Step by Step Guide To Transfer Hosting Like a Professional

12 min read

There are many reasons why website owners change the web hosting provider but it is necessary for them to understand the migration process to transfer hosting without facing any major issues. Otherwise, they should hire an employee for this process or rely on third parties by outsourcing which is very risky for a website to have confidential data. If you can never share your website’s private data then it is mandatory to learn how to transfer hosting and protect your private data from breaches.

In this article, you will learn the website migration process from one web host to another with the help of different tools and step-by-step guides. This article is especially for you if your website is developed using WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, SMF, or phyBB2. Keep in mind, that changing web hosting providers without proper information can increase your website downtime and data loss. So, if you want to minimize these risks then read the article carefully before hosting migration. 

Transferring a website to another web-hosting provider is based on the following steps: 

  • Copying the website files to the destination host
  • Moving the Databases
  • Application configuration on the new host
  • Changing the DNS configuration 

How To Transfer The Hosting of A WordPress Website?

How To Transfer The Hosting of A WordPress Website

Changing web hosting services is a big decision, so try to optimize your website before choosing any other web hosting provider. If your current service provider still fails to deliver the required level of services then choose more appropriate web hosting so that you get the optimum results. There are two ways either you can migrate your website with the help of different plugins or do it manually. I am going to share both processes, so it is up to you which one is easier for you. 

Using WordPress Migration Plugins

Different WordPress plugins are available to perform the same task, so it is up to which plugin is more suitable for your website. I am going to share the most popular plugins with their features, so it will be more helpful in choosing the right one. 

1. Duplicator

It is a powerful WordPress plugin to migrate your website running on the localhost to the live server and vice versa but you can also transfer your website from live to live server. Duplicator is the most widely used WordPress migration plugin that is also used for taking backups of your websites. 



  • Migrate or clone your Website
  • Backup complete WordPress website or different parts
  • Bundle up a WordPress site for distribution

2. All-in-one WP Migration

You can easily export your website themes, plugins, media files, and databases and upload them to the desired destination location with the help of drag-and-drop functionality. Moreover, the All-in-one WP Migration plugin also fixes the serialization problems more efficiently. If you are using the free version of this plugin then you can upload 512MB file sizes otherwise go for the premium version and enjoy additional features. 

All-in-one WP Migration


  • Ultra-fast export operations
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Bypass upload size restrictions 
  • Convenience Backups

3. Migrate Guru

This option is considered when you need easy and super-fast WordPress migrations. Migrate Guru is known as the fastest migration plugin and also uses intelligent processes to reduce risk factors. So, people having less technical knowledge can also perform the migration process within a short period. Migrate Guru rewrites the URLs, bypasses import-export scripts, and handles serialized data automatically without any storage space required because the backup files are hosted on their servers. It is completely free having built-in search and replace, alerts, and compatibility with every web host. 

Migrate Guru


  • 80% faster migration with one-click
  • Compatible with all hosts
  • No storage space required 
  • Tracking and progress email alerts

4. WP Migrate DB

As the name indicates, it is used to migrate the database with the search and replace option for URLs and paths. Moreover, website owners can also store the database file on their local computer as an SQL file. It is widely used for database migrations. There are free and pro versions available, so it depends on you which one is more suitable for you. 

WP Migrate DB


  • Database operations: Backup, push and pull 
  • Find & replace functionality 
  • Filter post types
  • Stores migration profiles

5. WP Clone

WP Clone

It is a lightweight, easy, and fast plugin for WordPress website migrations. What you need to do is install the WP clone plugin on both sides (source and destination). Now, create a package from the source website and enter the package link in the WP clone installed on the destination website to restore it. WP clone may not work properly on large websites but is more efficient for transferring your website from the localhost servers to the live web hosting servers. 

Using Manual Migration Process

Everyone can easily transfer hosting if he/she follows these steps because each step is discussed in detail according to the technical level of website owners. Don’t forget to take website backups regularly or before performing any particular operation. 

1. Backup Website Files

Before starting the manual transfer hosting process, it is mandatory to take the website backups with the help of different WordPress plugins. Alternatively, you can download any FTP software like FileZilla and enter your SFTP credentials. Once you have connected with the server, select and download all files to your local machine. The downloading process will take time based on your media uploads. 

You can also take the manual backup, log in to your cPanel, go to the “File Manager” navigate to the home directory, convert it into a zip, and download the file. Once the downloading is started, you can export the website database in the SQL format to utilize your time. 

2. Export The Database

Log in to your control panel and open the PhpMyAdmin, select the database containing your WordPress installation from the left sidebar. Once the particular database is selected, click on the Export tab and click on the Go button. The quick export process in the SQL format will be started to download on your computer. You have downloaded your website files in the first step and the database has the data of your pages, posts, and many more. If both operations are performed successfully then you can move on to the next step. 

