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20

Steps to Backup and Migrate Your WordPress Site!

As a blogger or business owner with a WordPress site, you have spent so much time and effort to launch your online business. For the same reason, you should have as much control as possible over your online presence.

You’ve chosen a self-hosted platform for a reason, and it would be a shame to lose all of your hard work or become tied to a bad web host because you don’t have a backup plan in place.

The Importance of Backing Up Your WordPress Site

If losing everything in the blink of an eye would be devastating, you need to set up a system for WordPress backups. You might think that disaster won’t happen to you, but it easily could.

WordPress is the most-hacked CMS, but this makes sense because it’s also the most used. Beyond hackers, servers can crash, and developers can make mistakes – all things that can wreak havoc with your site.

One study by Vanson Bourne concluded that the value of electronic data loss was $1.7 trillion and that the per-incident cost has risen 23% to roughly $3.8 million.

It would be a mistake for not having a backup and recovery solution and rely only on your web host to back up your data for you. As these may not be regularly scheduled, they aren’t specifically designed for WordPress, and you may not be able to restore just one site from a hosting backup.

Bottom line: you should know how to backup and move your WordPress site, which is simpler than most people realize.

3 Steps to Backup and Migrate your WordPress Site

By creating and maintaining your own backups, you get peace of mind about the security of your data. This also gives you the ability to move your website to a different host or load a version of your site onto another server for development or testing.

Here are the 3 simple steps for backing up and migrating a WordPress site:

Step 1: Backup your WordPress Site

Before you begin, it’s a good idea to make a backup of your entire site. This can keep your site safe in case you make an error, use a plugin that doesn’t agree with your theme, or get hacked.

You can backup your WordPress site using a variety of migration plugins such as Updraft Plus, BackUp Buddy, All-in-One WP Migration, and Duplicator. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to go on to the next steps of moving your site from one location to another.

Step 2: Move Content from One WordPress Site to Another

Let’s assume that you just want to move all of the content from one WordPress site to another. When we say “content,” we’re referring to your site’s posts, pages, comments, terms, custom fields, custom posts, and navigation menus.

The downside to doing this is that you won’t be moving your site’s plugins and themes. But, this is something that you can accomplish with a migration plugin (covered further down) or by exporting your full database through MYSQL.

So, here are the steps to migrate your content from site A to site B:

Export WordPress from Your Existing Site

Login to the site that has the content you want to move. From the WordPress dashboard of Site A, go down to Tools and click on Export.

Since you want to export all of your content, under “Choose what to export,” select “All content.” Then, click the Download Export File button.

This will give you an XML file of your site’s content. Note where this is stored on your computer because you’re going to need it again soon.

Import WordPress to a New Site

Now it’s time to bring that content into Site B. Go to the WordPress dashboard of Site B. Find Tools and select Import.

WordPress allows you to import files from multiple systems, such as Blogger, LiveJournal, and Tumblr, but we’re focusing on WordPress as the source site. So, go to the bottom and choose Install Now under WordPress. This will install and activate the correct plugin for your migration.

import to WordPress

Run WordPress Importer

Now that you have the right import plugin installed, you can continue with the process. Go to Tools again and choose Import. Under WordPress, select Run Importer.

You’ll get a window that says “Import WordPress.” Click on the “Choose File” button and navigate to the XML file that you downloaded from Site A. Then, click on the Upload file and import button.

run importer

Step 3: Setup the DNS to redirect from old host to new

If you’re transferring a site completely (i.e. – no longer using Site A), you’ll need to update the DNS of your domain name so that it points to the new host. You don’t need to modify your .htaccess file for this. You just log into your domain registrar account to change the DNS for your new web host.

For example, if GoDaddy was your old host, your nameservers might be:

NS1.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
NS2.DOMAINCONTROL.COM

If you move your WordPress site to WPX Hosting, your nameservers might be:

NS22.WPXHOSTING.COM
NS23.WPXHOSTING.COM

Alternatives to Migrate Your WordPress Site

While those three steps are fairly simple, they only move your content – not your entire site. Fortunately, there are some alternatives to migrating your WordPress site.

1. Use WordPress Plugins

We briefly mentioned it earlier, but you can use a variety of WordPress plugins to backup and move your website. Some examples of the most popular choices include:

  • Backup Buddy – gives you a .zip file of your site that you can import into a new site or restore using the plugin’s script.
  • Duplicator – creates an archive file that holds all of your data and an install file to restore it.
  •  All-in-One WP Migration – allows you to customize what type of data you wish to backup and restore.
  • UpdraftPlus – gives you the tools to create automated and on-demand backups of your site that you can use to move or restore.

