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The Best Way to Migrate a WordPress Site

In a fast-paced, increasingly competitive digital world, there are ample reasons why one might need to migrate a WordPress site. Typically, it’ll be due to hosting provider issues and objections, such as security, performance, or cost. Other times a site merger might suffice, if the intent is to reap SEO and ranking benefits. In all cases, however, it’s a lengthy process that can often go wrong without proper care. So, let us explore the best way to migrate a WordPress site, step by step.

Migrating a WordPress site: manually versus automatically

First, let us briefly note that there are, largely, two main ways to approach this process; manually and automatically. Each has its setbacks and perks, namely:

  • The manual approach requires technical expertise, while the automatic approach doesn’t.
  • Automatic migrations might produce issues for larger, more content-rich websites.
  • Tackling more complex migration needs might require a manual approach.

Tools to do so automatically include third-party tools and WordPress plugins like:

  • Duplicator
  • WP Migrate DB
  • All-In-One WP Migration

Still, this approach may not satisfy your needs. So here, we’ll primarily focus on the manual approach, noting useful tools along the way. This should ensure a safer process without requiring deep expertise in the field.

Merging WordPress sites

Finally, let us briefly note that site mergers will essentially follow a similar process. It won’t be quite identical, however, so please don’t use this tutorial for this purpose. Since mergers are usually more demanding SEO-wise, we’d suggest consulting professionals such as wpfullcare.com for your needs.

The best way to migrate a WordPress site, step by step

With those notes in mind, let us now walk through the migration process.

#1 Back up your website

First and foremost, as with all such practices, you’ll need to back up your site. Should anything go wrong, you should have a backup in hand to fall back to.

There are two ways to do so; with third-party tools or manually. For the former, you may use such WordPress backup plugins as:

  • BackupBuddy
  • VaultPress
  • WP Time Capsule
  • UpdraftPlus
  • ManageWP Backups

If you’d rather do so manually, you’ll need a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) tool. For PCs, FileZilla is an excellent option that WordPress endorses.

Using it, you may connect to your site’s server using your SFTP credentials and download your site’s files from its root folder. If you do so, remember to also get the .htaccess file, which is set to be hidden by default. Through its help menu, have your FTP tool display hidden files so that you don’t miss it.

For more information on this step, if you choose the latter route, you may consult WordPress’s article linked above.

#2 Export your WordPress database

Having done so, you will then need to export your WordPress database. This you will need to do manually, but the process is fairly easy:

  1. Log in to your web server’s cPanel
  2. There, open the phpMyAdmin application
  3. Choose the database you want, which includes your WordPress installation
  4. Select it, and click on the Export tab
  5. Select Quick under Export Method, and click Go

This process will export your database in a .sql format. Keep the output file in hand, and you’re ready for the next step.

#3 Create a new SQL database

Next, to migrate a WordPress site, you will need a new SQL database to migrate it to. For this step, we will assume your new host uses cPanel software and the MySQL Databases application. If they do not, you will need to contact their support team and have them guide you through this step.

If they do, the process here is fairly simple too:

  1. In cPanel, navigate to Databases>MySQL Databases
  2. There, create a new database
  3. Create a new MySQL user, add it to the database, and grant it All Privileges

As you do, note down the user’s credentials for later use.

#4 Edit your site’s wp-config.php file

Now, before importing your old database to the new one, you will need to make some more adjustments, specifically to your old site’s wp-config.php file. This too you must do manually, but this too shouldn’t present challenges.

First, locate this file among your site’s files you downloaded earlier, and make a backup of it to be safe. Then, you’ll need to use your text editor of choice to find the following lines within it:

  • define(‘DB_NAME, ‘db_name’);
  • define(‘DB_USER, ‘db_user’);
  • define(‘DB_PASSWORD, ‘db_pass’);

Each of these lines will now be pointing towards your old database’s name, user, and password, respectively. Replace the lowercase variables with the ones you created for your new database, save your changes, and close the file.

