The Easiest Way to Migrate Your WordPress Site (and Why You Might Need To)

If you manage a WordPress site, there may come a time when you’ll want to change your web hosting service.

Why Would You Need to do This?

Our users report three common situations when a site migration becomes necessary:

  1. Changing service
    You’ve decided to move to a different host (or a different service at the same one) because of different requirements or you’ve found a more affordable option.
  2. Problems with your existing host
    Your host is experiencing problems (or has been hacked), which means your website is offline or unsafe.
  3. A new version of your site
    You are ready to launch a new version of your site and you need to migrate it from your testing or staging server to the live site.

Migrating your site to a new host or server can be a daunting task. The biggest risks involve data loss and website downtime — which may then lead to unexpected costs if you need to employ someone to fix it up.

The easiest way to ensure a smooth transition is to automatically maintain off-site backups and use those to migrate your site.

Put Your Automated Backups to Work

Having a recent and easily-accessible backup is your contingency plan for accidental damage, malware, and brute-force attacks. Many website owners rely on backups provided and managed by their host. However, this doesn’t include the option to restore your backup to a new site — especially if the new site is hosted elsewhere.

Jetpack’s restore service can be used for website migrations and will transfer your entire database, all your plugins, settings, and themes, as well as all your content and images.

You can use your website backup to clone your site instead of downloading your content or manually managing your files with FTP.

Get Your Website Up and Running Faster

One of the many benefits of having a quality website backup available at your fingertips is that you can perform your migration whenever you want.

Jetpack makes it easy to manage it yourself — saving you both time and money because you don’t have to hire anyone or wait on support staff. This gives you total control over when your website is migrated so you can choose your website’s low-traffic periods to minimize interruptions.

Jetpack’s migrations mean your site will be up and running quickly. Depending on your site, downtime could mean a loss of income or reduced search engine rankings. High-traffic sites that generate revenue, like eCommerce, subscription, or advertising sites are particularly sensitive to downtime.

Receive Help Whenever You Need It

It’s normal to be nervous about moving your site, but you don’t have to do it alone. Jetpack’s plans all provide access to expert support. If you have any questions along the way, you can ask one of our dedicated Happiness Engineers.

Next Steps: Compare plans and choose the right one for your site.

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A Timely Restore is More Important Than a Free Backup

Every minute your website is offline can have an impact on your site’s success.

For revenue-generating sites, downtime or hacking can mean loss of data, income, and reputation.

For any site, downtime can mean loss of search engine rankings and traffic.

You’ll Regret Skimping on Security

Nobody wants to think about their website getting hacked. However, adopting precautionary measures will give you peace of mind, a safety net, and can save you a lot of money. Without a security and backup service, getting your site online after a hack will require the (often costly) services of a developer.

The time and cost of a professional as well as the potential loss of income from a broken website could be avoided with a comparatively small investment. Our paid plans including full, automated backups start from an affordable $39 per year. That’s less than 11 cents a day.

Whistler

Jetpack’s team of Happiness Engineers. Ready to provide priority support the moment you need it.

Wasted Time is Lost Money

Just by existing, your website is susceptible to hacking, malware, spam, and security vulnerabilities. If your experience a loss of data without a backup, you could lose precious work, information, and momentum in growing your site’s traffic.

A complete web security strategy includes not just automated backups, but easy access to them! The faster you can access your site’s backup, the sooner you can restore it to its former glory.

If for some reason your website goes down, Jetpack will alert you and you’ll be able to revert your site in one click from your dashboard. You can be your own hero and act quickly without having to call a developer.

More Bang for Your Buck

Building a website costs money, from hosting to domain name registration. A lot of website owners cut corners when it comes to web security and choose free plugins and tools. Free backup plugins can help you save a copy of your site, but that’s only half the battle.

The regular malware scans, automated backups, easy restoring, and expert help provided in Jetpack’s Premium and Professional plans (starting at just $99 per year) cover the security needs of websites great and small.

On top of that, our plans include all the social, media, and traffic-boosting features that any website can benefit from.

Receive Help Whenever You Need It

And if all else fails, you still don’t need to shell out for additional professional services. All paying Jetpack customers benefit from fast, expert, priority support from our team of WordPress experts.

Next Steps: Compare plans and choose the right one for your site.

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Not All Website Backups are Created Equal (and Why Automatic is Better than Manual)

Whether your website has one page or thousands, you should back up all of your content regularly. Automation is the foolproof way of making sure you’re never caught out.

The Manual Approach

A lot of website owners rely on external hard drives, USB flash drives, or CDs. Any backup is better than none, but storing your files and backups in the same physical place leaves them vulnerable to damage, theft, or loss.

Not to mention that you need to remember to do it and handhold your computer and server throughout the process.

Saving a copy of your files in a separate physical location, also called an off-site backup, is the best way to ensure your site is properly backed up. If something happens to your house or office and your main files are compromised, your off-site backup will be safely stored somewhere else. In case of data loss, you’ll be able to restore your site.

Enabling Automated Backups

The easiest way to perform backups on your website is to install a plugin that does it for you. Jetpack does this by using the same infrastructure that reliably serves millions of WordPress.com sites every day.

Jetpack backs up your WordPress database and any files in your plugins, themes, and uploads folders. This includes all the unique and irreplaceable data in WordPress, and everything properly integrated into the WordPress installation.

