Finding the perfect webhost is more or less similar to a general love story. While there are cases of love at first sight, most people have to go through disappointments and broken hearts before finding the one that we want to spend the rest of our life with.
There are also stories about finding your true soulmate while already with somebody else. Should you break up and leave your current partner to be with “the one”? Or should you keep the current compromised relationship just for the sake of avoiding complications?
Even though changing webhosts might be less complicated than changing spouses, it is still problematic. And it’s even more difficult if you have a long established blog hosted there. Moving databases could be a nightmare for the common people like the most of us.
Fortunately, if your blog is WordPress, it’s easy enough to learn how to move a WordPress blog from one webhost to another.
Before we begin, you should probably check out InMotion Hosting’s free website migration service offered by their secure WordPress hosting, starting at $4.99/mo.
The Manual Method
By default, WordPress provides its users with a method to transfer the blog should circumstances require it. This feature is called “Export – Import” and is located under the “Tools” tab on the sidebar.
To save your data to be used later in another blog, click the “Export” link.
You will arrive in the “Export” page. The explanation paragraph basically explains that the exported file you are about to create is in WordPress eXtended RSS (WXR).
Choose the author from the drop down menu. If your blog has multiple authors and you only want to export posts from one of them, you can use this option. Other than that, just leave the option to “All Authors” and click the “Download Export File” button.
Your browser will download the data in an “.xml” file. Keep the file somewhere save to be used later.
Now, assuming that you already have another WordPress blog ready in another host, we’ll continue to the next step.
Within your new WordPress blog, click the “Import” link on the sidebar under the “Tools” tab, and you will arrive at the “Import” page. There’s a list of import options showing types of blogs that you can import your data from. Choose “WordPress” at the very bottom of the list.
At the next page, you’ll have to determine the location of the data file. Click “Choose File” button and browse around. After you find the file, continue by clicking the “Upload file and import” button.
That is pretty much it. The process can’t go easier than that. You’ve just learned how to move a WordPress blog from one location to another.
The method can also be used to add posts from one blog to another. Very useful if you want to merge several blogs into one. Another possible usage is to back up the data of your blog(s).
The Automated Backup
The steps explained above are quick and simple, but it has one disadvantage: the process is manual. It means that if the blog that you are taking the data from is updated after you do the export, you’ll have to repeat everything all over again, manually.
There’s another option that you can do to automate the backup process: using a WordPress plugin called “WP-DB-Backup“.
After installing and activating the plugin, it’s immediately available in the sidebar under the “Tools” tab.
On the Backup page, go to the “Scheduled Backup” section at the bottom of the page. You can choose the backup schedule according to your preferences, write down the email address to send the backup to, and click “Schedule backup” button to save the settings.
The backup of your blog will arrive in your inbox regularly according to your chosen schedule.
However, the format of the backup is “.sql” (compressed into “.sql.gz“). This requires an extra effort in restoring the database to your blog and can’t be done from within the WordPress blog like the previous method.
To import the backup, log into your webhost account and go to phpMyAdmin (or another similar database management that your host uses), click the “Import” tab, choose the database file by clicking the “Choose File” button, and finally click “Go” button to start importing.
How to move other WordPress files
After done with transferring the soul of your blog, you might want to continue with the body. This includes all the themes and plugins that you use in the previous WordPress installation.
Basically, the least thing that you want to do is to copy everything inside the “wp-content” folder from your old WordPress folder to the new one. After this step, your plugins and themes will be available in your blog’s new home. You can use your chosen FTP client (offline or online) for this task.
If you want to make sure everything is completely transferred, you could just safely copy everything inside one WordPress folder to another. This is similar to the process of upgrading WordPress manually. But please note that:
- If the WordPress version in your old hosting is lower than the one in the new hosting, your new WordPress installation will be downgraded to the older version.
- You should NEVER replace the “wp-config.php” file in the new WordPress with the one from the old installation as these two files contains different configuration specific to the database of the host.
Now you have finished copy almost everything of your WordPress blog from your old host to the new one, the last step that you should do is to configure the settings of the new WordPress blog to mimic the old. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any way to do this automatically. If one of you readers know the shortcuts, please feel free to share using the comment below.
Have you ever moved your WordPress blog from one host to another? Do you know other methods of moving your blog? If so, please share using the comments below.