Recently, we have moved all of our sites from SiteGround to Cloudways, and in this article, we will show you how to migrate your WordPress site from SiteGround to Cloudways. This guide is also applicable for migrating your WordPress site from any web hosting (Bluehost, Dreamhost, Hostgator, GoDaddy, etc.) to Cloudways hosting. We have also shown all the basic settings after migrating your WordPress site to Cloudways.
You maybe think that is why we have moved from SiteGround to Cloudways.
There Are Some Major Reasons Behind Our Move:
1. You have probably heard that SiteGround is one of the best WordPress hostings. We still recommend it for beginners only. But SiteGround has some limitations in terms of resources, traffic. As the traffic of our site is constantly growing, we found that server resources are not enough. Therefore, we decided to move from SiteGround to Cloudways.
2. We were using the GoGeek plan ($14.99/mo) of SiteGround last 3 years. When the times come for renewal, the renewal charge is $39.99/mo ($480 / year). This renewal price is quite high, and it is not worth spending $480 / year for hosting only. However, we found that Cloudways offers much better resources at a much lower price of $10/mo ($120 / year). Then we decided to move the Cloudways (DigitalOcean) 2GB Plan. After moving from SiteGround to Cloudways, we found that our website load time was 2X faster. See our website speed test result obtained from Pingdom.
Pingdom Website Speed Test:
Google Page Speed Test:
3. Last reason: Cloudways hosting offers much better technology, including free automatic backup, free SSL, premium CDN (only $1/mo), great support, in-house caching plugin, staging, 25+ data centers, and more. Lots of Facebook Polls suggest that Cloudways is the best and number one web hosting.
Now, let us show you step by step how we have migrated our WordPress site from SiteGround to Cloudways.
Step by Step Guide for Migrating WordPress Site to Cloudways
- Step 1: Setting Up Your Cloudways Account
- Step 2: Setting Up Your Server in Cloudways
- Step 3: Migrate Your WordPress Website to Cloudways
- Step 4: Point Your Domain to Cloudways
- Step 5: Enabling SSL Certificate for Your Domain
- Step 6: Setup CloudwaysCDN
- Step 7: Cloudways Server Settings After Migration
- Step 8: Cloudways Application Settings After Migration
Step 1: Setting Up Your Cloudways Account
1. Go to Cloudways and Click on the ‘START FREE’ button Create an Account. Once you click on the ‘START FREE’ button, you will see the following signup window. Fill up all the necessary details and click on the ‘START FREE’ button.
2. Once you click on the ‘START FREE’ button, you will be asked to activate your account.
3. Now, to activate your account, you will have to verify your email and phone number. For verification, write a simple email from the same email you have used to create your account and send it to email@example.com.
After sending an email, wait for a few seconds. You will receive an activation email with an activation link. You have to click on that link to activate your account.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Server in Cloudways
1. login into your Cloudways account.
2. Once you logged in, you’ll end up on the following screen. Here, you have to set up your server.
First, under the application and server details section, you will have to select the latest version of WordPress and enter the name of your application, name of your server, name of your project. You can choose any name.
Below, you have to select the server, server size, and location of your server. We are using the DigitalOcean server, 2GB server size.
To choose the server location, you have to know the country from which the majority of the traffic comes. Go to your Google Analytics account (Audience > Overview > Demographics > Country) and check your traffic source. For example, in our case, the majority of our traffic comes from Asian countries. Therefore we have chosen the server location Bangalore.
Note: If your monthly traffic is around 30K to 40K, you may choose server size 1GB. Note that you are always able to increase server size later also.
Once you are done, click on the ‘LAUNCH NOW’ button. It will take a few seconds to launch your server.
4. When your server with WordPress is ready, you will end up here.
To check your WordPress installation, navigate to Applications >> Application Management >> Access Details. Then, under the Admin Panel section, you will find the username, password, and temporary WordPress URL. Now, click on the temporary WordPress URL and log in with the username and password. Make sure WordPress is installed properly.
Step 3: Migrate Your WordPress Website to Cloudways
1. Now, it is time to migrate your WordPress site from the previous hosting to Cloudways. Go back to your WordPress site that is currently hosted with another hosts and log in.
2. Before you start the migration, take a backup of your site.
3. Then, if you have a cache plugin, deactivate your cache plugin as sometimes the cache plugin interferes with the migration. Note that you don’t have to delete the plugin. You only have to keep it in deactivate mode during the migration.
4. Next, install and activate the Cloudways WordPress Migrator plugin. In your WordPress left sidebar, Click on the Cloudways Migrate. Once you click on the Cloudways Migrate, you will have the following settings window.
Now, you have to fill all the necessary details here from your Cloudways account.
5. Go back to your Cloudways account and navigate to Applications > Select your Application > Application Management > Access Details. From Access Detail, copy Destination Site URL, Email, Server Public IP Address, Database Name, and paste the same in the respective fields of your Cloudways WordPress Migrator plugin.
