How To Migrate Your Website To Cloudways [Guide]

Recently I moved all my websites to Cloudways and my experience so far has been delightful. During this process, I moved 7 websites to Cloudways. 

One of my biggest concerns was migrating from my previous hosting to Cloudways. I have experience migrating WordPress sites but when you’re moving so many sites at once, you kind of worry about things going wrong. 

Luckily, the whole process was as smooth as butter. All this was because of how convenient Cloudways makes for migrating sites to their hosting. 

In this article, I’ll be showing you how to migrate your website to Cloudways without any hassles. 

The migration process is simple and fast. Hopefully, this article will not only help you learn how to migrate to Cloudways but also clear all your doubts about website migration to Cloudways. 

That being said, let’s get started. 

How To Migrate Your Website To Cloudways 

The process to migrate your website to Cloudways takes only 6 steps and it’s all very straightforward. I’ll be explaining each step in detail below. 

Step 1. Choose Your Server

Assuming that you haven’t already purchased a Cloudways subscription yet, the first step is to choose your server and Cloudways plan. 

If you already purchased a Cloudways plan and server, you can skip this step. 

But if you didn’t, the first thing you need to know is that Cloudways offers 5 different servers you can choose from. This includes: 

  • DigitalOcean
  • Linode
  • AWS
  • Vultr
  • Google Cloud

Each server has its own pros and cons which I won’t get into right now. But if you want my recommendation, I’d suggest going for the Vultr server and choosing one of their High-Frequency plans. The pricing of these plans is shown below: 

Cloudways Pricing - Vultr HFPin

Step 2. Create Your Cloudways Account

Once you choose your plan, click on the Start Free button which shall take you to the Cloudways sign-up page. 

Cloudways - SignupPin

On this page, enter your information such as your name, email, password, and more. Alternatively, you can also use social accounts to sign up for Cloudways. 

After signup, you’ll receive an email from Cloudways asking you to verify your identity. They do this in order to avoid spam and fake accounts. 

Cloudways - Account VerificationPin

To prove your identity, you just have to share the following in the email:

  • Facebook profile
  • Twitter handle
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Contact number
  • Company or personal address

After sending over this information, your profile is verified and activated which happens pretty quickly from my experience. 

Once your profile is fully verified, you can move on to the next step. But if you’re facing issues with profile verification, you can contact their support which is very swift and responsive. 

Step 3. Install A New WordPress Application 

When your account is ready, your next step is to launch your server along with creating an application. 

To launch your server, you’ll have to choose your server provider, server location, and server size. Cloudways will also ask you to choose the application you want to install on this server. 

Select WordPress for the application to install as shown in the image below: 

Cloudways - Launch A New ServerPin

After choosing all of this, click on the Launch Now button to launch your server. This will launch your server and install your desired application which in our case is WordPress. 

Server launching and application installation usually take 2-4 minutes. 

Cloudways - Adding New ApplicationPin

Once your application is ready, a new blank install of WordPress will be ready. This is where we’ll be migrating your website to. 

Step 4. Install The Cloudways Migrator Plugin 

There are many WordPress plugins available for migrating WordPress sites but Cloudways offers its own Cloudways WordPress Migrator plugin. 

Cloudways WordPress Migrator Pin

This free plugin does website migration automatically for you and all you have to do is enter some information. 

Let’s jump into how to use this plugin to migrate your website. 

Go over to your website which you want to migrate and install the Cloudways Migrator Plugin. To do this, you can simply go to your WordPress dashboard > Plugins > Add New and search for the plugin. 

Cloudways WordPress Migrator - Plugin InstallPin

Install and activate the plugin on your website and you’ll see a new menu named Cloudways Migrate on your dashboard. 

Click on this menu and it’ll take you to the following page: 

Cloudways Migrate Plugin - Migrate Your SitePin

Enter your email address and click on the Migrate button. Now, you’ll be presented with this page where you have to enter the details of the website your want the site to be migrated to. 

Cloudways Migrate Plugin - Enter DetailsPin

This is the most important part of this tutorial and lets me now walk you through each step. 

First things first, you’ll have to enter the Destination Site URL where your website will be migrated to. 

To find your Destination Site URL, head back to your Cloudways account and go to the WordPress application you just created. 

Under the Application Management menu, click on the Access Details page and you’ll find details about your application. 

On this page, you’ll find the URL of your application as shown below: 

Cloudways Migrate Plugin - Application DetailsPinPin

Copy this URL and paste it into the Destination URL field in the Cloudways migrator plugin. 