#5 Import your database

You’re now ready to migrate a WordPress site proper, by beginning to upload your old files to your new host. First, you must start with the database itself.

For this step, you will need to do the following:

  1. On your new server, log in to cPanel and launch phpMyAdmin
  2. Select your new database, and once it opens, select the Import tab
  3. Navigate to File to Import, click on Choose File, and select the .sql file you exported in step #2

Before you click Go, make sure that the format is set to SQL. If the Partial Import checkbox is ticked by default, un-tick it.

If both are covered, you may now click Go and have the import process begin. Wait for it to finish, and you may move to the next step.

#6 Upload your files to your new host

With your new database in order, you’re now ready to upload your old website’s files to your new one. Here, you will need your FTP tool of choice once more.

  1. Log into your new server via FTP, and navigate to its root folder
  2. Right-click anywhere within it, and select Upload
  3. Select all files you downloaded in step #1, including the updated wp-config.php file from step #4, and upload them

Once this step concludes, do not delete these files’ local copies in case you need to roll back the migration.

#7 Final settings

The final few steps to migrate a WordPress site are all fairly easy too, but equally necessary. In order:

  • Change your site’s URL. First, you must ensure that trying to log in to your new domain doesn’t try to redirect you to the old one. To do so, you will need to change your database’s site_url and home url values into your new ones. WordPress offers an excellent article to help you with this step.
  • Replace links within content. Next, for both on-page and off-page SEO benefits, you will need to replace all the links within your content that point to your old URLs. You may do so manually if you have little content or use such tools as Search Replace DB to do it automatically. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the WordPress plugin library also offers relevant plugins for this step.
  • Change your DNS. Finally, you will need to reconfigure your domain’s DNS settings to point to your new domain. This process will vary somewhat, and your new host should be able to help with this. Still, WPExplorer offers a handy article if you need additional help.

With these final touches, you should now be done, and your new site should be almost ready to go. Give your DNS changes about 48 hours to take full effect, and you’ll have completed the process.

All done!

So that’s it; the best way to migrate a WordPress site safely and relatively quickly. While not the quickest or easiest process, this tutorial should cover everything you need to see it through. Keep your backups in hand and your new host close, and good luck!

Your final checklist before launching your website

The time has come, and your site is ready. All that is left to do is the final push to lift things off the ground. But be sure not to rush with it. It’s always a good idea to go over the whole thing once again. And that’s where our final checklist before launching your website comes in. It’s there to bring your attention to all the small details and issues that could turn into more significant problems later on.

We’ll break everything down as much as possible, so it’s easy to follow step by step. So, let’s see what are the aspects that you’ll want to keep your eye on before you make your site live.

The functionality

Your site is only as good as it is functional, so this is the first thing you should check. At the end of the day, you can’t increase your customer base if people can’t find whatever they’re looking for on your site. Here are a few elements that you want to see on your pages.

  • Navigation menus
  • Dropdown menus
  • Lazy loaded images
  • Pop-ups and sign up forms
  • Content that loads dynamically

Of course, you don’t have to have all of these for your site to be perfectly usable. However, be sure to check all the things that you have to make sure they all work as they should. Run your site on a couple of different browsers and devices, and see if you can spot any issues. If you notice anything you don’t like, give feedback to your designer right away.

It’s not unusual for a feature to work in Google Chrome, for example, but that it just doesn’t respond in Safari or some other browser. These problems are easy to solve, but they can ruin your customer experience. So, be sure to do regular check-ups to keep everything in good order.

Two women in the office talking about your final checklist before launching your website.

The first step in your final checklist before launching your website is to check for functionality issues.

The design

The second most important thing about your site, right after functionality, is the design. Your website must look nice to attract visitors and to keep them around for long enough so that they go through your offers.

Here again, you want to go through all your pages on different browsers and devices to see what supports what. Although these are all advanced now, they still don’t work quite the same. So, it might happen for your website to look very different across different devices. Of course, these are the things you want to avoid. You want everything to look uniform. Keep as close to your style guide as you can, and don’t mix and match your color scheme, fonts, and sizes of elements.

