How to migrate a website from one host to another

In this tutorial we will look at how to migrate a website from one host to another.

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How to migrate a website from one host to another

There are many resources that show you how to migrate a website from one host to another. I have found many of them to be very technical. As a nerd, I have no problems with technical. However, there are normal people out there, cool like you, who would rather do things the simple way. 

I do not blame you one bit! I like the simple, straight forward way as well. In the video above I show you how to accomplish this from a local host (a website served on your computer and only accessible on your computer) to a domain on the Internet (accessible anywhere). The methods used in the video are the same no matter where you’re moving your website from.

What do you need?

I am assuming you’re using WordPress. We will be using a plugin to accomplish our task of migrating a website so WordPress is a must in this case.

Let’s head on over to the WordPress admin dashboard and install the plugin on the website you are going to export (your current site). 

Hover over Plugins and click on “Add New”

In the search bar type in All in one wp migration and choose the plugin By ServMask. 

As you can see, this is a very popular plugin with 2+ Million Active Installations!

Click Install then Activate. 

Note: This will need to be installed on the website you’re moving from and the website you’re moving to. Simply follow the same process for the other website.

Let's export!

In the website you’re exporting (moving from) hover over All-in-One WP Migration and choose Export.

Click on the green EXPORT TO button and choose FILE.

Note: The FILE option is the only option available with the free version of All-in-One WP Migration plugin. 

This will start the export process and save your entire website. This includes: your theme(s), database, images, posts, pages, categories, tags, comments, users, etc. It’s creating an exact copy of your website in its current state. Note: your current admin user (username and password) is going to be your login once everything is finished on the new site.

Once the export process has completed you will see a popup with a flashing green button saying “Download [] with the file size below.

Click the green button and it prompts you to choose a location on your computer where the file will be saved. I usually keep mine in the Downloads folder (using Windows) and then delete the file later after I have imported it to the new host. IMPORTANT: You may rename the file to whatever you want. However, do not change the .wpress file extension. I repeat, do not change the .wpress file extension. This file extension is required for the plugin to work. I keep things simple and use the default name the plugin exports it as.

Time to import.

Now that we have exported our site and saved the file to our computer we are ready to import (bring in) our site to the new host. 

Login to the WordPress website on the new host and install the All-in-One WP Migration plugin, if you haven’t already.

This post is helpful for choosing a domain name if you don’t already have one. 

Once the plugin is installed and activated. Hover over All-in-One WP Migration on the left side of the admin bar and choose Import.

You may either drag & drop the file you saved earlier or you can click the green IMPORT FROM button and select the file there.

This will initiate the import process. You will then be met with a popup warning like this one:

If you’re importing to a fresh site then this isn’t an issue at all. Click PROCEED and the import will build this site to be an exact match of the original.

If you’re importing to an existing site then this will overwrite everything. Such as theme, database, images, content, users, etc. Since you’ve made it this far in the tutorial then I’m assuming this is what you wanted to do in the first place. So click PROCEED to start the import process.

Once the import process has been complete click on any menu item on the left admin bar. This will log you out of WordPress. You will need to log back in. Your login credentials are the original credentials you used to login on the original site since that user (username and password) was brought over by the exported file. 

You did it!

That’s it! Your website is now live and looking better than ever on it’s new place on the Internet. Congratulations! Now you know how to migrate a website from one host to another!

Potential Problem...

9 times out of 10 this has not been an issue for me. However, there is a possibility it could be a roadblock for you.

Take a look at this section on the import page: 

Your maximum upload file size may say something different than mine (40 MB, 80 MB, 512 MB, etc). This number is coming from your server (host). It is the allowed maximum file upload size set by the server. If your .wpress file is larger than this number then you won’t be able to import the file.

There are several workarounds for this. Most are fairly technical. 

The extremely simple solution I use is the extension plugin for All-in-One WP Migration. It’s a little pricey at $69 if you’re only going to use it once. However, it works out of the box with no headaches or pricey tech support help. 

Other options are:

  • Contact your hosting provider and request a memory increase for your site so you can finish the import. They may or may not do it.
  • If you have access to your cpanel you can increase the memory limit yourself through the File Manager. I would recommend reading up on this before going in and changing server configurations.

You will have to choose one of the listed options or install the extension plugin since this is mandatory for getting your site migrated.

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