Migration is one of the most challenging tasks that site owners/administrators face at some point. With the hosting space becoming really competitive, companies are constantly striving to provide better services to their customers. While moving to an improved hosting plan will benefit in the long run, the movement never fails to rattle even the most experienced users, downtime being the top concern. The issue dogs the WordPress world too, but having a reliable backup service by blogVault can make this task look extremely simple.
The zero downtime migration supported by blogVault involves 4 easy steps –
Let us now look at each step in detail. For the purpose of this tutorial, I will be moving http://funfetti.in from HostGator to InMotion Hosting.
In order to migrate your site to a new host or domain, you must first set up the domain on the hosting server. This can be done Addon Domains in the Domains section of your host’s cPanel. Sometimes your new host may also provide a temporary URL such as http://126.96.36.199/~mysite. However, we don’t recommend migration to this URL as all internal links will be changed to this temporary URL and that can be really bad for SEO.
Sometimes web hosts provide temporary URLs like http://188.8.131.52/~mysite. We strongly discourage our customers from using the temporary URL for migration as all the internal links will be rewritten to this URL and that is really bad for SEO.
You need to enter the following fields while creating the domain:
Domain Name – The new domain name that is being created
Document Root – The main folder from where your site will be served. This is also the folder in which WordPress will be installed.
FTP Username/ Password – Along with the new domain, cPanel will also create an FTP user using the username and password mentioned in this form. This will be used later for migration, so make sure you note it down.
On completing this step, the domain is created and ready for use. You can also verify that an FTP user has been created by checking the FTP Accounts section.
The next step in the migration process is to install WordPress on the newly created domain. The easiest way to do this would be the one-click WordPress installer on your host’s cPanel.
Points to Note
The blogVault plugin needn’t be installed on the new host prior to starting migration.
The WordPress version installed on the new host can differ from that of the old one.
If WordPress is already present with older data, it’ll be overwritten during migration. However, the plugin will not delete any files. No manual cleanup is necessary.
If you want to skip installing WordPress, you must create a database manually and enter the details during migration.
Got more queries? Refer to our Migration FAQ.
We now come to the actual migration of your site. It is time for blogVault to spring into action. You can initiate migration right from the dashboard.
After this, you must enter the server details using which blogVault will transfer the site to the new location. The FTP user is the same one that was created while setting up the domain in step 1.
After this, you must select the folder where you want the files to be transferred. By default, the root folder is chosen, which is funfetti in this case. If you want your files to be moved to a specific sub-folder, this is where you need to specify it. The migration will be aborted if a wrong folder is selected.
The blogVault plugin will not proceed with the migration if an incorrect folder is chosen. You will see the “http://funfetti.in is not being served from the selected folder” error.
This is as far as the files go. Now we come to the other significant part, which is the database. In case you installed WordPress in the previous step, the database details will be auto-filled from the configuration file. On the other hand, if you created a database manually, you must enter the details here.
Once you click Continue, blogVault starts migrating your site. The process takes a few minutes depending on the size of your data. blogVault displays a progress bar to help you track the migration. You’ll also receive an email once the migration is completed.
Your entire site, including files and database, has now been migrated to the new host.
At this point, the old host still serves your site as the DNS record for the domain continues to point to the earlier host. You must update the DNS entry to the new host for the new URL to be accessible to everyone. This needs to be done from the place where you purchased the domain from and this usually takes time.
As an alternative, you can update the hosts file on the new host to point the domain name to the new URL. The hosts file is nothing but a mapping between the domain name and its corresponding URL (aka IP address). It overrides the DNS settings and is hence used often to test a URL before going live with it.