How To Migrate Your WordPress Site

This article was last updated on the January 2, 2017.

If you want to migrate your site to our hosting here are the best steps to do this.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you’re not changing your nameservers before finishing the migrations otherwise your site won’t be available and the migration won’t work properly.

Optional Preparations for Migration:

  • A lot of other hosting providers install so called mu-plugins which are hosting specific plugins. To ensure a smooth migration we recommend logging into your webhost via FTP and go to /wp-content/ and rename or remove the mu-plugins folder.
  • We have our own Themeco Caching solution so traditional caching plugins will slow down your site. That’s why we recommend deactivating all caching and optimization plugins prior to migration as it will help to have a successful transfer.
  • If you’re storing backups on your web server or use backup WordPress plugins make sure to remove the backup files from your web server storage before doing the migration as it will add bloat to your export file and increase the time your import takes.

In the first step you will log into your old WordPress dashboard and go to the Plugins section and click Add New. Now you will search for the Plugin called All-in-One WP Migration (https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-wp-migration/) and install it. Once the plugin is installed and activated you’ll need to click on the new “All-in-One WP Migration” tab in your dashboards’s sidebar. On there you have the option to export your site. Once clicked it will load all your files and create a file that you can download.

Once downloaded you can log into your new WordPress dashboard. This can be done by going to https://community.theme.co/get-hosting/ and clicking the login button on the top right corner. Once inside your hosting dashboard you will see your WordPress site and on the right side of the website url you’ll see a button called “Preview URL” by clicking that button you will be redirected to the preview url of your website. Now add /wp-admin/ to the end of that url and log into the WordPress site by using the credentials you’ve chosen when setting up the hosting plan with us. Once logged in go to Plugins > Add New and install All-in-One WP Migration (https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-wp-migration/) on the new WordPress site. After installing and activation click on the link on the tab and select the “Import” sub menu which lets you choose a file to import. Choose the file you’ve exported from the old site and wait while the import is uploading. Once uploaded it will ask you to confirm that database tables and data will be overwritten. Confirm this and wait till the import is finished.

One thing that’s important is to keep in mind that when you overwrite the database you also remove your newly setup admin login from your new WordPress site. That’s why we recommend adding this right after the migration completed. You can do this by going to Users > Add New and add an Administrator account with the credentials. Now you will have two admin accounts one with the old login and one with the new. The reason why it’s recommended to do that is that it will help us to log into your WordPress installation when you need support or help with anything plugin related.

Once you’ve checked your preview url and everything works as intended you can go ahead and change the nameservers of your domain to point to our new hosting. This will take up to 24 hours and make sure to clear your local and browser cache as they can stay active even longer.

Once you’ve waited 24 hours and are confident that the nameservers resolve you can do the final step to make your website perfectly setup. Due to the fact that we’ve used the preview url to setup the site all the links and images on your site are using the preview url. That’s not a big problem in terms of displaying the site but it’s just cleaner to use your real domain. To resolve that you have to log into your new WordPress installation and go to Plugins > Add New and search for Better Search Replace (https://wordpress.org/plugins/better-search-replace/). Install the plugin and once activated you can access it under Tools > Better Search Replace.

Now you will see several fields. One of them is called Search for and the other Replace with. In the Search for you will type in your preview url without the http:// so for example: theme.co.routing.yourhost.co in the Replace with field you add your domain for example theme.co without the http:// – If you want to use your domain with www. then we recommend adding www.theme.co at the “Replace with” field, just make sure that you have a non www to www redirection in place / are forcing www via the .htaccess file. If you do not know what this means get in touch with our support before doing so or use the non www method.

Under the “Select tables” section select all tables as you’ll need to replace the url in all tables.

At the bottom “Run as a dry run” is checked. You can run through the search and replace once to check if your values are correct. If they are you’ll see a message that X tables are affected so you know that your target is right. Once you’ve run it with the “Run as a dry run” checked, uncheck it and run the real search and replace.

You’re all set and your site is successfully migrated! 🙂