How to Do a WordPress Migration: 3 Easy Methods and the Best Plugins
WordPress migration from one hosting provider to another can be daunting for many users. A poorly executed migration can trigger adverse effects, such as downtime and data loss.
Fortunately, migrating a WordPress website to another web hosting provider is simple. From using your provider’s control panel to doing it with a hosting backup service, follow the process below to ensure a smooth and secure migration.
This article will explain three ways to migrate a WordPress site to a new server. We will also list five of the best migration plugins to ease the process.
Method 1. Migrate Your WordPress Site With hPanel
To use this method, you must know your WordPress username and password. Then, you must note the link to log into your dashboard, which is often yourdomain.com/wp-admin.
Hostinger’s migration tool will also ask for the previous hosting provider’s login page. In addition, you will need to enter your old hosting account’s username and password.
If you migrate your website to Hostinger, use the WordPress staging tool before publishing it. The tool allows users to make a copy of the website to test all changes before it goes online.
Here’s how to use Hostinger’s migration tool from your hPanel:
- Select Website → Migrate Website on the left side of hPanel.
- Click Add request and choose the WordPress tab.
- Under the WordPress section, select the domain name to migrate your website. Then, migrate the website using your WordPress login or link to backup files. If you are unsure how to fill out the form, use the FAQs section.
- Click Submit request.
Another option is to use hPanel’s backup service to migrate the WordPress files. Hostinger generates backups periodically. You can use these backups to migrate your WordPress site to the new server.
Here’s how to download a backup using Hostinger:
- Log in to hPanel and navigate to Files → Backups.
- If you want to save an existing backup, select Files backups, choose the backup time, and download it. But if you want to save a new backup, select Generate new backup → Proceed. Wait until the latest backup is generated.
- Finally, select Files backups, choose the newly created backup and download it.
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Method 2. Migrate WordPress With a Plugin
Another method is to migrate a WordPress site using a plugin. In one of the following sections, we will share the five best WordPress migration plugins.
To demonstrate how to migrate your WordPress site with a plugin, let’s use the All-in-One WP Migration plugin as an example. This plugin is user-friendly and provides all the necessary features to migrate your site.
With this plugin, the default maximum upload file size is 512 MB. If your backup file exceeds that limit, increase WordPress’s maximum file upload size first.
Note that you must upgrade to the Unlimited Extension to use the backup restore feature.
After migrating a website from one hosting provider to another using a plugin, make sure that the domain name points to the right host.
Migrating a website using a plugin may cause issues if you have custom scripts. Therefore, follow the process carefully and prepare a backup in case of failure.
Before starting the WordPress migration process, install and activate the plugin on your old and new hosting accounts. Once that’s done, follow these steps:
- Open the WordPress dashboard of the website you want to transfer and navigate to All-in-One WP Migration → Export.
- Click Export to and choose the File option from the dropdown menu.
- Wait for the plugin to finish retrieving your WordPress files. Once complete, download the backup file in the WPRESS format from the pop-up window.
- Open the WordPress admin dashboard of the new hosting provider and navigate to All-in-One WP Migration → Import.
- Click Import from and pick File. Then, locate the WordPress files you’ve exported.
- Once the process is complete, click Finish.
If the import method doesn’t work, upload the backup data manually via FTP or File Manager and use the restore feature.
- Navigate to All-in-One WP Migration → Export on your old server.
- Generate and download the .wpress file to your local computer.
- Log in to your FTP client or open the File Manager on the new hosting provider.
- Click the Upload button and add the WPRESS file to the public_html/wp-content/ai1wm-backups folder.
- On the WordPress admin dashboard of your new server, go to All-In-One WP Migration → Backups. The .wpress file should appear there.
- Click the three dots icon and select Restore.
- Click Proceed to begin the restoration process.
- From the WordPress sidebar menu, select Settings → Permalinks.
- Choose a new structure and press Save Changes. If you’re using a Custom Structure, copy it first.
- Reload the Permalinks settings page and select your original structure.
- Hit Save Changes.
Method 3. Migrate Your Site Using cPanel
If you are migrating the WordPress site from a hosting company that uses cPanel, follow these steps to add the backup file:
- From cPanel, navigate to Files → Backup Wizard.