6. Next, in your Cloudways account, navigate to Servers > Server Management > Master Credentials. There, you will find the SFTP Username and SFTP Password. Copy the SFTP Username, SFTP Password, and paste the same in the respective fields of your Cloudways WordPress Migrator plugin.
After adding all the details in the Cloudways WordPress Migrator plugin, click on the Migrate button and wait to finish the migration process.
When the migration is finished, you will see the following message on your screen.
7. Next, go to your Cloudways account and navigate to Servers > Server Management > Manage Services. Purge the Varnish cache.
8. Now, check your migrated site on Cloudways. Navigate to Applications >> Application Management >> Access Details. Click on the temporary URL and make sure your temporary URL should exactly look like your original site on old web hosting.
Step 4: Point Your Domain to Cloudways
Now you have to point your domain from old hosting to Cloudways hosting.
1. First, in your Cloudways account, navigate to Applications >> Application Management >> Domain Management and add your Primary Domain. If your primary domain contains www, you should add your domain with www. If you have any aliases/subdomains, add them under the Additional Domains section.
2. Next, go to your domain registrar and point your domain to the Cloudways hosting server. In our case, the domain registrar is the Namecheap, and here I will show you how to point your domain name from Namecheap to Cloudways. If you are using the other domain registrar, the process is almost the same. There are guides for connecting GoDaddy, Namecheap, and Dreamhost domain names to Cloudways.
Let’s take a look at how to point a Namecheap domain to Cloudways.
- Log in to your Namecheap account
- Navigate to Domain Lists >> Manage
- Under the ‘NAMESERVERS’ section, change ‘Custom DNS’ to ‘Namecheap Basic DNS’ from the drop-down menu.
- Go to the ‘Advanced DNS’ section.
- Click on the ADD NEW RECORD button.
- Type: Choose A as a record type.
- Host: Enter www in the host field
- Value: Enter the Public IP address of your server. In your Cloudways account, navigate to Servers > Server Management > Master Credentials. Copy the public IP address of your server and paste it here.
- TTL (Time To Live): Select Automatic
- Click on the tick mark button to apply the changes.
- Similarly, to point your domain without www, use @ in the Host field and keep other fields are exactly the same as before.
If you are using the Cloudflare, login into your Cloudflare account, and navigate to the DNS section. Click on the ‘Add Record’ button and the A records there.
After pointing your domain to Cloudways hosting, check your domain propagation here.
Now you’re safe to delete your website from your old hosting account.
Step 5: Enabling SSL Certificate for Your Domain
Next, you have to install the SSL certificate. Cloudways offers Let’s Encryption SSL for free. To install SSL, follow the steps below.
1. Go to your Cloudways account. Navigate to Applications > Application Management > SSL Certificate.
Then under the SSL management section, enter the email address, your domain name, and select Let’s Encrypt from the drop-down menu. And then click on the INSTALL CERTIFICATE button. It will take a few minutes to install the SSL.
2. After installation, enable HTTPS redirection.
Enable auto-renewal of your Let’s Encrypt certificate.
3. Next, log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Settings >> General. Change your WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) from HTTP to https.
4. Verify your SSL Certification using online SSL checker platform.
Step 6: Setup CloudwaysCDN
If you want to use Cloudways CDN, follow the steps below.
1. Go to your Cloudways account and navigate to Applications > Application Management > CloudwaysCDN. Under the Website URL field, enter the website’s URL and click the CREATE button.
2. Once the CloudwaysCDN installation process will finish, you will end up the following CDN page with new CDN Details.
3. Now, you have to connect your CDN with your site. To connect CDN with your site, go to your WordPress dashboard, and open your cache plugin. In our case, we use the WP-Rocket plugin. Copy your CDN URL from Cloudways CDN page and paste it here.
Step 7: Cloudways Server Settings After Migration
1. Navigate to Servers >> Server Management >> Settings & Packages >> BASIC. Set EXECUTION LIMIT, UPLOAD SIZE, MEMORY LIMIT, DISPLAY ERROR according to your requirements.
2. Navigate to Servers >> Server Management >> Settings & Packages >> ADVANCED. Set the lifetime for VARNISH Cache 4 hours.
3. Navigate to Servers >> Server Management >> Settings & Packages >> PACKAGES. Select the latest version of PHP, MySQL, and install Redis. Click on ‘Save Changes’.
4. Navigate to Servers >> Server Management >> Settings & Packages >> MAINTENANCE. Choose day and time for MAINTENANCE. Then click on the ‘SAVE’ button.
5. Navigate to Servers >> Server Management >> Backups. Set a time for Backup.
Step 8: Cloudways Application Settings After Migration
1. Navigate to Applications > Select Your Application > Application Management > Bot Protection. Activate BOT protection.
2. Navigate to Applications > Select Your Application > Application Management > Application Settings and enable CORS Headers.
Hope, this article is helped you to migrate your site to Cloudways hosting. If you have any further queries, please write within the comment box below.