How to Switch WordPress Hosting to Another Host with BackupBuddy Plugin
Choosing web host for your WordPress site can be time consuming as there are a number of hosts offering reliable services. Therefore, it is recommended to research and review different hosts in detail to avoid despair later. In this regard, HostsJunction reviews top web hosts and can be extremely helpful if you require new hosting or are switching web host for some reason. This guide will provide you step by step information to transfer your WordPress hosting to a new web host.
Step 1: Take a Backup of Your Site
Before making any changes to your site, it is recommended to create a backup of your site. BackupBuddy is an excellent premium plugin to create the necessary backup.
A quick setup wizard will appear after the plugin is successfully installed. Go to BackupBuddy -> Backup, after activating the plugin to your site.
Enter all the required details such as the email address, the password and the location for storing the backup through the wizard. The Plugin supports local backups saved on your web server, FTP, Rackspace, Email or Dropbox.
You also have to input how often you want the plugin create your site backup in future, depending on your personal requirements.
Backupbuddy will now create the backup of your site. Download it to your local drive or click on the send button for sending the backup to the location, you chose in the setup wizard.
Step 2: Migrating Your Site
Visit BackupBuddy->Restore/Migrate. Download the importbuddy.php by clicking on the download importbuddy.php file. Copy the importbuddy.php file along with site backup.zip file.
Scroll down on the migrate page to see your latest database. Download the database that your site is using by clicking on the download link.
After all the files are downloaded, you have to upload them to a new web host. Connect to new web hosting provider through FTP.
Enter the IP address of your new host instead of the domain to ensure copying of the files to the new host instead of the old one. Upload backup.zip and importbuddy.php in the root ( /username/public_html/ or /username/public_html/abc.com) of your website.
Make sure the root directory is empty before pasting files or simply delete the old files present on the directory.
Step 3: Preparing for Migration Wizard
After both the importbuddy.php and backup.zip files are uploaded successfully, access the importbuddy.php file in a browser. Go to http://www.example.com/importbuddy.php for accessing the importbuddy file through a URL.
For now, you will be seeing a 404 error, as your domain name is still being redirected to the old web hosting service. Some experts recommend changing the domain nameservers, to point to the new host; however, this can result in the users seeing a broken site during the migration process.
Step 4: Changing the Hosts File
This step helps in pointing the domainname to the new hosting server. The hosts file tells your computer to map domain names to the specific IP addresses. Login to your cPanel to find the IP address by clicking on expand stats link in the left-hand sidebar. This will extend the sidebar to show information about the server status. You just have to copy the Shared IP Address.
- In Notepad, Go to File->Open and Browse to C: \Windows\System32\drivers\etc to select the hosts file and open it. On Mac open the Terminal app and enter the following command for editing hosts file:
- Enter the IP address copied in the previous step at the bottom of the hosts file followed by the domain name.
For instance: xxx.xxx.x.xx www.example.com
- Replace the “xx” IP address with the one you copied from cPanel, and example.com with your site’s domain name.
- Save the required changes. You can now access your files on the new hosting using the domain name on your PC.
Note: Undo the changes made to hosts file after finishing the migration step 4.
Step 5: Using the Import buddy Migration Wizard
Run the import buddy migration wizard in a browser window. For instance, in http://www.abc.com/importbuddy.php, you can replace abc.com with your domain name. You will have to provide the password you entered when running the BackupBuddy setup wizard.
After the password is entered, you will be taken to the first step of the import wizard. Importbuddy will display the database you have uploaded. Click next to proceed.
The contents of your backup file will now be extracted. Click next to proceed, when done.
Next screen shows the database and URL information. The URL here points to the location where the backup was created. If you are only changing the web hosts without altering the domain location, then it will remain same for both the old and the new site. For moving to the new domain, it has to reflect a change.
Database settings are shown below the URL settings. Create a new database if you haven’t created one already. Enter the database information in the given fields and test it by clicking the Test database settings button. After the database you created is connected successfully, click on the next button to proceed further.
Your database is now imported by Importbuddy. Click next to continue. ImportBuddy updates your paths and URL in Step 5 of the migration wizard. Verify the site’s functionality by clicking on the site’s URL, once this is done. Congratulations, you have finished migration of your site to the new web hosting server.
Click around to see if everything is working in the right way. ImportBuddy will show links to the common problems and tips on how to solve them. Clean up and remove the temporary files after you are satisfied with everything.
A 404 error will be displayed, indicating that importbuddy.php script is deleted from your server. Also, remove the changes made to the hosts file.
Step 6: Switching Nameservers
You also need to switch your DNS nameservers, when moving a site to a new host. This will ensure redirecting the visitors to the website’s new location without experiencing any downtime. If your domain is registered with the hosting provider, then you can transfer the domain to the new host by just updating the nameservers. Get the nameservers information from the new web host. It usually looks like this:
This tutorial only covers changing of DNS nameservers with GoDaddy, so the screenshots displayed below may differ from the setup on your webhost but the basic steps will still be the same. Search for domain management area to locate nameservers.
Login to your Godaddy account and click launch to go to your available domains.
Click domain name on the next screen. You can view all the domain details with the nameservers. Click on the Manage link under the nameservers.
On the next screen, you will see a link to enter custom nameservers. Clicking on the link will open a form where you can enter your custom DNS nameservers.
Save the required changes and you are done. You have now successfully changed the nameservers. The changes will take 24-48 hours to be effective throughout the world. However, since you have the same content displayed on the old and the new host, the users won’t see any difference on the site.
By following this guide, you can easily move your WordPress hosting to a new host without experiencing any downtime.