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Having practised mirroring an existing wordpress site, I'm ready to migrate my website to a new server. Having simplified the steps necessary to do this, I'm hoping the following will work without having to change any database entries or Wordpress files. The domain name will stay the same, only the host will change.

1) Backup wordpress files from oldsite
2) Back up database from oldsite
3) Create a database on the new site using the same database name and password from the oldsite. (That way there is no need to change the original config file).
4) Upload oldsite database into newsite database.
5) Upload all wordpress files onto new server
6) Have the DNS record of my domain changed to point to the new server and directory.
7) Wait up to 48 hours (Although the TTL value is set to 10 minutes)
8) Newsite should be working identically to the oldsite
9) Delete all files from oldsite

Should this work okay?

My website is live and my main source of income. It also has good Google rankings which I have spent years achieving. My biggest fear is that by moving from one server to another Google will see it as a duplicate or brand new site and penalize me in the search results. I've also been told that all the Facebook likes on articles will break and will reset to zero. Is that correct?

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Smachingtuck. It should work this way. There are a few caveats. Make sure that the systems are running the same sw versions. (php, sql etc) If they are not, you'll want to test to make sure everything is working before you delete. Also, sometimes even if you upload the new database and name it the same, you may have different namespaces for the dbname / db username (it's based on account usually) so you'll want to watch that. Lastly, double check your .htaccess, it may have some specific server info you'll want to address.

  • Thank you. Unfortunately that is why I am moving the site across servers (from the same hosting company). I'm on an old shared server that is running PHP 5.0 and I am told it cannot be upgraded. The new hosting server is running PHP 5.6. Will that be an issue? What should I check the .htaccess file for with regards to server info? – smashingtuck Mar 14 '17 at 15:56
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    it won't be a problem for wordpress, but without knowing your plugins (you could check with the developer) or theme, I can't say for sure. I would test this way: Move everything over as you outlined. (This is MUCH better than a plugin, as plugins are prone to timing out). get everything set up. Then switch dns. if it fails, look for what is failing (wp_debug = true) . If it's taking too long to debug, you can switch dns back. Likely you'll have no problems. message me if you do. – rudtek Mar 14 '17 at 16:49
  • can you please mark your questions as answered if you feel that we've been of assistance? – rudtek Mar 15 '17 at 3:29
  • Yes I would if I could find anywhere on these forums where such a button exists. – smashingtuck Mar 15 '17 at 17:06
  • ha. To the left of the question there is a grey checkmark. Just below the voting area. – rudtek Mar 15 '17 at 17:07
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The best way, IMHO, is to use the "WP CLone" plugin here (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-clone-by-wp-academy/ ).

I have used it many times. You install it, run the backup, go to a brand-new WP install, install the plugin there, and restore. You will need to re-login on the new site with the old site's admin credentials.

Highly recommended. Very easy and quick. Never had a problem with it.

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