No business or individual likes to migrate its WordPress website frequently. You would take all precautions to choose the host, pick a platform as per your back-end requirements, and still migrate. To cut it short, migrations are unavoidable sometimes.
Are you also in the same dilemma and thinking of migrating your WordPress website? Well, no worries. This guide has all the details to help you out. We have explained WordPress Migration’s essentials and the best plugins to make the process easy for you.
What is WordPress Website Migration?
It is transferring old web pages and data of a website to a new location on the same or different server. After migration, site owners may allow their readers to use the same URLs for visiting the web pages or deploy a new website structure/have a different domain name.
Why Do You Need To Migrate Your WordPress?
Need to Migrate Your WordPress has different explanations for different organizations or individuals. Common reasons for WordPress Migration are:
- To improve the capacity or user-friendliness of the site’s backend;
- To overcome host-related problems or to get rid of poor quality of services being provided by your hosting service provider;
- Due to increased demand for resources (features, server space, speed, etc.) or change in performance-related needs;
- Significant changes in the overall website design, User Interface, UX, website structure, and content can also be handled through WordPress Website Migration;
- To shift from Legacy website (bad code/deployment);
- To bring a site live from the local environment;
- For improving Search Engine visibility or site visibility.
You must also have one of the above reasons for WordPress-to-WordPress migration. If so, understand two things:
- You need to be extra-cautious while migrating, or you will cause significant harm to your website.
- WordPress Migration is tough but may actually help you leverage multiple benefits, including the ones you have thought of.
Experts’ Tip: Let your host do the Migration
There are multiple WordPress hosting service providers that provide free or low-cost Migration services to their customers. If you are migrating from one server to a new server, or even to the same server, check if your host provides migration services/support.
Let them handle the process for you. If not, read ahead.
How to Migrate My WordPress Website – Using Plugin or Without?
Manual migrations require excellent technical knowledge of WordPress development and migration. Moving the database, configuration file, SQL files, and data are the first few things needed for successful Migration.
Deployment in the new environment is the final step of the process that requires setting up site structure, URLs, domain mapping, and so on.
If you can handle all these aspects or have a reliable resource for this purpose, WordPress Migration without Plugin will be ok for you.
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However, WordPress Migration Plugins are useful when you want to perform website migration on your own. With the right plugin, migration becomes a hassle-free and fast job. Plugins can automate multiple complex parts of the process. However, you still need a little knowledge of your Database and stored files.
The chances of data loss or mistakes can be greatly reduced by following the guided process through WordPress Migration Plugins.
Is Your Migration Plugin Going to Cause Performance Issues?
WordPress Migration Plugins work with site files. There are chances of performance degradation while using these plugins, in case the code of your migration plugin and code of your theme conflict.
Make sure that you confirm the compatibility of the Migration Plugin with your Theme developers. Though we have covered the best plugins in this article, confirming the compatibility will still be a good idea. Another probable reason for performance issues could be your hosting server.
Things to Remember when Migrating
- If you do not want to lose your search engine ranking and reach, make sure to retain the website structure and URL structure as before. (until and unless your purpose is different)
- If you are changing your main URL or other details, make sure to update it everywhere on the web.
- If shifting from the old domain, place a note for your visitors and allow them to visit your new website from that page itself. You may also set redirects.
- During the downtime, place a note telling you are migrating. WordPress lets you do that.
The Best Migration Plugins
We have tried and tested multiple Migration Plugins for WordPress to come up with the best ones. Here are the hand-picked choices we have made for you:
BackupBuddy is one of the best WordPress Migration & Backup plugins. Be it a new domain, a new host, or a new location/environment, this plugin lets you migrate without trouble. You can perform the complete backup using BackupBuddy and download the zipped file with all site data, themes, content styles, widgets, and plugins. Thereafter, you will need the ImportBuddy script to perform the migration through your FTP client. Make sure to set up a database with at least an admin user to complete the procedure.
BackupBuddy has multiple packages available for various needs; none is free. You may avail of the following:
- Blogger Plan – $80/year good for 1 site
- Freelancer Plan – $127/year good for 10 sites
- Gold Plan – $99/year good for unlimited sites
- More than half million installs till date;
- Can backup all pages, posts, theme files, comments, widgets, plugin files, settings (plugins as well as themes), and WP database;
- Lets you schedule backups;
- Doesn’t store your backup in your site storage space but off-site;
- Fast backup and migration process;
- Database rollback facility;
- Reliable for cloning and site restoring;
- Without compromising its easy to use interface and performance, BackupBuddy offers a sleek and intuitive user interface that even beginners can get the gist of.
- There are on-screen prompts that serve as a guide to make your experience even better.
- This plugin is compatible with most of the PHP hosting providers.
- BackupBuddy doesn’t provide a money-back guarantee, nor a free trial period where you can fully make use of its features and decide whether this plugin is the one you’re looking for or not. Make sure that you carefully read the terms and conditions before purchasing it.
- It can be a hefty investment once you decide to use it.
- The restoration feature is quite complicated even for the techy users.
Installed by more than 3 million websites, this plugin has a free version and a premium. UpdraftPlus Premium Plugin lets you take cloud backups, handle restorations, take automatic/manual backups, perform website cloning, and see advanced reports.
