an .sql file.
  4. (If you are changing your domain name or url otherwise you can skip to step five) – Open the .sql file with a text editor (Notepad, for example). Search for the line:
    INSERT INTO `wp_options` VALUES (1, 0, ''siteurl''

    You should see something that resembles this format:

    INSERT INTO `wp_options` VALUES (1, 0, ''siteurl'', 
    ''http://www.your-old-url.com'', ''yes'')

    Replace the URL with your new server URL.

    Next, search for the line:

    INSERT INTO `wp_options` VALUES (39, 0, ''home'',

    You should see:

    INSERT INTO `wp_options` VALUES (39, 0, ''home'', 
    ''http://www.your-old-url.com'', ''yes'')

    Replace the URL with your new URL. Save and exit.

    IMPORTANT: Do this ONLY if your domain (website address) has also been changed, otherwise skip to step 5.

Move WordPress and your related files

  1. Using an FTP program such as filezilla, download the entire WordPress folder from your current hosting server to your computer. Keep the folder structure intact. (This is very important!)
  2. Go to the Site Management > MySQL Databases section of your Small Biz Pc – Web Hosting Control Panel and create a new database, (name it anything you want, but remember its name) This is going to be where previously exported database from your old server will reside.
  3. Click on the newly created database to load the phpMyAdmin tool. In phpMyAdmin, click on the icon in the left frame that says SQL – a pop-up window opens where you should select the Import tab, click on Browse to select your dump file and then click on Go to import the database.
  4. On your local computer, open the directory where you have saved the WordPress files, locate the wp-config.php file and edit it with Notepad. Replace the MySQL database name, username, password and the MySQL server with the new ones.
  5. In the file manager found on your new hosts dashboard create a directory (yourdomain.com for example our directory would be “smallbizpc.com”). Via FTP, upload the WordPress files from your local computer to that directory. Make sure to place them inside your domain folder.

Your website, is probably not yet visible to the outside world in your new hosting location. It should however be running quite happily in its new environment. Every hosting provider seems to handle the next steps differently. We will not be real great in giving a perfect step by step scenario here. We will use the Small Biz PC hosting service control panel in our example.

Point DNS to the New Location of Your Website

The next to steps include redirecting your domain to the new location of your site, and setting SSL per Google’s security requirements.

Step 1 – From the Small Biz PC Cloud Services hosting control panel select (“Domains” from the left most section of the menu)  Then select (“Hosted Domains”).

To host a domain in this hosting account, click the “Host Domain” button and follow the steps:

    1. Make sure the option “Host Domain” is selected.
    2. Type in your domain name, e.g. my-best-domain.com

Note: the “Don’t manage DNS” option has to be selected ONLY if you wish to use third party name servers for your domain name and just point it to this account using A record redirection. (This would occur if you have your own DNS server that you manage located elsewhere such as Godaddy for instance, and want to maintain your domain records there.)

We chose to leave our Domains at Godaddy for a while. We just have Godaddy’s name server forward request to our name servers at small biz pc cloud. by placing these entries in their DNS

NS1: ns1.smallbizpccloud.com / 198.23.54.163
NS2: ns2.smallbizpccloud.com / 198.23.56.207
NS3: ns3.smallbizpccloud.com / 46.249.199.214
NS4: ns4.smallbizpccloud.com / 95.175.98.136

Your DNS entries will look different, but should be self evident in your dashboard.

 

Check the Move and Troubleshoot any Issues from the Move

Once this is done, your web site should start responding at your new hosting location. Turn off your old site to be sure. If you had SSL with your previous provider, your site may start presenting errors. You can further check on your site using http://kproxy.com/ which buypasses the SSL  certificates and gives you an idea if the transfer went smoothly.

