The famous 5-minute install for WordPress is a good marketing gimmick that only slightly exaggerates the ease with which WP can be installed. Users can very easily set up a site with no fuss and no muss in almost all circumstances. But when it comes to moving your site from one host to another, things get a little trickier. Thankfully, the WordPress ecosystem is based around plugins, and there are some truly stellar options for migration plugins to choose from.
6 Best WordPress Migration Plugins
Migration plugins come in a couple of varieties. The first being a backup, download, restore migration. While another is the straight transfer, which moves one site to another host and server directly, perhaps by FTP or another file transfer method. We will be covering the pros and cons of the plugins that facilitate these migrations so that you can make the most informed choice possible.
UpDraftPlus is the top pick for the WordPress migration plugins based on a number of factors. The plugin is renowned for the ease with which it lets users (even free ones) back up and restore their websites after calamity happens. You can save to remote storage, within your server itself, or even just download the site backups to your local machine for safekeeping.
That also makes it one of the best migration plugins, too, because it gives you not only the option to restore a previous version of the same site, but you can also take that back up and use it as a clone on an entirely separate WordPress installation.
- Cloud storage for all backups, even for free users
- Restoration for the original site, but also allows for migration to new servers/hosts
- Premium upgrade provides free storage, support, WP-CLI integration, free access to addons, and more.
Free users have access to some of the smoothest migration software out there, but premium users also get a huge suite of quality-of-life improvements. If you just need a quick move, then the free version will absolutely work for you. But if you need to maintain the integrity of that migration and most effectively troubleshoot any snags that appear, the premium upgrade is the way to go.
2. All-in-One WordPress Migration
With a name like All-in-One Migration, you’re setting the expectations high from the start. Luckily, ServMask follows through and offers one of the top migration plugins in the WordPress ecosystem. Because this plugin is designed for migration first and backup second, it brings first-rate features that you will need when moving to a new host. For example, All-in-One has settings to bypass many hosts’ default upload limit of 2mb. Which is a major issue when trying to move an entire WordPress database and media library.
- Upload size-limit bypass
- No PHP requirements, which makes migrating from out-of-date hosts to current servers seamless
- You can choose not to import certain files or media
One downside to All-in-One Migration is that the free version is fairly limited. For free users, you only get 512mb worth of backups or migrations. That’s much smaller than most existing sites. However, if you have a budget for migration, the $69 lifetime license is a solid investment.
3. VaultPress (JetPack)
VaultPress is a JetPack integration. And that’s a good thing for many WP users looking to migrate their sites in the most seamless way possible. First, being integrated into JetPack means that VaultPress is backed by Automattic and available to every WordPress site out there, regardless of being on .com or .org installations. That alone makes it worth taking a look at.
- Integrated into JetPack’s security suite
- Easy automation for backup, restoration/migration to any website or host
- Excellent support and as part of a package, more features that just migration
Some WordPress users don’t want to use JetPack on their site, so this won’t be an option for them. But for existing JetPack customers who want off-site backups and easy/simple migrations to any server they choose, the VaultPress integration for migration is a great option. It is a paid part of JetPack, though, so if you’re a free user and don’t want to upgrade, this isn’t for you.
BackupBuddy is a premium-only migration solution that is worth every penny you pay for it. From iThemes, BackupBuddy lets you make a complete copy of your site, which is why it’s perfect for migration. You get a .zip file for your entire site, from media to database, and you can then restore it on any host or server you have.
- Off-site storage for site files, downloadable as a .zip as well.
- Full support from iThemes
- Built-in database search, url and domain replacement, file exclusion and more for customized migrations to new hosts
iThemes offers incredibly quick and solid support for their customers, so being a member and BackupBuddy user means that your migration will happen no matter what, just to your specifications, with whatever customization you need. You can choose from annual subscriptions to a lifetime membership, too.
BlogVault offers an incredibly useful feature other migration plugins don’t: offline restoration. Things go haywire sometimes, and it’s easy to have something turned off before you need to. BlogVault has you covered. Inside the plugin, any migration you perform will be a cinch because it handles all URL rewrites, too, which is a huge boon when moving from one host or server to another.
- Offline migrations
- Offsite storage
- WPML support for multi-site network migration
Another feature that other migration plugins likely don’t support is WordPress multisite. So if you’re migrating your entire site network from host to host, check out BlogVault. You will be able to handle it all in one go instead of doing it one by one. That alone is worth checking BlogVault out, even if just for the free trial period.
6. WP Migrate DB
Delicious Brains makes good plugins, and WP Migrate DB is no different. Effective and full of features, we do want to warn you though, this plugin is not as user-friendly as some others. It is designed for server admins and devs to migrate sites, not the end user. You will export the database as SQL and import it using phpMyAdmin.
- Strong customization for site admins and developers
- Migration from site to site that you can pause, resume, and edit in real time
- Database import and export via SQL
- Push/pull files between different sites and servers
The premium upgrade for WP Migrate DB opens up the plugin’s power even more. You get WP-CLI integration, and you can work with your multisite network as a single entity. Really, for developers needing to control the minutiae of their WordPress migrations, WP Migrate DB offers the most under-the-hood features on our list.
Wrapping Up with WordPress Migration Plugins
Handling a server migration of your WordPress site can be terrifying. So many things can go wrong that many users leave it in the hands of their hosts and end up paying exorbitant prices for someone else to handle it. However, with any of the plugins on our list, you can be sure that your site can move from Server A to Host B with as few snags as possible. And that’s whether you’re a premium user or a free one.
What do you think is the best WordPress migration plugin?
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