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Wordpress Migrate
How do you Migrate WordPress Sites to Another Server Manually?

How do you Migrate WordPress Sites to Another Server Manually?

Are you planning to move your WordPress site to a new server or domain name? While there are automated methods for migrating a website, doing it manually gives you complete control over the process. Not only does it ensure that everything is transferred correctly, but it also allows you to optimize your site’s performance and security. In this article, we’ll guide you through a step-by-step process on how to migrate WordPress manually – even if you’re not tech-savvy! So let’s get started and make the migration process as smooth as possible.

Why Migrate WordPress Manually?

Migrating a WordPress site to another server can be a daunting task, but it’s something that many website owners need to do at some point. While there are automated methods available for migrating your site, doing it manually has its benefits.

Firstly, manual migration gives you more control over the process. You can ensure that everything is done correctly and avoid any potential issues that may arise from using an automated system. Additionally, manual migration allows you to learn more about how your website works and gain a better understanding of the technical aspects involved in running a WordPress site.

Another benefit of manual migration is that it enables you to make changes as needed during the process. For example, if you notice any errors or inconsistencies during the backup or transfer process, you can quickly address them without having to wait for support from an automated service.

While manual migration may take more time and effort initially, it provides greater flexibility and control over your website’s transfer.

What You Need Before You Begin

Before starting the WordPress migration process, there are a few things you need to have in place.

  • Firstly, you must ensure that your website is fully up-to-date and running on its latest version. This will help minimize any errors or compatibility issues during the migration process.
  • Next, it’s important to make sure you have access to both your old and new hosting accounts. You’ll also need access to your domain name registrar account so that you can update DNS records once the migration is complete.
  • One of the most crucial steps before beginning a WordPress migration is backing up all files associated with your website, including themes, plugins, and media files. It’s important to make multiple backups in case an error occurs during the transfer.
  • Additionally, exporting your database content from the old server is essential for a successful transfer. Ensure that you save this file securely as it contains sensitive information such as user data and login credentials.
  • It’s important to perform thorough research on best practices for manual WordPress migrations before getting started. This includes reading through tutorials provided by reputable sources or reaching out for professional assistance if necessary.

Step 1: Backup Your Files

Before you begin migrating your WordPress site to a new server, it’s crucial to back up all your files. This ensures that in case anything goes wrong during the migration process, you have a copy of your website that can be restored.

Backing up WordPress files is relatively easy and can be done in several ways. One option is to use a plugin such as UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy, which will create a full backup of your website including themes, plugins, media files, and database.

Another option is to manually download all the necessary files via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) using an FTP client like FileZilla. You’ll need to access the root directory of your current site and select all relevant folders and files before transferring them to your local computer.

Whichever method you choose for backing up your WordPress site files, ensure that they are stored on multiple devices or cloud servers for safekeeping until the migration process is complete.

Step 2: Export the WordPress Database

Exporting the WordPress database is an essential step in migrating your website to a new server. The database contains all of your site’s content, including posts, pages, comments, and settings.

To export your database, you’ll need to access phpMyAdmin through your hosting account or cPanel dashboard. Once inside phpMyAdmin, select your WordPress database from the left-hand menu and click on the “Export” tab at the top of the screen.

Here you can choose which tables to export and what file format to use. It’s recommended that you choose “Custom” for more control over which data gets exported. Also, make sure to select “SQL” as it’s the most compatible format for importing into another server.

Once everything is set up according to your preferences, hit “Go” and wait while phpMyAdmin exports your data into an SQL file which will be used later during the importation process in Step 4.

Step 3: Create a New Database on the New Server

Creating a new database on the new server is an important step in migrating your WordPress site manually. This is because you need to have a place where you can import your exported WordPress database from the old server.

To create a new database, you first need to access your hosting control panel and locate the option for creating databases. Once you find it, click on it and proceed with setting up a new MySQL database.

You will be prompted to enter details such as the name of your new database, username, and password. Make sure that these details are different from those used in creating the old database.

After filling out all necessary fields, click on the “Create” or “Submit” button to complete this step. You should then see confirmation messages indicating that your new MySQL database has been successfully created.

It’s worth noting that if you’re not familiar with how to create databases or if you encounter any issues during this process, don’t hesitate to contact your hosting provider’s support team for assistance.

Step 4: Import Your WordPress Database to the New Server

After successfully creating a new database on your new server, it’s time to import your WordPress database. This step is crucial since it contains all of your website’s content and settings that you’ve created so far.

