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WordPress Migration Checklist

WordPress Migration Checklist

WordPress migration is a crucial process for website owners looking to move their site to a new hosting environment, domain, or server. However, without careful planning and execution, migrations can often result in disruptions, downtime, or even data loss. To ensure a smooth and successful transition, the use of checklists is paramount.

In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of checklists in WordPress migration and how to carry out checks before, during, and after the migration process.

Importance of Checklists in WordPress Migration

It is important to carry out checks: Pre, During, and Post-Migration for the following reasons:

  1. Ensures Comprehensive Planning: Checklists help in organising and documenting all the necessary tasks and steps involved in the migration process. By outlining every aspect of the migration, from preparing backups to updating DNS settings, checklists ensure that no critical steps are overlooked or forgotten.
  2. Minimises Risks and Errors: Migrating a WordPress site involves numerous complex tasks, including file transfers, database exports, and configuration changes. Without a checklist to guide the process, it's easy to miss crucial steps or make errors that could lead to data loss or website downtime. Checklists help in minimising such risks by providing a structured framework for the migration process.
  3. Improves Collaboration and Communication: Checklists serve as a valuable tool for collaboration among team members involved in the migration project. By clearly defining tasks and responsibilities, checklists ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands their role in the process. Additionally, checklists facilitate communication by providing a reference point for discussing progress, issues, and updates throughout the migration.
  4. Enables Consistent Execution: Consistency is key to a successful WordPress migration. Checklists ensure that each migration is carried out in a standardised manner, following best practices and established procedures. By providing a step-by-step guide, checklists help maintain consistency across multiple migrations, regardless of the complexity or scale of the project.

WordPress Pre-migration Checklist

Here's an in-depth pre-migration checklist for WordPress migration presented in table form. Feel free to customise this pre-migration checklist based on your specific requirements and preferences. Once each task is completed or reviewed, you can update the "Status" column accordingly.

Pre-Migration TaskDescriptionStatus
Review Current WebsiteTake a comprehensive inventory of your current WordPress website, including its structure, content, plugins, themes, and functionality.Pending
Identify DependenciesMake a list of all themes, plugins, custom scripts, and integrations used on your current WordPress site. Identify any dependencies or specific configurations that may impact the migration process.Pending
Check CompatibilityEnsure that all themes, plugins, and custom scripts are compatible with the version of WordPress you intend to migrate to. Update any outdated themes or plugins to their latest compatible versions.Pending
Assess Data SizeEvaluate the size of your WordPress site, including files, database, and media content. Determine if your new hosting plan can accommodate the data size or if additional storage space is required.Pending
Backup Current WebsitePerform a full backup of your current WordPress website, including files, database, and any other relevant data. Store the backup files securely in a location separate from your hosting server.Pending
Check Domain RegistrationVerify the registration details and expiration date of your domain name. Ensure that the domain is active and properly registered under your ownership. Renew the domain if necessary to prevent any disruptions during the migration process.Pending
Evaluate Hosting RequirementsAssess your hosting requirements based on factors such as website traffic, storage space, bandwidth, security features, and support services. Choose a hosting plan that meets your needs and is compatible with WordPress migration.Pending
Select New Hosting ProviderResearch and select a reliable hosting provider that offers WordPress-friendly hosting services, robust security measures, reliable support, and scalability options. Consider factors such as server location, uptime guarantee, and pricing plans.Pending
Plan DNS ManagementDetermine how you will manage DNS settings during the migration process. Decide whether you will update DNS records manually or rely on your hosting provider's DNS management tools. Prepare any necessary login credentials or access permissions for DNS management.Pending
Evaluate Security MeasuresReview your current website's security measures, such as SSL certificate, firewall, malware scanning, and backup protocols. Ensure that your new hosting environment offers similar or enhanced security features to protect your WordPress site from threats.Pending
Estimate DowntimeEstimate the potential downtime during the migration process based on the complexity of your WordPress site, data size, DNS propagation time, and other factors. Communicate the expected downtime to stakeholders and plan accordingly to minimise disruptions.Pending
Create Communication PlanDevelop a communication plan to inform stakeholders, including clients, team members, subscribers, and website visitors, about the upcoming migration. Provide clear instructions on what to expect, how to stay informed, and whom to contact for support during the migration process.Pending
Set Rollback PlanPrepare a rollback plan in case of unexpected issues or complications during the migration process. Determine the steps to revert to the previous website version, including restoring backups, reverting DNS changes, and addressing any data inconsistencies.Pending
Test Migration ProcessConduct a test migration of your WordPress site on a staging environment or local server to simulate the migration process and identify any potential issues or conflicts. Verify that the migrated site functions correctly and matches the original site's content and functionality.Pending
Document Migration StepsDocument the step-by-step process for migrating your WordPress site, including all configuration settings, file transfers, database management, and post-migration tasks. Create detailed instructions or checklists to guide you through each stage of the migration process.Pending

WordPress Migration Checklist

Feel free to customise this checklist based on your specific migration requirements and preferences. Once each task is completed, you can update the "Status" column accordingly.

