What is the best method to migrate a WordPress site?

Knowledge Base > Migration > What is the best method to migrate a WordPress site?

Choosing the Best Method to Migrate Your WordPress Site

Migrating a WordPress site can be a crucial task, whether you’re moving to a new hosting provider, changing domains, or redesigning your website. The success of the migration process depends on choosing the right method based on your specific needs and technical proficiency. Here are various methods with their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

1. Manual Migration:


  • Full Control: Manual migration provides complete control over the process, allowing you to review and adjust every element of your site.
  • No Dependency on Plugins: This method doesn’t rely on third-party plugins, reducing the risk of compatibility issues.


  • Technical Proficiency Required: Manual migration requires a good understanding of WordPress, databases, and file management.
  • Time-Consuming: It can be time-consuming, especially for larger sites with extensive content.

Steps for Manual Migration:

  1. Backup Your Site: Create a backup of your WordPress files and database.
  2. Transfer Files: Move your WordPress files to the new server using FTP or hosting file manager.
  3. Export and Import Database: Export your database from the old site and import it into the new one using phpMyAdmin or a similar tool.
  4. Update URLs: Update the site URLs in the database to reflect the new domain or directory.
  5. Configure wp-config.php: Adjust the database connection details in the wp-config.php file.

2. WordPress Migration Plugins:


  • User-Friendly: Migration plugins are designed for users with varying technical skills, making the process more accessible.
  • Automated: Plugins automate many aspects of the migration, reducing the margin for human error.


  • Dependency on Plugins: Some users might prefer not to rely on additional plugins for security or performance reasons.
  • Compatibility Issues: Plugins may not always be compatible with certain server configurations or other plugins.

Steps for Plugin-Based Migration:

  1. Choose a Plugin: Select a reliable migration plugin like Duplicator, All-in-One WP Migration, or Migrate Guru.
  2. Install and Activate: Install and activate the chosen plugin on your existing site.
  3. Create a Package: Use the plugin to create a migration package containing your files and database.
  4. Download Package: Download the package to your computer.
  5. Install WordPress on New Server: Set up a new WordPress installation on your destination server.
  6. Upload and Import: Upload the migration package to the new server and import it using the plugin.

3. Managed WordPress Hosting Migration:


  • Simplified Process: Managed hosting providers often offer one-click migration services, simplifying the process.
  • Expert Assistance: Hosting support teams can assist with the migration and troubleshoot any issues.


  • Dependency on Hosting Provider: This method ties you to a specific hosting provider’s services.
  • Limited Control: You might have limited control over certain migration parameters.

Steps for Managed Hosting Migration:

  1. Contact Support: Reach out to your managed hosting provider’s support team.
  2. Provide Details: Furnish the necessary details such as your current hosting information and desired migration destination.
  3. Let the Experts Handle It: The hosting support team will initiate the migration process on your behalf.


Choosing the best method to migrate your WordPress site depends on your technical comfort level, the size of your site, and your specific requirements. Manual migration offers full control but requires technical expertise, while migration plugins provide a user-friendly alternative. Managed hosting migration is ideal for those seeking a hassle-free, expert-managed process. Whichever method you choose, remember to back up your site before initiating the migration and thoroughly test the new environment to ensure a smooth transition.

Common Questions

  • Why would I need to migrate my WordPress site?

    There are several reasons to migrate a WordPress site, including changing hosting providers for better performance, rebranding and changing domain names, redesigning your website, or moving from a development environment to a live site. Migrations enable you to adapt to new requirements or enhance your site’s functionality.

  • Is manual migration or using a plugin better for moving my WordPress site?

    The choice between manual migration and using a plugin depends on your technical expertise and preferences. Manual migration offers complete control but is more suitable for users with advanced skills. Migration plugins, on the other hand, are user-friendly and automate many tasks, making them accessible for users with varying technical proficiency.

  • Can I migrate my WordPress site without affecting SEO?

    Yes, you can migrate your WordPress site without significant impact on SEO if you follow best practices. Use 301 redirects to ensure old URLs point to the corresponding pages on the new site, update meta tags and descriptions, and inform search engines of the change through Google Search Console. This helps preserve your SEO rankings.

  • Will my WordPress plugins and themes work after migration?

    In most cases, plugins and themes should work seamlessly after migration. However, it’s crucial to check for compatibility issues. Some plugins may require reconfiguration, and you may need to update themes to the latest versions. Always verify plugin and theme compatibility before and after migration.

  • How long does it take to migrate a WordPress site?

    The time required for WordPress migration varies based on factors like the size of your site, the complexity of your content, and the chosen migration method. Manual migration may take longer, especially for larger sites, while using migration plugins or managed hosting services can expedite the process.

  • Can I migrate my WordPress site myself, or should I seek professional assistance?

    Whether you can migrate your WordPress site yourself depends on your technical proficiency and the complexity of the migration. If you’re comfortable with the process and your site is relatively straightforward, DIY migration is feasible. For complex migrations or if you’re unsure, seeking professional assistance or utilizing managed hosting services with migration support is a prudent choice.