How to Migrate a WordPress site over to JVPS

This guide will show you how to migrate a website from any other webhost/server to your JVPS account. (REMINDER: all our hosting plans include free site migrations for the first 5 sites.)

 

EASY METHOD (recommended for simple sites 5GB and below)

  1. Log into your WP admin, install All-in-One Migration plugin.
  2. Export AIO backup to local computer, or Gdrive extension (if your site is several gigs and/or you have slow internet).
  3. Go to cPanel > WordPress Manager on your JVPS cPanel, choose domain and create new site. (Delete the silly “wordpress” sub-directory name that it keeps putting in.)
  4. Switch DNS for these A records (“domain.com” and “www”) at Cloudflare over to new server IP.
  5. When DNS resolves (you can try chrome incognito to speed things up), go WP admin > Settings > General and choose the exact domain name you want (HTTPS or HTTP, www or no-www).
  6. Delete dummy posts/pages/plugins/comments.
  7. Install AIO plugin again and use the Gdrive extension or this hack to bypass the file size upload limit. Then import the AIO file from wherever you had it (local computer, GDrive, etc).
  8. After the import…if your site URL stayed the same, then you’re done. If your site URL changed like from live URL (e.g. www.domain.com) to staging URL (e.g. staging.domain.com) or vice versa, then use Better Search Replace to rewrite URL’s. (To use Better Search Replace, install the plugin and then put your full domain without the HTTP/HTTPS part…like “Search for – www.domain.com” and “Replace with – staging.domain.com”.)
  9. If you’re coming from a webhost that’s known to have their special plugins (like WPengine), go to the “wp-content/mu-plugins” directory and delete all the files and folders referencing them. You can also back them up elsewhere beforehand if you’re afraid of deleting the wrong files.
  10. Pass WP-admin credentials to JVPS support for free speed tweaking. 😉

 

MANUAL METHOD (recommended for critical sites or large sites above 5GB)

  1. Copy your entire website files/directories from old host to the new host (JVPS). Shared hosting clients will probably have to do it via cPanel > File Manager compress/extra functions; first compress and download from old server and then upload to new server and extract. Dedicated/VPS server clients with SSH access can do it via command line with RSYNC.
  2. Copy your database from old host to new host (JVPS). Go to phpmyadmin or whichever available database backup function you old host has (ask them for assistance if you don’t know), export the database to your local computer. Then from your JVPS cPanel, create a new database and user from MySQL Databases and import your database backup into the new database in phpmyadmin. If your database is large (above 1GB), you should transfer it via SSH.
  3. Create new database user on the new (JVPS) server and make sure it has full permissions to the database you just imported.
  4. Update your wp-config file to use the correct database name/user/password that you set up on the JVPS server.
  5. Point your Cloudflare DNS A records (for “domain.com” and “www”) over to your JVPS server IP.
  6. After the import…if your site URL stayed the same, then you’re done. If your site URL changed like from one URL (e.g. www.domain.com) to another URL (e.g. staging.domain.com) or vice versa, you should log in WP admin > Settings > General and put the new domain. Then use Better Search Replace to rewrite all URL’s in the database. (To use Better Search Replace, install the plugin and then put your full domain without the HTTP/HTTPS part…like “Search for – www.domain.com” and “Replace with – staging.domain.com”.)
  7. If you’re coming from a webhost that’s known to have their special plugins (like WPengine), go to the “wp-content/mu-plugins” directory and delete all the files and folders referencing them. You can also back them up elsewhere beforehand if you’re afraid of deleting the wrong files.
  8. Pass WP-admin credentials to JVPS support for free speed tweaking. 😉

 

Troubleshooting Issues after Migration

Things not going smoothly? Follow our common diagnostics steps below.

  • Domain still pointing to your old server? – check that Cloudflare A records (for “domain.com” and “www”) are pointing to the right server IP. You can also use DNSchecker.org to see if the new DNS records have fully propagated across the internet yet (maybe your local ISP is still slow). Or maybe it’s just your local computer with old DNS cached; you can try clearing browser cache, opening incognito window, use another browser, or use another computer, or even another internet connection. Some people may also get around by temporarily configuring their router to use Cloudflare DNS instead of their local ISP DNS.
  • White screen of death (WSOD) – there’s probably a PHP error somewhere. You can try looking at error logs in your web directory or also the “logs” directory. You can also try lower your PHP version from cPanel > MultiPHP Manager.
  • Website links or assets pointing to the wrong domain – you have to update your URLs in the database using Better Search Replace plugin.
  • Only homepage works but other links don’t (404 or error pages) – go to WP admin > Settings > Permalinks and click “Save Changes”, then do it again for good measure.
  • Cache issues – try deleting old cache files from such as the “advanced-cache.php” and “object-cache.php” from the wp-content directory. Also delete everything you see in the wp-content/cache directory. It might help to re-install your cache plugin as well. We recommend LiteSpeed Cache or Swift cache on our servers.
  • Any other weird issues? – look in your htaccess file and clear out anything weird or from your old server; you can also try backing it up and use only the default WordPress lines just to see. Can also check your wp-config.php for anything weird or configurations from your old server. You might also want to try disabling your plugins to see if any of them are causing issues. Sometimes, plugins aren’t compatible or just need to be re-installed on the new server. To disable plugins one-by-one, go to “wp-content/plugins” and rename a plugin folder (try changing “Jetpack” to “1-Jetpack”). To disable all plugins at once, go to the “wp-content” directory and rename the entire “plugins” directory to something like “plugins-disabled”.

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