The process is automated, regular, and verifiable.

Managing Your Backups

Our most affordable backup solution for WordPress sites is Jetpack’s Personal plan. At just $39 per year, your site is automatically backed up daily, you get a 30-day archive, and unlimited storage (as well as spam filtering and priority support).

For business or news sites that post new content or product updates multiple times a day, the Professional plan also offers real-time backups. Every time you update your site, Jetpack gets notified and immediately backs up your site, making sure your changes are replicated and synchronized. Jetpack Professional also scans your website for security threats, so your website is always safe.

Next Steps: Compare plans and choose the right one for your site.

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Protect Your Website From This Common Form of Hacking

Your login page is the most vulnerable part of your website. It is the perfect target for a brute force attack — the most common form of online hacking.

What is a Brute Force Attack?

A brute force attack is the most rudimentary form of hacking: it employs bots that try different combinations of usernames and passwords until they find the right one. These are called malicious login attempts and can affect your website’s performance.

Each time a visitor lands on your website, their IP address makes an HTTP request to your website’s server. When bots are constantly visiting your login page in an attempt to crack your password, the number of HTTP requests spikes. All this website traffic will slow down your site, or worse, cause your server to run out of memory.

Secure Login Credentials

Choosing strong login credentials is the first step to better web security — on any site. Change your username from “admin” to something unique. “Admin” might be simple to remember, but it’s also easy to hack. Avoid using passwords that contain a version of your own name or a word in the dictionary. Choose a passphrase with a mix of numbers and letters or use a password manager that will generate secure passwords and save them for you.

If you have Jetpack installed on your site, you can enable Secure Sign On and use the same credentials you use for WordPress.com to sign in to self-hosted WordPress.org sites quickly and securely. You can choose to make this the only way to log in and disable the default login form completely.

Jetpack Brute Force Attack Protection

It’s not just your blog content at risk during a brute force attack. If a hacker successfully accesses your administrator account, your entire server could be compromised. That’s why every Jetpack Protect plan includes protection from brute force attacks, including distributed attacks that use many servers against your site.

When an IP registers too many failed login attempts, Jetpack will block that IP from accessing the login form, quickly limiting HTTP requests before they slow down your site. Your site will be protected, and you can see the number of attacks that Jetpack has stopped with a widget in your self-hosted site’s dashboard.

Next Steps: Compare plans and choose the right one for your site.

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Understanding the Value of Website Backups

WordPress websites of all sizes rely on web hosts to keep them up and running. However, glitches, malware, and human error can all threaten your site. As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure you have an up-to-date backup of your site at all times.

Protect Against Brute Force Attacks

Your first defense is to block suspicious login attempts with a security plugin like Jetpack that offers brute force attack protection.

A brute force attack is the most rudimentary — and common — form of website attack. In an attempt to gain access to your site, large networks of automated bots try different combinations of usernames and passwords until they find the right one. These malicious login attempts can also affect your website’s performance.

Protect Against Malware and Code Vulnerabilities

Although brute force attacks are very common (and successful), they aren’t the only thing that can jeopardize your website.

Malware — sometimes referred to as “viruses” — can be plugins, themes, and other scripts that pretend to be legitimate products (sometimes actually providing an apparently valuable service). Malware contains code behind the scenes that steals or deletes your data, modifies your links to steal your traffic, or simply breaks your site.

Code vulnerabilities can have a similar effect, but the difference is that they are unintentional. No code is perfect, and sometimes developers write code that contain unknown loopholes that can be exploited by malicious hackers to achieve the same goals as malware.

In both cases, the solution is proper malware protection via an automated security scanning service (similar to an “anti-virus” product) that regularly scans all your code to see whether known vulnerabilities are present or whether modifications have been made without authorization.

Minimize Downtime with a Contingency Plan

Even if you have all the protections described above in place, you should still have a contingency plan for the situations where human error or new hacking techniques compromise your site.

Your contingency plan for accidental damage, malware, and brute force attacks should include daily backups of all of your web content. If anything happened to your site, having a recent and easily accessible backup will ensure it’s up and running again quickly — either by restoring it or by migrating it to another server — thus keeping downtime to a minimum, which most cases could mean loss of income or reduced search engine rankings.

Automatic backup services like Jetpack’s Personal plan make it easy to restore your site in a few clicks. High-traffic sites that generate revenue, like eCommerce, subscription, or advertising sites, should choose the real-time backups offered in Jetpack Professional. (“Real-time” means a current backup is always available and includes an unlimited backup archive, so you can always roll your site back to any point in time since signing up.)

Tie Up Loose Ends with a Personal Touch

Mistakes happen and it’s all-too-easy to accidentally delete a database or compromise your site’s functions while trying to update your files and plugins. If you have access to or can afford to keep a developer on retainer, you should rely on them to update or restore your site.

For most users, however, the personal yet expert support we offer as part of all our paid plans is enough to guarantee that additional peace of mind.

Next Steps: Compare plans and choose the right one for your site.

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Securing your Site with Jetpack

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Website security is important, although it can seem daunting or tedious — it doesn’t have to be. These six simple and effective best practices will help you protect your WordPress website from malicious, unwanted attention (hint: Jetpack can help!).

Continue reading → Securing your Site with Jetpack

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