Are you looking for the best WordPress migration plugin to move your website safely with zero downtime?
While it is super-easy to create a new WordPress site, moving an existing website to a new hosting company is not as simple.
You need to move the database, files, plugins, and theme. You want to keep any customizations of your website after migration. At the same, you also want to reduce downtime, so your users don’t see a broken website.
Keeping SEO rankings of your website is also another most important factor while migrating websites.
To make sure that all these things go smoothly, you’ll need a WordPress migration plugin to easily manage the transfer.
Important notes (read this before choosing a WordPress migration plugin):
If you run a content-heavy site, or an eCommerce site, we recommend that you use an off-site migration/backup tool, rather than a plugin. VaultPress (now part of Jetpack) is a good option because it’s operated by the folks behind WordPress. And it won’t slow down your server because it uses external servers.
And to ensure a smooth migration, keep the following in mind:
- Test the backup file first – try opening the backup file before you get started to ensure it’s not corrupt. It’s rare this will happen but it’s well worth doing.
- Keep the original WordPress install live – you probably won’t need it, but if there are any issues you can prepare a new back up of the site.
- Update your DNS only when the migration is complete – any migration should be done in a way that causes as little down time as possible. This is why we recommend that you keep the original site live, and migrate to the new server by changing the hosts file on your computer to the new server IP address. Once the migration is complete, you can run any additional checks to ensure everything is working as it should & then update DNS (similar to the process described in this post.)
When it comes to migrating your website, or running backups in general – it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Now you know all the precautions to be taken for migration, Let us dig into migration plugins, in detail:
Duplicator Pro is the most powerful WordPress migration plugin on the market. It has 1+million active installs and works with WordPress version 4.0 or higher. It works like a charm for many different types of migration scenarios without any technical knowledge.
Duplicator creates a package that bundles all the site’s plugins, themes, content, database and WordPress files into a simple zip file called a package. This package can then be used to easily migrate a WordPress site to any location you wish. Move on the same server, across servers and pretty much any location a WordPress site can be hosted. WordPress is not required for installation since the package contains all site files.
It has a simple step by step wizard that guides you through the migration. First, you create a migration package of your website and download it to your computer along with an installer script.
Next, you upload the installer script and the package to the new location (new server or host) and run the migration wizard. Duplicator unpacks the content of your package and installs them.
In the end, it also allows you to update URLs to make sure that everything runs smoothly after the unpacking.
Take a look at video preview here;
- Migrate WordPress site to a new host, domain name, local server, or live site.
- Easy step by step migration wizard to move your website.
- Can be used to schedule backups and save them on remote storage such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon S3 and FTP/SFTP
- Connects with cPanel hosting dashboard to automatically create database and users.
- Supports WordPress multisite migration.
- Beginners may need help connecting to the FTP server.
- The upload process can be a bit tedious if you have unreliable internet or a very large website.
- Pricing: Paid plans start from $59 / year for 3 websites. It also has a limited free version that would work for most small websites.
UpdraftPlus Migrator (included as ones of the addons in all UpdraftPlus Premium packages) enables you to use UpdraftPlus to clone or migrate your website to a different URL in a matter of minutes, all from your UpdraftPlus dashboard! It’s reliable, seamless and intuitive, and it has a host of useful functions, such as “search-and-replace”, which gives you full, long-proven migrating with zero extra clicks.
- Easy to use process. If you already use it as your backup plugin then you can create a complete backup and import it on any location
- Schedule and store your WordPress backups to remote locations.
- Works with WordPress multisite networks
- Incremental backups allow you to save server resources
- To run the migration, you’d need to install WordPress on the destination.
- Pricing: You can purchase the Migrator Addon for $30 and use it with the free version of UpdraftPlus. Alternatively, you can buy UpdraftPlus Premium for $70.
JetPack is a massive WordPress plugin suite that also comes with a powerful backup feature. This feature was previously called VaultPress and was sold as a separate product.
Now it is included as JetPack Backups. It allows you to easily restore your WordPress backups and migrate your website to new servers.
- The easiest way to make WordPress backups and easily restore them on a new location
- Incremental backups save server resources
- Easy 1-click site restoration feature makes migrations a breeze
- All your data is stored on the cloud and you don’t need to manually reupload backups during migration
- Includes site security features which makes your backups secure
- You will need a JetPack subscription which comes with many other features that you may not even need or use.
- The Setup process is a bit complicated for beginners. You will need two separate plugins, JetPack subscription, and a WordPress.com account.
- Pricing: Starting from $39 / year.
All-in-One WP Migration is a popular WordPress migration plugin with a comprehensive set of features. Unlike some other plugins on the list, it is not a backup plugin and specializes in website migrations.
This plugin exports your WordPress website including the database, media files, plugins and themes with no technical knowledge required.
Upload your site to a different location with a drag and drop into WordPress.
Mobile device compatible: All-in-One WP Migration is the first plugin to offer true mobile experience on WordPress versions 3.3 and up.
How to export and import a wordpress blog: https://youtu.be/BpWxCeUWBOk
Here is quick video on how to restore a WordPress blog from backup:
- Tested and supports a large number of WordPress hosting providers, operating systems, PHP versions, and more.
- Supports older versions upto WordPress 3.3
- It bypasses your host’s file size limits by importing chunks of data.
- The free version limits import size to 512 MB
- You’ll need to manually install WordPress on new location
- For multisite exports you’ll need a separate paid extension
- Pricing: The basic plugin is free, but you’ll need the Unlimited extension to remove import size restriction. The Unlimited extension is available at $69 for a lifetime license.
