How to move a WordPress blog from web hosting with Duplicator

Today I will explain how you can move WordPress to hosting a truly so very comfortable thanks to the magnificent plugin free of  Duplicator .

If you do it the “traditional” way, over a WordPress blog from one hosting service to another, although it is not a tremendously complicated task, it does involve a series of steps that can be somewhat complicated for a not very technical person.

However, with Duplicator thing merely creates a copy of security of the blog hosting source (clicking a button on Duplicator), restore it to the hosting destination and make a series of operations to adapt the copy to the specific configurations of the new hosting.

We are talking simply about changing the name and user of the database that you use in the new hosting or, in the case of a domain change , making the necessary changes in the WordPress configuration so that the blog works correctly under this domain ( two parameters).

What will you find here?

  • What does using Duplicator do for you?
  • Moving a web hosting WordPress blog with Duplicator
    • 1. Hire your new hosting
    • 2. Install the plugin on the blog you want to migrate
    • 3. Create an installation package
    • 4. Create the database in your new hosting
    • 5. Upload the files of the installation package to the server of your new web hosting
    • 6. Install the “clone” of your blog
    • 7. Check that the installation is correct
    • 8. Final installation
    • 9. Change nameservers
    • 10. Checkup of the new blog and final tips
  • Concluding
    • What to do if you have problems with Duplicator?

That is basically the whole process, but let’s see it better step by step, with the specific screens you are going to go through.

What does using Duplicator do for you?

But for a person who does not have knowledge of the technologies that WordPress uses (especially in PHP and the MySQL database ) the reconfiguration part is no longer so trivial and, above all, it can be complicated by factors such as plugins concrete that the blog uses to migrate. To see a concrete example, take a look at this comment .

The value that the Duplicator plugin brings is that it does all these things for you, isolating you from the cumbersome complications of technical details, especially the more difficult part that I mentioned before.

In addition, they have had an idea as simple as it is great, which is to generate a custom installer , that is, the idea of ​​the plugin is that it generates two files that you copy to your new hosting and accessing one of them via the web starts a process of installation with the typical step-by-step wizard which makes the process of installing or creating a clone of your blog on another site (for example, to have a trial version) in something really comfortable .

Moving a web hosting WordPress blog with Duplicator

So let’s see how the process works:

1. Hire your new hosting

First of all, you need to logically have contracted the new hosting to which you want to migrate.

very important advice in which many people screw up: do not cancel your current hosting until the migration has not completed 100% , that is, you have verified that everything is fine.

I have met more than once with people who have made the backup (with Duplicator or other tools) to later find a problem not being able to restore it and with the previous hosting canceled and, therefore, without being able to create a new one new copy.

On the other hand, hire a quality hosting. They are affordable and the difference in price with a disastrous hosting is 3 or 4 euros per month, at most. Therefore, it is ridiculous to hire a shit for racanaer this money if you are with a serious project.

My recommendation is that you hire either Webempresa (the hosting of this blog), or Hostgator .

If you want to know why, here are more details:

How to hire the best hosting for WordPress

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2. Install the plugin on the blog you want to migrate

The first thing is to install the Duplicator plugin on the blog you want to migrate, you can install it from WordPress (add new plugins screen and look for “Duplicator”). Also make sure that it is the LifeInTheGrid company plugin .

The other option download it from this link and install it using the “Upload” option on the same screen.

3. Create an installation package

Once the plugin is operational, you have to create an installation “package” (the two files I mentioned above). One very useful thing by the way is that, if you want, you can create several packages on different dates and / or with different configurations which allows you, for example, to keep different “photos” (snapshots) of your blog.A trick :

As Duplicator can consume a lot of resources during the creation of the package, with a bad hosting it is easy to have a memory error.

To avoid this, deactivate all the plugins you can and optimize your database with a plugin such as Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions , and if you have any type of garbage among the files of your WordPress installation (obsolete download files, etc.), clean it. also.

If all this does not work either, you will have no choice but to do without Duplicator and use the option to migrate with backup copies (see index of this series).

These files, once the package is created, you download them to your computer.

Here you can see how it is done

4. Create the database in your new hosting

Before you can do the installation process, you must have a MySQL database for WordPress operational. Create it with your hosting tools, then create a database user and assign it to the database with all the permissions.

