WordPress is amazingly easy to install. But if you want to move an already existing WordPress site to another server can be a bit of a headache.
There are numerous reasons why you might need to migrate your WordPress site. Such as if you began development on a local server. And you are now ready to launch the site. You will have to copy it to the live server.
Furthermore, if you work on client sites. You will frequently need to copy across sites from your own server onto the client-server. Or if you are changing web hosts for whatever reason. You’ll also need to move your website over to the new host.
Moving your site manually is one option. But it can be quite a time-consuming task. And many steps need to be completed to ensure a successful migration. And if you make a mistake at any stage, you can quickly end up with a site that looks messed up or is missing content.
So for a less stressful option. You should turn to one of the many WordPress migration plugins that are available. These migration plugins take out the hard work of moving your WordPress site. And ensure that all the steps are correctly executed for a faultless migration without any data loss.
For this WordPress Wednesday. I’ve narrowed it down to five of the best and free WordPress migration plugins, to help you make the right pick!. Some of the plugins featured below does also offer a premium version, but using the free version can probably help you do migrating.
The All-in-One WP Migration plugin is explicitly designed to enable easy exportation of your database, media files, plugins and themes. There is also a find and replace database feature that makes it simple to repair broken files and links after you have moved your site.
The plugin is designed to bypass webserver upload size restrictions. And supports most WordPress hosting providers. Also, there’s a built-in capability to migrate WordPress to cloud services.
Another valuable feature that makes this plugin stand out from other options is that it is this plugin is fully optimised for mobile. Making it easy to backup and migrate WordPress if you need to do it while you are away from home or office.
Price: Free or a premium option of the plugin that costs $59 for a lifetime license with unlimited updates.
2. Migrate Guru
Migrate Guru was created by the Migrate Guru team. But it works on any host and they claims that this is the fastest plugin available for migrating your WordPress site, completing migration up to 80% faster than other plugins.
This plugin is totally free with no paid version or paid add-ons and is suitable for any type of site up to 200GB in size.
The plugin also been designed to be easy to use so it is a case of simply clicking the migrate button once you have entered the details.
There’s built-in instant migration for sites that are hosted on Bluehost, Flywheel, GoDaddy, Hostgator, Siteground and WPEngine and you can migrate to other hosts using cPanel or FTP.
Features of this plugin includes:
- One-click migration
- Compatible with any web host
- Multi-site support
- Migration is processed on the BlogVault servers so there is no risk to your live site and even large sites can be migrated without timeouts
- No storage space require
- Real-time progress reports and email alert.
Duplicator is one of my favourite migration plugin as it straightforward to use. And I find that its rarely causes any problems with it. There is some little technical knowledge needed to set it up and get it working correctly so if you prefer more of a step-by-step visual interface to walk you through the whole process. And you might look at a different plugin.
Duplicator requires you to enter details manually about your host and database and runs various checks before creating an archive of your site. If you have a huge database or large files on your website. You may need to do some things before the site get properly backup.
This is a free plugin. Although there is also a pro version available and you may need the pro version of the plugin if you want to move a multi-site WordPress installation. It also has some features that make it more flexible and easy to use, including:
- Scheduled backups.
- Integrated transfer to cloud storage services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Amazon S3.
- Multi-threaded for better functionality with large websites and databases.
- Database creation built into the installer.
- Connect to cPanel directly from the installer.
- Additional developer support.
WP Migrate DB operates by exporting your database as a MySQL data dump, running a find and replace function on URLs and file paths and handles serialised data before saving as an SQL file. You will then need to manually import this SQL file using a database management tool such as phpMyAdmin.
Using this migration plugin is more technical and hands-on than other migration plugins. It’s best suited to developers and those who are comfortable working in the back-end of WordPress. It is a good option for those who are wanting a finer control over migration and backups, rather than one that creates an exact clone of the original site.
Like other plugins on this list, there’s also a pro version of the plugin available that has other features such as the ability to push and pull databases for staging and deployment, database backup prior to migration, the ability to pause and resume migration, and filtering out of tables, post types etc.
Price: Free but a pro plugin can be purchased for $99.00.
UpdraftPlus is designed to simplify the backup and restoration of WordPress sites. Sites can be quickly restored and backed up to the cloud.
Make use of the migrate and clone feature in this plugin, you will need to upgrade to the premium version of this plugin or purchase the separate Updraft Plus Migrator plugin.
There’s both a free and a premium version of this plugin available and the premium version allows cloud backup to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, SFTP, SCP and WebDAV.
Upgrading to UpdraftPremium offers you additional support and free upgrades for a year, along with 1GB of UpdraftVault cloud storage for backups.
Premium features includes:
- Backup extra files and databases.
- Migrate and clone sites.
- Automatic backup when upgrading WordPress core, plugins and themes.
- Send backups to multiple locations.
- Restore backups from other plugins.
- Multisite support.
- Database tools to remove mentions of the old website from the database.
Price: Free to the premium plugin costs between $70 and $195, depending on the license you choose. The Migrator plugin is also available separately from $29.40 / year.