askDescriptionStatus
Backup Current WebsiteMake a complete backup of your current WordPress website, including files and database.Pending
Choose New Hosting ProviderSelect a suitable hosting provider for your migrated WordPress site, considering factors like performance, support, and pricing.Pending
Set Up New Hosting EnvironmentCreate a new hosting account and set up the server environment with necessary configurations, such as PHP version, MySQL database, and server settings.Pending
Install WordPressInstall WordPress on the new hosting server using the one-click installer or manual installation method provided by your hosting provider.Pending
Point Domain to New HostingUpdate DNS settings to point your domain name to the new hosting server. This may involve changing nameservers or updating A records.Pending
Transfer FilesMove all WordPress files from the old server to the new server using FTP, SSH, or hosting provider's file manager.Pending
Export DatabaseExport the MySQL database of your WordPress site from the old server using phpMyAdmin or command-line tools.Pending
Import DatabaseImport the exported MySQL database file into the MySQL database on the new server using phpMyAdmin or command-line tools.Pending
Update wp-config.phpModify the wp-config.php file on the new server to reflect the new database details (DB_NAME, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD, etc.).Pending
Update Site URLsUpdate all instances of the old website URLs in the WordPress database to the new website URLs using SQL queries or WordPress plugins.Pending
Test Website FunctionalityTest the functionality of your migrated WordPress site on the new server, including pages, posts, media, forms, and plugins.Pending
Check PermalinksVerify that permalinks are working correctly on the migrated site.Pending
Configure SSL CertificateSet up SSL certificate on the new server to ensure secure HTTPS connection.Pending
Check Email ConfigurationVerify that email notifications and forms are working correctly after migration.Pending
Update DNS RecordsUpdate any additional DNS records, such as MX records for email, SPF records for authentication, and TXT records for verification.Pending
Redirect Old URLsSet up 301 redirects from old URLs to new URLs using .htaccess file or WordPress plugins to maintain SEO rankings and user experience.Pending
Update Google Analytics CodeUpdate Google Analytics tracking code with the new website URL if applicable.Pending
Update Search Console SettingsUpdate Google Search Console settings to reflect the new website URL and monitor search performance.Pending
Update Social Media ProfilesUpdate website URLs on social media profiles and any other online platforms where your website is listed.Pending
Notify StakeholdersNotify stakeholders, including clients, team members, and subscribers, about the website migration and provide them with the new website URL.Pending
Monitor Website PerformanceMonitor the performance of the migrated website for any issues such as slow loading times, broken links, or errors, and address them promptly.Pending
Backup New WebsiteOnce the migration is complete and everything is functioning correctly, create a backup of the newly migrated website for future reference.Pending

WordPress Post-Migration Checklist

Here's the post-migration checklist for WordPress migration presented in table form:

Post-Migration TaskDescriptionStatus
Verify Website AccessibilityAccess the migrated WordPress site from different devices and browsers to ensure that it loads properly and is accessible to all users. Check for any layout issues, broken links, or missing content that may affect the user experience.Pending
Test Website FunctionalityPerform thorough testing of all website functionalities, including navigation menus, forms, search functionality, e-commerce features (if applicable), and user registration/login processes. Verify that all plugins and custom scripts are working as intended on the new hosting environment.Pending
Check PermalinksConfirm that permalinks are properly configured and functional on the migrated site. Test various permalinks structures and verify that they lead to the correct pages/posts without any 404 errors or redirection issues.Pending
Configure SSL CertificateEnsure that the SSL certificate is properly installed and configured on the new hosting server to enable secure HTTPS connections. Verify SSL functionality by accessing the site with "https://" and check for any mixed content warnings or SSL errors in the browser.Pending
Update Email ConfigurationReview email settings and configurations to ensure that email notifications, contact forms, and other email-related functionalities are working correctly after migration. Test sending and receiving emails from the website to verify proper email functionality.Pending
Check Search Engine IndexingMonitor search engine indexing status to ensure that search engines like Google, Bing, and others are crawling and indexing the migrated website pages. Use tools like Google Search Console to submit sitemaps, monitor crawl errors, and check indexing status for individual pages/posts.Pending
Redirect Old URLsSet up 301 redirects from old URLs to corresponding new URLs using .htaccess file or redirection plugins. Redirect important pages, posts, and categories to maintain SEO rankings and ensure a smooth user experience for visitors accessing old links.Pending
Update Analytics TrackingUpdate Google Analytics tracking code with the new website URL to ensure accurate tracking of website traffic and user behavior. Verify that data is being collected and analysed properly in the Google Analytics dashboard after the migration.Pending
Review Website PerformanceMonitor website performance metrics, including page load times, server response times, and overall site speed, using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom. Identify and address any performance bottlenecks or optimisation opportunities to improve user experience.Pending
Monitor Error LogsRegularly monitor error logs and server logs to identify any issues or errors occurring on the migrated WordPress site. Address any error messages, warnings, or server issues promptly to prevent downtime and ensure smooth website operation.Pending
Backup New WebsiteCreate a fresh backup of the migrated WordPress site on the new hosting server to capture any changes or updates made since the initial migration. Store the backup files securely and regularly schedule automated backups to prevent data loss in the future.Pending
Update DocumentationUpdate documentation, including migration steps, configurations, and post-migration tasks, with any changes or adjustments made during the migration process. Keep detailed records of the migration process for future reference and troubleshooting purposes.Pending
Notify StakeholdersNotify stakeholders, including clients, team members, subscribers, and website visitors, about the successful completion of the migration process. Provide them with the new website URL, any login credentials or access instructions, and information on any changes or updates to the website.Pending
Celebrate Success!Acknowledge and celebrate the successful completion of the WordPress migration project with your team or stakeholders. Reflect on the challenges overcome and lessons learned during the migration process. Take this opportunity to appreciate everyone's effort and dedication to the project.Pending

Conclusion

Checklists play a crucial role in ensuring the success of WordPress migration projects by providing a systematic approach to planning, execution, and validation of the migration process. By following pre, during, and post-migration checks outlined in checklists, website owners and developers can minimise risks, ensure consistency, and achieve a smooth and seamless transition to a new hosting environment or server.


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