Support » Installing WordPress » Trying to minimize downtime in hosting transfer

  • Hello! I am trying to minimize downtime in a webhost transfer process, but I am not sure how to approach it.

    I am on a shared hosting account with using the cPanel admin interface. I need to transfer a company’s website from their current web host, and in the process, convert it to a new WordPress site. The company needs to have as little down time as absolutely possible.

    To accomplish this, I am currently planning on doing the following:

    1. Install new WP site in folder on shared hosting account which matches up with the cPanel addon domain folder structure (
    2. Access the new site at the above address while setting it up. Visitor traffic continues going to old website on old server.
    3. When the new site is ready to go live, change nameservers on domain name to point to new hosting account.
    4. Create new “addon domain” using cPanel, and make it’s home directory the folder that was created in #1.

    When working with static HTML pages, this process works perfectly and causes virtually no down time. However, having installed the WordPress site at the temporary directory, what will I have to do to make sure the website functions correctly at the main domain? Do I just need to change the site URL in the settings page? That just seems too easy and I fear running into problems…

    Am I approaching this correctly? Please feel free to offer me better advice if not!

    Thank you!

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  • The only downtime should be the time it takes for the nameserver change to propagate.

    However, once it does, you will have to update the URLs in the new site to match the new domain name. Manually editing the siterl and home fields in wp-options will let you access the site and dashboard. I then use a plugin and a script to make the changes.

    The plugin is and the script is

    The script handles links that are stored in the db as serialized strings whereas the plugin does not.

    I’ve done stuff like this before. With no downtime at all. Name servers take up to 72 hours to propogate, so this is an issue in the sense that, for 72 hours, some visitors see the old hosting and some see the new.

    The best approach assumes that the site can remain static for 72 hours. In other words, no update to content.

    Clone (exact copy, in every way) the current site to the new hosting. Switch the DNS to the new hosting. Wait 72 hours.

    After you’ve moved, develop WordPress in a subdirectory. When it is ready to go:

    1. follow these instructions to make the WordPress look like it is running in the root, especially the search and replace links part:
    2. rename index.html or whatever name your current (non-WordPress) web site used as a home page
Viewing 2 replies - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
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