2. Find a Web Host That Offers Migration Services

hosting free

One of the services that many web hosts provide is free site migration services for new customers. If you’re planning to switch to a new host, find the best web host that offers the best features, and that can help with moving your WordPress site at the same time.

3. Look for Professional Services

migration service

If you just don’t want to deal with any of this, the last option is to engage with the pros. You can look for companies that offer WordPress maintenance services and subscribe to their services. All of them will help to solve your WordPress problems including site migration. Otherwise, you can purchase the one-time service, for example, WP Fix It charges a one-time fee of $47 to move your WordPress to another location.

Conclusion

While the thought of having to back up or move your WordPress site to another host might cause some anxiety, it would be worse to lose all of your hard work because of not implementing security best practices or get stuck with a web host that isn’t living up to its promises. Fortunately, these options can help you back up and move your WordPress site quite easily.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 20 comments
David

Moving and migrate WordPress is very easy. But we all have our doubts for the first time. The best is to take a backup of the current database and also the disk-folder. The real problem arises when newbies lost the wp-admin.

Reply
Abdul

Moving and migrate WordPress is very easy. But we all have our doubts for the first time.
but hope the backup will also backup my blog theme. Because I’m confused,and I’m a novice.

Reply
Sathish Arumugam

Thanks, Jerry for the great article. Backup Buddy is the best bed when it comes to backup and migration. Why because? It is very user friendly and saves a lot of time.

With Regards
Sathish Arumugam
Sathish Arumugam recently posted…10 Most Common Writing Mistakes – Avoid & Fix Those Grammar ErrorsMy Profile
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Reply
Jim

Thanks for this nice post. I use WordPress for my websites and now I need to Backup and Migrate one of my websites, so this is a very useful post for me.

Reply
Matt

Hi,
I install All-in-One WP Migration and generated a full backup file. Since my blog has thousands of art and craft pictures the size of this backup file is almost 3GB.
How can I upload such a huge file if the default upload size for WP is 2MB?

Reply
Philip Verghese Ariel

Hi Jerry and Enstine.
It is indeed a great joy to be here today to read yet another amazing post on WP.
Yes, it is a great thing to know the procedures to take back-up of our contents.
Thanks for sharing the step by step procedure you shared through this post.
A timely post to me.
Keep sharing.
Best Regards
~ Phil
Twitter:

Reply
diya thagu

Hey buddy

We saw now a websites got hacked very easily, they become very smart

To save our website from threat as we must really need to take daily backup of our site

Reply
sathish

Hey

This is really an interesting article

As I’m New to this word press this article is really helping me

thanks for sharing

Reply
Marlon Francis

Thanks for sharing the valuable article!! It was really useful and practical!!! I will put the practical guide and apply on client’s job!!!!! Thanks again!!!!

Reply
Cha

Thank you for sharing, Jerry! These steps is important specially if you frequently improve and change some parts of your WordPress site. It will make you worry-free when things get out of hand.

Reply
Techno Sakib

Hey Jerry
Thanks dude for making an amazing thing like this.I’m a new blogger and your blog posts helped me a lot to better understand blogging and seo.

Techno Sakib recently posted…OnePress Pro – Magazine Style Premium Blogger TemplateMy Profile

Reply
Vishwajeet Kumar

Hello Jerry,

Taking backup of a WordPress site and migrate it to another server needs time and technical skills too. You have shared some great tips and tools that help a blogger to move his/her WordPress site easily. Thanks for sharing this helpful post.

Regards,
Vishwajeet Kumar

Reply
ben

WordPress is a great platform and it’s very easy to manage. But the migration process is very complicated. I think using a plugin like Backup Buddy is the easiest way to migrate a WordPress site. Thanks for your guide.

Reply
Alex

WordPress is a great platform and it’s very easy to manage. But the migration process is very complicated. I think using a plugin like Backup Buddy is the easiest way to migrate a WordPress site. Thanks for your guide.

Reply
Aria Mathew

Hello Jerry,

It is always safe to do backups at regular interval of time. We don’t know what could happen? I have used backup buddy, Duplicator to backup my WordPress sites. They are decent choices. But it is always good to take a backup from PHP my admin or leave the job to pros. Thank you for the informative article

Thanks & Regards
Aria Mathew

Reply
Victor Joe

Awesome article, but hope the backup will also backup my blog theme. Because I’m confused,and I’m a novice. I really love WordPress but I don’t know how to backup my blog and theme, please help I need admin replies
Victor Joe recently posted…How To Personalize Shortcut Bar On FacebookMy Profile

Reply
Bikram

Moving and migrate WordPress is very easy. But we all have our doubts for the first time. The best is to take a backup of the current database and also the disk-folder. The real problem arises when newbies lost the wp-admin.

Reply
Sathish E

Hi
Thanks for shating the article

Reply

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