Better hosting, the need for an extensive database, or high server uptime – Various requirements may force WordPress website owners to migrate their websites.
As you plan to migrate a WordPress website, you must play smart and make every move with complete diligence, as moving data is a risk. An advanced WordPress migration plugin is of great help here.
By automating many manual migration tasks, a plugin can sort things and help a website owner keep migration hassles at bay. Read this crisp guide to learn about the 11 best-performing and preferred WordPress migration plugins you should try in 2023.
What Are WordPress Migration Plugins?
A WordPress migration plugin is a carefully-designed tool that website owners can use to migrate the website from one location to another (digitally) in a simplified manner. With its help, web host migration, local to-live server migration, and domain migration are possible.
These plugins are backed by automation and eliminate manual efforts as migration happens. WordPress migration plugins also have various features like copying the files, database sorting, new environment testing, and so on to ease the migration process.
Most of the plugins are offered as plug-and-play tools and demand less configuration. The WordPress migration plugin is recommended to make migration accurate, swift, and risk-free.
Is Using Migration Plugins Safer than Manually Transferring WordPress Websites?
Website owners must make individual efforts in manual migration and use preventive measures. This way, you can miss out on something crucial or make a mistake.
A trusted migration plugin that is updated to work with the latest WordPress versions and other software can provide ease while migrating your website. The migration plugin will take care of all the steps by itself during the WordPress website migration.
The website doesn’t have to be offline when you install/enable a migration plugin. You can continue offering your website to visitors and simultaneously run the migration process. This way, you reduce the risk of the website being offline. However, one important note to mention is that the website will perform slower while the migration process runs.
A WordPress migration plugin is safer and faster than manual migration.
Does My Hosting Provider have a Migration Plugin or Service?
Most hosting providers offer a free migration service when you migrate to them. Also, all hosting providers offer paid assistance services for their customers. So, if you are moving to a new hosting provider, check if they offer free assistance. Opt for paid services from your host or a third-party migration specialist if the free service is unavailable.
Why Will I Need To Migrate My WordPress Website?
Many factors drive the migration of a WordPress website, and below, you will find the most common ones enlisted.
- Sluggish server
The first reason behind WordPress website migration is slow-performing servers and impacts the entire website performance. This mostly happens when a hosting company uses one server to host multiple websites to cut operational costs and offer cheap subscriptions. Such servers will have high downtime and slow response, causing frequent lagging.
As website speed plays a vital role in deciding the Google ranking of a website, one can’t afford to have a sluggish performance, and website owners plan a migration strategy.
- Upgrading of existing website
Many WordPress website owners can’t afford high-priced hosting plans initially. They own a website with minimal features and upgrade over time. For this upgrade, website owners generally prefer developing a full-fledged website on a staging platform and then migrating it to a live server.
- To cut down on expenses
Only some businesses invest heavily in server hosting and later realize it is not worth it. Hence, they want to downgrade the website and move to affordable servers.
- Domain name changes
Sometimes, website owners must change the domains to make the website more visible and viable. In that case, they have to take the help of the website migration process, as it allows businesses to change the domain name without impacting the website.
- Feature upgrades
Businesses evolve with time, and if their existing hosting provider is not offering features according to their contemporary needs, they plan a migration to make better features available.
- Need for Staging Platforms
Businesses have become conscious of their website performance and want to perform periodic tests, but only some web hosting companies offer staging platforms for this. Hence, website owners plan to migrate to the hosting providers offering staging platforms.
- Launching a Mobile Version
The current website usage trends indicate the massive demand for the mobile-friendly version of a website. So, businesses migrate when they plan to launch a mobile-friendly version of a website.
The list doesn’t end here. Migrating a WordPress website is a personal decision that could be motivated by multiple reasons. One can plan a migration for simple reasons: insufficient customer support. However, the list presents the most common reasons for your reference.
Essential Things To Consider While Migrating the Site
WordPress migration is a tedious and attention-driven task. If you haven’t planned things, you can mess up and put all your website migration efforts in vain. To avoid this, here is what you should keep in mind.
- Have a strategy in place. Understand how migration will go, set a timeline, and have enough resources ready to assist you in the migration process.
- Create a copy of your website and use this copy to check the changes done and test the website.
- Make sure the search engine does not list your new website before the migration is completed. If listing happens before migration completes, you will be ranked very low, harming the brand image.
- Plan a site audit project and continue testing your new website for errors and loopholes. Early detection means less damage if a threat or vulnerability is present.