Firstly, log in to phpMyAdmin on your new server and select the newly created database. Then click “Import” at the top of the page and choose the SQL file you exported from Step 2. The import process may take some time depending on how big your database is.

Once imported, make sure to update any necessary information in wp-config.php such as changing the database name and username if needed. It’s important also to check for any errors or issues with importing by testing out different pages and posts on your website once everything has been completed.

By following this step correctly, you’ll have migrated all of your existing data over to the new server, bringing you one step closer to completing a successful manual migration of your WordPress site!

Step 5: Copy Your WordPress Files to the New Server

Now that you’ve exported your database, it’s time to copy your WordPress files to the new server. This includes all of your themes, plugins, and media uploads.

The first step is to download all of these files from your old server. You can do this using an FTP client like FileZilla or through cPanel’s file manager. Once you have everything downloaded onto your computer, it’s time to upload them onto the new server.

Using an FTP client again or CPanel’s file manager, navigate to the directory where you want to upload your WordPress files. This will typically be a public_html folder if you’re using shared hosting.

Once you’ve found the correct directory on the new server, simply drag and drop each of the folders from your computer into this directory. It may take some time depending on how many files are being transferred.

After everything has been uploaded successfully, double-check that all of your WordPress files are in their correct directories on the new server. If anything seems off, go back and re-upload those specific folders or files.

With Step 5 completed successfully, we’re almost done with our manual migration process! The next step involves configuring domain name DNS settings so that visitors can access our website at its new location.

Step 6: Configure Your Domain Name DNS

After transferring your website files and database to the new server, it’s time to configure your domain name DNS. This step is crucial in ensuring that visitors can access your site using the same URL.

To begin, you need to log in to your domain registrar account and find the DNS settings. You’ll then want to update the nameservers with those provided by your new hosting provider.

It’s important to note that changes made to DNS settings may take up to 48 hours before they propagate across all servers worldwide. During this time, some users might still see your old site while others see the updated version on the new server.

To check if everything is working properly after updating DNS, visit your site using its URL. If it loads correctly without any errors or issues, congratulations! You’ve successfully migrated your WordPress site manually!

Prerequisites for Migrating a WordPress Site

Before you begin migrating your WordPress site to another server manually, there are some prerequisites that you need to fulfill. These prerequisites will ensure a smooth and effortless migration process without any data loss or downtime.

  1. Firstly, make sure that the new host/server meets the minimum requirements for running WordPress. Check if it supports PHP version 7 or higher, MySQL database version 5.6 or higher, and has enough disk space and bandwidth.
  2. Secondly, update your existing WordPress site to the latest version. This will ensure compatibility with the new server and prevent any potential security vulnerabilities.
  3. Thirdly, deactivate all plugins on your existing WordPress site before starting the migration process. Plugins can cause conflicts during migration resulting in errors or incomplete migrations.
  4. Choose an appropriate time for migration when your website traffic is low to avoid affecting user experience. A good practice is to perform migration during off-peak hours such as weekends or late at night.
  5. Fulfilling these prerequisites before beginning manual migration of your WordPress site ensures a hassle-free transition giving peace of mind knowing everything works efficiently after being transferred over to its new home!

Automated Methods for Migrating a WordPress Site

Automated methods for migrating a WordPress site can save you time and effort. There are various plugins available that make the process even simpler.

  1. One popular option is the All-in-One WP Migration plugin, which allows you to export your entire website, including all media files and database information. You can then import this data into your new server with just a few clicks.
  2. Another plugin worth considering is Duplicator. This tool also offers an easy-to-use interface where you simply select what you want to migrate and let it do the rest. It also includes features such as automatic backups and migration schedules.

If you prefer a cloud-based solution, Jetpack’s Backup service offers one-click migration from one host to another. Simply connect both hosts to Jetpack and follow their step-by-step instructions.

While automated methods may seem easier than manual migration, keep in mind that they may not always be foolproof, especially when dealing with larger sites or complex setups. It’s important to thoroughly test your migrated site before going live on your new server.


Migrating a WordPress site to another server can be daunting, but the benefits of doing it manually outweigh those of an automated method. With this step-by-step guide, you should now have a clear understanding of how to migrate your WordPress site from one server to another manually.

Remember that before beginning the migration process, you need to ensure that both servers meet the requirements and that you have backed up all files and data on your current server.

By following these steps carefully, you can seamlessly move your site while preserving its integrity without losing any critical data or functionality. It may take some time and effort, but in the end, it will be worth it when your website is up and running correctly on its new server.

Good luck with migrating your WordPress site!



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