Usually site move issues will stem from WordPress plugins that did not like the move. Rename your plugins to plugins.old. Then try to open your WordPress admin panel. It will likely come right up if you have everything copied correctly. If it opens you will see that all your plugins we disabled because they could not be found. Go back to the file manager on Small Biz PC Cloud. Create a directory called plugins, and copy the individual plugin subdirectories to the new plugins directory. Exit the WordPress Admin panel, then go back in and go to the plugins menu, you should see the plugin is back and working. Exit the Admin panel and copy the next plugin until you find the one that does not work.  The WordPress Admin Panel will not work at this point, so go back to the file manager and delete that plugin but note its name. Keep doing this until all the plugins that survived the move are activated. Now, review the plugins that did not transfer, and try to reinstall those from the WordPress plugin manager. Most if not all your plugin issues will be resolved and WordPress will he functional in the Non SSL mode.

Add SSL Security to Your Site

We use Comodo SSL as our SSL vendor. Currently, SSL keys run $19 per web site per year. We offer big discounts if you have five or more sites to secure at one time. Check with your hosting provider, everyone is different.

If you are hosting with Small Biz PC Cloud Services adding SSL keys can’t get any easier! 

Open your Small Biz Pc Cloud Services control panel. Select (“My Domains” – “SSL Keys”) a list of your domains will show up. In the upper right corner of the screen select (“Order SSL Certificate”) Fill in the information requested and pay the fee. In a matter of a couple hours, your key will be installed by us, and automatically activated. (Do not under any circumstance try to help this process along by manually adding your new key. It will confuse our installer and it may take quite some time to straighten out your protected pages.) Left alone the SSL install is automated and you don’t have to do a thing!

At this point you should have a working website living in its new home. Test every page and every function. Once you’re satisfied that everything is working perfectly. Save the backups of your old website somewhere safe. One never knows what could go wrong in the future and this is a time to keep a snapshot of your old system. Now you are safe to remove the old site and close your old hosting account.

Multisite installs

Multisite in stalls are considerably more difficult to move, especially if you want to break the individual sites back out to a one WordPress install per site scenario. We had to do this with our sites when we discovered management issues with hosting multiple sites in one WordPress install. There are software packages to do these moves, but they can still be tricky. Due to the complexity of this type of move we charge per hour, and don’t offer not to exceed pricing.

Small Biz PC Cloud Services can move your site(s)

We can move your website Small Biz PC Cloud Services (not a customer you can be!), we normally flat rate each site move at $250.00 per site, we offer significant discounts for very small sites with few plugins and no special programming. We charge an hourly rate with a possible not to exceed clause if going to hosting service providers that we do not own. We will test and certify that all functionality is up and working before turning the site back over to you.  We do not promise zero downtime with our moves, DNS takes time to propagate, SSL takes time to activate. Normally we see a couple hours of down time. Things that cause more downtime usually are DNS hosts that don’t release the domains right away. 1and1 has held domain being moved away from them up to 48 hours at times. We don’t know why some hosts take longer than others, but this can cause a site that is being moved to be down for up to two business days. We will do everything in our power to try to limit down time to minutes.

If you find these steps to be complicated and error prone, we understand. There is a learning curve when moving to another host as they all do things differently. You might want to leave this work to people who have navigated this process in the past. Small Biz PC Cloud Service is here for you.

Drop us an email, or give us a call at 503-798-0422. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Please note, these instructions we provided are impossible for us to write perfectly as every host does things their own way. Websites have quirks, and features that we could not possibly address in the scope of this article. Lastly, we probably assume some level of experience on the part of the reader that could be inappropriate. Though we want everyone to be happy and carry on in peace. We cannot guarantee the success of moves not performed by Small BIZ Cloud Services. There is no warranty implied or otherwise to fitness of these steps to your situation. Use these at your risk. If you are moving your site to Small Biz Cloud Hosting Services we do provide help along the way. Please feel free to use the help button in your Small Biz PC Cloud Hosting Control Panel. You will usually have an answer within 20 minutes.

 

 

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