How to migrate a site with BackupBuddy

The WordPress Codex has a detailed tutorial on moving WordPress in a variety of circumstances, and it’s fairly straight forward, especially if you know your way around Apache and MySQL.

We build a lot of WordPress based sites and need to migrate sites all the time. From local development to staging servers, or to a live production site. After years of doing this we’ve found that BackupBuddy is the fastest, most reliable way to migrate. It’s super easy, here’s how:

What you’ll need

  1. BackupBuddy. If we built your site it’s probably already installed, check the plugins folder. Be sure to purchase a license if it’s out of date. Otherwise get it here.
  2. A fresh hosting environment. Obviously.
  3. A fresh database. Again, this should be obvious as you’re here to move a site.

Steps to take

  1. Install BackupBuddy if it isn’t already.
  2. Browse to BackupBuddy › Backup and click on Complete Backup
  3. Let BackupBuddy do it’s thing, then download the fresh zip file to your computer.
  4. Browse to BackupBuddy › Restore/Migrate
  5. Download importbuddy.php. You may be prompted to enter a password. If you’re schavvy go ahead and send it to the new site location.
  6. Connect to your new hosting environment. If this is a remote location you’ll need an FTP client such as Cyberduck or Transmit. Or FileZilla.
  7. Upload both the zip backup file and importbuddy.php
  8. Browse to the importbuddy.php file in a browser. Example:
  9. Enter the password and begin following through the steps.
  10. If you haven’t created a fresh database, now is the time. If you have cPanel, you can create this from the step 4. Or maybe step 5.
  11. Finish the clean up and wah-lah, you’ve migrated the site. Log in creds will remain the same.

Migrating a site comes in handy when changing hosts, but it’s not a bad idea to also migrate a local copy of your site. Developing your site locally is good practice for a variety of reasons, and it provides you with yet another backup of the site.

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