When it comes to the prices, fortunately, you can try UpdraftPlus for free. It is ideal if you want to play around with the plugin before purchasing. They also offer different pricing plans if you want an extensive set of features.
- Personal – $70 per year good for 2 sites
- Business – $95 per year good for 10 sites
- Agency – $145 per year good for 35 sites
- Enterprise – $195 per year good for unlimited sites
- Premium Gold – $478 per year. A 3 in 1 package which includes Agency, Business, and Personal
- Encrypted database and incremental backups;
- Easy restoration from backup;
- Backup to Dropbox, Amazon S3, FTP, Google Drive, and Rackspace;
- Works for Microsoft Azure and BackBlaze toov;
- Lets you email the backup file directly;
- Email as well as advanced reporting;
- Multisite support;
- Can save backups in multiple locations.
- Has the ability to store and schedule the backups to a remote location
- The process for backup and migration are easy and straightforward
- You need to install WordPress to run the migration
WP Migrate DB
For 1-click migration of your website, WP Migrate DB can be fully trusted. In the process, you will have the authority to give inputs, pause, and resume. WP Migrate DB uses a serialization detection method to prevent your data from getting corrupted. It is capable of handling pushes and pulls from your database during the migration process.
Enterprises can ask for a custom pricing plan as per their needs. In other cases, WP Migrate DB Plugin is priced at:
- Personal – $49
- Side Hustle – $99
- Developer – $199
- Full stack – $249
- Backup and restores without any trouble;
- Various add-ons for added functionality and ease;
- Takes backups before performing 1-click migration – for added security;
- Its developer-friendliness.
- Ideal for complex and larger hosting websites and pserver provider
- Great for a quick copy of WordPress database and migrate it to one another
- Powerful and extensive features are available
- The plugin can be overwhelming for beginners
- You needed 2 addons for complete migrations
VaultPress is developed by Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com). So, it appears reliable and secure by default. Automattic is handling backups of millions of sites on WordPress.com successfully through VaultPress (Powered by JetPack now) only, after all!
VaultPress kit is now available with additional JetPack features for security, social media management, and design. So, you will have to purchase a JetPack subscription to use VaultPress. However, it is possible to disable JetPack features from your package if you don’t need those.
Here are the pricing plans they offer:
- Backup Daily – $3.44/month paid yearly
- Security Daily – $12/month paid yearly
- Complete – $48/month paid yearly
- Excellent security against malware;
- Spam protection through its powerful defense mechanism;
- Easy site migration and restoration;
- Automated, scheduled as well as manual backups (depending upon your plan);
- File scanning for security vulnerabilities;
- Single-click file repair;
- Safety against attacks through comment and pingback;
- Unlimited video hosting (for Business Plan)
- Integrated with Jetpack
- Easy backup restoration
- Customer support is superb
- Features on customization is not available
- The need to avail the Jetpack’s annual subscription plan
- The pricing plan isn’t suited for multiple website users because the plans is only for one website
Powered by Snapcreek, Duplicator is an amazing migration plugin for single-site setups as well as multisite installations. Using this plugin is very easy, and in case you are stuck, a free support facility for the premium version will enable you to work smoothly using Duplicator.
Unlike plugins that zip your backups, Duplicator adopts a different approach called preconfigured sites. It will save you a lot of time by installing themes, plugins, and data all at once.
Duplicator has a free version that allows manual website backups. If you want extensive features, you can also upgrade to the Pro version.
- Personal – $69/year
- Freelancer – $89/year
- Business – $149/year
- Gold – $549/year
- Lets you migrate from Managed hosts easily;
- Email notifications and the facility to set backup limits;
- Automatic database creation;
- Drag and drop functionality;
- Ideal for heavy sites;
- Single-file archive creation.
- Scheduled backups are available
- The setup wizard provided is really helpful
- WordPress multisite migration is available
- The upload process tend to be very slow
- Connecting the FTP servers aren’t beginner friendly
All-in-One WP Migration
All-in-one WP Migration is considered a very popular option for WordPress migration. It is suitable for clean migration without any professional help. The plugin excludes serialization problems and compatibility issues, as ServMask (its developers) have partnered with most of the hosts you might choose.
The plugin itself is free and open-source but it has several paid extensions for different purposes. Also, it has a lifetime subscription available for $69.
- Drag-n-drop functionality for the simplified migration process;
- A plethora of add-ons are available for this plugin;
- Its excellence on the performance front;
- Migrates website in chunks of 2MB for accelerating the process;
- Super-easy to use;
- Support can be extended to third-party storage services too.
- This plugin supports older WordPress version up to 3.3
- Support and tested by large WordPress hosting providers, PHP versions, and more
- Imports on the free version are limited to 512MB only
- You need a separate paid extension for multi site export
BackupBuddy, VaultPress, Updraftplus, Duplicator, All-in-One WP Migration, and WP Migrate DB – all Migration Plugins we discussed in this write-up are the best. The right plugin for you is the one that suits your budget and is compatible with your WordPress setup.
Besides this, you may read all details about each of these plugins above, and make a choice. So, talking about which of the best WordPress migration plugins is right for you, it’s you who will finalize the one now.