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Quickest way to backup and restore WordPress Sites
A new instance of Wordpress is absolutely unnecessary. You simply upload a full backup of your previous Wordpress installation. A new (empty) database is required eitherway or you have nothing you can import the data from your Wordpress database into. So you won't get around creating one anyway (in your case you literally created one for a new Wordpress installation that gets overwritten by the backup data and that is more work actually - not for you directly though).

If you put a little thinking into the move and name the database and user the same name as on the old host and give it the same password you won't even have to touch the configuration (excluding the case you mentioned where you wanted to change the domain that you didn't mention in the plugin migration case). At this point you only do the following steps.

1. Backup Wordpress files and database from old host.
2. Upload Wordpress files to new host.
3. Create a new empty database with the same name, username and password as the old one and import the database backup.
4. Done. No need to adjust anything in the configuration files or reapply permalinks (or possible other configurations unless i.e. the web server changed and some things are done differently internally).

Also four steps but there is not much more to break it down into as I don't need a new shell Wordpress instance, I don't have to install the plugin and perform a migration of the data.

It's funny you mention my process involves so much extra work. But to use this plugin you have to shell out time and resources to actually install a shell Wordpress blog, then use that plugin with the backup you made before to load the data into it. While I literally take my blog as is and load it up on the new server without installing/reinstalling everything other than providing a empty database where I can import the Wordpress one.

As far as it goes for me I don't see how my method has so much extra work as compared to yours. Anyway, I just wanted to point out the oldschool classics. In the end you do the same jobs anyway.
I spoke to the devil in Miami, he said everything would be fine.

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