Export The Database

3. Create A New Database On Your New Host

Your data is ready to migrate but it is necessary to create an environment on your destination or new host server.

Create A New Database On Your New Host

After the login to your cPanel, open MySQL Database Wizard and perform the following steps: 

  • Provide the name of a new database and click on the next step button
  • You will be landed on the Create new database users page, create a new user with a complex password. 
  • Now add the database user to the newly created database and grant it all the privileges.  

Note down the database name, user name, and password because you need this information in the next step. 

4. Edit wp-config.php File

Edit the wp-config.php file from the folder where backup files are stored on your local computer. This file has the configuration information that is necessary for access between your database and WordPress. You can open this file in Notepad if you don’t have installed any source code editor software.

Edit wp-config.php File

Make the following three changes: 

– Database Name

define('DB_NAME', 'db_name');

Replace the database name with db_name because you want to remove the old database and use the new database that you have just created. 

– Database Username 

define('DB_USER', 'db_user');

Replace the database username with db_user because you want to remove the old database user and use the new database username that you have just created. 

– Database Password

define('DB_PASSWORD', 'db_pass');

Replace the database user password with db_pass because you have changed the database user, so the password of this particular user will be added to the proper configurations. After providing this information save and close the file. 

5. Import the Database

Import the Database

Open the newly created database from the PhpMyAdmin and click on the import button from the navigation menu. Now, in the File to Import section click the Choose File button select the database SQL file, and click on the Go button. The database import will be started and will take time according to the file size. You will get the message about the successful import when it has finished. 

6. Upload File To The New Host

Now you have prepared the new database and reconfigured the wp-config file, it’s time to upload the website files to complete the successful transfer hosting process. If you have FileZilla then connect your FileZilla to the server by providing the credentials or go to the cPanel, open File Manager, and upload all WordPress website files in the public_html folder. Kindly make sure that the updated config file is uploaded to prevent errors. The file uploading process can take time, so don’t delete the website file before the completion.  

7. Update The Domain Address (Only if you want to change your domain name) 

If you are moving to a different or new domain name then you will complete this step otherwise you can skip this step.

Update The Domain Address (Only if you want to change your domain name) 

Click on your database and open wp-options, now replace the site and home with the new URL. You can face broken links and missing images, so execute the following SQL query and replace the old website with a new website URL (new domain name).

UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = REPLACE(post_content, '', '');

8. Update DNS Settings

Reconfigure your DNS settings because DNS is pointing to your old host but you want to point the right records to the new server IP address. It depends on where you have registered your domain and usually takes up to 48 hours. You will not make any changes during these 48 hours and after this period, your website will be running on your new host. 

How To Change Host Records?

Follow these steps to modify the DNS on your domain: 

  1. Log into your account where you have registered your domain.
  2. Click on the “My Domains” under the menu option “Domains”.
  3. Select the particular domain name that you want to work with.
  4. Click on “DNS Server Settings”.
  5. Choose “Our Servers” and enter the name server addresses received by the new hosting provider. (e.g.,

How To Migrate Joomla From One Host To Another?

How To Migrate Joomla From One Host To Another

1. Set Up A New Server and Install Joomla

Download the latest version of Joomla move the unzipped files of Joomla to the server and set up a new database similar to the process explained for WordPress. You will create a new database, and a database user, attach the user to the database, and grant the user all privileges. Now start the installation process of Joomla for transfer hosting.

2. Dump The Original MySQL Database

Open the PhpMyAdmin, navigate to the Joomla database, and export the database. Now you will see a database dump file keep this window file and copy all data in this file because you will need this data for the transfer hosting step. 

3. Import The Old Database To The New Database

Open PHPMyAdmin on your new hosting environment and create a new database. Click on the SQL, paste the copied text into this query, and click on the Go button.

4. Complete The Installation

Now copy all folders from the old web hosting and OVERWRITE the folders. The following are the most essential folders:

  • Administrator
  • Components
  • Images
  • Includes
  • Language
  • Media
  • Modules
  • Plugins
  • Templates

You have all done but if you want to use another domain name then you will edit the configuration.php file located under the Joomla root folder. You will replace the instances of the old domain name with a new one. Let me tell you an important thing, make sure you are using the same version of MySQL on both servers. 

How To Transfer Hosting of phpBB 2 Websites with an Old or New Domain?

How To Transfer Hosting of phpBB 2 Websites with an Old or New Domain

Don’t forget to take the backup before starting your transfer hosting process. Download all the website files and folders into your local computer machine open the phpMyAdmin of your website and export the database file. You can also take the backup of your database with the help of SSH. Run the following command with the correct database name, username, and password. 

mysqldump -u USERNAME -p PASSWORD --default-character-set=utf8 DATABASE_NAME | gzip > NAME_OF_FILE.GZ

Once the database backup file is created, browse the location where this file is stored and download it to your computer using an FTP connection. 

