The web host you’re currently using is too expensive, or it experiences downtime every now, then and again. Or it is too slow to handle all of your traffic. Or it isn’t really secure, as you would want it to be. Or it takes too much time to resolve those normal, mundane things that we euphemistically call problems.
Your common sense whispers: Move to another realm! Don’t let those issues have a negative impact on your existence in the only world that counts, i. e. the World Wide Web. The WWW is such a vast universe, where there’s a spot for everyone.
Then the caution jumps in and hisses: Beware, for many dangers await you along the path to freedom. Even if everything runs smoothly, without downtime and any losses, what if you completely lose your SEO rankings that you’ve worked on for so long?
Whom should you listen?
The fact that migrations are risky and tricky and potentially dangerous shouldn’t stop you in your quest for a better place to reside in. This takes courage, but the gain is worth the risk. There are some things you should keep in mind.
Backup. Always Backup. No Matter What, Backup
Although your web hosting provider probably does a full or limited backup of your WordPress database for you, you should always do it yourself. Whether you choose to do it by installing one of many WordPress backup plugins, or you choose to use a comprehensive solution for security, backup and loads of other issues, be sure to do it. Download those files without decompressing them.
Prep Everything Up Before Migrating
You know how it works when one isn’t satisfied with their current abiding place. First, they investigate where is the best place to make a new nest. Then they spend some time preparing the migration itself. Then they clean up the old house. Only after everything is settled, they cancel their former rental agreement and set off.
First, you need a new and reliable apartment, i. e. web host. Don’t worry about the closets and drawers, i. e. folders and files and all the stuff that you can’t do without. They will come later (and they will get installed automatically, as we’re talking tech here).
Make Use Of The Duplicator Plugin
This clever thing will preserve your SEO rankings (although you should expect them to be temporarily affected until the Googlebot figures it out that you’ve moved). You’ll end up having two files – Installer and Archive. The first will automatically plant the latter into your new web host.