- Ensure you have collected your old websites’ inbound links before you begin the migration process. It’s better to conduct an inbound link analysis to improve the SEO of the website.
- Create 301 redirects while you migrate the WordPress website so the 404 Error Page issue only happens occasionally.
- Unless it’s unavoidable, try to only redirect all the pages to the home page of a new website, as it will confuse new visitors. It’s terrible for user experience and might also lead to a traffic drop.
- Remember to point your domain to the new server once the migration is complete. This applies when moving your website from one hosting provider to another.
Will Migration Process Slow Down My Live Website?
If migration hasn’t been appropriately planned or has the proper measures, some risks involving website downtime, bugs, or data loss could occur during the migration. It happens mostly when businesses are doing complete website migration or changing the servers altogether. This happens because complete site migration demands massive data movement from the test to the live website. This exerts the load on the live website.
Can I Create A Staging Site and Migrate To Another Server?
The staging site is the copy of your live website that is important for migration because it helps find the errors so that migration doesn’t fail. You can create a staging site using the WordPress hosting service, using a WordPress plugin, and manually.
Developers can create a staging site in a different ecosystem and then migrate it to another server. For instance, developers can create a staging site on a local server, upload it to Git, and clone it to the development server.
There are tools like InstaWP that you can use to host your staging website and migrate it directly to a live site without any loss of data or information. With it, you can keep your life and staging site on different servers, which is advantageous in multiple ways. The solution is very flexible, so you can choose any server for your website and migrate it anywhere.
The Best WordPress Migration Plugins
If you can not do WordPress migration manually, you need the help of the best WordPress migration plugin to automate menial tasks and reduce errors. Here, we provide a detailed list of eleven advanced and feature-rich plugins to migrate WordPress sites quickly and error-freely.
1. InstaWP Connect
InstaWP Connect is a one-click WP Staging and Migration tool that lets you easily avail of InstaWP’s famous WordPress Sandboxing tool. Alternatively, you can build your staging site at InstaWP and migrate it effortlessly through its intuitive process.
InstaWP is a widely used open-source WordPress migration tool that proffers a novel and coherent approach for migration that you can use to copy the entire WordPress website in a staging ecosystem. In no time, you will have the ability to migrate a full-fledged staging site. It’s perfect for migrating websites and also creating staging WordPress websites.
You can signup for InstaWP for free and use many of its features. It provides solid and impressive integrations such as Chrome extension, drag-and-drop, Magic login, etc. With Magic login, you can share the login credentials without password sharing.
- Feature-rich Chrome extension
- Easy Git integration
- End-to-end management of hosting accounts
- One-click staging
- Dedicated servers
UpdraftPlus is a time-tested WordPress migration tool that successfully migrated over 3 million WordPress websites. It’s useful for cloning, backup, and restoring a WordPress website with the least possible manual efforts to keep migration swift and smooth. Its ability to do direct site-to-site migration without many hassles makes it a preferred choice.
It can migrate the uploaded files, themes, and other resources over a single click. It’s available in 16 languages and supports cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, AWS s#, and Rackspace. It’s perfect for server-to-server migration and can encrypt the traffic as it migrates.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Set up a backup schedule
- Can migrate WordPress multisite or networks
- Encryption for databases
Cost: $70 per year
With decent migration speed, Migrate Guru is an ideal WordPress migration tool to simplify the migration process and introduce automation in URL rewriting, serialized data, and bypassing import-export scripts. It’s a wholesome migration tool and can work without the help of any added integration or add-on.
Migrate Guru can migrate a WordPress website of less than 1GB size in less than 30 minutes. Just enter the host details, and migration will take place instantly.
- Migration starts on its server so that the live website doesn’t crash
- It can help you migrate a huge website easily
- Automatically copies the site to the server
- Compatibility with all the leading hosting platforms.
Formally known as Formerly WP Migrate DB, WP Migrate is a free WordPress migration plugin that helps in seamless database migration. Its usage is simple and beginner-friendly. Hence, novice developers can also use it without any hurdles. It supports full-site migration.
- Easy data searching
- Quick import to a new location with phpMyAdmin
- Grant full control over database migration
All-in-One WP Migration
All-in-One WP Migration is a dependable migration WordPress site plugin when you need the best export and import assistance. The tool is delivered with simplified configurations that are easy to get started. It supports customization for theme folders, plugins, custom upload, and other functions.
- Feature-rich cloud storage integration
- Zero downtime for the live website during the migration
- Available in 50+ languages
- Mobile compatibility
Duplicator is an easy-to-use all-in-one WordPress migration tool that allows businesses to migrate, clone, or clone the WordPress site with zero downtime. You can migrate between different domains and hosts.