- Select Backup → Full Backup. This backup option covers your home directory, WordPress database, email forwarder configuration, and email filter configuration.
- Set your preferred backup destination. In this tutorial, we’ll go with Home Directory. Don’t forget to add your email address if you want to be notified once the backup process is complete.
- Click Generate Backup to start the process.
After obtaining the backup ZIP file, restore it to the new hosting account. If your new web host also uses cPanel, follow these steps:
- Navigate to Files → Backup Wizard from the cPanel of your new hosting account.
- Select Restore → Home Directory.
- Choose the backup ZIP file you’ve created and click Upload.
You can also restore the backup data by manually uploading the ZIP file to the root folder of your new web host. You can do this via the control panel’s File Manager or an FTP client.
Ensure all the site files within the old host’s public_html folder are moved to the new host’s public_html folder. Remember to check the maximum file size with your File Manager or FTP client.
Cookies are blocked or not supported by your browser is an error that commonly occurs after migrating a WordPress site to a new hosting provider. If refreshing the browser doesn’t resolve the issue, deactivate any installed security or cache plugins one by one and delete browser cookies.
How to Manually Migrate a WordPress Site to a New Host
To learn how to migrate a WordPress site to a new hosting server manually, check out our video tutorial.
5 Best WordPress Migration Plugins
To help you pick a tool that best suits your preferences, we have compiled a list of the five best WordPress plugins for site migration.
- Downloads: 5,000,000+
- Rating: 4.6/5
- Notable features: drag-and-drop import, 50+ language translations, vast web hosting provider support
- Price: free with paid plans starting at $69/year.
All-In-One WP Migration is an easy solution for migrating a WordPress site. It lets you upload databases, media files, themes, and plugins to a new hosting server – no technical knowledge is necessary.
It takes a single click to generate a copy of your site and restore it on another hosting service. Its drag-and-drop import functionality further simplifies the migration process.
Besides being compatible with major Linux distributions, macOS, and Microsoft Windows, this migration plugin also works with numerous hosting providers. And since the plugin imports site files in <2 MB chunks, it can bypass most providers’ upload size restrictions.
Various extensions are available to expand the plugin’s functionality, and they all come with premium customer support. For example, the Unlimited Extension removes the 512 MB import limit and supports WP-CLI commands.
If you want to migrate your WordPress website to cloud storage services, the plugin offers cloud storage extensions starting at $99/year. Some supported cloud storage services include Dropbox, Google Cloud Storage, and OneDrive.
- Downloads: 1,000,000+
- Rating: 4.9/5
- Notable features: site pre-configuration, manual backups, and staging area duplication
- Price: free with paid plans starting at $69/year.
Duplicator is one of the best WordPress migration plugins. It simplifies migration and helps users clone their site to another web host or staging area without downtime. Duplicator also serves as a backup solution by bundling site files into a ZIP file.
The website pre-configuration feature further streamlines the process. It creates a package with all the preconfigured website files instead of configuring themes, plugins, and site data whenever you want to create a backup or migrate to a new hosting service.
If you have the budget, Duplicator Pro offers abundant premium features.
It provides users with scheduled backups and integration with popular cloud storage platforms like Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Google Drive. You will also get better support for a larger WordPress database and files.
The premium version of this migration plugin starts at $69/year. All plans come with customer support and updates for the duration of the license.
- Downloads: 3,000,000+
- Rating: 4.8/5
- Notable features: automatic scheduled backups, vast cloud storage options, efficient use of server resources
- Price: free with paid plans starting at $70/year.
UpdraftPlus is one of the best WordPress backup plugins worth trying out. With over three million downloads, it’s a popular choice for users looking for a backup and restore solution.
This backup plugin supports remote backups to popular cloud storage platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3. It also lets you back up a site on an FTP server, UpdraftVault – an in-house storage space, or email.
You also can browse the backup content in WordPress for easier access and set automatic backup schedules.
While the plugin’s free version has more than enough tools to ease migration, UpdraftPlus Premium offers excellent value for money.