Once this is done, write down the name of the database, the username and the password of the user because you will need these data next.MULTIPLY THE NUMBER OF CLICKS ON YOUR CONTENT

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5. Upload the files of the installation package to the server of your new web hosting

Now it is time to place the files of the installation package that you have downloaded before in the root directory of your new server, normally this will be a directory like “public_ html ” or “www”. Below you can see an example for our hosting .Note : I am assuming the usual case of an installation in the root directory of the hosting, in case you want to use your own directory for WordPress, consult these instructions .

6. Install the “clone” of your blog

Now it’s time to install the blog on the new hosting. Before doing the final installation, it is advisable to do a test to make sure that everything is going well.

Here you are going to get a lot out of Duplicator because it eliminates a complicated problem you have when you want to test a “clone” of your blog on another server.

The problem consists of the following:

Let’s say your blog has the domain “www.blogdepepito.com”. If you want to try a copy or “clone” of the blog on your new server, you will find the problem that the blog is configured for that domain and therefore only works under a server that uses that domain.

At first, the server of your new hosting will not have that domain available until you have changed the domain so that it stops “pointing” to the old server and points to the new one.

In fact, when you hire a new hosting, so that you can work, they usually assign you some kind of temporary domain or directly an IP address. Your new blog could typically have an “ugly” web address like this:https: // 50.104.193.93/~pepito

On the other hand, if you change your domain to this new server (we’ll see how it’s done later), then you would already be working in real with the new blog installation. That is, the blog that would be seen on the Internet would already be the copy that you have installed on the new server.

How to do then to test calmly before giving the change and make sure that everything is fine in the new installation?If you are interested in blogging , don’t miss our compilation of the best resources for blogs & bloggers.

Well, for this, it would be necessary to “put a hand” to the WordPress copy in several sites so that WordPress uses the temporary address (the “ugly” address from before) which, if you do not already have some practice with the technical part (manipulate the database data, etc.) is a good mess .

However, when using Duplicator, this plugin knows how to do these things for you and you forget about the problem .

So knowing this, we can start with the installation of the clone on the new server. To do this, you only have to access the file “installer.php” via the web, the temporary domain of your new server.

That is, if it were the domain, from the previous example it would be, it would be accessed like this:https: // 50.104.193.93/~pepito/installer.php

This launches the Duplicator installation wizard, which has 3 steps. Remember that, to be able to do a test, as a blog domain we are going to use the temporary domain that you have been given in your new hosting.

Follow the instructions seen in the following screenshots, the domain that:

Step 1: configure access to the database

Step 2: adjust the domain name

Now, if you access the temporary address of your new hosting, that is, in our example, https: // 50.104.193.93/~pepito, you will see the main page of your blog and you can browse the clone as if it were the original.

Look in the screenshot below how I created a clone of our blog, but now it is under another domain.

7. Check that the installation is correct

The normal thing is that the process that you have seen here you do without major incidents. A “normal” blog, that is, simple, without many plugins or custom code, should not give any problems and work the first time.

But the more complex a blog is (dozens of plugins, custom developments, etc.) the probability that you will have a problem increases. So let’s see the most typical things that could happen to you in this case.

7.1. Find broken URLs

The first measure to check if the migration has gone well is to see if you have broken URLs or some kind of malfunction. To do this, take a first turn browsing the posts and pages, edit posts and publish some test texts, make a comment to yourself, etc.

That is, make sure that, at least, the basic functions are fine and during the process always check that the URLs are what they have to be (that you are not jumping, for example, to the “good” domain of the original blog).

very good trick to have a first vision is to use the Web Page Test service , on this page you can do a quick speed test of your blog, but it also provides you with a very detailed results graph where you see exactly each of the requests to the server that is done for each page (usually dozens, sometimes hundreds).MULTIPLY THE NUMBER OF CLICKS ON YOUR CONTENT

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This allows you not only to see the time of each and detect bottlenecks, but also to detect very fine problems such as, for example, that certain image or auxiliary files such as CSS style sheets do not load (404 error) and therefore indicate some kind of mistake on your blog.

If you do this test a bit thoroughly and do not see anything unusual, it is very likely that there have been no incidents. In any case, the errors derived from using a temporary URL usually disappear when you configure the blog with the good domain.

7.2. Problems with plugins, themes and widgets

If you have many plugins it can make chances of some fail.

For example, in our case, we used about 25 and in the test migrations that I did with this same blog I discovered that our cache plugin ( WP Super Caché ) gives problems.

It is an excellent plugin that gives us very good performance results, but they have fallen into the bad practice of introducing a dependency on the hosting username that is described here in more detail and that in the cloned blog caused the error that you can see at continuation.

