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What is WordPress Migration and Why Is It Important?

Last Updated on May 1st, 2023

Perpetual growth should be your ultimate goal when launching a new website, but you might face certain limitations as your site’s audience expands. That’s why knowing what WordPress migration is and its importance can give you an edge over your competitors. 

In its simplest form, WordPress migration is the process of changing the site’s hosting, but it is also used to denote domain name change, moving from one CMS to another, or the creation of a new site while the old one is still active. 

In essence, this umbrella term refers to different processes that allow admins to manage the site’s backend and ensure the frontend delivers a superb user experience to each visitor. 

By the end of this article, you’ll have a much greater understanding of WordPress migration and why it is important for your site’s long-term success. You’ll then be ready to take the next step, which is learning how to easily migrate your website.

Ins and Outs of WordPress Migration 

All website information, including the WordPress installation, is stored on a server, which is why choosing a hosting service is one of the essential steps you must take before you can launch a site. 

WordPress hosting providers offer different plans that limit the maximum bandwidth and storage space. 

So, a plan with 100GB of bandwidth and 10GB of storage might be more than enough to get your site off the ground, but as the amount of content you post and traffic grows, you’ll have to start considering other plans. 

However, if your hosting provider doesn’t offer a plan that meets your needs, you must explore other hosting options. 

WordPress migration is the process of moving the WordPress installation along with all content and media from one server to another without impacting its functionality and causing downtime.  

Hence, if the hosting service you currently use doesn’t support multiple WordPress installations, limits your maximum storage space, or hampers your site’s growth in any other way, you should consider choosing a new web host. 

WordPress Migration Examples 

Besides securing a better server for your website, WordPress migration can also imply the following practices. 

  • Creating a staging site for testing purposes 
  • Moving a site from development to live environment (local host to live server) 
  • Upgrading from managed hosting to self-hosting 
  • Changing a domain name 

Hence, if you’re considering moving a website from a subdomain to a Top-Level Domain (TLD), removing a subsite from a multisite network, or redesigning your site’s old version, you’ll have to move your site from one place to another. 

Eliminating or at least minimizing downtime during migration should be your priority. So, your website should load quickly, all its links should work, and its media files must be displayed correctly after the migration. 

However, this is easier said than done, as you must dedicate considerable time and effort to ensuring WordPress migration goes smoothly. 

The Importance of WordPress Migration

Flexibility is one of the key reasons why WordPress dominates the CMS market. Hence, migrating to WordPress from another CMS can make managing your website easier and enable you to introduce new features without writing a single line of code. 

On the other hand, changing your site’s server can unlock a myriad of growth opportunities and attract a larger audience. Let’s go through some of the essential benefits of WordPress migration.   

Improving the Site’s User Experience 

Changing a server or migrating to WordPress from another CMS can improve your website’s user experience. Aside from faster page loading speeds, changing a hosting provider can ensure all content is properly displayed and increase the site’s customer retention.  

Consequently, WordPress migration can decrease a site’s bounce rates and ensure its uptime is as close to 100% as it can get. 

Effortless Content Management 

Uploading vast quantities of content to a site’s server is often a time-consuming task. WordPress simplifies content management by allowing you to organize data you store on the server, effortlessly update content you have already published or use plugins to restrict content

Boosting Site’s Search Engine Rankings 

Posting eye-catching content on your website won’t matter much if no one can see it. WordPress offers a broad spectrum of SEO tools that can help push your content in the Search Engine Rankings

Page speed is one of the key ranking parameters, so choosing a reliable hosting provider will reduce your site’s load time and improve its visibility. Moreover, most WordPress themes are responsive, so you don’t have to worry about your site’s appearance on different devices.  

A High Security Level 

No CMS is immune to hacking attempts, but migrating your site to WordPress can improve its security. In addition, the best WordPress hosting providers vouch for the safety of all information you upload to their servers by frequently updating their software and hardware. 

Consequently, migrating your site to a new server will enable you to create automatic backups and reduce the chances of DDOS attacks.

