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Migrate WordPress | Step-by-step WordPress migration guide

The data of your WordPress website is on the server of your hosting provider. What happens to the data if you want to switch providers? We explain step by step how WordPress migration to a new server works.

Over 40 percent of all websites run on the popular content management system WordPress. All of the website data is stored on different servers, either our own or with a hosting provider of your choice. Many providers now also offer the option of creating a WordPress website directly with an all-in-one package.

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If you are not satisfied with your current hosting provider, you always have the option of performing a WordPress migration. Below we explain how this works either manually or with the help of plugins.

WordPress migration: move manually

In a total of six steps, we will explain how the manual WordPress migration works. To complete the process, you need FTP access to the existing site, phpMyAdmin access to the database and a hosting package from a new provider of your choice. Allow about an hour for the manual migration of your WordPress website.

1. Back up database and WordPress files

The first step is to back up the database and all WordPress files. If you only migrate your content, important settings and plugins would be missing. Many hosting providers already have the phpMyAdmin software integrated, which you can use to save the backup of your database locally on a hard drive.


With the help of an FTP client (FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol” and regulates the exchange of data), all WordPress files are then copied and saved locally on your hard drive. You now have all the files for the WordPress migration together.

2. Create a new account and the database

Then you create a database with your new hosting provider. With most providers, this works in the Control Center and can be completed in just a few steps. You also need FTP access for the new server, which you can create via the login area of ​​your new hosting provider.

3. Customize and upload WordPress files

After that, the existing WordPress files must be adjusted. In the first step, open the “wp-config.php” file with your normal text editor. You can find the file in the root directory of your previously created backup. Then you have to adjust and save the data “DB_NAME”, “DB_USER”, “DB_PASSWORD” and “DB_HOST”. You can find this information in the settings of your hosting provider.

WordPress migration step 3 IONOS


Then your website is ready for the WordPress migration. Using your FTP client, you can then upload a copy of all your WordPress files to the new server’s root directory.

4. Change domain

If your website’s domain changes with the move, you can change this right before uploading your database. Search for the keywords “siteurl” and “home” in the text editor and replace your old domain with your new one.

Change Domain WordPress Step 4


5. Import database

Finally, the database must be imported for the WordPress migration. To do this, call up the phpMyAdmin program in the administration area of ​​your new hosting provider. Here you can import your saved database again. If you didn’t make any special settings when exporting, you can keep the default settings when importing.

6. Complete WordPress migration and check functionality

After the database has been imported, your WordPress site should run on the new server as before. Finally, check the functionality to fix possible errors from the beginning.

WordPress migration via plugins

The manual migration of your website is done quickly, but you need basic technical knowledge. That’s why there are now some WordPress plugins that make migration easier. We introduce you to three plugins.

WordPress Move

The free plugin “WordPress Move” impresses with its user-friendly and simple operation. With the help of the migration assistant you can do the complete migration of your website, the change of the domain and the transfer of databases.

Also, WordPress Move doubles as a backup tool. Install and activate the plugin. In the dashboard under tools you will then find the migration assistant. Then set up a completely new WordPress installation with your new hosting provider and install the plugin there as well and enter the FTP data of the new server.

Once you’ve created your backup, you can switch to the migration extension with your new hosting provider and import the old content and settings.

All-In-One WP Migration

The WordPress plugin “All-in-One WP Migration” is a practical complete solution for your WordPress migration. This means you can export and move all your data in one file in one step. You also install WordPress and the plugin on your new server and then upload the old data using drag-and-drop.

WordPress clone

The “WordPress Clone” plugin is also a great help if you want to move to WordPress as quickly and easily as possible. Because the move is very easy: Clicking on “Create Backup” creates a link under which the backup is located. First install WordPress and the plugin on your new server. Then just paste the link you created.

Conclusion: WordPress migration does not have to be complicated

If you own a WordPress website and are worried about an upcoming move, we can put your mind at ease. Choose to migrate manually or simply use a suitable plugin to move your website to the new server.

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This article is part of our content hub for web hosting, cloud services and domains and is sponsored by IONOS.

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