Author: David FinsterLast Updated: Wed, Jan 13, 2021
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.
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.
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.
Enter All-in-One WP Migration in the Search plugins... field at the upper-right of the page. Locate this plugin in the list.
Click Install Now.
Click Export To > File to export the entire site, including themes and plugins.
A download prompt appears after the backup completes. Click the green download button.
Save the export file to your computer.
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.
Deploy a One-Click WordPress server.
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.
Navigate to the administration area of the new server by domain name, with HTTPS. For example:
Enter your username and password.
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.
Run the WordPress installation wizard. Select your language and click Continue.
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.
Click Install WordPress. Wait for WordPress to finish the installation, then log in to your WordPress dashboard.
Click Import From > File.
Select your export file.
After the file upload completes, click Proceed on the import confirmation.
Click Save permalinks structure on the success confirmation.
A new browser tab opens. Log in with the username and password of the old WordPress server.
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 email@example.com --agree-tos --no-eff-email
If you use a commercial certificate, replace the
server.key files in
/etc/nginx/ssl/ with your commercial certificate. Refer to your certificate vendor's documentation for details.
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.