Types of WordPress Migration 

Nearly all leading WordPress hosting providers offer migration services, so you must check if the platform you’re interested in offers this option.

Bluehost, Kinsta, and other popular WordPress hosting providers have built-in site migration options that enable you to move your WordPress installation and all other files to a new server relatively effortlessly without searching for plugins. 

Manual WordPress migration is also an option, although the process is extremely complex and often fails due to timed-out connections and incorrect file transfers. That’s why most admins prefer to migrate sites with plugins like All-in-One WordPress Migration or Duplicator

Even though plugins simplify WordPress migration, you’ll still have to create a full website backup, acquire FTP credentials of destination and current servers, and complete several other preparatory steps before initiating the migration process. 

It’s important to note that migration from Joomla, Drupal, or other CMS platforms to WordPress can be overwhelming for novice admins. Hence, you shouldn’t go through this process alone if you’re unfamiliar with it. 

Agencies like Fantasktic or Multidots offer WordPress inter-platform migration services. 

These agencies can be a reliable solution if you want to migrate a website from another CMS to a self-hosted WordPress server or if you’d like to avoid managing the migration of a large WordPress site on your own.

Reasons to Consider WordPress Migration

We live in the age of statistics and data analytics, so looking at the numbers is the best way to determine if WordPress migration is the best option for your website. 

These are some of the parameters that could indicate your website needs a new server:

  • Growing Traffic – Some hosting plans limit the site’s monthly visits. If your website is approaching or exceeding that limit, the time might be right to look for a new hosting solution. 
  • Slow page load speeds – Web browsers obtain all information a web page contains from the site’s server. Moving your website to a new server can reduce the time a web browser needs to load a page. 
  • Long downtime periods – WordPress hosting providers don’t promise 100% of uptime, but your site should be up at least 99.9% of the time. Choosing a new hosting provider can help you avoid long downtime periods. 
  • Insufficient support and mounting costs – Your host should provide support for each problem you encounter, but if they need a lot of time to fix a simple problem, you should look at other options. Besides, you might be overpaying for the service you’re getting, so exploring other plans other hosting providers offer might help you save some money.

Storage can also be the reason you need a new server, as image and video files occupy a lot of space, preventing you from posting fresh content consistently. 

For more information, check out our guide on the key reasons to consider migrating your website.

Potential Dangers of WordPress Migration

Although, in theory, it doesn’t seem overly complex, the practical side of WordPress migration is a tedious process that can easily go awry. 

Inspecting PHP versions of both WordPress installations, creating a website backup, or changing the IP address are among the steps you’ll have to take to ensure the migration is successful. 

In addition, you’ll have to troubleshoot the website after migration for potential SEO problems, HTTP 500 errors, and other issues that can prevent your site from functioning normally. 

WordPress migration usually fails due to a lack of preparation, insufficient testing, inability to fix bugs, and poorly defined objectives of the migration. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Long Does WordPress Migration Last?

Migrating small and medium WordPress websites to a new server takes several hours. Inter-platform migrations commonly last a few days. 

Is WordPress Migration Free?

Most hosting providers allow users to migrate their websites for free, but you might have to pay a fee if you’re migrating more than one WordPress site. 

Should I Clean Up My Site Before Migrating to a New Server?

Deleting old themes and disabling or uninstalling plugins are among recommended steps admins should take before initiating a WordPress migration. 

Are 404 Errors Common After WordPress Migration?

404 errors can occur if the WordPress migration isn’t successful, and you may have to reset permalinks to fix the problem

Using WordPress Migration to Build a Better Website 

It’s hard to know when your site will outgrow your current managed-wordpress hosting plan or recognize the right moment to switch to self-hosting. Hence, you must monitor your site’s performance to determine if the server is affecting its speed and SEO

WordPress migration can help you tackle some of the issues that hinder your site’s growth if your current hosting provider doesn’t have the bandwidth and storage space you need to keep developing your site. 

Most importantly, you must do everything possible to ensure the migration process goes smoothly to avoid downtime.

A team of WordPress experts that love to test out new WordPress related software, WordPress plugins and WordPress themes.