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Upgrade One-Click WordPress

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 13, 2021
One-Click Apps System Admin Web Servers

Introduction

This guide explains how upgrade your WordPress server by deploying a new server and moving your website to it. You can also use this guide when moving your WordPress site from another web host to Vultr. This process requires a maintenance window when the site will be offline. We have an expanded guide with a few more steps if your site must remain 100% available during the upgrade.

Several times a year, Vultr refreshes One-Click apps with software updates and security patches, but we do not make any updates to your deployed servers. To ensure your WordPress site is secure, you should upgrade your server to a new One-Click app periodically. We do not recommend attempting to upgrade PHP or other components in your One-Click app. Vultr tracks of all the components and applications we ship in every One-Click app to ensure they are secured for you to use. Patching or upgrading individual components is not supported for Vultr One-Click apps.

1. Backup the Old Server

Make a snapshot backup of your server. See our Snapshot Quickstart guide for more details. If you are migrating from another location, make an image backup or use a backup plugin such as Updraft or Jetpack.

2. Export the Content

All-in-One WP Migration is a popular plugin for relocating WordPress sites. The free version is enough for most websites, and several professional upgrades are available with advanced features.

  1. Log in to the old WordPress dashboard with an administrator account.
  2. Navigate to Plugins > Add New.
  3. Enter All-in-One WP Migration in the Search plugins... field at the upper-right of the page. Locate this plugin in the list.

    All-in-One

  4. Click Install Now.

  5. After installation completes, click Activate. A new menu, All-in-One WP Migration, appears in the WordPress dashboard.
  6. Navigate to All-in-One WP Migration -> Export.
  7. Click Export To > File to export the entire site, including themes and plugins.

    ExportFile

  8. A download prompt appears after the backup completes. Click the green download button.

    Download

  9. Save the export file to your computer.

  10. Shut down (but do not destroy) the old server. You site is offline during the next few steps.

Optional - Use a Reserved IP

If you cannot update your DNS records and need to keep the same IP address for the new server, use this guide to reserve the IP address.

3. Deploy the New Server

Deploy a One-Click WordPress server. Choose any of our server platforms to boost your website speed: Cloud Compute, High Frequency Compute, Bare Metal, or Dedicated Cloud.

4. Update DNS

Update your DNS with the address of the new One-Click app. Follow the instructions from your DNS host, or use this guide for Vultr DNS. You can skip this step if you used an optional reserved IP.

5. Import the Site Content

  1. Locate the username and password in Step 1 of the Application Information on your server's information screen at my.vultr.com.
  2. Navigate to the administration area of the new server by domain name, with HTTPS. For example:

    https://www.example.com/wp-admin
    
  3. Enter your username and password.

    ServerLogin.png

    Note: This login protects the admin area with extra security before entering your WordPress Administrator account information. If you want to remove this additional security layer, follow the instructions in the **"Remove wp-admin Security" section of the One-Click WordPress documentation.

  4. Run the WordPress installation wizard. Select your language and click Continue.

    SelectLanguage.png

  5. Enter your site title, username, and email address. This information isn't critical, because it is overwritten when you restore the old server data. Make a note of the password, because you need it to log in the first time.

    WordPressInstallStep2.png

  6. Click Install WordPress. Wait for WordPress to finish the installation, then log in to your WordPress dashboard.

  7. Navigate to Plugins > Add New.
  8. Enter All-in-One WP Migration in the Search plugins... field at the upper-right of the page. Locate the same plugin used on the old server.
  9. Click Install Now.
  10. After installation completes, click Activate. A new menu, All-in-One WP Migration, appears in the WordPress dashboard.
  11. Navigate to All-in-One WP Migration -> Import.
  12. Click Import From > File.

    Import

  13. Select your export file.

  14. After the file upload completes, click Proceed on the import confirmation.

    proceed

  15. Click Save permalinks structure on the success confirmation.

    Success

  16. A new browser tab opens. Log in with the username and password of the old WordPress server.

  17. Review the permalink structure. Verify the permalink structure matches the old site, change it if needed, and save.
  18. Return to the import tab.
  19. Click the Finish button.
  20. Log out of the new website.

6. Install SSL Certificate

If you use a free Let's Encrypt certificate, connect to your server console or via SSH. Use the root login from the Server Information screen. Install the SSL certificate with certbot. Replace the domain name and email with your values.

    # certbot --nginx --redirect -d www.example.com -m admin@example.com --agree-tos --no-eff-email 

If you use a commercial certificate, replace the server.crt and server.key files in /etc/nginx/ssl/ with your commercial certificate. Refer to your certificate vendor's documentation for details.

Cleanup Steps

After you've tested your site on the new server, it's safe to destroy your old server. Your snapshot is still available if you need to re-deploy. Snapshots are free, so you can keep it as long as you need without incurring charges.

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