WordPress Migration: The 12 Best Migration Plugins
Most people know WordPress as a particularly simple and easy-to-use content management system. Problems exist elsewhere, but not with a CMS like WordPress. This may be largely true nowadays, but it was not always the case. Especially moving with an existing blog could and still can cause major difficulties.
The WordPress move involves transferring an existing website from one provider to another. It is important that all files and settings are transferred without loss. The easiest way to do this task is to use special backup and migration plugins.
This is due to very different things, which I would like to explain to you in this article. Here, everything will revolve around what you need to pay attention to during a WordPress move and what mistakes you should avoid at all costs when you go on the road with your WordPress blog. But most importantly, I’ll give you tools to make the move as easy as possible and, above all, successful.
Alternatively: Here you can find the best backup plugins
WordPress move with the right plugin
Mostly, the WordPress migration is recommended with a dedicated plugin. That’s why I’ll start with three great solutions right away.
1. WPvivid Backup & Migration Pro
I love using WPvivid‘s backup and security plugins. Unlike other migration plugins, WPvivid is also affordable.
The feature set is also excellent. Backup, migration, import/export and even more useful helpers are included in the suite.
Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.
2. Use the Duplicator plugin for WordPress
If you want to have as little hassle as possible with your planned WordPress move, your best bet is to reach for the extremely awesome and handy Duplicator plugin for WordPress. Not only does it work very easily, but it has also proven itself in everyday use. The extension creates a kind of backup of your blog, which you can then download.
At the new hoster you then install WordPress with the Duplicator plugin and upload the just downloaded backup there again. Duplicator unpacks it automatically and adds the content cleanly to the freshly installed WordPress blog. And in such a way that exactly the same state is reached as in your other blog before.
By the way, with the Duplicator plugin the complete MySQL database is also transferred accordingly. So you really don’t have to worry about anything and the whole move is done with just a few clicks. It really doesn’t get much easier than that. That’s why Duplicator has become my first choice for relocations.
Even better, the Duplicator plugin is also a useful tool for regular backups. Just create a copy, save it and you have your data backed up on your hard drive independently and just in case. In addition, you can rely on the fact that the backup actually works and can be easily maintained accordingly.
3. Blogvault and MalCare
If you use Blogvault like I do, you can start the migration directly from the dashboard. It couldn’t be simpler. To do so, select the website you want to migrate and click MIGRATE in the Backup section.
4. Migrate Guru
MigrateGuru also works very well. This is a free plugin, but it uses Blogvault’s infrastructure and server. I moved the last client blog with it. It doesn’t get much easier than that! I can absolutely recommend this plugin.
5. UpdraftPlus Premium resp. UpdraftMigrator
UpdraftPlus is probably the most popular backup plugin. It also handles blog transfer, but unfortunately only in the paid premium version. For this, you have to connect to your Updraft account and buy UpdraftClone tokens.
iThemes is one of the very big WordPress plugin developers. Its portfolio includes webmaster favorites like iThemes Security, Restrict Content Pro, Kadence WP and just BackupBuddy.
Since WordPress doesn’t include built-in backups, BackupBuddy was developed in 2010 to fill the need for a solid WordPress backup solution.
7. Jetpack Backup
Jetpack is a massive plugin with an incredible amount of features. With a paid subscription, Jetpack Backup is also part of the feature set, allowing you to restore your site to another host as well.
At just €4.50 a month, the price isn’t excessive either.
8. All-in-One WP Migration
One of the older tools in this division is All-in-One WP Migration. Basic functions are free, but for each backup service you have to buy a separate extension.
Unfortunately, the free version is hardly usable. Only uploading the backup in the browser is available, which works only for very small websites. Not even migration via FTP is free.
The WordPress plugin can boast 4 million installations. Still, I’ve never used it myself.
9. ManageWP Backup and Clone
The ManageWP SaaS tool is an external dashboard that lets you connect and manage unlimited WordPress installations. The basic features are free.
The premium backup add-on costs just $2.00 per month per site. This also includes the clone/migrate tool.
