The task of moving a WordPress site from one hosting company to another can be very challenging. Moving a WordPress site is quite different than just moving static files from one server to another. I recently took on a new client, and they were only able to provide me with limited access to their site. I guess they were having a disagreement with their old designer and hosting company, and for some reason, they did not have access to the hosting account and the files.
Just a reminder here for everyone. If you have a website, it is your responsibility to be in control of your own situation. That means you have the usernames and passwords for your hosting account, as well as the login information to WordPress.
Eventually, the company found someone that had been making occasional Blog postings, and they were able to get their WordPress Username and Password. Fortunately for them, the user had “Administrative” privileges. That was the only access to their website that they had. They also did not have any backup copies of the files or the database.
Well, I should have known better, but I really felt bad for the people and took on their company as a client.
So now they are desperate for me to move their Website before their old company just deletes their account, and their Website disappears. Generally, I would make copies of the database, and all the files and just transfer everything over to the new server, but wait a minute, we have no access to the database or files. So how are we going to transfer the site so everything still works properly?
Well after numerous attempts to get the information from the client, I figured they were not going to be able to provide any more information than they already did. So it was going to be up to me to save their Website from being lost permanently.
I did some searching using Google and Bing to see what other people did in this situation. I was certain this could not be the first time this situation has ever come up. It’s a big world, and millions of people use WordPress. I knew there must be a solution.
I found some plugins that said they would do the trick. I tried two different plugins and ended up with nothing for my time and effort. Naturally my client could not understand why my magic wand was not working. They said I needed more pixie dust or something.
Well, my magic wand is not so magic, and the pixie dust did absolutely nothing. I tried bags of the stuff.
I did another search for how to transfer WordPress to another server, and came across a company website, promoting a WordPress plugin I had not seen before. So I thought to myself that since it has a free version, I really don’t have much to lose since nothing else had worked anyway. So I logged into their WordPress site, downloaded the plugin, and crossed my fingers. Basically, it generated two (2) files a .zip file for the content and then a second file called an installer file.
I used a test domain I have and uploaded both files to the “public_html” folder of the site per its instructions. Then it told me to create an empty database that the script would use to recreate the database. I did those things and then opened the installer file in a browser window.
The computer screen told me to follow all the instructions on the screen and press the magic buttons to make it work.
Well, I did what they told me to do, and to my complete dismay in about 10 minutes, I was looking at my client’s complete site on my test hosting account. I had no access to the files or database, but I was able to move and restore their site. I was very, very happy.
Well, now you are probably asking what did he use? Well, the plugin I used was called “Duplicator Pro”. I did not know anything about it and was just looking for a solution to my problem. I am going to give you a link to it, but first I want you to know, that just because it worked for me does not necessarily mean it would work for you. You should always keep current backups of your Website. All the files, databases, etc. As always people use WordPress plugins at their own discretion and risk
Ok. here is the link. I used the free version of their plugin, but they have a paid version with more features. Duplicator Pro
Thanks for taking the time to read this article, and have a great day!