Moving hosts, especially if you run a WordPress blog can be a bit of a daunting experience. Especially if you’ve never done it before. In reality, it’s actually quite easy to do – but only if you know how to do it! This article is not designed to be a step by step run through of how to migrate a WordPress blog to a new host but more of a quick run down of the certain factors you’ll need to consider. Who knows, you might read this and think of something you’ve missed or it might just give you something to consider.
Finding a Host
Choosing a host is actually the easy bit as pretty much all of the web hosting companies out there offer a solution for hosting WordPress blogs. It’s the most used platform on the Internet so you’d expect that the majority of people would support it. You can also find web hosts who offer packages that are tailor made for WordPress installs. They don’t differ much to regular hosting packages but they come with optimised features with the server side software that WordPress needs to perform at its optimum.
One thing you should consider is the sort of package you need, like with any site. If you choose a package that doesn’t have the resources your site requires you’re going to run into problems. The same goes for any site, not just WordPress. You need to choose a package that matches your requirements be it shared hosting, reseller, cloud or even a fully dedicated solution if your site/traffic warrants it.
Typically, WordPress sites need a lot of bandwidth, disk space and memory – so pretty much everything!
The WordPress database is one of the things that confuses people. In reality, it’s simple but it’s often overlooked. The main thing where people go wrong is getting the configuration wrong. In your wp-config.php file, you will find the username, password, prefix and hostname fields to fill in. Be sure that these fields reflect your new host and not just your old host. Lots of people simply setup new credentials, put their database up to the new host and then wonder why it doesn’t work. Either keep the credentials the same or make sure you change the credentials to reflect the new host.
For the install, you have two choices. You can either upload everything you took from your old host or you can do a fresh install. What most people opt to do is install a fresh install of WordPress on the new host. You can do this manually or via one of the many packaged software installers that come with your hosting package. Once you have a barebones WordPress install in place you can them simply change the configuration to connect to your old database and upload your existing theme to the necessary theme folder (more on this below).
If your database is old, structurally, then your new WordPress install will adjust your database to suit.
The Theme Directory
All of your WordPress Themes will be stored in the wp-content/themes/ folder and if you don’t have a new theme, now is the time you should be getting one. If you make sure that you’ve downloaded your old theme and uploaded it to this folder then everything should be as it was on your old host. If for some reason it’s not, you can check in your WordPress back end to make sure that the right theme is selected. Sometimes if you try and access your site before you’ve uploaded the theme WordPress will update to the default theme. So you’ll need to switch it back.
So there you have it, if you follow these points you’ll end up covering most of not all of the bases for your WordPress migration. If there is anything else we’ve missed feel free to let us know. If you get a good host, your database setup right, your wordpress files uploaded and your theme setup correctly you’ll be well on your way to a nice, clean, fresh install!