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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 version. With Paid version, you can migrate the multisite.

Moving your WordPress site with Duplicator plugin

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

Overview how to use Duplicator (free version)

Below is the steps how to move the site by Duplicator plugin (free version).

On your current hosting:

  • Login at your WordPress backend
  • Install Duplicator plugin and activate the plugin
  • Next, navigate to “Duplicator” menu 
  • Under the “Duplicator” menu, click on the “Packages” menu and click on “Create New” button in order to create a new clone package from our site
  • On Setup section, you do the setup as you like or just click on Next button
  •  On Scan section, it will show all scan result. If everything is good, you will click on “Yes, Continue with the build process!” then click on Build button.
  • Once the build process is done, you will see the screen that let 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 download from the duplicator plugin from your current hosting and transfer from your computer to the webroot at 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 by using File Manager at cPanel.
  • Now at your browser, enter yourdomainame following “installer.php” like below.
  • You will see the Duplicator screen. Now follows 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 “Admin login” button in order to login to WP dashboard
  • Once you access to WP dashboard, open your website on 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 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 the reliable migration plugin. Otherwise, your new site may end up with the mess(URLs break or some files won’t be moved). Another migration option, you can pick the host who can provide the migration service for you. The three web hosting that I recommend above(interserver, siteground and kinsta), they offer FREE WordPress site migration to their host. I have experienced with those three web hosting and use their WordPress site FREE migration service before. They have WordPress experts for supporting you all the way until the migration 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 uses the installation files do the job for you. Next post, I will write another plugin that does the same job with Duplicator plugin. Stay tune!