Moving your WordPress website to a new host can be a daunting task for a novice. Now moving it with no down time can seem like an insurmountable hurdle.
Fortunately, most web hosting companies that you will be migrating to will take over the migration process for you, usually at no extra cost although some will charge a small fee for this service.
The fact that someone professional can actually do this for you comes is a welcome thought as the two major risks in migrating a website to a new server are downtime and loss of data.
Below we outline how you can migrate a WordPress website without down time using these simple steps;
1. Choose a new WordPress host
The most common reason for site owners opting to move to a new host is often the lack of speed even after optimizing the WordPress site for speed.
It is important to choose carefully when considering a new WordPress host to avoid having to move again all too soon.
After buying the new hosting, it should come empty with no files or folders in your main directory.
2. Set up a duplicator for easy migration
The first order of business should be to install and activate the free duplicator plug in on the website that you want to move.
Once the process is complete, you need to click on both the ‘installer’ and then ‘archive’ buttons to download the package. You will need both files.
The archive file is a copy of your site while the installer file will automate the installation process for you.
3. Import your WordPress site to your new Host
Now that you have successfully downloaded both the archive and installer files, the next step is to upload them to your new Web host. You can do this by connecting to your new web host using FTP.
A point of note is to make sure that your root directory is empty. If your WordPress is installed in your root directory, then you need to delete it first.
4. Change the host file to prevent down time
Once both files have been uploaded to your new host, you will need to access the installer.php file in a browser.
The hosts file maps domain names to specific IP addresses. It is here that you will add an entry for your domain name in the host’s file so that it points to your new host, but only when using your computer.
This changes once made will allow you to access the files on your new host using your own domain name, while the rest of the world will still be accessing your site form the old host. This ensures 100% uptime.
5. Begin the duplicator migration process
At this point, you are now ready to run the installer. If you have not created a database on your new host, then it is time to create a database in the cPanel.
Once finished. You can now remove the changes you made to host file in step 4.
6. Update your domain
Although at this point you have created a complete copy in your WordPress database and files on your new hosting server, your domain still points to your old web hosting account.
You will need to switch your DNS name servers to update your domain. This will ensure that your users are taken to the new location of your website when they type your domain into their browsers.
With this guide, you will be better placed to understand how to migrate a WordPress website to a new host with zero down time.