Website migration is one of the things that is needed to be done if you are not satisfied with the new name or want to change your brand. The process is easy with some plugins if you have a WordPress website. Today we will see the best way on how to migrate WordPress website to new domain.
Why you need to how to migrate WordPress website to new domain?
AS I mentioned earlier there are some cases where website migration becomes necessary.
- If you are planning to start a new brand and want to move the existing website to a new domain with a matching name.
- Second case is that you want to change the domain name because it is not attractive or easy to remember.
- You got a domain with high DA links and want to move your website to that domain to get more authority.
If any of the above mentioned is true then let’s start with the migration process.
Things to consider before how to migrate WordPress website to new domain
This process is very simple if you do it right but in case you miss any step then it may create problems not only with the new website but also with the old one causing a huge problem that you may need to fix.
We need the following list checked to start with the process.
- A new domain already registered on your name.
- Authority to transfer the existing website.
- Need to know the size of your existing website DB.
- You may need to create a backup of the existing website DB so that you will have the data In case of any issues.
If you think you are good to go then lets start the process.
How to migrate WordPress website to new domain
Step 1 of migration: Preparing the backup
- To start with the process, we need to first login to the existing WordPress website.
- After you are in the WordPress, go to plugins section and install a plugin called Duplicator.
- This is considered to be one of the best and safest plugin for website migration.
- Install this plugin and activate it.
- Once you have installed you will see the plugin listed on the WordPress side bar.
- Click on the plugin and you will be taken to the main page of the plugin
We have the Duplicator pro but if you have the free version also, you can do the same process but just there would be a limitation on the website size.
If your website is huge with lot of backup needed then considering purchasing the Duplicator pro.
- After doing this process you have the basic tool needed for website migration. Follow the below process carefully.
- Open duplicator and in the Home Screen you will see a “create new” button at the top right.
- Click on the button to start with the process to create backup.
- The next page will show you some pre checks to create a data back.
- Basically the idea here is to create a database archive and a installer.php file which we need to use to install on the destination domain.
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- Click on next button and the plugin with check your DB and other files and update if any issues are present with the migration and backup.
- After the scan is done, it will give you the report.
- Once you get this click on the check box and then click on the build button.
- If there are no issues with the website, you will see the progress bar and the build process will start.
- You may need to wait for some time based on the website size.
- After the backup and the php file is created, you will see a message to download both files.
- Download those files to the local drive and the initial part of your migration is over.
- Now you have the installer.php and the archive file of all the contents in your old website.
Step 2 of migration: Uploading the backup
From this process, you can forget your old website for now until the new website looks the same as the old one.
To start with the step 2, follow the process below.
- Open the file manager of the destination domain hosting.
- Go to file manager of that domain in C-panel and upload the installer.php and the archive that yogu got from the duplicator.
- Once you have uploaded, you will have those files in side the new domain. Now you will be able to access it.
- Now starts the main part of the migration. Close all windows and in the same enter the following URL: website.com/installer.php.
- You will see a new page appear from duplicator. If this shows up then all the process that you have done till now is right.
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- This page will show all the needed details for the transfer of your website to the new domain.
- Here you may need to provide some details.
- Before to that we need to create a database on your hosting account.
- For that go to C-Panel of your hosting of the new domain.
- Go to databases and create a fresh database.
Things to remember here is that you should take a note of the DB username and the password that you provide while making the DB.
- Once it is done, you are all set to go back to the duplicator page that we saw before when we accessed the installer.php URL.
- In there enter the DB username and password details. Mostly you need not make any other changes here.
- After you have entered the right DB name and password, click on Validate button at the bottom.
- If your details are right, you will see green pass marker in each section in the list.
- Proceed to the further step and the process for unarchiving the DB would start.
- This process may take time depending on the size of the database. Once all goes correct, you will see some messages and a button to go to WordPress admin.
- Click on that and you will be redirected to the WordPress dashboard.
- At this point, all your links and URLs should work and would be shown if you go to a browser and enter newwebsite.com URL.
Checks to be done after website migration to new domain
- You should check of all main pain including the posts that you had on your old website are loading properly.
- Check if all the images are loading correctly.
- Confirm if any design breaks are there.
- Also verify if all plugins are installed and if you have used a premium theme then check the license as it may not be active on the new website as one license would work only on a site.
- In that case you must go to the old website, grab the license key of the theme and add it to the theme in new website.
After completing all the steps, your website is now fully migrated to the new domain.
There are some more important things to be done here.
Other important things to be done after migration
- Website migration is complete but you will have the old website indexed on google. If you copy the same content to another domain, it may cause duplication of content on google.
- To avoid this you much notify google as the website has moved to the new location.
- To do that follow this process.
Redirecting old domain to new domain through htaccess
The simplest process to do redirections is through the htaccess file of the old website.
- Login to the hosting of old website.
- Go to public_html file.
- Find the .htaccess file.
- Delete all the content of the file.
- Place the following url there.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://website2.com/$1 [R=301]
- This should be placed inside the “if” section and save the .htaccess file.
- Now go to a browser bar and enter the old website URL.
- The above mentioned change not only would point your old website home page to the new domain, it will also match the entire URL structure to the new domain.
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- This would be a perfect way to redirect an entire old domain to a new one.
It is not over yet, there are a few more steps to be done here.
Here you have redirected the old website to new one but for google to know it, you should do some changes in google search console.
How to move a domain in google search console
- Go to google search console.
- Click on the settings of the old domain name.
- You will see a page with some details of your website.
- Click on Change of address and enter the new website name and proceed.
- You will be given with a confirmation if you have placed 301 redirects to home page of old website.
- If you see all green checkboxes complete the process.
- You will see a message in google search console showing as the website is moving.
- You may need to wait for some time before the old domain moves to the new one. If your pages from old website are ranking, google will replace the URL to the new website in 2 weeks time.
- The time needed for this may also depend on the number of pages your old website had as google may need to crawl them all.
After doing all these steps, now you can start working on the new domain and you are all set.
There are some more things like changing the URL’s in google analytics and adding Adsense code. It would be the same process that you might have done in first place with old domain.
Hope this article helped you in answering the question about the process of domain transfer.