Designing a website isn’t a small task, and if you don’t have experience in doing it, be sure not to do it by yourself. Companies like WP Full Care can do everything for you or help you and guide you through the process. If you’re not sure which way is the right one for you, it’s always better to consult with experts than to decide on your own.

The content

Content is the number one reason anyone will come to your site, so make sure it’s all there. You can’t blame your visitors if they feel disappointed that your images don’t load, videos don’t play, or downloads don’t exist. So, the third part of your final checklist before launching your website is checking your content one last time.

Writing and optimizing your content is one of the biggest tasks when getting your site ready. You’ll probably have more than one type of page on your site, and you’ll have to create content for each of them. If you write it in a way that it’s ready to launch right away, you’ll save yourself plenty of time as you won’t have to deal with it later. So, we suggest you do just that.

Double-check everything before you proceed. The last things you need on a launch day are the typos and missing files.

A person writing on a piece of paper.

Work on your content to make your site a better place for both users and search engines.

SEO and Analytics

You’re doing your best to optimize your site’s functionality, design, and content for users, but also for search engines. You want them to like your site, so they put you higher in the SERPs. We wrote already about both off-page and on-page SEO, so we won’t get too much into the details here. However, we’ll still give you some advice that will help you rank higher.

Always fill out your meta title and meta description fields. These are the first things crawlers explore, and that’s why they’re important. Also, try embedding Rich Snippets whenever you can, and it makes sense. You’ll make your site stand out in the search results, and that can’t be a bad thing.

Besides SEO, you’ll also want to set up your analytics tool. Google Analytics and Google Tag should give you enough data to better understand your audience. You’ll see what pages of yours are the most popular and how you can use their popularity to boost your whole site. Be sure to set these tools up before you launch your site. This way, when the day comes, you’ll hit the ground running, and that’s what it’s all about.

DNS, SSL, and hosting

And the last thing to pay attention to is your hosting solution. And here, you have two choices. You can go for hosting your site on a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform or make your server. They’re both good options, but if you’re not a tech-savvy person yourself, we’d suggest going for the first one.

When it comes to registering your domain, that’s as easy as it gets. You just have to search for it on Google Domains, and if it isn’t there, you’re free to take it.

Finally, you want to add an SSL certificate to your site. That additional ”s” in your HTTPS is what makes all the difference to Google. It’s the insurance that you won’t have to deal with Google ranking drops if you keep playing by the book. Your site will be more secure, and thanks to that, it will appear higher in SERPs.

WordPress plugins listed on the screen.

The last step is to take care of the hosting and install all the plugins on your site.

And that concludes your final checklist before launching your website. Keep working on it, improve the functionality, add more content, and enjoy all the benefits your new site brings to you.


Step-by-step SEO guide for 2021

Step-by-step SEO guide for 2021

When we talk about search engine optimization, it all comes down to creating an effective SEO strategy. The approach you take will directly influence the outcome. Now that online businesses profit the most, it is even more important to do this the right way. With that in mind, here is a helpful step-by-step SEO guide for 2021.

Coming up with a good SEO strategy

Doing SEO is more complex than you would initially think. If you don’t have a good strategic approach, you won’t be able to accomplish much. First, you need to create a solid plan about what you are trying to achieve. Then, you need to outline the most critical points of the plan. After that, we get to the implementation process. There are no workarounds. If you want to increase your organic traffic, there is a blueprint you need to follow.

Understanding SEO

There are two main types of search engine optimization:

  • on-page SEO;
  • off-page SEO.

Before you start anything, make sure you understand the difference between on-page and off-page SEO.

In a few simple words, on-page optimization involves every element you can physically include in your website. Examples are keywords, keyphrases, title tags, meta descriptions, headings, URLs, internal links, etc.

Opposite to that, off-page search engine optimization deals with things that are not directly on your website. That includes link-building strategies, social media sharing, brand building, guest posts, and so on.

