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The Best WordPress Migration Plugins to Copy Your Site Safely

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Cloning a website is a common practice, as it gives webmasters the opportunity to move their site over to an entirely new platform or server for whatever reason. For instance, some may want to switch their business niche yet maintain the website template they already used for their first company. Others might want to have their website duplicated across staging and production environments in order to carry out testing of new features before they go live.

There is a myriad of reasons why you might want to migrate your content to a new website, and in this article, you will discover some of the best WordPress migration plugins to safely copy your site with ease. Usually, people search for an all-in-one WP migration solution to avoid wasting time on the small details, and there are thankfully several such plugins that fit the bill.

Does migration really matter?

 

Let’s say that you host your website on a local server, but you are planning to expand soon to another, perhaps live, remote web server . Instead of deleting the website that is stored locally and starting a new one on the new server, you can just migrate your existing content and launch the already-developed site on the new server. The same goes for those who want to change web hosts, who may wish to migrate away or upgrade their server without risking the loss of content. A WP migration plugin is the most suitable solution for these scenarios. Keep in mind that the WordPress migration process can go wrong unless you:

  • Test all backup files before deleting your old website. You might end up with a corrupt database or missing website files if you skip this step.
  • Always keep the original WordPress installation intact. You never know when you may need it, even though it can seem like it’s useless.
  • Update your DNS immediately after you migrate your site. This is a good way to keep the downtime of your site reduced. Keep the original site live for as long as possible, migrate the content, and only then update your DNS.

What plugins should you use for migration?

Once you’ve decided that you are ready to use a WordPress migration plugin, it’s time to figure out which one is the most appropriate for you. Doing the WP migration manually would take a while. It involves steps such as backing up data, copying all the content in a separate file, keeping the directory structure intact, exporting/importing the website’s database and then reinstalling and reactivating all of your plugins and widgets, not to mention that errors are quite common when doing this manually.

For this reason, certain plugins aim to be all-in-one WP migration tools that will handle all these steps for you and will condense the time required for this process to only a few minutes. Regardless of why you are going to migrate the content, one of these plugins will help you do it with no stress:

Duplicator

duplicator
 

If you check the WordPress repository right now, you will notice that Duplicator has enough 5-star reviews to convince you to try it immediately. Users have stated that they rarely encounter problems with this plugin and it has little to no downsides at all. It has been downloaded a little over 900,000 times, which is an impressive number for any kind of plugin. The only aspect that might keep users from choosing Duplicator is that it requires some knowledge in the technical field to set it up correctly and use it. Besides that, it’s perfect!

BackupBuddy

backforbuddy
 

This is a premium plugin that is easier to use than most WordPress migration plugins out there. BackupBuddy is highly appreciated in the WP community and was launched way back in 2010. Around half a million sites use it to migrate their content. Initially, the plugin was used to create backups, but its extra functions make it a great WordPress migration plugin as well. You can automatically change the URL of your site when you migrate the site to another domain, which is a convenient feature that not all plugins of this sort have.

All-in-One WP Migration

allinone
 

For those who want to export all of the content on their website, regardless of its type, All-in-One WP Migration is one of the few plugins capable of finding and replacing the database automatically and repair broken files immediately after migration. The upload size restriction is no longer a problem either, as a simple plugin edit can bypass it and push it up to 5GB, enough for even very large sites. Moreover, it works well with the most popular hosting providers.

VaultPress

vault
 

Another good WordPress migration plugin is VaultPress. This plugin is developed by Automattic, which is the company that contributed to launching WordPress itself. Considering that the plugin is built by a team who was also behind WordPress’ core development, it’s pretty safe to say that the result is definitely better than the average software products in this niche. VaultPress can be used to backup any WordPress site while also securing it. Once you get the backup done, you can clone your site and use it as you please by accessing the “Restore to a Different Website” function.

WP Migrate DB

wpmigrate
 

This plugin is similar to Duplicator or BackupBuddy and it’s very easy to use. WP Migrate DB, as the name suggests, focuses on the WordPress database. The process of creating a clone website is simplified tremendously by this plugin, as it is capable of replacing incorrect URLs and creating new file paths. When migrating a website to a new URL, all links become broken, and you really ought to use a plugin that can replace these links automatically.

WP Clone

wpclone
 

If you are searching for a WordPress migration plugin that is very lightweight and doesn’t require knowledge or effort to use it, WP Clone is for you. The approach that this plugin applies is very effective and simple: you need to install the plugin on your previous site and the cloned one (the target site), and then create a package. The target website needs to be linked to this package and it’s done – you have a cloned website in under a few minutes. How convenient is that?

UpdraftPlus

updraft
 

UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular solutions for migrating WordPress websites. You can replace the URLs automatically and the plugin will help you to easily migrate and backup your site at any time. It has fixes for common bugs that appear during WP migration, and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, UpdraftPlus can also be used directly from your WordPress dashboard.

Migrate Guru

migrateguru
 

Migrate Guru makes WP migration a quick and easy process, and you can move your entire website to another location with a few clicks. This WordPress migration plugin might be the fastest you can find. Its developers at BlogVault make sure that the plugin stays updated at all times and uses best practices in this industry. It can rewrite URLs, as well as bypass scripts or automate the handling of serialized data – no manual work involved at all.

How can you make a choice?

You have the list of the best WordPress migration plugins, but you don’t know which one to choose? Worry not. This piece of advice will help you make a choice. The best way to choose a WP migration plugin is to figure out what you want to do. If you want to do a simple migration, choose a plugin that is specially designed for that. If you want to create backups and maybe a clone of your current site in the future, choose an all-in-one migration plugin. Selecting one plugin or another depends entirely on what you want to achieve by using it.

Duplicator is great if you have some technical knowledge, such as uploading files via FTP. On the other hand, WP Migrate DB is the perfect choice if you want to work with WordPress databases. If you don’t feel confident with your tech skills, use a plugin like VaultPress or WP Clone that does not require any manual work other than clicking around. Either way, the final choice is yours, so figure out what you need from such a plugin.

In closing

In order to make a clone of a WordPress site, a lot of steps are involved. It’s not just simply switching locations and copy-pasting content. Most WP migrations that are done without a specialized software program fail because users are prone to making mistakes when doing everything manually.

The WordPress migration plugins mentioned above represent a quick and easy solution to a problem that can become complicated and time-consuming otherwise. Look for the one that has all the features you might require when cloning a site. Take into account the size of your website, its type and complexity, and your own technical capabilities. After analyzing these details, you’ll be able to make a wise choice.

Albert Ślusarczyk
Albert Ślusarczyk
As the co-creator of Be Theme, I am a strong believer in designing with care and patience. I pour my energy, time & knowledge into perfecting the theme for our 157,000+ customers.

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