Choosing a hosting service for your website is the least interesting part of creating a website. There is nothing fun about choosing a hosting service.
Choosing plugins, themes, or anything else has something exciting about it. The process can be personal, you can make a choice depending on your taste and you can express yourself through your preferences. But there is not much you can express by choosing a hosting service, except maybe how cheap you are.Want to migrate your site from one host to another? Here's a list of the top #migration #plugins that can help you out with that! Click To Tweet
Choosing a hosting service for most boils down either to choosing a recommended service provider without questioning it too much or choosing one just to stop obsessing about it.
Most of the time we just want this part of the process to be over and not to think about it much more ever again. Keeping an eye on the monthly or yearly payments is more than enough energy invested in this aspect. Now, imagine how tiring it is to move your website from one host to another.
Why would I change my hosting service?
So, what are some good reasons, or situations that make people choose a new hosting service?
1. Better performance
This usually implies that a new service will make your website function faster. Speed is where you lose most of your visitors, especially if they are using a mobile device to access your site.
And don’t be fooled by those that stick around, if you have a glitchy website, your users will find somebody else that offers the same service in a faster manner.
Widening available bandwidth usage can easily be placed in the category of better performance, but it deserves attention in and of itself.
What kind of bandwidth you are working with is important because it affects how your website processes traffic.
3. Better security
Security can be compromised from time to time with little chances of foreseeing such a thing. A hosting service might be forced to change their security guidelines to something you are not comfortable with. Or it can endure a cyber-attack out of the blue, with little chance of preparing for it.
Of course, there is also always the possibility that you have opened an eStore and need some extra safety.
These are just a few reasons that may make you change your hosting provider. On top of that, you also have the possibility that your hosting provides has stopped providing services, got bought by another firm or something else.
Whatever the reason, if you have a need for switching your hosting service, you are going to be in search of a plugin that will help make that happen.
Migrating your website
Luckily, if your site is on WordPress it’s easy to move it. You can migrate it without losing anything, and the plugins designed for this job will help you do it smoothly.
Some hosting services, of course, offer to do this job for you. Some have the option to do it for free while others will offer to do it for a fee. And of course, some do not offer their services in this regard at all.
Ironically, these providers will probably be the first ones to make you search for migration plugins.
It is recommended that if you are running a content-heavy site or an eStore that you rather resort to using and off-site migration tool rather than a plugin.
It is also recommended that during the migration, you create an under maintenance/coming soon page for your site. That way the migration process is hidden from the public and you can get everything done without any interruptions.
The easiest way to create these types of pages is by using the Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode plugin.
This plugin, along with a drag-and-drop builder, comes with the best-in-class SEO setup, autoresponder and emailing services, 170+ themes, Depositphotos integration, and many more features. So in a nutshell, it will be the best tool to use when you want to create the perfect page in just a few minutes.
But enough about that. Let’s get back to talking about off-site migration.
VaultPress – An off-site migration tool
A great off-site migration tool is VaultPress, which is now part of Jetpack. Jetpack has been known for years as the Swiss army knife of WordPress plugins. And it has been crafted and shaped for years now to take care of all basic WordPress needs with reliability.
Since VaultPress is a backup plugin primarily, it is billed on a monthly basis. So if you already have a Jetpack subscription you don’t need to think about it much.
If you don’t you have Jetpack, then you might want to think about the other benefits this kind of tool can give you except for migration, since migration is a one time job, and VaultPress is only billed monthly.
Nevertheless, VaultPress is a great, quality multi-tool that can help you with a lot of things, so don’t be afraid to check it out.
Plugins for migrating a WordPress site
No matter if you are using a plugin or an off-site tool, you have to be careful not to lose your data. So be sure to test your backup file first. Make sure you can open it and that it is not corrupt before you start the migration process.
Keep the original WordPress install online, just in case you need to go back to it. And update your DNS only when the migration is complete.
Lastly, to make this process happen, you will also need basic knowledge of FTPs or File Transfering Protocols for website migration.
With that out of the way, let’s talk plugins!
Duplicator is amongst the favorites when it comes to migration plugins. It is cheap, versatile, and easy to use.
The backup file is called a package in the Duplicator plugin. It contains all the data from your existing site, as well as an installer file to help you move all of that data to its new location.
Duplicator is free, and it works great for small to medium sites. However, if you have to move something bigger you will have to upgrade to the Pro version.
2. WP Migrate DB
Moving your database can be difficult when you are migrating a site. Unlike moving around other data which is as easy as copy-paste. This is where WP Migrate DB can come in handy.
WP Migrate DB is not a self-contained migration plugin like Duplicator, meaning it doesn’t get the job done fully, but it can make it a lot easier.
WP Migrate DB simplifies the process by finding and replacing URLs and file paths, which is essential when migrating to a new URL.
WP Migrate DB is free and also has a Pro version with more features.
Similarly to Duplicator, BackupBuddy is a great plugin for both making backups and migrating your site.
Also, BackupBuddy is unofficially credited as the original WordPress backup plugin.
You can find BackupBuddy, in your WordPress dashboard. And if you hover over the menu you will see the Restore/Migrate option.
From here you can choose to download ImportBuddy, which is a sister plugin to BackupBuddy, or go to http://[your site name]/importbuddy.php to begin the 6 WordPress migration steps.
This process is a little bit more complicated with a few extra steps, but most users actually consider it to be more reliable than using other plugins.
BackupBuddy does cost though, starting at $80, with a tariff known as “Blogger”. And even though it is a nifty tool you might want to think about choosing a free plugin if you are searching for a one-time solution.
4. All-in-One WP Migration
As the name “All-in-One WP Migration” says, this is a plugin dedicated specifically to migration. Meaning, this is not a tool made for a different purpose that can usefully get the job done.
It moves both your database and your files, so you don’t have to worry about your database being unchecked. Also, All-in-One WP Migration works on all the different hosting services.
It exports/imports data in 3-second intervals, this allows it to bypass restrictions placed by a host. The same goes for upload sizes, it bypasses the restriction on the maximum upload limit.
All-in-One WP Migration is free and the plugin supports moving sites up to 512MB in size. But if your site is any larger, you will need to upload it using the Pro version.
5. WP Clone by WP Academy
WP Clone is probably the only plugin with which you don’t have to use the FTP to migrate your website. All you need to do is create a fresh WordPress install at the location where you want to move your WordPress site. After that, you just need to install the WP Clone plugin on your new website and it will handle the migration for you.
This sounds too good to be true, and the WordPress team admits it kind of is. To be more specific, they admit that this process will fail on 10-20% of WordPress installs.
This isn’t a huge rate, and you will not lose data, but you will lose time, energy, and patience. For that reason, this plugin is not higher on the list, even though it is free and arguably the simplest one to use.
Whichever plugin you choose, be sure to follow these safety precautions so you don’t lose your data:
- Check your backup file before you start
- Keep the original WordPress install live/online
- Update your DNS only when the migration is complete
Good luck moving! Hope it will be easier than in “real life”.