Guide to WordPress Website Migration and Top 6 Migration Plugins

Published on November 25th, 2016

Last Updated on March 19th, 2021

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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 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:

  1. You need to be extra-cautious while migrating, or you will cause significant harm to your website.
  2. 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.

If they do, 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.

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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.

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

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.

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What Makes BackupBuddy One of the Best WordPress Migration Plugins?

  • 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;

Who Should Consider This WordPress Migration Plugin?

Businesses or individuals with precious data and high uptime requirements can use BackupBuddy. If you need a way to handle hacks or malware, this iThemes plugin can be trusted. However, do not use it if its cost per year (or lifetime) is not reasonable for your setup.

Can I use this plugin to migrate a WordPress multisite?

BackupBuddy Multisite functionality is in the BETA version at present.

Pricing

BackupBuddy has multiple packages available for various needs; none is free. You may avail of its Blogger plan at $52, Freelancer Plan at $83, Gold Plan at $130, and the Lifetime Plan at $357. Please check current BackupBuddy pricing details here.

Go To BackupBuddy

Updraftplus

Installed by more than 3 million websites, this plugin has a free version and a premium version – Learn the difference here.

UpdraftPlus Premium Plugin lets you take cloud backups, handle restorations, take automatic/manual backups, perform website cloning, and see advanced reports.

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What Makes UpdraftPlus One of the Best WordPress Migration Plugins?

  • 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.

Who Should Consider This WordPress Migration Plugin?

If you are looking for a plugin for multisite setup or for your various clients, there is no other effective and pocket-friendly pick than UpdraftPro.

Can I use this plugin to migrate a WordPress multisite?

You will have to pay $15 extra per year for enabling this add-on. It will make your UpdraftPlus compatible with your multisite installation.

Pricing

The premium version of UpdraftPlus is priced at $70 for up to 2 websites while you may take manual backups through its free version. Its cost for businesses (up to 10 sites) is $95 per year. For agencies, it costs $145 per year (for up to 35 sites). You may take Enterprise Package for unlimited websites; it will cost you $195 per year.

Go to UpdraftPlus

VaultPress

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 ValutPress. However, it is possible to disable JetPack features from your package if you don’t need those.

What Makes VaultPress One of the Best WordPress Migration Plugins?

  • 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).

Who Should Consider This WordPress Migration Plugin?

VaultPress Plugin is a good choice if you are using other JetPack features already. As it is now a part of JetPack, the myriad of features of these two plugins will be cost-effective for you this way. If you want a plugin for your multisite network, then VaultPress is not for you.

Can I use this plugin to migrate a WordPress multisite?

Free as well as paid features are compatible with multisite networks. However, security scans and backup migration features are not for multisite configurations yet. To put it concisely, JetPack Vaultpress is not designed for multisite WordPress installations.

Pricing

Jetpack has 3 yearly pricing plans (worth $39, $90, and $299) with different feature sets being offered for each.

Go To VaultPress

Duplicator

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.

What Makes This One of the Best WordPress Migration Plugins?

  • 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.

Who Should Consider This WordPress Migration Plugin?

Duplicator is an ideal choice for staging websites due to its copy-and-move functionality. Small websites may consider its manual backup feature to save money. It is also a good option for agencies taking client sites offline and online every day. Besides it all, Duplicator is a wise pick for large sites as it assures confirmed migration for giant sites.

Can I use this plugin to Migrate a WordPress multisite?

Yes. Duplicator’s free, personal, and freelancer plans have basic multisite installation capabilities while business and gold plans come with advanced efficiencies for multisite installations.

Pricing

Duplicator has a free version that allows manual website backups. Its personal plan costs $69/year, the freelancer pack costs $89 per year, the business plan costs $149 per year, and the Gold plan costs $999 for a lifetime.

Go to Duplicator

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 problem and compatibility issues, as ServMask (its developers) have partnered with most of the hosts you might choose.

What Makes All-in-One WP Migration One of the Best WordPress Migration Plugins?

  • 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.

Can I use this plugin to migrate a WordPress multisite?

You may use this premium multisite extension with all-in-one WP Migration (starting from $199) to migrate WordPress multisite.

Who Should Consider All-in-one WP Migration?

It is a good option for new WordPress users. It requires minimal technical proficiency and lets you automate most of the migration and backup-related processes easily.

Price

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.

Go to All-in-one WP 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.

What Makes This One of the Best WordPress Migration Plugins?

  • 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.

Can I use this plugin to migrate a WordPress multisite?

You can do it, but the Multisite tools add-on should be installed with WP Migrate DB Pro in this case. This add-on comes for free with the developer, Studio, and Enterprise packages.

Who Should Consider WP Migrate DB?

This plugin looks suitable for all, provided it matches your budget. For developers, it has additional features and flexibility.

Pricing

Enterprises can ask for a custom pricing plan as per their needs. In other cases, WP Migrate DB Plugin is priced at $49 (Personal), $99 (Side Hustle), $199 (Developer), and Studio (599).

Go to WP Migrate DB

The Final Word: Which WordPress migration plugin you should choose?

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.

A team of WordPress experts that love to test out new WordPress related software, WordPress plugins and WordPress themes.