Migrating WordPress websites to WPX

If you have the budget, a faster host is always a better option. But needless to say, it is more important to get started. In the post Web hosting needs and wants we planted the idea that we do not necessarily need the “best and fastest hosting” when we start. In this post I will address the Why and the actual process of migrating WordPress websites to WPX.

When we first start our website we have no visitors. We start creating great content, we promote our posts and slowly but surely visitors find their way to our website. But it takes time to create something great. And monthly recurring charges do not make it easier to .

So do I have enough visitors today to warrant a move to a faster web hosting company? Sadly no. But I still have to move. You see, I need the speed for my own sanity.

Faster hosting now – a necessary move for me?

Before starting my websites I was a partner in Online Travel Agencies. We ran our websites from dedicated servers with Hetzner. We optimized our hardware performance where load balancing and concurrent (simultaneous) users were vital metrics. 

My background has in other words steeped me to crave speed and fast loading times. It is a must-have as I am convinced – and actually know from experience – that visitors will leave if your website loads slowly.

And you see, when my websites load slowly I know it is hurting me (of course I can’t know…). But fact remains that today with Bluehost my websites loads slower than I can live with.

Now the Google PageSpeed Insights tool has met with some critisism about how it measures speed. Still, I will use it to compare Bluehost and WPX as it is interesting to compare the values.

Bluehost speedtest mobile
Scoring 77 on Mobile with Bluehost, I need more speed

I guess you could say that my wants ask for more than my current hosting company can offer.

But also remeber that if you are using for example Pinterest to promote your website it only takes one viral pin for the visitor number to change over night.

Hence I need to move to a new web hosting company.

So why not go for a dedicated environment

This is where I have to draw the line. 

Yes, I do need faster hosting. But no, I cannot justify any expense at this point in time.

I do want fast hosting. But migrating my WordPress websites to shared hosting is enough for me and my websites right now.

I have no need for a dedicated server. But believe me that I would spring for it if it would be necessary.

And as I have already started in an earlier post my choices came down to WPX or Kinsta. WPX had a few advantages but the main deciding factor was initially that WPX’s starter package included 5 domain names (at this point I had read about but not experienced WPX’s incredible customer service). Kinsta only allows one domain name. And I needed to migrate three websites. 

Why WPX over Bluehost?

So, I have now decided to take the plunge and move my web sites from Bluehost to WPX. And I am moving months before my pre-paid time is up.

This does not mean that Bluehost has to be a bad host when you are first starting out. In fact they can be a great alternative when you are first starting out. And for some websites they end up becoing a life long partner. 

But for me, it was time as I needed speed. And WPX did promise faster speed and a simple free migration service that should usually take no more than 24 hours.

To be honest, I don’t mind if it takes 72 hours as long as it is done well. 

And WPX also offers a 30 day money back guarantee if they do not deliver on their promises.

To summarize I would say that based on my needs, WPX offers all that Bluehost offers plus a wicked fast customer service chat and faster loading times.

And both loading times and customer service matters a lot to me.

But in all fairness WPX also costs a bit more. But actually not that much more when I compared WPX with the cost of extending my website hosting with Bluehost.

How migrating WordPress websites to WPX worked out

The day before initiating the migration I contacted WPX chat support with lots of questions. 

Looking back the answers I received matched the actual process very well. 

So let’s go through the actual process step by step. 

1. Sign up for the WPX hosting plan of your choice

To initiate migrating your WordPress website(s) to WPX you need to have a hosting account with WPX. 

I have three domains that I need to migrate to WPX. 

Please note that when you sign up for your preferred hosting plan you only list one doman. That is only one domain even if you have more than one website to transfer. 

You will list the other domains later when you place your request for the migration.

When you sign up you also decide on your preferred data center. Choose the data center that is closest to the majority of your visitors.

You can choose between the US, UK and Australia.

2. Login to the WPX admin area

When you sign up you select your own password. Use your password to login and click Migration in the header menu

WPX Migration select option

3. Completing the WPX Migration form

Now it is time to complete one migration form for each domain name you want to transfer.

When you have completed each form you submit them together at the click of one button. 

Now one support ticket is created for each domain.

Most of the information on the form is easy to understand and complete. 

There are however a couple of points worth mentioning.

A: Access to WordPress dashboard

To complete the migration WPX requires Administrator level access to your WordPress dashboard. I personally set up new admin users for each site.

If you are not comfortable giving out admin access to your website you need to contact WPX and ask if they will accept being sent a complete backup (files and database).

B: Selecting your preferred method for migrating WordPress websites

You need to give WPX access to your website files at your current hosting company. You are give the following options:

  • cPanel
  • FTP/SFTP and phpMyAdmin
  • SSH
  • Backup (files and database)
  • Other

Bluehost customers choose cPanel whereas you may find that you prefer to give access via another of the listed options. If you have questions, use the customer service chat. They are very quick to respond. 

C: Email boxes to be migrated

If you have email boxes using your own domain name you can request that WPX move them for you. The form for email boxes gives you three options.

Scenario 1: You have mail boxes set up with your current hosting company

You need to provide information about email address(es), incoming mail server, outgoing mail server, email username(s) and password(s). 