To properly do optimization, you need to combine both of these SEO types. Luckily, this step-by-step SEO guide for 2021 will teach you how!

Start with a list of keywords

To create this guide, we spoke with a few SEO expert companies. According to wpfullcare.com, having a list of keywords is a good start. The list consists of short keywords and long keywords, where short ones usually have one or two words, and long ones have three or more. Keep in mind that longer keywords have less competition, so that might be a good way to create something unique that will point to your website.

Type in a few ideas in the search bar and see where that takes you. Play with combinations of words and try to come up with something simple but memorable. Having a list of 10 keywords is a good start.

Analyze your competitors on Google’s first page

When you have the list of your ten keywords, do a search query and look at the top 10 results. Google’s first page will show you competitor companies that already use those keywords. The goal here is to change a couple of combinations and improve the keywords so they describe your company more precisely. For example, the “shoes for men” keyword is not specific enough. However, if you add more words to it, like the location, age group, and category, you will come up with something more unique.

Remember that you need to spend some time playing with different combinations to see what works best for your website.

Optimize for voice search

Voice search was viral in 2020, and that trend is continuing in 2021. With that in mind, optimizing your website for voice search is crucial. It can bring you an edge over your competitors.

Focus on local SEO

The pandemic created a gap between people. Everyone is focusing on their local retailers because they are the closest. Furthermore, even if there weren’t the pandemic, you would still need to work more on your local SEO before expanding your business. You need a strong base before you tap into other markets.

On-page strategies will help you improve your local SEO, and that’s where your focus should be. This is an extensive topic. However, as long as you understand the gist of it, you will know what to do.

All of your keywords, titles, headings, and other on-page SEO elements should include location. Use the city name or even neighborhood. Let’s go back to the previous example of the “shoes for men” keyword. The phrase will be more impactful if it says “shoes for man LA

.” You need to optimize all of your content to be location-specific.

Optimize content to reflect search intent

The content you produce must fit into a category of whatever people are looking for. There is a reason why some articles do better than others. For example, 99% of the time, people need an answer to a question. Formulate your titles so that they reflect what people search for.

Furthermore, people tend to like lists more than walls of text. They are easier to read and more concise.

Here is an example of how to improve a title. If you come up with something like “SEO tips and tricks for your website”, that title will do okay. However, if you change it to “30 best SEO tips and tricks”, it will do much better. Understand the intent of people, and you will be able to give them what they want.

Link building, link profiles, and content sharing

The final part of this step-by-step SEO guide for 2021 is understanding how to increase website traffic and ranking. We need to discuss three terms:

  • link profiles;
  • link building;
  • content sharing.

A link profile includes different types of links you must have on your website. They directly influence your rating. For example, a good link profile means you have a mix of relevant local and industry-specific backlinks and a balanced ratio between natural strong and weak links.

Once you understand link profiles, you will know how to properly do link building. Just avoid all paid forms of links or link farms because you need organic traffic.

Content sharing will help you in this. Utilize social media platforms and your customer base. By creating shareable content, you can use this type of SEO to build a brand and increase awareness about your business.

A step-by-step SEO guide for 2021 made easy

We hope that this step-by-step SEO guide for 2021 has everything you need to improve your website. Remember to take your time, focus on your clients’ needs, and mix different strategies to find the best approach. SEO cannot be done overnight; it is a process you need to revisit every week.


The difference between on-page and off-page SEO



The difference between on-page and off-page SEO

Search engine optimization is one of the most important factors in running a successful online company. It can make or break not only your website but your business as well. To become a master at SEO, you need a lot of time, experience, and patience. Furthermore, you must understand all aspects of SEO. To help you in this learning process, let’s talk about the bread and butter of website ranking – the difference between on-page and off-page SEO!

What is on-page SEO?

As the name suggests, on-page SEO includes everything that happens with your website. Before we start explaining different elements of on-page SEO, let’s answer one question; how to do SEO and why??

