VPS.NET works with many of the largest WordPress sites -- we're very proud of it, and hosting sites like WooThemes.com and Yoast.com make coming into the office much easier. As a result, we've developed a unique method for transferring websites from your tradition shared wordpress hosting solutions, to a new WordPress VPS.
The first step towards getting started with the move is determining the platform to host your site on. Unless there is a significant detriment, such outdated software, or unreliable hosting, we typically suggest keeping the platform the same. This will prevent unnecessary path changes in the configuration of your wordpress site, or other stress inducing changes. With the vast majority of shared web hosting companies using cPanel to provide their platform, the migration can be fairly easy without many complications, as VPS.NET offers a turnkey cPanel VPS Hosting solution.
In the event that you'll be migrating to a new platform, whether it be a different control panel or a completely different operating system, we've come up with an outline of some of the key things you'll need to watch out for.
- The path to the configuration file will likely change, resulting in an unusable site.
- The MySQL database and/or usernames may be laid out differently, making it so your site cannot connect to the database server.
- Different chmod settings; depending on the platform, you may need to set the read/write file attributes to a specific setting for it to work properly.
The second step is to upgrade your existing wordpress installation to the latest and greatest version. After the upgrade, make sure that all existing plugins have been upgraded, if necessary, and are still functioning properly. By confirming their functionality on the existing installation, will prevent potential unnecessary troubleshooting with your new hosting. If your install is already up to date, nice job, you can skip this step.
To keep things fresh and tidy, we're going to use a completely new installation on your new server. If you have something like Fanastico, Installatron or Softaculous installed on the server, you can use their one click installation tools. If not, you will need to manually install WordPress on the server. This can be done by downloading the latest installation at www.wordpress.org.
Next up, we'll need to download the content of your blog so we can restore it on your new server. To do that, simply login to your website using your favorite FTP program -- we typically recommend something like FileZilla, but with so many out there, it's really up to personal preference. You'll want to download the wp-content directory, and then robots.txt and .htaccess files, as these will also have site-specific customizations that you have made. Once you have downloaded them, you can login to the new server using your FTP program, and instead of pointing the FTP program to ftp.yourdomain.com, you can point it to the IP address. Simply over write the existing files, from your new installation of wordpress and you'll be good to go.
Since we have the static content copied over, we'll also need to grab a backup of the database. Login to the PHPMyAdmin on your website, and choose to export your current wordpress database. While using the PHPMyAdmin export option, select ALL the tables, and choose to save as a file to your PC. Once the database has finished downloading to your local PC, we can now import it to your new server. Open up PHPMyAdmin on the new server, and choose the database you installed wordpress to. Once there, select the import option and choose the export that you downloaded to your PC from your old host.
Now that we have all your content copied over, we can change the name servers for your domain registrar. Most customers who are using VPS.NET will be able to use our Anycast DNS servers, allowing them to use dns1.vps.net and dns2.vps.net. If you have chose to setup your own name servers, you will need to use them to point to your web server.
Once you have confirmed that everything is functioning properly on your new WordPress VPS Server, you can cancel the account with your old web host. If you do run into any trouble with migrating your WordPress site to your new wordpress VPS with us, please do contact us -- we'd be happy to help!