Migrate Guru is a WordPress migration plugin by the folks behind Blog Vault, a popular WordPress backup solution. It specializes in migrating websites to a new host or server.
Powered by BlogVault (an onboarding partner of top WordPress hosts in the world), Migrate Guru uses intelligent processes on its own servers… So there is ZERO risks to your sites. It automatically rewrites URLs, bypasses import-export scripts, and handles serialized data. It also can clone WordPress sites without any manual work, add-ons, or additional tools.
How to migrate WordPress site using migrate guru:
- Supports almost all popular WordPress hosting providers
- Easy migration wizard where you just need to enter your destination host’s FTP or Cpanel credentials and the plugin takes care of everything else
- Migrates your WordPress database updated URLs and handles serialized data
- Can be used to migrate large websites without affecting server performance
- Does not support localhost to live website or live to localhost transfers
- Does not fully support multisite migrations
- Pricing: Free
BackupBuddy is one of the most popular WordPress migration and backup plugin. It has been around since 2010 and has a loyal customer base. More than half a million customers use backupbuddy.
BackupBuddy’s backup includes everything needed to run your WordPress website. Backup all WordPress files, all files in the WordPress Media library, your WordPress themes and WordPress plugins, and more. Once BackupBuddy completes your backup, you get a downloadable zip file of your entire WordPress website.
- Comes with automated scheduled backups, restore, and migration features in one convenient package
- Set up your backup schedules, choose what to backup, and store them to remote locations such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, and more.
- Easily transfer your website using a complete WordPress backup
- Can be used to deploy a WordPress staging site to live server with 1-click
- Does not support WordPress multisite
- Restore and migration features are not as easy to use for beginners as some other plugins on this list
- Pricing: Starting from $80 for a single site license.
Migrate DB Pro is a powerful WordPress migration plugin made specifically for moving WordPress database from one install to another. However, it can also easily transfer media files, themes, and plugins with separate addons.
Here is quick video on how to migration WordPress databases with WP Migrate DB Pro:
- Perfect when you quickly want to copy WordPress database from one site to another
- Powerful features make it an excellent option for developers
- Backup your existing database before replacing it with a new one
- Find and replace any text in your database
- Great for large websites and complex hosting server environments
- For complete migrations, you’ll need two addons that are only available under an expensive developer license.
- May not be as easy to use for beginners as some other plugins on the list
- Price: Starting from $99 for a single site. You’ll need a developer license to access media and files addons which will cost you $199.
Super Backup & Clone comes from azzaroco, an Envato Elite author with over 20,000 sales.
Beyond heaps of tools to make backing up your WordPress site easy, Super Backup & Clone also includes a dedicated feature to import any of your backups to a new install.
One nifty feature is that beyond offering regular Multisite to Multisite migrations, Super Backup & Clone also lets you migrate part of a WordPress Multisite install to a single site install.
You can also go in reverse, and migrate multiple single site installs into a single Multisite install.
While those are definitely niche uses, if you ever find yourself needing to blend the lines between Multisite and single site installs, then Super Backup & Clone is for you.
- Easy to import from existing backup to the new install
- Cloud Snapshots – If you want to be extra safe, the plugin allows you to upload your backups to the cloud, you know, just in case your server burns altogether!
- Keep historic revisions for each backup
- MultiSite to MultiSite – The SuperBackup system allows you to run a straight Cloud migration from one MultiSite to another without any worries
- MultiSite to SingleSite – If you running into a MultiSite Platform, the system will detect that and you have the chance to have a SingleSite Snapshot ready to be Migrated to any regular WP Site or into another SingleSite available on other MultiSite Platform
- SingleSite to MultiSite – a simple SnapShot from a Standard WP Site can be Migrated into a select SingleSite available on your Multisite Platform. So, you can move all your standalone WP websites to a single WP MultiSite.
- Plenty of options to choose from. Should pick the correct option based on the requirement.
You don’t have to muck around your FTP program to handle your migration.
Instead, all you need to do is create a fresh WordPress install at the location where you want to clone your WordPress site.
Then, you just need to install the WP Clone plugin on your fresh install and it will handle the migration for you.
Here is WP Clone Plugin training video:
- One of the easiest ways to migrate your site.
- Smaller sites (under 250MB) are more likely to successfully migrate via WP Clone.
- The developers fully admit that this process will fail on 10-20% of WordPress installs.
- if your site is especially large, you should go with a different migration plugin.
Which WordPress migration plugin should you choose?
Depending on your tech-savviness and exact needs, one of these plugins may suit you more than the others. I’ll try to break down a few different scenarios and which migration plugin you should pick for each.
If you’re confident enough to upload two files via FTP, then my overall top recommendation is Duplicator. Duplicator is the WordPress migration plugin I personally use to migrate all of my sites.
If you’re more concerned with migrating just your database between production and development environments, then WP Migrate DB Pro is the perfect migration plugin for you.
If you don’t feel confident using FTP, then VaultPress or WP Clone will let you migrate without needing an FTP program. Just remember that VaultPress is a small monthly subscription and the caveat that 10-20% of WP Clone migrations end up failing.
If you need to migrate parts of a Multisite install to single-site installs (or vice versa), then you should definitely give Super Backup & Clone a look.
And finally, it’s always worth double-checking whether you actually need a migration plugin at all! Many WordPress hosts offer free migration services. So if all you’re doing is switching hosts, you definitely should check if they’ll handle it for free.