The Duplicator plugin by lifeinthegrid.com allows you to easily move your WordPress site from one host to another. That means you no longer have to manually copy all of your files from your old host and manually recreate your site on your new web hosting server.
After installing the plugin, Duplicator appears as a separate menu item on your WP dashboard.
To start the process, you need to create a package (a zipped folder of all your files) along with an installer script.
Duplicator will first check your server for compatibility. If you pass the system requirements, you can go ahead and create your package set.
Once your package is created, it will appear on the Duplicator Packages screen.
Next, you’ll need to download both the Package and the Installer script.
Now that you’ve backed up your site, you can transfer it to your new location.
Using FTP, copy the Installer and Package to the location on your new web host’s server where your website files should reside. This will vary from host to host. It could be a public_html folder or a folder with your domain name. Check with your new hosting company if you’re not sure.
The next step is very important and the only place where you need some knowledge of MySQL. Login to your new web host and create a new MySQL database. Again, the process and tool you use may vary from host to host. The Duplicator support site does have an excellent video explaining the process.
The key here is you need to get the following information on your new database:
- Database User
- Database Password
- Database Name
The Installer will need this information to recreate your site on your new web server.
To begin the installation process, open your web browser and enter the location of the Installer file you copied to your new host. It will be something like http://YourWebsiteName.com/installer.php
This is where you enter your new database parameters (User, Password, Name). Click the Run Deployment button to begin.
Next, you’re ready to run the Update process. Make sure your settings are correct and click the Update button.
Once the update has completed, you are presented with some final step reminders and you can test out your website.
When you are finished, it is very important that you delete all of the Installer files (installer.php, installer-log.txt, installer-data.sql) and your site package. Leaving these files on your server could pose a security risk.
While the above process may seem like it contains a lot of steps, the Duplicator plugin does make the task of moving your WordPress site much easier. For those of us who have had to manually perform the task in the past, this plugin is highly regarded.