My previous article talks about the steps in transferring or moving your blog from one server to another. On this article, we’ll still be talking about moving a blog from one server to another but this time we’ll be avoiding the blog’s downtime.
I guess, you already knew that blog downtimes will lead to the loss of traffic and loss of your blog’s income as well. That’s the reason why we need to avoid blog’s downtime when moving your blog from one server to another.
This post is actually inspired by the question asked by Ark which goes:
While Iâ€™m in the process, my site will be down for that period right?
If so, how can I put a message like, â€œThis Site is Undergoing Maintenanceâ€ or a similar one?
So, instead of putting a page that says “This site is undergoing maintenance” especially when you’re in the process of moving your blog to the new server, why not find ways of avoiding downtimes?
So, how can we move our blog to the new server without experiencing the blog’s downtimes?
Okay, here’s the steps:
1) Open a hosting account from the new webhost.
I understand that you’re planning to move your blog from your current webhost because you’re not contented with the service offered to you by your webhost. Maybe your blog frequently experience downtimes, just like what this blog of mine had experience before.
In other words, you will be moving your blog to a webhost which for you is better than your current webhost.
Consider first reading my previous articles listed below.
Now, once you already found the right webhost which you think could cater your blog’s needs, then sign up an account from them.
Before doing the next steps, make sure that your webhosting account and the servers for your account are fully set up already.
But you should take note of the following:
- temporary FTP URL.
- Your account’s username.
- Your account’s password.
2) Upgrade your current WordPress engine.
It is better if you upgrade first the WordPress engine of your blog. We are assuming here that the WordPress software that will be installed into the server of your new webhost is the latest version of it. Upgrading your WordPress to the latest version will lead you to upgrade your database too, making your blog’s database compatible to the WordPress that will be used in your new server.
3) Download your blog’s files.
Check all the files of your blog and download them from your server to your computer.
Usually, the important files of your blog are found in the folders:
- wp-content/uploads. This folder contains the images you uploaded while writing blogposts.
- wp-content/themes. This is where you blog template files are stored.
- wp-content/plugins. This is the folder of the WordPress plugins you used in your blog.
It would also be better if you’ll just include the following files which are all found in the root directory or sometimes in the WordPress directory.
And there might be other files other than these. You know better your own files, so just check your files in the server.
You need to use an FTP client in doing these processes.
4) Download your blog’s database.
Before downloading your blog’s database, optimize it first. How? Here’s the steps:
- Login to your blog’s admin panel at “your-blog-domain.com/wp-admin/“
- Open the Spam Comment page.
- Delete all the spam comments caught by the Akismet plugin.
Then access your database using “MyPHPAdmin” script. Almost all webhost have this script.
Next, check the database tables that exist in your blog’s database. Usually, your WordPress blog’s database has these tables:
If you found tables other than that, those tables are most likely created by the WordPress plugins your blog is using. It’s your discretion whether to drop them or not. But those tables will only make your database large.
If you are using the plugin that send emails to the commenters or commentators, I think, it would be better if you will just delete all the data in the wp_users and wp_usermeta except the data of your own admin user.
5) Install WordPress into your new server
You might be wondering if you can really access your new server without changing first the DNS of your domain. That might be true that you can’t access your account if you are going to access the CPanel of your new webhosting account using the domain of your blog which is currently using the DNS of your current webhost.
But there’s another way of accessing your CPanel of your new webhost without using the domain of your blog. This time, we will be using the other domain that is hosted already by the same server of your new webhosting account.
So, you need to know first what domains are hosted by that server. You can ask your webhost about it. I’m sure they’ll give you one.
However, if your new server is a VPS or Dedicated Server, then you need to use another domain of your own, and add this domain into your webhosting account as your additional hosted domain. After that, change the DNS of that domain into the DNS of that server.
Once the DNS changes have been totally resolved, access the CPanel using that domain that is using the DNS of your new server. Usually, in accessing the CPanel, you just point your browser to “domain-in-your-new-server.com/cpanel” or “domain-in-your-new-server.com:2082” without the quotation marks.
However, if your new webhost is DreamHost or other webhosts that have similar system used by DreamHost, then here’s what you need to do:
- Login to your Dreamhost account.
- Add new domain to be hostedÂ into your DreamHost account. This domain should be the unused one.
- Go to the “One-Click-Install” feature of DreamHost and Install the WordPress (Advance option) to the new domain. Make sure to create a new database server, ie. “msql.your-unused-domain.com” without the quotation marks. Take note also of the database name, database user and database user password. You will use this in your wp-config.php file.
6) Upload your files to your new server
Just like what we did on the previous step,we will use other domain hosted by your new server as your access key to access your account.
Use FTP client here. In the FTP URL, enter the domain you know that is hosted by that server. But the username and password should be the username and password for your webhosting account. Then upload all the files to the right or proper folder.
After uploading all the files, CHMOD the “.htaccess”, “sitemap.xml” and “sitemap.xml.gz” files to writeable using your FTP Client. If you don’t know how to do it, read my article, “How to CHMOD files using FTP client software?”
However, if your new server is a server from DreamHost or other webhost with similar system, upload the files using the temporary FTP URL that the webhost has given you.
7) Import your blog’s database
Access your CPanel just like what we did on the step 5. Then click the MySQL icon at the CPanel. In the MySQL page, open the “PHPMyAdmin”. Usually the link to “PHPMyAdmin” is found at the bottom of the page.
While you are at the “PHPMyAdmin”, empty or drop all the database tables found in the WordPress database. Then import your blog’s database or the database dump that you downloaded in step 4. If your database is large enough to be uploaded using the “PHPMyAdmin” script, do the steps in importing large database that I wrote before or if not, you can just divide the database dump into several files and import them one by one.
If your server is one of the servers of DreamHost and similar webhost, access your database using the URL “mysql.your-unused-domain.com” that I mentioned in step 5. The username and password are those I told you to take note in step 5. Then import the Database. However, you should know that DreamHost and similar webhosts are more strict in the file’s size and memory limit. So you need to divide the database dump or the database that you downloaded earliear into several files. If you don’t know how to do this, I think I need to write a separate article about that.
8) Change the DNS of your domain
So, it’s now time to change the DNS of your domain. But make sure that your account from the old webhost is still live so that your visitors can still access your blog even if the DNS changes is not yet totally resolved.
With that steps, your blog’s visitors will never found problems in accessing your blog. They won’t even notice any changes in your blog.
If you don’t understand something from what I’ve written, kindly drop your comment at our comment section or just reply the email you received if you’re a subscriber of our blog’s feed.
- transfer blog to another server