So, you’ve been working on developing your WordPress website…adding content, images, customizing your WordPress theme…all on a staging or development site. What happens when it’s launch time?
There are a few things to consider when migrating a WordPress installation to a new server and/or domain. There are four key areas that you must be sure to migrate:
- The database content (wordpress options, posts, pages, widget settings, etc.)
- Your WordPress theme files
- Your media files and other uploads
- Your WordPress plugins
You must also be sure to update any references in your post/page content to the new domain name, otherwise any local links or image references will break.
The WordPress Codex has very in-depth instructions on how to manually migrate a WordPress installation, which can be a bit daunting. Thankfully, there are a few services and plugins out there that can make this much easier for us:
All-in-One WordPress Migration
The All-in-One WP Migration plugin offers one of the simplest ways to migrate a WordPress installation. As long as your site isn’t too large, you can migrate your site easily, and totally for free!
- First, make sure WordPress is installed on the new domain name. Then, install the All-in-One WP Migration plugin on both sites.
- Open the Export settings in the staging/development site, and use the Find & Replace boxes to update any content URLs for the new domain.
- Click Export to file and download the “.wpress” file when prompted.
- On the new site, open the import settings and upload the “.wpress” file you exported from the original site.
- Select “Continue” when you see the warning screen below:
- When the import has successfully processed, you will see the following dialog prompting you to update the site Permalinks. Notice, when you click the link, you will be logged out, because the admin username and password from the original site has been migrated as well. Log in with your original username and password to continue.
- Click the button to “Save Changes” to your Permalink settings twice, and you’re all set!
Watch the full instructions here:
Now, if your site export is larger than 512MB, you would need to purchase the unlimited upgrade from All-in-One WordPress Migration for $59 to migrate it. If your staging site is public (i.e. not in a local development environment), you can use Manage WP‘s backup feature to clone your site instead. Premium backups through Manage WP are $2 per site per month, can be cancelled at any time, and allow you to easily clone your WordPress website to a new domain. All you need to know is the admin username and password to the original site and the new site, or database and FTP information for the new domain. There are also options to clone the site to the same domain, but on a new server:
WP Migrate DB & FileZilla
If your development site is in a local development and environment, and too large to use All-in-One WP Migration, you can use a free plugin called WP Migrate DB to migrate your database and update your URLs, and the FTP client of your choice to migrate your theme files, plugins, and uploads (media files). You will need phpMyAdmin access to your mySQL database for the new site in order to import the database export.
View the full instructions here:
Be sure to upload your plugins, themes, and uploads to the wp-content folder of your new site:
Once You’ve migrated your database, theme, plugins, and uploads, you can save your permalink settings and be good to go! Congratulations on publishing your first custom WordPress website!