Move Website Files And Email Accounts
For those who are running a static website , all you need to do is download everything from your existing hosting server and upload them to your new host according to the old folder structure. The move can be done quickly using a FTP / sFTP agent. I recommend using FileZilla if you are looking for one.
Moving a dynamic site requires a little extra work.
Leverage These Expert Tips To Make Moving Your Site To A New Home As Painless As Possible
Everyone hates moving. Whether youre moving across town or across the country, the act of packing up your belongings, and making sure everything ends up in your new home, is taxing. The same is true for transferring your website from one web hosting service to another.
Unlike moving in the real world, you may have no clue how to move blog posts, images, video, and other content to the new domain. Dont fret we’ll walk you through the necessary steps to make the process as simple as possible.
What Is Site Migration
Site migration, as the name suggests, is the process of migrating a website from one domain to a completely different one. There are a number of cases where the extent of migrating a website goes deeper, including switching servers, CMS platforms, and the creation or consolidation of various branded subdomains, but quite often refers to a switching over of site domains. For the purposes of this discussion we will focus on the concept of the domain migration–in this case migrating from an HTTP domain to the more secure HTTPS. Despite being considered one of the more “basic” types of migration, it is still fraught with potential SEO dangers for those who are not sure what they are doing while migrating a website and do not have the right SEO platform and operational support.
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How To Migrate A WordPress Site
How you migrate your WordPress site will depend on whether youre switching domain names or web hosts. Both can be performed with the help of a WordPress migration plugin, but be sure to follow the instructions for your specific case.
Here, Ill explain how to change your WordPress website domain name or host with Duplicator, a free, must-have WordPress migration plugin. Duplicator handles most of the transfer work you would otherwise need to do manually, saving you time and reducing the chance of an error.
Update Your Xml Sitemap And Trigger Reindexing
An XML sitemap is a page that contains a list of pages on that website and how they relate to one another written using the XML markup language. When moving your website to a new domain name , youll want to update your XML sitemap so that it is correct.
XML sitemaps are a key tool for search engines, which use these pages to help them index websites and identify how various pages link to one another. Having a sitemap does not, in and of itself, improve your search engine rankings, but it does make it easier for relevant pages to be found whenever someone runs a search.
Once youve updated your XML sitemap, you can your website so that all of the URLs Google has cached can be updated. While you could rely on your redirects to send people to the correct URL, updating the URLs so that users dont have to be redirected is a better practice.
Also Check: How To Transfer Domain From Wix To Shopify
Clean Up Your New WordPress Site
Though your site might appear working in your new domain, there are likely some small bugs left over from the switch that youll need to address. First, find and fix any broken links on your new website resulting from the domain change.
Next, change all internal links to your new domain. Otherwise, these links will just send people back to your old domain. We recommend using a plugin like Better Search Replace to track down these faulty links and update them quickly.
Finally, complete a manual sweep of your entire site. Review every page, plugin, and site setting to ensure your site looks and works as intended. If you find that images or other media arent showing, you can either replace them manually or use your find-and-replace plugin to make all image links refer to your new domain.
How To Move Website’s Content To Another Domain Name
If you are moving your websites content to a different hosting account, it can be easily done with the help of backups.
If you simply want to change the domain of your website but leave the content as it is , and both domains are in the same hosting account, you would just need to copy the website files from one domain to another. A step-by-step guide for WordPress can be found here: How to Change WordPress Domain Name: A Step-by-Step Guide.
If you are using any other CMS or have a custom coded website, here are the steps to change your websites domain:
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How To Move A WordPress Site To A New Domain
The day will come when you will need to move your WordPress website to the new domain. For sure, because it includes situations when you need to publish a site developed on the local environment, to the live hosting infrastructure. Moving a simple WordPress website to another domain or hosting is not a very complicated process. However, it must be done in the right way, to ensure all the changes are correctly migrated and no issues arise on the production version.
So how to properly move WordPress website to a new domain or hosting?
Export A Backup Of Your Original Website Using The Plugin
You can create and export a backup easily using All-in-One WP Migration plugin. Just go to Export tab under the plugin title in your WordPress dashboard.
Handling even bigger websites
A free version of All-in-One WP Migration plugin can export a backup of a websites upto 500 MB. So, if your site is more than that, then when exporting a backup exclude media files.
The media files usually take up the most space on your website. And excluding them from your backup will reduce its size dramatically. After that its very likely that a backup of your website will be smaller than 500 MB. It means that youll be able to use a free version of the backup.
To exclude media files from a backup, simply select the option Do not export media library .
All-in-One WP Migration plugin settings
When exporting a backup for migrating your website to a new domain or subdomain you need to specify two URL entries. The first URL is your current domain where your website is located at this moment. And the other URL is the new new domain where you want to migrate your website.
Its needed for correct replacing the internal URLs within a generated backup.
Replacing URLs in All-in-One WP Migration plugin
And finally click export backup :
All-in-One WP Migration plugin: Export backup
The exported backup will be saved .
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My Domain Name Registrar Denied My Request Why What Do I Do
There are a few reasons why your request may have been denied.
There could be a discrepancy between your information and that of the domain owner. Alternatively, they cant verify that youre the owner. Make sure your contact information is up to date, and be sure to send what they need from you .
The domain name owner may have sent an objection to the transfer. If youre not the domain name owner, be sure to get in contact with them to resolve the issue.
If you owe your DNS registrar any fees from previous domain purchases, they may have put your domain name on hold. Be sure to pay any outstanding amount owed.
