How to Migrate from Shared Hosting to VPS

Usually, it’s easier to talk about options for hosting in real estate terms.

Your first experience with shared hosting is similar to the apartment that you first moved into when you were first moving away from home. You might have shared your space with a few roommates, and whenever they took up all the hot water in the bathroom, or used up the milk, it impacted you. However, once you moved into your own space, you had more room, and more responsibilities to maintain that space.

This is a lot like moving from a shared hosting solution to a VPS. On the other hand, a dedicated server customer is a lot like a homeowner, they have the most expenses and the most space to work with too. Sometimes, you’ll find that your hosting plan no longer works for you, and you simply need to try something new. Here, we’ll look at transferring from shared hosting, to VPS. Before we begin however, here are some signs that you might be ready for VPS:

  • Your business, traffic, or profits are growing and you need more support and security.
  • You need to run specific software, and your current hosting plan can’t manage it.
  • You’ve received your "Bandwidth Limit Exceeded" error too many times.
  • Your site runs too slowly.

Step 1: Exporting your Site Database and Files

First things first, whether you’re running Joomla, WordPress, or another CMS, you’ll need to export your site database and files. If your site uses cPanel or a control panel, all you’ll need to do is run a backup using their wizards. For instance, in cPanel, you can back up your website, download the file, and upload it back to your new virtual server.

However, if you want to export your database manually, you’ll need to log into your control panel within the dashboard. From there, you’ll have to select the database that contains your website. If you aren’t sure what yours is called, then you can check your configuration file. Click on the "Export" button at the top of the screen, and you should end up with a .SQL file that contains all of your site data.

Once all of your information is downloaded, you can toggle into the file menu and choose "Site manager", then "new site". Here, you’ll need to fill in various fields, including your password, your user name, your logon type (normal), your protocol, your port, your host, and your new site name.

Once you click connect, you should be ready to start transferring files. There will be a remote site pane and a local site pane, and you’ll need to grab any of the site files that you need from the remote panel and drag them over to the local pane so that they can be found on your local computer. You can also simply double click the files in that new pane and download them automatically.

Step 2: Uploading Files and Importing into your VPS

Once all of the steps outlined above have been successfully completed, it will be time to move your databases and files over to your new VPS. Start by logging into your control panel within your VPS hosting account, and simply open the "phpMyAdmin" section.

From this panel, you will be able to click on "new database", followed by "Import". Access the .SQL file that you had exported previously, and click on Go, you should also be able to do this using the command line if you prefer to take that route.

To upload any of the site files that are located within your local computer, you’ll need to open up your file management system and double click on the files within your local site pane to upload them accordingly.

Step 3: Direct your IP Address to your New Server

Finally, you’re almost finished, all you need to do now is go to your DNS provider and change the value that’s assigned to your IP address so that it points into your new server. Usually, this can be done using an email to your domain name registrar.

From this point, all of the aspects of your website will be unpacked, and you’ll have moved completely into your new VPS hosting space.

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