Even though it automates the migration process, Duplicator allows developers to do some migration processes manually. It helps you duplicate a live site to a staging site quickly.
- Bundling of WordPress website
- Custom plugin hooks
- 2-step streamlined installer mode
- Multiple preconfigured sites to reduce rework
Cost: $49.50 per year with a Basic plan
BackupBuddy is a security-focused plugin that creates backup copies of a live website in seconds. It can quickly help you with WordPress backup and migration.
Moving from Localhost to Live Site while doing complete automatic URL replacement is easy with BackupBuddy. It supports end-to-end WordPress staging and deployment.
- Automatic change of file path, URL, posts, and permalinks
- Replace old URLs
Cost: $80 for 1 site per year
- Super Backup & Clone
This premium WordPress migration and backup plugin provides every resource you need to migrate your site quickly and error-freely. You can take a snapshot of every migration stage to keep migration as secure as possible.
- Automatic site backup
- Instant cloud sync
- Migration and restoration
- Intuitive dashboard with over 50 backup options
Cost: $35 per website.
With the help of VaultPress, you have a chance to keep your WordPress website secured and fully protected as it takes the full-site backup in a fraction of a site. It can do data sync daily with real-time security scans. It provides a detailed review of detected threads.
- FTP or SSH information
- Automatic restoration
- Daily scans
- 14-day money-back guarantee
Cost:$15 per month
WpVivid is one of the most powerful and free WordPress migration plugins businesses can use to take a website backup or migrate it completely to a new server automatically. It automated everything about the migration and backup process.
WpVivid can migrate content, databases, and files. It can migrate multiple sites in one go saving time and effort.
- Encryption for database backup
- Cleans unused images
- Customization at the backup process
- Incremental backups
Last but not least, we have BlogVault to recommend to you. This WordPress backup plugin lets you save the snapshots that you can migrate to new hosting ecosystems quickly. You can do selective migration without any downtime. As it is capable of doing automatic rewriting of databases and configuration files, it saves a huge deal of effort and time.
- Removes references to outdated content
- Can migrate a website as large as 100Gb
- Supports FTP, SFTP, or FTPS protocol
Cost: $89/year for one site
Using InstaWP For WordPress Migration
We discussed the InstaWP Connect plugin and the InstaWP tool in the previous section. However, the InstaWP tool can be used as a standalone hosting (staging) and migration aid for your needs. To ease down the WordPress migration process and ensure that the process is risk-free, you should try InstaWP.
This innovative WordPress migration tool helps you test, develop, and stage new WordPress websites within a fraction of a second. It’s a pre-built migration tool that helps you migrate with zero mess, as it is integrated directly with the old website and fetches every crucial detail.
With 2-way pushing from staging to production, it simplifies the migration up to a great extent. Here is how you can start the WordPress migration process with InstaWP.
- Signup for a free account
Go to InstaWP and click on the Sign-Up option to get started. You can use emails or sign up directly using Facebook, Twitter, and Google Accounts.
- Create a WordPress Test Site
Once you complete the sign-up process, you will be redirected to a Dashboard to create a new website. If you already have a new test website ready, you can integrate it here by clicking on ‘New Site’ option.
When you plan to create a new test website with InstaWP, you will have many resources readily available.
Connect Live WordPress Website with InstaWP Test Site
For this, you can use the InstaWP Connect Plugin. Install the plugin, and you can directly connect your existing WP site with a new test website that you have created using InstaWP.
Transferring Live WordPress Website To Test Site
In case you want to move your live site to the staging environment to modify it, that’s also possible using the InstaWP Connect Plugin. The process needs a few clicks.
Migrating Test Site to Your Hosting Provider
InstaWP supports over 13 popular hosting service providers, including Bluehost, Inmotion Hosting, A2 Hosting, WP Engine, Kinsta, Pagely, and Flywheel. So, the migration process will be straightforward if you are willing to host your live site with any of these.
The other option is to migrate your test site to your hosting provider using cPanel / SFTP.
Whichever your case, migration will remain hassle-free and quick using InstaWP. The tool will send you automated notifications, making your journey even happier.
Migrating a WordPress site is required to improve website performance, save hosting costs, and add more features. While you do so, you need an inventive approach and reliable migration tool to ensure errors and delays are nowhere to be seen. This post discussed WordPress migration in detail. We hope you now have clarity on smooth migration.