How to move your WordPress site with zero downtime
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How to move your WordPress site with zero downtime

category:  WordPress

Four months ago, I wrote a blog about how to move WordPress to a new host without any plugins. The method I wrote, is useful if your site is big and complex and you don’t offer the RSS feeds from your site.

Another migration option, you can use the Duplicator plugin. It provides both Free and Paid versions. With the Paid version, you can migrate the multisite.

Moving your WordPress site with the Duplicator plugin

With the Duplicator plugin, you can migrate, copy, move, or clone your WordPress site to new web hosting. The concept of Duplicator plugin will create an installer file and a package file which includes all files and databases from the original site. On the new hosting, you need the empty database that is created at the new hosting. If you don’t have one, simply go to cPanel at your new host, navigate to the database tool(may call the difference in your hosting), and create one database as well as a database user login. Once you have the database name and database user login then you can transfer the installer file and the package file that you get from the original site to the webroot of your new hosting. Finally, in the browser, just type your domain name following the installer.php for example,

Overview of how to use Duplicator (free version)

Below are the steps on how to move the site with the Duplicator plugin (free version).

On your current hosting:

  • Login at your WordPress backend
  • Install the Duplicator plugin and activate the plugin
  • Next, navigate to the “Duplicator” menu 
  • Under the “Duplicator” menu, click on the “Packages” menu and click on the “Create New” button in order to create a new clone package from our site
  • On the Setup section, you do the setup as you like or just click on the Next button
  •  On the Scan section, it will show all scan results. If everything is good, you will click on “Yes, Continue with the build process!” and then click on the Build button.
  • Once the build process is done, you will see the screen that lets you download both “installer.php” and archive zip file which is your database and all WordPress files. Download both files to your computer. We will use it next on new hosting.

On your new hosting:

  • Prepare your database user login and database name at your new hosting. If you don’t have one, just create it in your cPanel at your hosting.
  • At your webroot( it can be htdoc or public_html folder), it should be empty. Sometimes you will see the cgi folder which is normal. Don’t delete it. If you do, contact your host provider to fix it for you.
  • Copy the “installer.php” and archive zip file that you just downloaded from the duplicator plugin from your current hosting and transfer it from your computer to the webroot at the new hosting. You can use the FileZilla application for transferring between your computer and hosting. If you do, you need the FTP login. Another way, you can transfer the files from your computer to new hosting is by using File Manager at cPanel.
  • Now in your browser, enter yourdomainame following “installer.php” like below.
  • You will see the Duplicator screen. Now follow the instructions on the screen
  • Please read the instructions on the screen carefully at this point
  • After the process is done, you will click on the “Admin login” button in order to login to the WP dashboard
  • Once you access to WP dashboard, open your website on a new tab and check the website. If it is working without any broken links then you should remove the installation files by clicking on “Remove Installation Files Now!”
  • That’s it. Your WordPress site is successful in moving to a new hosting without any downtime!

Lazy to read, just watch the video then 🙂


Using the plugin is simple and fast. However, you must pick a reliable migration plugin. Otherwise, your new site may end up with a mess(URLs break or some files won’t be moved). Another migration option, you pick the host who can provide the migration service for you. The three web hosting that I recommend above ( InterServerSiteGround, and Kinsta), offer FREE WordPress site migration to their host. I have experience with those three web hosting and have used their WordPress site FREE migration service before. They have WordPress experts to support you all the way until the migration is complete.

For Duplicator, in my opinion, it generates the installation package for you. At the new hosting, you just need a new database and database user login then use the installation files to do the job for you. Next post, I will write another plugin that does the same job as the Duplicator plugin. Stay tuned!