Transferring a website to WordPress is unique every time. The steps to transfer a website depend upon how the original website is setup and what needs transferred.
How to automate transferring a website to WordPress
Most websites are too different from WordPress to automate the transfer entirely, but sometimes you can export your content from another platform and import it into WordPress. Over 50 publishing platforms are able to be imported into WordPress.
Pages, products, and images can all be automatically transferred.
The automated importing process doesn’t always go as intended, but it is worth trying. Manual transfer methods are more reliably successful, but that obviously requires more experience.
What needs to be transferred
There are a lot of separate parts to a website, and you need a plan to transfer each category.
Here are the main categories which need transferred
- Site structure
- Theme, layout, and styles
How to transfer a website
Do as much automation as possible before manually transferring anything.
After automating as much of the transfer as possible, begin manually moving the contents that remain.
How to transfer a WordPress website to another server
Transferring a WordPress website is all about moving the database and home directory into a WordPress install on another server.
Start by setting up a fresh WordPress install on the destination server. Then replace the database and home directory with your websites files. The home directory can be uploaded with FTP, and the database can be uploaded with MySQL.
Using WordPress website transfer plugins to assist with this step is wise.
Use Duplicator to transfer a WordPress website
This tool is the best plugin to transfer your WordPress website.
Duplicator will package your website and provide the tools to install that package on a fresh WordPress install. You will need to know FTP, and have the ability to make databases if you want to use Duplicator. Just export a website package, upload with FTP, create new database, and run the package installer.
Transferring to WP Engine
If you are transferring a WordPress website to WP Engine, they have a plugin which does most the work for you. I have never seen an easier way to transfer a WordPress website than this plugin. It only transfers your website to WP Engine, but that is where your website should be hosted for the sake of page speed.
What to do with the domain name
You don’t have to transfer your domain name while transferring your website. Just direct the domain name to the nameservers hosting the website.The domain name and website hosting can be in two separate accounts, but configured in a way which keeps the website live.
I actually suggest keeping the domain name in a separate account from the website hosting, that remains in your control.