Especially if you have multiple websites or manage client projects, you should check out ManageWP or BlogVault. These services can make your life a lot easier!
10. Kinsta Site Transfer Tool
With the latest version of the Kinsta Site Transfer Tool, you can easily move a website you’ve been working on and hand it over to another account or your client directly in MyKinsta. With just a few clicks within the dashboard, business owners and administrators can now:
- Transfer websites to new and existing accounts
- Send transfers to non-Kinsta users
- Suggest a preferred plan
A cool feature, even if not interesting for everyone.
11. SiteGround Migrator
SiteGround is very popular especially in the USA. In the meantime, however, they have also arrived in Germany.
With SiteGround Migrator you can easily move your website to the hoster.
12. Bluehost Site Migrator
Since Bluehost is such a popular provider, I want to include the Migrator plugin. You can do the transfer with it on your own, as well as with support assistance.
The plugin only works in conjunction with a Bluehost account.
WordPress move with move service from hoster
Especially WordPress hosters are known for being always ready to help you with their support. Therefore, most of them offer a so-called relocation service, where your previous blog is transferred cleanly from one hoster to another. Of course, you don’t have to take care of anything yourself and therefore don’t have any hassle, because the corresponding hoster or their support will take care of all that for you.
In order for the move to work as planned, you need to send your WordPress hoster either the access data to your blog or the FTP data. Usually, though, support for a WordPress move uses plugins similar to Duplicator. Some have also built personal solutions and workflows over the years to make the transfer as smooth as possible. You’ll get more info from your new provider, because they’ll already tell you what exactly they need.
I have also had good experiences with the relocation service from Hostpress. They really take care of everything.
The good thing about this method is that your own commitment is almost zero. Even if something goes wrong, it’s not your personal problem and the hoster will solve it for you accordingly. This can be handy if you have a lot of plugins in use or special settings where you don’t really know how they will work after the move and on the new server. With the move service, the support can check right away if all these extensions will still work smoothly on the new server.
Move complete WordPress blog by hand
The method I certainly know best, probably because I’ve been doing it for so long, is moving by hand. There is a lot to keep in mind here, so that no errors occur afterwards. In general, the WordPress move by hand is therefore basically no longer recommended. The process is too prone to errors and there are far easier methods nowadays.
If you still want to try it manually, the first thing to do is to backup the MySQL database. Mostly this is possible via phpMyAdmin. Afterwards all WordPress files are backed up via FTP. At the new hoster you install a fresh WordPress and a corresponding database. Name and password of the database must now be changed in the wp-config.php of your WordPress copy. With the help of phpMyAdmin you can import the old database. The data and uploads of WordPress you have already loaded via FTP and can now upload them again.
Quite deliberately I have not gone into every detail and problem that could occur during a move by hand. Errors and difficulties are very diverse here and to react to all circumstances, hardly makes sense. Moving by hand also makes no sense anymore, since there are many largely automated solutions. My tip is therefore: don’t do it to yourself if there is another way.
WordPress hoster as a clear recommendation for the future
In the end, I can personally only recommend one of the available WordPress hosters. If these did not exist in the past, they now take over all tasks related to WordPress for you and thus make blogging immensely easier. Basically, with a WordPress hoster you don’t have to worry about the technology anymore, which is why you can completely focus on your blog and the content. This is worth more than it seems at first.
Tip: Learn the right decision factors when choosing a hosting.
Gone are the days when you had to deal with WordPress installation and database backups on your own. Gone are the moments when you were scared for your blog or had problems with technology that you just couldn’t get a handle on. I remember all of that from the past, but with modern WordPress hosts, such situations are usually history. They don’t occur anymore because the business in this area has become highly professionalized. And because such hosters already know their way around all the problems WordPress has to offer and have a solution ready for them. No matter when.
If you are now interested in possible WordPress hosters, I can recommend my overview of the different providers. The site includes a lot more information about the individual companies, provides reviews and offers you interesting background articles, like this one about WordPress hosting. But for now, good luck with your WordPress move, no matter which method you have chosen.