Ultimately, this means that if your user “pepito” in the old hosting and, for whatever reasons, now has to be “menganito” in the new hosting, this plugin is going to give you problems.

In these cases, my recommendation would be to do the following:

  1. You go to your original blog and disable the plugin (s) in question and create a new installation package.
  2. You repeat the installation under the time domain again.
  3. If now you can enter without problems in the administration of your blog, delete the problematic plugins and install a plugin to clean up “orphan” options (configuration options for plugins that no longer exist, but are still in the WordPress database) . A plugin that does this automatically would be, for example, Garbage Collector Plugins .

If you still have problems, then now is the time to ask for professional help …

8. Final installation

Once you have debugged the process, instead of adapting the test installation, my recommendation is that you start again from scratch by completely deleting the test installation (including the database). It is only 10 minutes of work and you will have everything clean. In case you have had problems with URLs or plugins, remember to also repeat what you did before.

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Now you repeat the installation process, but with the domain good, this means that you have to edit the domain by hand in step 2 of the Duplicator wizard (see the screenshot of step 2).

But beware, now your blog will not work on the new one until the server until the nameservers are changed, which we see now.

9. Change nameservers

With the blog ready to go, we can only see it on the Internet .

Name servers (or DNS servers) come into play here . They are in charge of associating a domain to a specific server , simplifying a bit, it could be said, that they “point” the domain to a server or in other words: they associate a domain with an IP address.

Here are three issues that you must be clear about to fully understand how this part works:

  1. From your domain hosting service (where you bought the domain) you have to configure which DNS servers that domain should use (it can be your old hosting provider or a service specialized in domains like Namecheap or GoDaddy ).
  2. The DNS servers that your domain should use now will be those of your new hosting provider . You have to ask your new hosting provider what your DNS servers are and in the domain provider (which, as we have seen, may be the same) configure the domain to use those new DNS servers (usually this information is already provided to you provide in a welcome email to the service or something similar)
  3. A change of DNS servers takes a delay of several hours . That is, if you change the server your domain points to, this change will take a few hours to take effect.

Once these changes are made, you will have your domain “hooked” to your new server and everything ready to go, but remember that due to the delay for a few hours some users will see your old blog and others will see the new one, until the propagation has been completed and everyone see the new one.

If it bothers you to continue having an account with your old hosting provider since that is where the domain continues, consider transferring your domain .

Actually, nothing happens because they are identical copies, the only things are minor minor complications typical of a migration, such as, for example, a user commenting on your old blog (you could temporarily disable the comments on both blogs until the propagation has finished) .

Therefore, do not close your old blog until this process has finished.

10. Checkup of the new blog and final tips

If you want to do a thorough check (it is a job, but highly recommended), apart from doing the previous check with Web Page Test, I recommend that you use a link checking tool. There are many , but one of the ones that seem most practical for this case is LinkChecker , a free software application . The difference is that a tool, unlike Web Page Test, checks your entire blog , not just a specific URL.

It is very important that you test both your original site and the new one since it is more than likely that you already had broken links in the original blog and this could lead to confusion making you think that they are broken due to a problem with migration when, in actually, they were already broken beforehand.

What’s more, unless your blog has little content or you have taken a rigorous maintenance on this topic (for example, with a plugin like Broken Link Checker ), I guarantee that you will have broken links of this type, especially in outgoing links.

Concluding

All these things that you have been able to see here are actually quite simple. They only get complicated in exceptional cases , but if you have never done something like this it is normal, that at first they command a little respect.

Remember that choosing a good hosting provider such as Webempresa is essential, not only for having a good service later, but also for helping you in the migration process and when your blog is up and running, you always have a good backup to solve technical incidents (that there will be).

In addition, with a good hosting, the migration is done by them if you want, although I recommend trying it yourself first to acquire that experience and because in the adjustments of the details it is always better to be involved yourself in the first person.

Then they will help you with the configuration part of the change of DNS servers and also with other details related to the hosting configuration so that everything is ready and configured optimally.

What to do if you have problems with Duplicator?

In the event that you have a problem with Duplicator, which can happen depending on the type of hosting you use, you can go to Duplicator support for help.

And if things get ugly and they can’t solve your problem, you can also alternatively choose to use XCloner , a plugin very similar to Duplicator. With one of the two you should always get ahead.

And to conclude, if you liked the Duplicator plugin, tell you that here is the Duplicator user guide (in English), along with video tutorials on the use of this plugin.

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