Move Your WordPress Blog To A New Host? – Is It Worth The Trouble?

move your wordpress blogWhy on earth would anyone want to move their WordPress blog to a new host?

I mean in this day of cheap shared hosting I could never imagine that you could ever wear out your welcome with a hosting company….

I mean if you look at most shared web hosting packages they pretty much imply that they will give you unlimited Domain hosting, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and pretty much unlimited everything for about $4 a month.

What a deal! I mean how can you beat that?

I mean once you jump into bed with a hosting provider why would you ever leave or move to another provider? Especially in the case of trying to move a large WordPress blog, it becomes simply too complicated.

Well unfortunately as you grow you will find that unlimited hosting is not really unlimited, it’s only unlimited up to a certain point….

Good grief and I thought only politicians did that talking out of both sides of your mouth stuff.

So case in point I have a couple of hosting accounts for my websites but my Hostgator account has pretty much been my favorite and so I have loaded it up with 40 or 50 websites and 10 or 15 WordPress sites, plus streaming video, tracking programs, and well you name it and it was there.

Error Messages Part 1

So the first issue that showed up (after 3 years of growth) was that the automatic backup did not run anymore since I had too many “inodes”, whatever those are and so they will not backup a site that has over 100,000 of these strange creatures.

Now when I called them and asked what the problem was and told them I had an unlimited account they said that was true but…………

Not for Inodes….

So at least with the inode issue it turned out that unlimited was not actually unlimited.

So I did manual backups one a week, no big deal.

That was until the next issue…

Error Messages Again…

I started to get a rash of internal sever errors (error code 500) and the web pages that my viewers were trying to look at just came up with a picture of a big alligator (HostGator’s logo) and said

Sorry but there is an internal server error 500 and the web page you were trying to view is not available…

When I contacted support they said that I had too many processes running on my web pages?

It turned out that if you have webpage scripts running (usually PHP) and the usage across all of your sites hits 25 at one time then the server turns your site off for about 5 min

So I told the tech guy… “Hey I thought I had unlimited?”

And he said I did, except for that…..

Ah ha!

I think I am beginning to catch on…

Unlimited is not really unlimited it only sort of unlimited and only in certain areas and on certain days…. Etc

So this was another case of unlimited not really being unlimited….

Deceptive little critters those alligators….

Well I should point out that pretty much every web host out there does exactly the same thing, and up to the point that my website empire had apparently strained the “Unlimited” system, I really had no problems with Hostgator and their customer support had been great.

So it was either upgrade to what is called a VPS (virtual private server) or a dedicated server where you don’t have those same limits and then you have a more unlimited “Unlimited” system

…. Or something like that

Or I had to find the websites that were the worst offenders and somehow fix them?

I have to point out here that I am only sort of tech proficient and have no desire to be more that.

However through their help I did find the major offender was my main blog www.AskMarcBarrett.com

I guess it just got too big or I was too wordy in my articles, and well it got to be over 13 gigabytes and apparently was getting way too many hits

That is a happy problem by the way…

So I decided to move  it over to a new C panel hosting account I had just setup on Godaddy..

And to see if once I reduced that pressure on my “Unlimited” system at Hostgator, if that pesky Alligator would stop showing up and harassing my viewers with 500 error messages.

How To Move Your WordPress Blog To A New Host

So the adventure began….

Moving a huge blog and the accompanying database seemed at first to be quite a task but it turned out to actually be not that hard if you follow some step by step instructions

So here is what you do to move your WordPress blog to another host

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 1 

Manually download all files and folders from your WordPress site by FTP and then store them in a folder on your desktop

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 2

Export your MySql database that is attached to your blog

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 3  

Setup an add on domain on your new web host and then upload all WordPress files to your new site

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 4

Import your blog database into your new hosting account and setup a database user identical to the same one you had at your old hosting company

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 5

Change the name servers for your blog to point to your new hosting company

Boom! You’re done! 

Simple yes?

Well to move Your WordPress blog it’s not hard, but there are a few things to watch out for or you may be pulling your hair out in pretty short order with a non-functioning blog and muttering things like

 

…..OMG what did I do to my blog??

 

So here is the more detailed version on how to move your WordPress blog to a new host

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 1

Manually download all files and folders from your WordPress site by FTP and then store them in a folder on your desktop

Note 1: Before you move your wordpress blog, clean up your blog and prepare site before downloading anything! Log into your WordPress back office and….

Spam Comments: Delete all spam comments and empty trash in commenting

Delete All Old Themes: These are a security risk, only keep the active one you are using

Caching Programs: Remove all caching plugins and when asked if you also want to delete all files associated with them click “Yes Remove”.

You can re-install them after you move your WordPress blog,  but these plugins will kill your blog on the new site since they will be trying to access data on cached pages that point to references that are no longer there and the php scripts will then crash your blog

If you have problems once you move and re-install your caching program then delete it again (removing all associate files) and install a completely different one

NOTE 2: When transferring files be sure to select all files hidden or otherwise, and be sure your download includes a file called “htaccess”

Note 3: Turn off Anti-Virus Programs: Before you download be sure to turn off your anti-virus software or you may find your anti-virus software grabbing files from your download and removing them into the quarantine and thereby killing your chances of successfully moving your blog

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 2

Export your MySql database that is attached to your blog

NOTE: Use the Cpanel function “PhpMyAdmin”, select your blog database and then select “Export” from the top title bar and then select “Quick” format for the export. Now download and save to your desktop or download folder.

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 3  

Setup an add on domain on your new web host and then upload all WordPress files to your new site by FTP (my favorite program for his is FileZilla)

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 4

Import your blog database into your new hosting account and setup a database user identical to the same one you had at your old hosting company

Note 1: In your Cpanel go to Files>Backups>Restore a MySQL Database and then select the database from your desktop and import

Note 2: Setup Database User: In your new hosting account Cpanel click on “My SQL Databases” and click on “Add New User”.

You must keep the username password the same as you had in your blog previously for you to be able to access the database. If you have forgotten what the password was then you need to go to the folder with your downloaded blog files in it and find the file “Wp-Config.php” and then right click it and select “open with” and select “Notepad” or other text editor on your computer. Then scroll down several lines and you will see a reference to your database password and the password. Write it down and then use this in your new account.

Then in your new host click on “Add User To Database” and select your blog database from the list of available databases and click “Add”

Move Your WordPress Blog Step 5

Change the name servers for your blog to point to your new hosting company

Now if you have done all this step by step your blog should work perfectly on the new site.

 

Move Your WordPress Blog Error Messages?

If you encounter errors or blank pages when you try to go to your blog then you probably forgot to uninstall the cache plugin on your blog before you transferred it. In this case use you FTP program and go to “wp-content”>”plugins” and then delete the cache plugin folder. Once you can access your blog from your back office then reinstall your Caching program and then immediately un-install it and select to remove all related files. Once you have done that you should be able to re-install it again and it should work fine.

If it still gives you problems then uninstall again and use a different Caching program

 

Happy Blogging

 

Move Your WordPress Blog

About Marc Barrett

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