SEO is necessary if you wish to make your website available to the people looking for the services you provide. When they do a search query for anything, the search engine returns multiple results. Since there are millions of websites out there, how does the engine pick who to show at the top of the list?

While we do not know how the algorithm works, we can safely conclude that it picks better websites. That’s why on-page SEO plays such a crucial role in rankings. You must optimize elements on your website better than your competitors.

Page title tags

Whenever you open a page in the browser, you will see the page name on the tab. That’s the title tag of the web page. The search engine uses this field to return the correct page from a query.

Meta description

The meta description was one of the more relevant on-page SEO factors, but it lost some value over time. It tells the engine what the page is about. Today, if a page is missing a meta description, Google will create one. However, that does not mean you should skip this step. Always add a meta description to your pages.

Keywords and keyphrases

Keywords and phrases are a crucial part of on-page SEO optimization. People use keywords to search for things, and every website should have a list of potential phrases they may type into the search engine. Today we have a vast number of SEO tools that will help you create the best keywords for your website.

SEO friendly URLs

Naming URLs needs to be done in the right way. Creating an SEO-friendly URL is essential for ranking high on Google. Never use a generic URL for a page; instead, give it a meaningful name that can tell the user what the page is about.

Internal links towards other pages on your website

If you are running a blog, it is smart to link to other areas of your website. This is called internal linking, and it is one of the elements of on-page SEO. Remember that internal links are an essential strategy to improve local SEO. A blog is a perfect channel to talk about local events and news while informing people about the different services you offer.

Tags for headings

While we are on the subject of optimizing blogs, it is crucial to mention headings for tags – H1, H2, H3, and so on. The priority of these tags is important, and you should use them to display headings, subheadings, and titles of articles. Furthermore, these tags also exist as a part of the HTML code. The entire website is written with these tags, and you should use them properly to display navigation menus, names of the pages, and so on. They are built to work as a hierarchy structure, with H1 being the tag with the most significance.

What is the best way to properly maintain on-page SEO?

Besides reading about the difference between on-page and off-page SEO and learning more about the optimization process, it is a good idea to turn to WP Full Care or other similar professionals. They can design your website with style, ensure that all SEO factors are satisfied, and regularly maintain the pages.


Understanding the difference between on-page and off-page SEO will allow you to use multiple elements to improve your website ranking.

What is off-page SEO?

If you followed everything until now, you probably have a pretty good guess about what off-page SEO is. This type of optimization includes all elements and factors that are not physically on your website. An important thing to remember is that you don’t have a lot of influence on what happens with the off-page SEO because it also depends on other people. With that in mind, remember to make the on-page SEO spotless!

Link building

The most obvious example of off-page optimization is link building. You form partnerships with other healthy websites and build a base of backlinks that lead back to your homepage. The more mentions you have, the higher your website ranks.

Social media sharing

Another indirect way to increase the traffic and hours people spend on your website is to share posts, comments, and events on social media. Social media activity is an excellent example of how the results are not entirely in your hands. You can post, be active, and talk to people, but you never know what kind of impact it will have.

Guest posts

Hiring freelance writers or publishers from other websites to post for your blog is a good way to strengthen off-page SEO. When they submit quality content that leads to other verified sites, your website becomes a database of facts and information. Both are highly valued on Google’s list of SEO factors.

Brand building

If you wish to build a brand out of your business, everything comes down to publicity. The more people talk about your business, the better. With that in mind, it is crucial to find ways to mention your brand across the internet. While it builds your company, it also contributes to your website ranking.

The difference between on-page and off-page SEO explained

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the difference between on-page and off-page SEO. Here is a quick summary:

●        on-page optimization includes all elements located on your website;

●        off-page SEO is everything that is not a part of your website;

●        when it comes to on-page SEO, you have full control over it. Off-page SEO depends a lot on outside factors;

In the end, it is vital to equally work on building both types of SEO, not focus only on one. It is good to know the difference between on-page and off-page SEO, but you should never prioritize one over the other!