Now, if you are not comfortable sharing access details to your mail, the option is to do a backup and move it yourself.

Scenario 2: You use 3rd party mail service providers like Zoho, Office 365, Google Suite, etc. 

If you are using a 3rd party service WPX will need to know which service you use and the records you are using to make it work.

Chances are that you know your A records from your MX records if you are using this option as a part of your hosting service.

If not, use the customer service chat for assistance.

Scenario 3: You have no mail boxes to transfer

I chose option 1 above as I had already exported my emails. It was mostly to test the migration service. And I can report that it works really well. 

4. Email confirmation from WPX

After you have submitted the Migration request you will receive one email per domain name from WPX.

If you have provided enough and correct information they will simply confirm that the migration request is queued for handling. 

If there is incorrect or missing information you will be asked to provide more information.

Please read the mail you receive carefully. 

When you receive the mail confirming that the migration is queued it is time to get a cup of coffee. 

5. Migration completed

Well within the promised 24 hours migration time I received a mail confirming that the migration was complete. The mail was followed by a confirmation that the (free) SSL was set up and that the email boxes were configured.

At this point everything is still hosted with your old hosting company.

It is now time for you to change the DNS records to let the Internet Service Providers (ISP) know that you have changed hosting company.

6. Update DNS records

Follow the instructions in your mail and if you need help, you can always get hold of WPX chat support and they will assist you.

But I recommend you try to do it yourself, even if it means asking the WPX support a couple of questions along the way. 

To update DNS you login to your “old” host and look for the Domains option. Then you simply choose Manage domain and select DNS records.

Now it is simply a matter of replacing one address for another and click save.

DNS old hostNew WPX DNS
Name Server 1 (ns1)ns1.oldhost.comCheck mail from WPX
Name Server 2 (ns2)ns2.oldhost.comCheck mail from WPX

Unfortunately some hosting companies will try to scare you at this point with weird warning messages and popups. But stay your course and follow the instructions from WPX.

7. Wait for DNS change to kick in

When we have updated the DNS at our domain name registrar we need to wait.

Now the new DNS records pointing to our new web host needs to be updated across the DNS server across the Internet.

The tech word for this waiting period is DNS propagation. What it means is that now Internet Service Providers (ISP) across the world need to update their cached DNS records to reflect your change of web hosting company. 

Some ISPs are faster to update than others and you often hear that DNS propagation takes 24 – 72 hours. And it can be quicker. And it can take longer. 

ICANN is usually one of the quicker to register changes to DNS. Look up your domain and see if your changes are reflected.

8. Time to clean up temporary accounts

After the migration is complete you should go through and delete temporary accounts given to the hosting company.

I also changed all the passwords on my own user accounts and updated my password manager.

Even if you do trust your new hosting company it is important to have an active password management policy. I maintain mine by using 1password.

9. Summary and conclusion

The whole process is very smooth and the customer service chat is golden. 

My only suggestion for improvement is that the migration form you have to complete does ask for some very specific information. And the link to the form I received from customer service was only readable if I was logged into the WPX admin area. 

And to be logged in you need an account.

And I wanted to know before I signed up for a hosting plan.

Now, the information WPX requests to complete the migration is nothing out of the ordinary. But it does take some digging around for most of us. 

Personally, I would have preferred to have access to the list of necessary information beforehand.

But they do say that one image says more than a thousand words so here is the before and after from Google PageSpeed Insights.

For the record I did several measurements for both hosts. In the interest of fairness (?) I am showing the values for Mobile. Also, I am showing the highest returned value for Bluehost while showing a low end value of 95 for WPX.

How do I transfer my hosting to another host?

To transfer your hosting to another hosting provider requires you to sign up for a new hosting plan and then move all files and databases to your new host.

Moving hosting companies can get complicated and I recommend you choose a host with great customer service. Ideally they also offer a free or reasonably priced migration service where they do the move for you.

Can I take my website to another host?

It is always possible to move your website to another hosting company. But do keep in mind that the time you have paid for with your current hosting company will get lost when you change host.

How long does it take to transfer hosting?

Transferring hosting can take less than 24 hours. However, it may take up to 72 hours (and sometimes even longer) for all the Internet Service Providers (ISP) to register your change of host.

Migrate wordpress site to new host

To migrate a WordPress site to a new host requires you to move all files and databases to your new hosting plan.

There are many great hosting companies that offer free migration service or assistance while you migrate the website yourself.

Change web hosting keep domain name

Your web hosting plan should not be connected to your domain name why moving one should never affect the other.

When you change your hosting company you simply migrate or transfer your website files and databases to your new hosting company.

You will then proceed to update the DNS records of your domain name. Now – after a short wait of up to 72 hours – you will have all your files at your new hosting company but still use the same domain name to access your website.

Meet the author: Serial entrepreneur and travel industry expert with more than 20 years working experience from web development, Wordpress and the travel industry. Mattias is a big fan of Open Source and will show you how to build and manage a website using Wordpress and a bit of optional PHP for the true enthusiast. Mattias identifies with self-starters and entrepreneurs and also shares ideas on how to monetize a website.