I get it! If you’re like me, the idea of making changes to your website gives you goosebumps! And the thought of migrating a website is a nightmare! A task to avoid at all costs!
But what if I told you that migrating a website isn’t that difficult? Thanks to some cool plugins, transferring a website from one location to another has become a lot easier.
For this top 10 round-up, we have ranked the best plugins based on ease of use. Each summary includes a brief overview of the plugin’s features, a screenshot of the admin panel, and a download link. Some plugins come with a premium price tag. We have also included the price and features of the premium versions. Please note that we do not use affiliate links on this website – so there is no bias.
Here are the contenders:
- WP Staging
- All-in-One WP Migration
- Migrate Guru
- WP Migrate DB
- Velvet Blues Update URLs
- SiteGround Migrator (Bonus)
Even though migrating a website with a plugin is a lot easier than manually migrating a website, it can still be a daunting task. If you feel like you need help, we offer a WordPress migration service for $69 USD.
From time to time, migrations go wrong! That’s why the second part of this article includes 5 tips to safely move your website. I highly recommend you have a quick look at them before transferring your site it’s new home.
Top 10 Migration Plugins
The Duplicator plugin is an excellent solution to migrate a website with minimal downtime.
Once you have installed the plugin, you will be prompted to begin their export wizard. Though it’s a little complicated to understand, it gives you a lot of control over what’s exported.
The main feature of the plugin is that you don’t need to install a new WordPress installation to transfer your old website. Simply upload the export file to the new server, and follow the installation wizard. Since the export file contains all site files, downtime is kept close to zero.
The premium version of the software starts at $59. Features include:
- Scheduled backups
- Migration to and from different domains
- Cloud backups
This list certainly wouldn’t be complete without mentioning UpdraftPlus.
Though the plugin is better known as a backup plugin, it can be also be used to migrate websites.
With over 2 million active installations, it’s incredibly successful and one of the most popular plugins in the WP ecosystem.
If you’re migrating from one location to another, with the same domain, you can use the free version of the software.
If you are changing domains, you will need to buy the premium Migrator extension, which costs approximately $30. Click this link to buy the Migrator extension.
The plugin has a decent UI and is pretty much self-explanatory.
At Fixmysite.com, we use UpdraftPlus to backup our website to DropBox, and to migrate our clients’ websites.
Brought to you by iThemes, one of the best names in the WordPress community, BackupBuddy is an all-in-one backup and migration software.
Creating a backup of your website is a four-step process. Once you install the plugin, create a full backup of your site. Set up backup schedules to run automatically. Send and store your backup files off-site in a safe, secure location. If something goes wrong, restore your WordPress website from a backup.
Save time moving websites with the following migration features:
- Change Hosts or Servers
- Change Your Domain / URL
- URL Replacement
- Clone WordPress
- WordPress Staging & Deployment
- Email Support
Heads up! The plugin is one of the more expensive options on this list. A single site license will set you back $80 per year.
4. WP Staging
If you are looking for a super quick way to create staging websites, then WP Staging is pretty amazing.
It’s not a plugin that I would use to transfer a website from one hosting company to another, but I would use it if I needed to clone a website into a subfolder on my server.
For example, if my website was example.com, I could quickly make an exact copy to example.com/dev with all the URLs updated.
Another handy tool for developers, but the plugin settings may be a little overwhelming for the non-technical user.
Starting at Euro 89 for a single license, the premium version includes some cool features, most importantly:
- Push Changes – Copy Database, Plugins, Themes & Media files from Staging to Live site
- Authentication – Staging Site is available to authenticated users only
- Multisites – Clone and push WordPress Multisite, (main site & sub-sites)
5. All-in-One WP Migration
If you are looking for a simple way to migrate a small website, look no further than the All-in-One WP Migration plugin!
Transferring a website is as easy as downloading an export file and importing it into the new website.
It’s also incredibly easy to use, with its minimalist user interface. You really don’t have to be a techie to use the software.
See the screenshot below, to get an idea of how the admin panel looks like:
All-in-One WP Migration also distributes a premium version of the plugin for $69. The features include:
- Unlimited backup size (512MB is the limit the free version can handle. The free version is not suitable for large websites.)
- Email support
- Exclude files
- Restore backup from the server
- WP CLI
Additional extensions to export backups to third-party services (e.g. Google Cloud, AWS, and DropBox) can be purchased for $99.
6. Migrate Guru
The most interesting plugin on this list is Migrate Guru. Developed by the team behind BlogVault, Migrate Guru is the first software that truly offers a one-click migration solution.
The transfer process works as follows:
- Install Migrate Guru on the site you want to move.
- Choose the destination web host that you want to move your website to.
- Enter your web host login details.
- Let Migrate Guru do its magic.
