Website migration can be a tedious process! Things can go wrong any time during the process and like Thanos’ now infamous “snap”, it has the potential to wipe off half of your website (or the entire website too, if you aren’t careful)!
But first, let’s understand what website migration is all about! In simple words, migration is a process where the website undergoes changes to its setup or technology. These could be changes to the website’s structure, platform, content, location, or design. There could be several reasons why you may have to migrate your website.
- Maybe you want to change the website’s structure, navigation or design if the existing site setup isn’t meeting your needs.
- Perhaps you want to move to a new framework or CMS (Content Management System).
- You might want to move from HTTP to HTTPS.
- Maybe you want to optimise your website for mobile platforms.
- Perhaps you aren’t satisfied with the current server’s performance or hosting conditions, you might want to switch to another host.
- You might simply want to change the domain name, either as a result of rebranding, or simply to get a better URL.
While migrating your website could be a necessity, not being cautious enough could land you in trouble! One way to ensure that the migration process doesn’t go awry is to follow this quick, comprehensive checklist we’ve created!
WordPress Site Migration Checklist
Here are the steps you need to follow if you’re planning to migrate your WordPress website.
1. Manual migration or migration using a tool
Sure, you can migrate a website manually. But, it is a time-consuming process. You spend hours painstakingly migrating your old site to a new one, only to miss a particular step, or forget to move a specific file.
To avoid this, we suggest that you use a website migration tool. With a tool, you can make sure that every file, however small or big, is moved to the new website correctly. It will not only save you time but also give you a smooth and fully functional website, with minimum effort and zero-downtime.
2. Choosing a migration tool
There are a bunch of tools available in the market for site migration, offering different services. Here, you need to prioritize services provided, based on your needs. For instance, if having zero downtime is most important, use a tool that guarantees it. Or maybe you have a large website and want to migrate it as fast as possible? Or, if you have little to no technical knowledge, then having an easy-to-use tool is a must.
BlogVault’s One-Click WordPress migration tool meets all the above criteria, and is as easy as it can get! Plus, it’s free with any BlogVault plan.
3. Set up a new domain
If you are moving into a new house, the most basic requirement is to set up that new house you are going to move in to. Similarly, when you are migrating your website, you must first have your new domain up and running, long before you start the migration process. If you forget to do this, your website will have no place to migrate. So if you haven’t done this, DO IT right now!
4. Installing WordPress on the new domain
Installing WordPress is the easiest step when it comes to migration. But don’t forget to do it. If you have your domain set up, it’ll take you only five minutes to install WordPress.
5. FTP credentials for the new site
Going back to the reference of relocating your house – a change of address, where will you move if you do not know the address? Or, how will you get in if you don’t have the key to the lock? In website terms, these are your FTP credentials.
- Server address and port number
- Username and password
Without these, you won’t be able to use your new domain for migration. Keep this information handy as these would be required later.
6. Take a backup
Migration is a complex process. Unfortunately, in spite of being very careful, we may miss out a particular step that could leave our website broken or inaccessible. And that’s why taking a backup is imperative.
This point cannot be stressed more. Backups are not just handy when something goes wrong during migration. They can save you if your website’s security is compromised, or in any other situation that could make your website go kaput. Luckily, BlogVault offers automatic daily backups that make sure you are always safe from such situations!
7. Want to migrate whole site/just files/only database
Once you have done everything else, it’s time to decide what you need to move – your entire website, the files or just the databases. Moving your entire site will take more time than moving only files or databases. Depending on your requirement, choose what to migrate. BlogVault’s One-Click Migration tool offers you these options and more!
ii. During Migration
Irrespective of the tool you decide to use, these are the few things you must double-check:
1. FTP credentials
As mentioned, these are needed to give the migration tool access to your new domain. If they are incorrect, you will not be able to initiate the migration process. So make sure you input them correctly.
2. Select the right folder
Usually, WordPress is installed in the root directory (example.com), though WordPress does allow you to install it in a different subdirectory (example.com/website). For an inexperienced WordPress site owner, installing WordPress in the root directory would make things easier, as some plugins might not function properly otherwise. The folder where WordPress will be installed is critical because your newly migrated website will not work if it can’t find WordPress. Therefore, you need to get this step right, and there’s no harm to double… or even triple check it.
3. Select the right domain name
Make sure you get your new domain address right to ensure a smooth and seamless migration process (and to avoid losing out on your search engine optimization/SEO score).
4. Migrate (whole site/just files/only database)
Any WordPress site comprises of two main components of data:
- Site files
As we mentioned earlier, it’s not compulsory to move your entire website. If you need to migrate only database or files, BlogVault allows you to do just that. In case you want to migrate the whole site, you will have to move both of them.
iii. Post Migration
1. Update DNS entry
After migrating the site, you will have to update the DNS entry, failing which your customers will still be directed to your old website.
2. Test the new website
After migrating and updating your DNS entry, check if your website is functioning correctly. If you have a large site, it’s not possible to test it thoroughly. In such cases, you must check essential pages. Here, we list the pages which you might want to test for any problems:
- Checkout page
- Blog page
- Feature pages
- Pricing page
- Login page
- Affiliate page
- Terms and conditions
- Top ranking post
- How-to videos/posts
- Top liked/shared posts
- Instead of just checking if the login page is opening, try and log in.
- Create a dummy post. Preview and submit it.
- Upload image/file/videos.
- If your website has some tools or applications for customers, use them. Ex: Tax calculator, check if it loads properly.
Consult this website migration checklist to ensure that you have a smooth experience while migrating your website. For a no-headache migration, opt for BlogVault’s One-Click WordPress Migration tool! With a zero-downtime guarantee, 80% faster website migrations, support for more than 5000 web hosts (Yes!), crash-proof, support for websites as large as 350GB and even multi-site support, BlogVault’s One-Click WordPress Migration tool has got you covered.
Migrate your site with confidence, BlogVault has got your back!