If the database file size is less than 2MB then go to phpMyAdmin of your new hosting provider, select the appropriate database, click on the import tab, and click on the Go button. Don’t forget to make sure the “Character set” is set to utf8. In case, the database file size is greater than 2MB then extract the file, and open the bigdump.php file in any text editor. Find the following code and fill it with the correct name of your database, username, and password. 

// Database configuration

$db_server= 'localhost'; $db_name= ''; $db_username = ''; $db_password = ''; 

You can find the $db_server in the config.php file as $dbhost. Edit the following lines of code as given below: 

Update this line

$db_connection_charset = '';


$db_connection_charset = 'utf8';

And update the delay per session 

$linespersession = 3000; $delaypersession = 0; 


$linespersession = 3000; $delaypersession = 300; 

Now, create a new directory on your server named dump and grant the full permissions (Set the permissions to 777). Upload both files bigdump.php and a backup file of your database to this directory. Open your browser to dump/bigdump.php and follow the given instructions to import the database backup file. It will take some time according to the size of your files and after the completion, delete the dump folder from your server. 

If you want to use SSH to restore your database then upload the database backup file on your server and follow these instructions: 

Open the SSL connection and run the following command: 

gunzip < NAME_OF-FILE.GZ | MySQL -u USERNAME -p PASSWORD –default-character-set=utf8 DATABASE_NAME

Provide correct information about your database, username, and password. The above line of code is only used for the gzip file type otherwise you will run the line of code given below: 

MySQL -u USERNAME -p PASSWORD –default-character-set=utf8 DATABASE_NAME < NAME_OF-FILE

You have all done, restore the phpBB files on your new server and rebuild the config.php file.  

Migrating To A New Domain Name

If you want to use the phpBB 2 application with another domain change the server_name option in your phpBB database. Log in to your control panel provided by the hosting provider and open the phpMyAdmin tool. Now select your phpBB database, browse the table phpbb_config find the server_name option, and change its value to the new domain that you want to use. 

How To Migrate SMF To Another Host?

How To Migrate SMF To Another Host

Follow these steps to transfer the hosting of your SMF without facing any errors. 

1. Take The File System and Database Backups

Primarily, you need to take a complete backup of your file system and database. 

2. Restore The File System and Database Backup

Now restore the file system and database backup within the target system but keep in mind it can take time. If you want to complete your migration speedy then clear the error logs and search index before taking the backups. Moreover, you can also use the SQL file splitter because a few of the web hosts have size limitations.  

3. Run Repair Setting and Inspect The Redirects

You can run repair_setting.php on your destination system to verify the paths, URLs, and databases are correct. Make sure there is no redirect (that points to any old directory) that exists in the .htaccess and index.html. 

4. Safety Measures and IP Address Changes

Verify and update the settings of each mod that you want to use and install on the system. Run the “forum database maintenance function”, “find and fix errors maintenance function” and “attachment integrity check” to make sure everything is linked together in the right way. Now, coordinate with your domain registrar for IP address changes. Moreover, you can verify the working of robot.txt, Bing, and Google webmaster tools after migration.  

In the Case of Another Domain Name

Open the installation directory and edit the settings.php file using a file manager or FTP like FileZilla.

 $boardurl = '';


$boardurl = '';

How To Migrate Drupal From One Host To Another?

How To Migrate Drupal From One Host To Another

A few steps are the same in transfer hosting of websites developed by different CMS systems or platforms you will copy files and folders from the old host to a new web hosting server, export the database from an old web host, and import on the new host, and changing the configuration settings that have the different process for each platform. In the case of Drupal, copy files and folders to the new host, create a new database, and import the database (exported from the old web host). Now, you need to make sure that website files and database can talk to each other by opening the setting.php file and modifying the settings as discussed below: 

db_url – Drupal MySQL details with the proper format;

mysql://username:password@localhost/databasename, e.g. 
$db_url = 'mysql://user_drpl11:password@localhost/user_drpl11';

But don’t forget to verify whether the RewriteBase rule in the .htaccess file is correct or not. If the Drupal files are stored in the main directory (public_html) the RewriteBase rule should be: 

RewriteBase /

So, change the $base_url to reflect the path or location of your new website. 

$base_url = '';

Now you have all done for successful transfer hosting of your website developed using Drupal. 

Final Words

It is highly recommended to choose the right web hosting server from a reliable web hosting provider to get the real benefits of transfer hosting. Why you are migrating from your old web hosting provider? you have any problems with their services so it is necessary to choose a web host that is providing optimum quality of services.

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