I lost track of how many WordPress websites I migrated in my life. It is a very stressful task and the key is not to put the website offline. I want to share my experience with you and hopefully help you do better website migrations.
When I started out WordPress development it was a very new concept for me. From building a website from scratch, I mean to create and code each PHP/HTML/CSS file. Then WordPress come along and change everything for the better, a “ready-made” user platform to build your own unique website. This was and still is awesome!!
Back then I exported the WordPress files and folders to my local disk and re-upload it to the new FTP server. This was easy but when you want to change the website URL (Ex. oldname.com -> newname.com) you must change it all with Find and Replace, in the files and MySQL (I use HeidiSQL). This is time-consuming but it worked!
Today I use plugins and cloud services to migrate a WordPress website. The one plugin I just love is All-in-One WP Migration, there is a limit on the upload but if you buy the extension you can upload any size. Two weeks back I uploaded a 15GB WordPress install without any problems.
One service I really trust is ManageWP, they are just awesome people and have a really great product. Migrating a website is really simple and very little effort on your side. Both options have the ability to Find and Replace URL strings.
You must make sure your new server/hosting is setup and working. By working I mean check the SSL and the Memory limit or any other PHP extensions. If you are with Cloudflare the DNS quickly update your IP to the new IP but some other DNS services can take up to 12 – 24 hours to fully propagate. So when something fails you will notice the site is broken and work your butt off to fix it. But when using Cloudflare you can easily switch back to the old server and re-upload or migrate your website.
No matter how easy it gets, it stays stressful and time-consuming. If you need some advice or even help, please contact us, remember iAdminWP do free migrations for you when you decide to host and maintain your website with us.