Note: Keep the Access Details page open as we’ll go back and forth to the page for obtaining more information. 

The next field is the SFTP/Host Server Address which is basically the IP address of your Cloudways server. 

You can find this address on your application’s access details page itself. Under the Application Credentials column, you’ll find the Public IP which is your SFTP/Host Server Address

Cloudways Migrate Plugin - Application DetailsPinPin

Now, you have to add your Database Name which again can be found on the access details page of your application under the MYSQL Access details. 

After this, you have to enter your SFTP Username and SFTP Password

To find this, go to the Servers page and open your server’s settings. On this page, you’ll find the SFTP username and password. 

Cloudways Migrate Plugin - Server DetailsPin

That’s all you have to enter to migrate your website to Cloudways. The page also has some other options as shown below: 

Cloudways Migrate Plugin - Migrate NowPin

Leave them as they are and click on the Migrate button. The Cloudways Migrator plugin will now validate the details you’ve entered. 

Cloudways Migrate Plugin - Validating DetailsPin

This might take a minute or two and then the site migration process will begin. You’ll be able to see the progress of migration as shown below: 

Cloudways Migrate Plugin - Migrating WebsitePin

Depending on the size of your website, the process can take some time. In my experience, the process usually took atleast 5 minutes to migrate the site to Cloudways.

Once your website is migrated, you can visit it using the temporary domain (example: wordpress-245421484757.cloudways.com). 

Step 5. Set Up Your Domain & SSL 

Now that your website has migrated successfully, it’s time to set up your domain and SSL. Because your website’s domain still points to the old host. 

To point your domain name to Cloudways, you’ll have to change its DNS. Go to your application’s settings in Cloudways and proceed to the Domain Management settings. 

Cloudways - Add DomainPin

Here, enter your domain under the primary domain settings and click on the Save Changes button. 

But our work is only half done. Now, you have to go to your domain registrar and change the A or CNAME records. 

In your domain registrar provider, go to the DNS settings and add your A record which should point to the IP address of your server. 

I use Cloudflare for this so it’s more straightforward. If you’re using Cloudflare, simply change the value of your A records to point to Cloudways IP address. 

So, this is the IP address of my old hosting: 

Cloudflare - RankHox DNS OldPin

To point my domain to the new Cloudways address, I simply changed the IP address to my Cloudways IP address. 

 Cloudflare - RankHox DNS MigratedPin

The advantage of using Cloudflare is that the domain propagation happens instantly. With other domain registrars such as Namecheap or GoDaddy, you’ll have to wait atleast 24-48 hours for the DNS changes to propagate. 

Now, let’s install SSL on your website. Go to your application settings and select the SSL Management settings. 

Cloudways - Install SSL CertificatePin

On this page, select the Let’s Encrypt SSL and enter your email and domain name. Click on Save Changes and the SSL certificate will be installed on your website. 

Note: If you’re using Cloudflare, you don’t have to set up SSL as Cloudflare does that for you automatically.

Step 6. Set Up Your Email 

One of the disadvantages of Cloudways over other hosting providers is that they don’t offer free email inboxes. 

So, you will have to create an email inbox manually to send or receive emails to your business email address ([email protected]). 

Cloudways offers you two options: 

  • Your Own SMTP: You can sign up for any SMTP provider such as Zoho to set up your business email. 
  • Elastic Email: Cloudways has partnered with Elastic Email to offer an SMTP email service as an add-on. You just have to activate the add-on and set it up. It comes at an additional cost which is shown below: 
Elastic Email - PricingPin

Once you activate the add-on, it takes you to the setup page which is pretty straightforward and simple. 

Still, you can refer to this guide to set up Elastic Email in Cloudways

Personally, I’ve tried both options. I’ve set up Zoho mail for one of my websites and Elastic Email for another. 

While setting up your own SMTP by using Zoho mail is free, it still isn’t as fast or simple to set up. 

It does require a bit of extra work and technical knowledge to get around it which can be a hassle. 

I’d personally recommend using Elastic Email as is faster and costs pennies. 

Conclusion

So, that’s how to migrate your website Cloudways in just six simple steps. Hope you found this guide helpful and will be able to migrate your website to Cloudways easily. 

Also, if you didn’t know this already, Cloudways also offers free migration for new users. So, I’d recommend you go for the free migration if this is your first time using Cloudways. 

I did the same when I first moved to Cloudways and their service is impeccable. Their service is very good and their team is friendly and helpful.