The software is also 100% free, and there no restrictions on the size of a site and supports WP multi-sites.
The software is compatible with all the major web-hosting providers, including Godaddy, BlueHost, and SiteGround.
A fresh and unique approach to migrating websites!
7. WP Migrate DB
WP Migrate DB is a great tool for WordPress developers. But for your non-technical user, it’s a little complicated in my opinion.
Installing the plugin allows you to export your MySQL database, run a search and replace on URLs and file paths, handle serialized data, and save your SQL file to your computer.
However, to migrate a website you’ll need to use a database management tool like phpMyAdmin to import an SQL file and replace your existing database.
It’s ideal for developers who need to transfer content from a production site to a development site or vice versa.
Licenses for the premium version of the plugin are available from $99. Features include:
- Email support
- Push and pull your databases
- Select which tables to migrate
- Filter out post types
- Media Files addon
- CLI addon
- Multisite Tools addon
- Theme & Plugin Files addon
For complex database migrations, WP Migrate DB is one of the very best solutions.
Premium JetPack users, this plugin is for you!
VaultPress is a real-time backup and security scanning service designed and built by Automattic. Yes, that’s the company that created WordPress and runs WordPress.com.
The plugin is now merged with JetPack and is available starting at $39 per year.
The VaultPress extension backs up every post, comment, media file, revision, and dashboard setting on your site to JetPack’s servers. With VaultPress you’re protected against hackers, malware, accidental damage, and host outages. Migrations and clones are also core features of the plugin.
9. WPvivid Move & Backup WordPress
A plugin that caught my attention while testing various ways to transfer websites is WPvivid.
To start things off, it’s totally free! I find that rather refreshing since most of the plugins on the list charge hefty premiums important features.
Migrating a website with WPvivid is rather intuitive. Install WPvivid on the destination website, generate a migration key, start the transfer, and let the software run the auto-migration for you. It’s all automated!
Alternatively, you can also create a backup of your website. Download the backup files to your computer and upload them to the destination website.
The plugin is also compatible with popular page builders like Elementor, Site Origin, and Beaver Builder. Something you should consider before migrating a website.
All in all, it’s a solid contender.
10. Velvet Blues Update URLs
It’s a bit of a bonus! This plugin is not meant to migrate a website, but rather to update URLs. It searches the database for old URLs and replaces them with the new one.
It’s a super handy tool to have. It’s especially helpful for developers who like to manually move websites.
I have been using this plugin for years and will continue to do whenever I need to manually transfer a website onto a new domain.
Naturally, before you run and search and replace on your database, make sure you have a backup!
11. SiteGround Migrator
Last but not least on our list is the SiteGround Migrator plugin. It’s the best way to migrate a WordPress website to SiteGround. SiteGround, one of the best hosting companies in business, has automated the process. Transferring over to their servers takes just a few clicks.
However, it’s a plugin exclusively for SiteGround customers. It’s not suitable for any other hosting company of localhost transfers.
Migrations Tips to Safely Move your Website
From time to time, migrations simply don’t turn out as expected.
For a website to work smoothly many parts need to work together. So, if a “small screw” is out of line, your website may not run correctly.
Troubleshooting a broken website can be a massive waste of time!
I don’t want to turn you off from transferring your website, so here are 5 things to look out for before migrating a website.
The first question to ask yourself is am I moving my website to a different domain name?
When moving a website to a new domain you need to replace the instances of the old domain in the database. A lot of plugins offer that feature in their premium releases.
So if you’re changing domains, make sure you have the correct license and that your plugin can run a search and replace on your database.
I have already mentioned that migrations often don’t turn out as expected. So make sure that you have a copy of your website!
If you are moving hosting providers, do the move with adequate time before your hosting subscription expires. Don’t leave the move to the last minute. If something goes wrong and to avoid downtime, you’ll want to revert to your old hosting provider.
This can be an issue when migrating an old website that hasn’t been updated in a while onto a shiny new server.
So if you have a legacy website running on an old version of PHP, you may encounter some issues when moving it to an environment running on the latest version of PHP.
It’s not often the case, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Upload and memory limits
Upload limits mainly affect larger websites. Check the size of your backup files and verify with your hosting provider if you can upload them without interruption.
If you have large files, you’ll also want to make sure that you have a good internet connection. When migrating large sites, I often upload the files overnight when I am sleeping.
Memory limits can be an issue when running the migration script. On large sites, the script may timeout leaving you with an incomplete migration. See this article to get a better understanding of how to increase your .
Time to talk about the elephant in the room!
If your emails were hosted on the old server, they will no longer work. You will need to recreate them on the new server and reconfigure any third-party applications. The same applies to your MX records, forwarders, and autoresponders.
Expect email downtime when migrating a website.