Your domain name may still be under Lock in your portal. Make sure this setting is set on Unlocked.
Alternatively, you may be under the 60-day Change of Registrant lock, in which case youll have to wait 60 days to make the transfer.
Purchase A New Web Host
You need a new web host in place before you can initiate a host migration.
There are a variety of hosting solutions out there, each with its own configuration and offer. You will need to evaluate and compare which is right for you based on a number of factors, such as cost, required space, and server configuration, to name a few.
Also ideally you should inform your visitors and/or clients that you are moving to a new web host, along with information about the hours that you are making the switch. It’a good PR practice to do periodically status updates on social media networks to keep your clients informed. Plus, consider asking your users not to visit your website during migration to minimize system load and prevent additional customer service headaches.
- Make use of Steve’s Hosting Comparison Tool at WHTop.com.
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A Good Web Host = Better Sleep At Night
When I switched to InMotion Hosting years ago the tech support was so helpful and switched my site over safely and soundly while I slept. I awoke up to website that functioned quickly and reliably without a single glitch in service.
If you dont feel that level of comfort, or are bothered about negative reports youve seen on your web host, it may be time for a change.
Use The Duplicator Plugin To Avoid Downtime
There are many migration plugins available, but Duplicator is unique in that you can avoid downtime for your site.
Exporting your site with Duplicator
Once youve installed and activated the plugin, navigate to Duplicator> Packages in your WordPress dashboard. Select Create New:
The plugin will walk you through the steps to set up your package, which is a copy of your sites files and database. After Duplicator is done scanning your site, it will enable you to download your package with a single click:
It should include two files archive.zip and installer.php.
Importing your site with Duplicator
Next, youll need to use File Transfer Protocol to connect to the server you want to migrate your website to. You should be able to find your FTP credentials in your hosting account, then enter them in an FTP client such as FileZilla to do so. Upload the two files from Duplicator to the root directory of your website .
Then, youll need to add your domain name to your hosts file on your new server. This is what prevents downtime for your site when moving it. The hosts file will enable you to access your site from your new server, while everyone else continues to use it on your old server.
To accomplish this:
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Launch And Test Your New Site
While you can complete this step after the first three, you can also start it earlier. For example, if youre launching a brand-new website design, you can begin testing your site once your development team starts building it.
No matter when you start testing your site, make sure its not accessible to search engines. You dont want search engines to crawl and index this website when you havent migrated your old site and content to it.
You can prevent search engines from finding your website by limiting its access to specific IP addresses.
As a part of your testing, you should follow a checklist of items to test, like the following:
- Review your site architecture
- Check your sites usability
- Confirm your page works on mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets
- Evaluate your sites internal linking, like its navigation, header, and footer links
- Read your sites title tags, meta descriptions, copy and more
- Ensure your site functions, like by loading pages, maintaining a decent page speed, and more
- Go over your txt file, XML sitemap, HTML sitemap, and structured data
For the best results, youll want to have multiple team members exploring the site. While one person may find a typo on one page, another may notice a broken button on a different page.
With multiple perspectives, you can find and fix issues fast.
Check For Broken Links
At this point, you have changed all of your URLs and set up redirects so that users can find your pages even if they have only your old URL. However, there is a chance that something got missed, especially if you make more complex changes to your URLs and need to add a large number of individual redirects.
There are several ways to check for broken links. If you are using Google Search Console, you can check for broken links . Alternatively, you can use a third-party plugin whose purpose is to look for broken links or a tool like URL Profiler or Sitebulb.
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How To Move Your Website To A New Domain The Right Way
There are a lot of reasons to move your website to a new domain name. From re-branding your business to acquiring a more relevant domain name, migrating takes a lot of work.
Its easy to think that moving simply involves copy and pasting content from the old domain to the new one. Make no mistake, this will make matters worse and will only hurt your SEO.
So how do you do it properly?
We know that a lot of things can go wrong beyond SEO. In fact, youve probably stayed up late just thinking how will this affect my SEO or what happens to my traffic are all thoughts that crossed your mind.
In todays post, well discuss how to move your website to a new domain name, the right way.
Monitor Your Domain Move
For the first few weeks, you should regularly check out the crawling-statistic evaluation within the Google Search Console for the new domain Google recommends 180 days for bigger websites. This way you can quickly identify any crawling problems which may arise.
You can also compare both domains Visibility within the SISTRIX Toolbox in order to keep an eye on how successful the domain move has been:
The change in Visibility for both domains clearly shows that, after the move, Google ranks the content on the new domain instead of the old.
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Disallow Access To One Of Your Sites To Avoid Duplicate Content
In most cases youll want to hide content of your target site from search engines.
On you made the setting inside your WordPress site to discourage search engines from indexing the site. But I would not trust this setting 100%.
In order to hide your website copy completely from web crawlers and search engines and thus minimize the risks of getting a duplicate content, I suggest using two simple and free ways:
You can use any of the two methods. See below how you can do it.
Setting password to the folder with your WordPress installation
When your website is password-protected, web bots including search engines crawlers will not be able to access and index your website.
There are some WordPress plugins that can let set the password super easily. However, Im not a fan of using yet another plugin, because each plugin makes your site slower, more vulnerable to hackers and more sensitive to incompatibility issues. So, Ill show you the plugin-free method to prompt anyone visiting your WordPress site to enter a password.
Some hosts may contain the tool in cPanel called Password Protect Directories. It lets you set the password for any directory with literally two clicks. Just select the application root directory and set the password for it.
But if your host does not have this feature for you, heres how you can do a similar thing manually.