This guest post is by Caimin Jones of Genius Startup.
Sometimes you’ll need to move your blog from one host to another. It’s a bit of a pain and might seem a daunting task if you’ve never done it before.
But transferring a site is a fairly straightforward process that you can do yourself with an FTP program and this step-by-step guide.
Before trying the DIY method, it’s worth checking to see whether your new hosting company offers a site transfer service for new customers. Many do—but check whether there’s a cost involved. I’ve seen free services for this, but I’ve also seen prices around $300!
If you just need to learn how to make a simple backup of your posts, and don’t need to move hosts, take a look at this ProBlogger post.
But if you’re ready to back up and move your blog, let’s do it.
What you need to begin
To get stated, you’ll need:
- an FTP program (two good, free ones are FileZilla or FireFTP which works as a Firefox add-on)
- the FTP login information for your current host
- the FTP login information for your new host
- the MySQL username, password, and host name for your new server
- the nameserver information for your new host—there are usually two host names, sometimes more
- the login details for the registrar with which your domain name is registered.
It’s best to move hosts during a quiet time of the week for your blog, which probably means over the weekend. Check that support is available at your new host, and have the number handy. If something doesn’t work as it should, you’ll be glad you don’t have to go looking for that phone number.
Two preliminary steps to make life easier
If you’re using a cache plugin like Total Cache or WP Super Cache, deactivate and completely remove the plugin before you start the move process.
Cache plugins store file settings on the server, and these will be different for your new host, so you need to do a new install for those types of plugins. Most other types of plugins won’t need to be re-installed using the process I’m outlining here.
Secondly, it’s highly recommended go to your domain registrar or hosting company and lower the TTL value on your domain to something like 300 seconds, or the lowest value allowed.
TTL stands for Time To Live. It’s the number of seconds browsers should wait before refreshing the DNS information that connects