Migrate a WordPress Site To Free AwardSpace Hosting

Do you have a WordPress website that is just sitting there without much activity? Maybe it’s a hobby website, or a small business website that you manage for a relative. Would you like to have it hosted for free on AwardSpace? This shows you how to move your existing WordPress website to a free AwardSpace hosting account. The result is that you’ll still have the site, but you will no longer have to pay for hosting.

Consider these points before opting for a free hosting account:
Before moving to free AwardSpace hosting, take note of their limits on free accounts: 5GB monthly traffic, 1GB disk space, 1 database. This is okay for the majority of WordPress sites.

However, another limitation is that they don’t allow SSL certificates on their free hosting. Small hobby sites may not want/need an SSL certificate. Small business sites which are used only to display information (and don’t require users to log in) also may not need an SSL certificate. In these cases, the free AwardSpace hosting is fine.

The choice is yours and I take no responsibility for your choice in hosting.

Here are the steps to move your WordPress site to AwardSpace for free:

  1. Export a copy of your existing WordPress database. To do this, log in to your old hosting account (the account that you want to move FROM). Look for the phpMyAdmin link and click on it. You may have to enter your database username and password to log in to phpMyAdmin. Then, from phpMyAdmin, click on the name of your WordPress database in the left column. Then, click the “Export” tab on the menu across the top of the page. From there, you will be able to export (download) a copy of your .sql database file.
  2. Download a copy of your website files using FileZilla. The files we want are usually in the public_html folder on your existing hosting account. Using FileZlila, download all of your website files into a folder on your computer.
  3. Next, you will create a free account at AwardSpace. To do this, go to www.awardspace.com (I get commissions for purchases made through this link). On the top menu, click “Free Hosting.” Click “Give it a try.” You will be presented with a registration page. Fill out your Name, email address, and desired password. Click “Join AwardSpace.”
  4. Check your email for the confirmation message from AwardSpace. When you click the link inside the email to confirm your account, you’ll be redirected to the AwardSpace hosting dashboard.
  5. Now, the first thing you should do is create a database for WordPress. To do this, click “Hosting Tools” in the top menu, then click “MySQL Databases.” Create a database by entering a name and password for this database. Click “Create Database.” If the database is created successfully, scroll down and see the database details. Take note of the database name, user, and host since you will need these details in the next step. Also, take note of the database password that you just used.
  6. In this step, you will update your wp-config file with your new database details. To do this, find your wp-config.php file. You should have downloaded this file to your computer in Step 2 since this file sits in the root directory of your website. Open the wp-config.php file in any text editor.

    Update the 4 database details to those of the new database. You simply have to paste the 4 four pieces of information from the previous step. For example, replace database_name_here with your new database name. So, update these four lines in wp-config:

    /** The name of the database for WordPress */
    define( 'DB_NAME', 'database_name_here' );
    /** MySQL database username */
    define( 'DB_USER', 'username_here' );
    /** MySQL database password */
    define( 'DB_PASSWORD', 'password_here' );
    /** MySQL hostname */
    define( 'DB_HOST', 'database_host_here' );

    Save and close the wp-config file.

  7. In this step, you will upload your WordPress database file into AwardSpace. Back in your AwardSpace dashboard, click “Hosting Tools” in the top menu, then click “phpMyAdmin4.” Log in to phpMyAdmin by entering the database username and password from the previous step. Then, click on your database name on the left menu. Click on the “Import” tab on the top menu. From there, you can import your database file. This is the file ending with .sql which you exported in Step 1. It’s usually best to UNCHECK the “Partial Import” option when importing your database file unless you have something like 10,000+ posts.
  8. In this step, you will set up your domain name to be hosted on AwardSpace. Click “Hosting Tools” in the top menu, then click “Domain Manager.” Click “Host a Domain” since we are moving an existing site. In this example, we will not transfer over the actual domain account. We are simply allowing AwardSpace to host your existing domain name for free. Enter your domain name and click “Host Domain.” You will see a message telling you to perform this step:

    Please go to your domain registrar control panel and change your DNS servers to: ns5.awardspace.com and ns6.awardspace.com .

    However, before doing that, let’s first upload your website files into AwardSpace. This will help to minimize any downtime for your site. So, continue with the following step.

  9. Create an FTP account so that you can upload your website files into AwardSpace. To do that, click “Hosting Tools” in the top menu, then click “FTP Manager.” Create an FTP account by entering a desired FTP username and FTP password. For the “FTP Path”, add your domain name so that it becomes /home/www/yourdomain.com . Click “Create FTP Account.” If the FTP account is created successfully, you’ll be able to scroll down to the FTP Accounts section and see your new FTP account. Click the Options icon to the right of your new FTP Account, then click “Information” below. Take note of this information since you will need it to set up FileZilla in the next step. Specifically, you will need the Hostnames, FTP Username, FTP Password, and FTP Port.
  10. Next, you will upload all of your website files into your free AwardSpace account. Use FileZilla to do this. You will need your new AwardSpace FTP information from the previous step. In FileZilla, enter the FTP Host, Username, Password, and Port to connect to your AwardSpace hosting account. Then, in the left pane, find your website files which you downloaded in Step 2. Upload the files.
  11. Now that your entire WordPress site, including files and the WP database, are at the new hosting account, you can point your domain to your new free AwardSpace hosting account. Log in to your domain registrar (where you have your domain name registered). You must change your DNS servers (nameservers) to: ns5.awardspace.com and ns6.awardspace.com . Your domain registrar should have instructions to show you how to change your DNS servers (nameservers).
  12. At this point, AwardSpace says to wait for 1 hour. After 1 hour, go back to your AwardSpace dashboard and click “Hosting Tools” in the top menu, then click “Domain Manager.” Scroll down to your domain which should be listed under “All Domains.” To the right of your domain name, click on the Status icon, and then click “Replicate Now.” According to AwardSpace, this will “force the DNS replication of your domain.”

That’s all you have to do. It may take between 1 hour and 24 hours for the change to take effect online. Then, your WordPress site will be up, intact, and hosted for free.

Tip: Clear your web browser’s cache before checking your site again.


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