I cover different WordPress migration plugins, their pros and cons. Features, reliability, cost, ease-of-use. Enjoy!
What’s the best way to move a WordPress site to a new server?
Maybe you got a new webhost, or messing with a staging site, or just for whatever reason want to move or clone your site to another server. What’s the best way to do it?
The best way for me will always be to do it manually (written guide coming soon) but for many people, this is either too technical or time-consuming to do. In that case, migration plugins are your best bet. They DO work and they work well but they aren’t always 100% error-free, especially with big sites.
So if you have a truly mission critical site, be careful with using migration plugin especially if you have a big site on a weak server. Use my suggestions below with caution!
FYI: you can migrate sites using backup plugins as well but I feel using a migration plugin is best since they do things like rewrite URL’s (if you’re changing URL) and also other server-related things. But really, what you need is a migration plugin (to move your entire site from one server to another), and not necessarily a backup plugin (scheduling back-ups).
1. All-in-One WP Migration (ServMask)
A great migration that works well. Easy to use and no-nonsense. The only caveat is the free version is neutered in a couple ways. I noticed the issue when trying to move a large 4gb site. This thing limits you to sites 500mb and down (there are some ways to get around it, though!). This is my favorite way to migrate a site.
- Works well – I really like it!
- Getting around the 500mb size limit – easy, simply exclude the “wp-content” from your export (that greatly keeps the size down), and then just compress and extract yourself using cPanel’s File Manager.
- Tips – if your database fails to import, exclude that as well and import it manually.
2. Migrate Guru – the fastest way to migrate a site!
Duplicator used to be my favorite until this one came along. It’s so easy to use! It really is the fastest way to move a site and can handle difficult migrations. Large sites (up to 200gb, multi-sites, etc), it rewrites your URL’s, handles everything! No manual work.
- EASY TO USE – it truly is easy. You enter your old website settings and new website settings and let this do all the work. I love it so much.
- ONE MAJOR CAVEAT – it doesn’t move non-WP directories. And there have been a few instances where it did not migrate everything perfectly. WP All-in-One Migration is my favorite at this moment.
3. Duplicator – WordPress Migration Plugin
This was the old standard until AIO Migration came along. Duplicator is fantastic, simple to use, and many features to make the process very easy. This one is extremely popular among developers. Still works well and a fantastic choice!
- Site scan – scans your entire site and tells you what areas might cause problems during the backup.
- Full backup – completely backs up your entire site.
- Easy restore – easily restores your site on the new server through a simple script.
I haven’t tried it yet but it looks promising!
Check out UpdraftMigrator