[guide] migrating a WordPress site from iPage to Stablehost

I recently posted that I’d switched hosting services but done it with enough time left on my old account to migrate my WordPress sites (unlike last time where I lost some posts). I’ve just migrated my webcomic site, and it reminded me that the steps for transferring out of iPage are a little murky compared to moving from a host that uses cpanel to another host that uses cpanel (like Stablehost). I personally like to follow the instructions in the video Migrate a WordPress site [2017] to a new host and new domain manually | WP Learning Lab, but I have to modify the beginning for iPage. This time I documented my modified steps, so if you’re in the same situation, here are the steps to get your WordPress files and database out of iPage and into any host that uses cpanel (like Stablehost).

How to Copy Your WordPress Information from iPage for a Manual Transfer

Note: These instructions are meant to be used with Migrate a WordPress site [2017] to a new host and new domain manually | WP Learning Lab (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJED0dqEx-M)

  1. Log into iPage
  2. Select Archive Gateway in the Additional Tools section
  3. Scroll down to the box titled Archive a Directory or Compress a File
  4. Select the folder containing your site’s files
  5. Verify the settings are:
    1. Output Directory: blank
    2. Compression Type: zip
    3. Keep the original file
  6. Click on Archive/Compress
  7. Give iPage a little time to compress the files
    1. You will receive a confirmation message when the archive is complete
  8. At the top of the webpage, mouse over Website and select FileManager
  9. Locate and select the new zip file. It should be in the same directory as the folder you compressed.
  10. Click on the blue Download icon
  11. You’ll be prompted to save the zip file. Pick a location and save.
  12. Back in FileManager, open the folder containing your site’s files
  13. Locate wp-config.php and click on its Edit icon (pencil)
  14. In the code that appears, locate the line starting with define(‘DB_NAME’,
    1. It should be near the beginning of the file
    2. It should be soon after the line starting with // ** MySQL settings
  15. Make note of the database name. This is the database you will need to export.
  16. Click Cancel to close wp-config.php
  17. At the top of the webpage, mouse over Website and click on MySQL Database
  18. Select the name of the database you found in wp-config.php
  19. Click on the open door icon in the Access phpMyAdmin column
  20. Wait for a long time for phpMyAdmin to open…
  21. In the left menu, click on the name of your database (the root name)
    1. If you don’t do this step, your entire database may not export
  22. Click on the Export tab
  23. Wait some more…
  24. In the Export section, click on Select All
  25. I don’t know which of the following settings are important, so I suggest verifying all of the following are complete:
    1. Within Export, SQL is selected
    2. Within SQL options, Structure is checked
    3. Within Structure, Add AUTO_INCREMENT value is checked
    4. Within Structure, Enclose table and field names with backquotes is checked
    5. Within SQL options, Data is checked
    6. Within Data, Use hexadecimal for binary fields is checked
    7. Within Data, Export type is INSERT
  26. At the bottom of the webpage, tick the “zipped” box for Compression
  27. Click on Go
  28. Wait for a while…
  29. Still waiting…
  30. You’ll be prompted to save the zip file. Pick a location and save.
    1. If you rename the file, don’t remove the .sql before the .zip. Your filename needs to end in .sql.zip
  31. Switch to a browser tab showing your account in Stablehost
  32. Provided you have set up your domain as an Addon Domain already, you can now follow the directions starting at https://youtu.be/ZJED0dqEx-M?t=5m36s
  33. Note: When you get to the step in which you replace the current database, user, and password in wp-config.php, I suggest also making the following change. My first site threw up errors without it.
    1. Locate the define(‘DB_HOST’, line
    2. Replace the user.ipagemysql.com information with localhost
  34. Another Note: I wasn’t able to access my site immediately and received a 403 Forbidden error. I used the instructions on How to Fix the 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress, specifically How to Deactivate All Plugins When Not Able to Access WP-Admin, to fix the issue. After deactivating my plug-ins, my site loaded. Now to figure out which plug-in is the problem!

I hope this information was useful! I do have screenshots if they would be helpful. Just let me know if they’re needed.

These steps are just what worked for me. No guarantees that I did things correctly!