You can take this tutorial with a grain of salt. I have always thought that the "right" way to do things takes a little bit too long. But then again, I end up making a lot of mistakes. So I guess I could say I have learned a lot. But this move went without a hitch once I discovered everything that needed done.
First, install Wordpress on your new server. You can usually do this through Fantastico if you have cPanel. But check the version of Wordpress that you are installing. For some reason, my Fantasico installation showed an older version of Wordpress, even though I updated it before I started this. So I had to upload and install it manually.
Grab the themes and plugins folder from your current installation and upload them to your new installation. They are located in the wp-content folder.
As far as your database goes, you will be dropping all the tables in your new installation. So do that. Leave the database itself there, but remove all the tables in it.
Using PhpMyAdmin export your whole Wordpress database from your old installation. Then import the resulting file into your new Wordpress database.
Now, go to your domain registrar's site and change the nameservers listed there to the ones of your new host. Now your site is in a state of flux. Some people will be going to your new site and some to your old. This lasts for about two or three days while your new website details are updated around the world.
- Make sure that you make all the directories and files writable that should be. If you edit your theme and plugins through Wordpress, you will have to make these writable. You will also want to make your robots.txt and your .htaccess file writable.
- Go to Options->Permalinks in your new Wordpress installation and click the button "Update Permalink Structure". If you don't do this, people coming to specific posts in your site will get a 404 message. It took me a while to get this one. I was getting hit pretty good by Digg at the time too. It sucked. But I got it fixed.
Well, I guess that wasn't really quickly. But it was relatively trouble free. And the troubles I did have, I listed. So you won't have to deal with them.