Sometimes relationships don’t work out. Splitting up can be messy, particularly if you’re attempting to move your WordPress website from one host to another. There are financial considerations in play, you’re worried about site availability, and there’s always the possibility you’ll press the wrong button and *poof*! Years of hard work and paid content down the drain.

Shaking in your desk chair yet?

Fear not. A smooth switch is possible, provided you follow these handy tips (and number 5 might just be your ticket to a stress-free swap). Here’s how to switch web hosting providers for your WordPress website:

1. Choose Your New Host Wisely

Host swapping shouldn’t be an annual event. Make this switch last by thoroughly evaluating your options and choosing the provider that fits your specific needs best.

  • What’s your budget?
  • Are you a blogger, focused on content, or a small business owner in need of e-commerce tools?
  • What kind of site traffic do you expect?
  • How much storage space do you anticipate needing?
  • Do you need a traditional or managed host?

2. Back Up Your Existing Site

Don’t touch anything until you’re sure that you can restore your current site if anything should go wrong. Hopefully, you’ve been creating backups all along as part of your regular site maintenance routine, but if not, this is the perfect time to start a new habit. There are WordPress plugins that can help with this process, automating the backups so you don’t have to worry about manually clicking “go.” Even if you know how to switch web hosting providers,  a backup will protect you from any errors or hiccups along the way.

3. Initiate Your File Transfer

Surprise! Just because you created a backup doesn’t mean your work is done. All of your files must be transferred over the new host, and this migration is sticky at best and downright difficult for most. You’ll have to back up all your files using an FTP program, export the resulting database, create a new database with your new host, tweak the database’s file name, import and finally upload everything to your new host.

Sound exhausting? There’s a reason people train to do this. There are plenty of step-by-step guides available on the web, though, and it’s definitely possible to DIY the transfer. Don’t be afraid to ask your new host’s support team for assistance and, just like cooking up a new recipe, read through all of the instructions before taking action.

4. Don’t Forget About the “Little Things”

Email accounts, SEO, missing and broken links, and database errors aren’t typically top of mind when you’re overseeing a site migration for the first time, but these are the tidbits that will ultimately make or break your site going forward. A corrupt database is an immediate lights-and-sirens situation, but 404 errors are more insidious and can slowly but surely erode your audience’s confidence.

5. Get Help from WordPress Experts

Even if you now know how to switch web hosting providers, you can pretty much count on having at least a couple hiccups if you’re a novice with websites and you’re determined to switch hosts on your own. It’s an intricate process, and there are more moving parts than you expect, but thankfully there are WordPress experts who are here to help.

Interested in moving your site but not sure where to start? The team at WP SitePlan has the know how to switch web hosting providers for your WordPress website. Call us today at (855) 977-0391 to discover a smart, faster way to move forward.