WordPress is an excellent content management system that makes it possible for website owners to design and maintain professional looking sites without the need to know complex programming. The benefit here is obvious: WordPress is incredibly easy to use. It is built on the concept of saving data in a database and using CSS files to determine how it is displayed for visitors. Having said that, this database model presents a problem for migration.
When a WordPress user wants to migrate a site to a new server or new domain, it’s not as simple as copying a series of HTML files and moving them to the new location. It’s not even as simple as running a site back up and then attempting a restore on the other end. Migrating a WordPress site requires working with the databases that provide its underlying muscle.
If you have any plans to migrate a WordPress site, here are three things you need to know first:
1. You Must Save Your Databases
For your WordPress migration to be successful, you first must save your current databases. Those databases have to be preserved so that you can move them to a new location without losing any of the information on your site. Without the databases, you will be left with an empty template and none of the information you have worked so hard to post.
There are tutorials online explaining how to save and migrate databases. The easiest way to do it is to go into your website’s control panel (in most cases that is cPanel) and use the myPHPAdmin function.
2. E-Mail and FTP Accounts
Migrating to an entirely new server brings with it the temptation to create new e-mail and FTP accounts prior to beginning the migration. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as the same usernames and passwords are utilized. But there really is no need to create new accounts if you’re going to migrate an entire site installation. A full migration should carry those accounts over. Should you choose to create new e-mail accounts anyway, be advised that you may lose any new messages that come in or go out during the migration process.
3. You May Need New Backup Files
You may be familiar with the backup feature available through Softaculous. This feature is the way many WordPress users backup their sites. If you are among them, be aware that site migration may or may not preserve those backups. If they are important to you, download them and save them to an external device before you begin the migration. If they are not important, login to your site as soon as the migration is complete and run a new backup.
Migrating a WordPress site is certainly possible if you do it the right way. As we mentioned earlier, there are numerous tutorials explaining how to do it step-by-step. You can always hire a professional if you don’t have the confidence to do it by yourself.