Starting at $70/year, you’ll be able to copy and migrate WordPress sites and send backups to multiple remote destinations. The premium version also includes add-ons, premium support, and 1 GB of UpdraftVault storage.
The best part of investing in UpdraftPlus Premium is that it allows you to restore backups from other backup plugins. It also accepts generic SQL file backups, which can be uncompressed, GZIP-compressed, or BZIP2-compressed.
- Downloads: 300,000+
- Rating: 4.5/5
- Notable features: serialized data and arrays support, multisite compatibility, universal hosting support
- Price: free with paid plans starting at $49/year.
WP Migrate DB is another user-friendly WordPress plugin that accelerates the migration process, especially for databases.
With WP Migrate DB, WordPress database migration is straightforward and risk-free. The plugin can prevent any risk of data corruption because it supports serialized data and arrays. The free version also supports WordPress multisite and is compatible with all hosting providers.
Although WP Migrate DB is a great WordPress database migration plugin, you will have to upgrade to the Pro version if you want to migrate an entire website along with all the files and media. WP Migrate DB Pro starts at $49/year.
Besides the full site migration feature, the Pro version also unlocks advanced features such as WP-CLI support, push and pull migrations, and one-click migrations.
5. Migrate Guru
- Downloads: 80,000+
- Rating: 4.9/5
- Notable features: one-click site migration, real-time alerts, and crash-proof migration procedure
- Price: free
If you’re looking for a free alternative, consider Migrate Guru. This plugin provides an easy and risk-free way of migrating WordPress sites to the server you want.
You only need to fill out a form detailing your site’s new hosting account, and the one-click migration functionality will take care of the rest. The entire process is handled on the plugin’s servers, reducing the risk of crashes.
Migrate Guru can clone WordPress sites of up to 1 GB in less than 30 minutes. A WordPress user with a large website will find the migration size limit highly flexible, as Migrate Guru allows copying or moving up to 200 GB of WordPress files.
Unlike other migration plugins, Migrate Guru doesn’t offer integration with cloud storage platforms. Instead, the plugin automatically copies your WordPress site to its server and keeps all the crucial WordPress files there until the migration is complete.
Migrate Guru is compatible with 5,000+ web hosting companies across the world. It also comes with multisite support and real-time alerts.
A knowledge base is also available. It answers frequently asked questions about the migration procedures and the plugin’s functionality.
Migrating a WordPress website to a new hosting service can bring several benefits, such as getting a more affordable plan and better customer support.
There are several ways to accomplish WordPress migration. In this article, we have shared three methods to do it:
- Use the hPanel automatic migration or backup feature. If you’re migrating to Hostinger, you can quickly do it by submitting a migration request. Alternatively, use hPanel’s built-in backup and restore tool.
- Use a plugin. Use a plugin to export and import WordPress files with a few clicks.
- Use the cPanel backup feature. Create a backup via cPanel and restore it to the new web server.
If none of the above methods work, we have also shared a video guide on how to migrate WordPress manually.
We hope this tutorial has helped you migrate your WordPress site with ease. Let us know in the comments which method you prefer.
Find Out Other Ways to Migrate WordPress
WordPress Migration FAQ
Now that you know how to migrate WordPress to another web hosting provider, here are some frequently asked questions about the process.
Can Hostinger Migrate a WordPress Site for Me?
Absolutely. All you need to do is add a request on hPanel’s Migration Requests page. Once your credentials are verified, Hostinger will migrate your WordPress site for free.
Can I Migrate My WordPress Site to Another Host?
Yes, you can. There are various methods to move your WordPress site to a new hosting provider. As mentioned in the article, you can use Hostinger’s free migration service or backup feature, a plugin, cPanel’s backup wizard, or the manual method.
How Do I Migrate My WordPress Site to Another Host?
To migrate a WordPress site, you must transfer your WordPress files and databases from the old web host to the new one.
You can do this manually via FTP or by using tools such as a cloning plugin, an automatic migration tool, or the web hosting’s backup service.
How Long Does a WordPress Site Migration Take?
It shouldn’t take more than 24 hours to migrate a WordPress site with a plugin. The process usually takes a couple of hours if no technical issues arise.