A Guide to Preparing for a WordPress Migration

Making ready for a WordPress migration can really feel daunting; there are numerous points to contemplate if you’d like the method to be as clean as doable.

Migration could cause a minor disruption and a few downtime, however by following finest practices, you’ll be able to scale back the influence and make it a greater course of for you and your website guests or prospects.

Whether or not you propose to go for a guide or automated migration, taking a while to organize will scale back any potential issues in the course of the migration itself.

What Is WordPress Migration?

Migration is shifting your web site from one internet hosting service to a different. This includes shifting the whole lot in your website – from information to pictures to the database – to a brand new host.

It’s possible you’ll need to migrate your site for a few reasons: normally, individuals need to transfer for safety causes, to enhance website efficiency, to economize on internet hosting, or simply to search out more room as your online business evolves.

Migration could be simple, however it’s nonetheless a good suggestion to comply with some fundamental finest practices to scale back the influence migration can have in your visitors and your website’s SEO.

WordPress Migration: Finest Practices

There are some key steps to take as you put together for migration to make the method run as easily as doable for each you and your website guests.


Timing is vital. You’ll must again up your website earlier than you begin the migration course of, so any orders or updates after that backup gained’t be included within the migration. Pausing your orders will cease any issues within the switch, so for those who’re running an eCommerce business, you’ll must bear this in thoughts.

As soon as that is carried out, you’ll be able to time the migration to trigger as little inconvenience as doable in your prospects or website guests. Contemplate the place most of your website guests come from and base it round their wants.

Timing the migration very early within the morning is normally a good suggestion, however it’s going to rely on when your website is busiest. In fact, this will likely influence you: if the one time your website is quiet is in the midst of the evening, that may not be probably the most handy time to run a migration out of your perspective!

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Nonetheless, choosing a great time may also help scale back the influence in your website. It’s possible you’ll expertise a little bit of downtime, however for those who select a quiet second, it ought to assist to maintain your online business operating easily.

If you wish to discover out when your quiet instances are, you’ll be able to try some reports and analytics plugins to get some high quality information in your website visitors. This can let you make an knowledgeable resolution.

Notify Guests and Workers

It’s a great name to place up a banner explaining that your website shall be down for upkeep throughout this course of. This alerts your prospects or guests to any disruption and can give them an thought of once they can verify again once more. 

You should use a banner plugin, like OptinMonster, which lets you create eye-catching banners to seize your guests’ consideration shortly. You possibly can additionally ship out an e mail to your subscribers letting them know of the upcoming change, though for those who time it proper, hopefully, most of your website guests or prospects gained’t discover the change.

You also needs to guarantee anybody in your crew doesn’t log in or try any updates throughout this time, as this will intervene with the method. You’ll be able to enter Upkeep Mode utilizing a plugin like LightStart, which ensures that no person could make modifications in the course of the migration course of simply to verify.

Disable Plugins

There are particular plugins that may influence migration (normally caching, redirect, or firewall plugins). Deactivating these in the course of the course of will cease any issues from occurring. 

It’s necessary to do that whether or not you propose to do an automated or guide migration. It could be a good suggestion to notice which plugins you could have disabled, so you’ll be able to verify they’re all operating once more after the migration is completed.

Test for Updates

It’s all the time a good suggestion to maintain your plugins and themes up-to-date; now is an effective time to make sure that the whole lot, from WordPress to all of your plugins, is freshly up to date.

This could assist the migration to run easily (and it’s a helpful behavior to get into from a safety perspective: try our information on the Impact of Support and Updates in Response Themes for the small print on why that is so necessary).

Website Backup

Taking a bit time to back up your WordPress site is an effective behavior to get into, too, particularly for those who’re about to do any main upgrades. It’s precisely the identical precept for migration: a profitable backup is important earlier than you start.

You also needs to make sure you again up your website’s information: there are several back up plugins you should utilize to do that, like Jetpack or BlogVault, which create safe, secure backups of your website’s information and database. This could give you a zipped folder containing the latest model of your web site.

That is crucial factor to recollect relating to WordPress migration. It’s a significant step and will provide you with peace of thoughts. If one thing was to go fallacious in the course of the course of, at the very least you’ll have a recent backup ready to go, so you’ll be able to attempt to scale back your website’s downtime.

Learn our information on How one can Again Up Your WordPress Web site Earlier than Migrating for extra particulars on this.

Let’s speak about migration instruments. You’ll be able to migrate your WordPress website manually or through the use of a software: each have their deserves, though arguably, the migration plugins minimize out most of the steps.

There are a number of migration plugins you’ll be able to take a look at, together with:

  • WP Migrate – with each a lite and professional model, this plugin exports all of the information wanted to rebuild your website in one other place, making it a lot sooner. The professional plan could be very helpful, with further steps for transferring themes and plugins.
  • WP Engine Automated Migration – for those who’re shifting to WP Engine, this plugin types the whole lot out for you, which is a particular bonus.
  • WPvivid Backup Plugin – it is a worthwhile software on the whole, because it supplies full backups of your WordPress website. It additionally provides automated migration, shifting your website to its new vacation spot.
  • Duplicator – that is an extremely common backup and migration software, permitting you to again up, clone, and migrate your WordPress website simply.

It’s all the time a good suggestion to verify critiques for brand new plugins, however that is particularly necessary for one thing as vital as a website migration! The above instruments are extremely rated, which is reassuring.

Whichever plugin you determine to go for, there are some finest practices to consider. The important thing factor is to make sure that you’re taking a backup of your website earlier than you obtain and use a migration plugin: that means, if something does go fallacious, you’ve nonetheless bought your backup to depend on.

Utilizing a plugin is simple and will have step-by-step directions. It skips quite a lot of the processes of guide migration however does offer you much less management. For those who plan to make use of automated migration, you’ll now be totally ready to go forward.

If you wish to know extra, you’ll be able to learn our Comparability of Guide and Automated Migration Strategies to assist determine which one is finest for you.

Guide Migration

Guide migration includes just a few extra steps. It will provide you with extra management, however there are extra alternatives for errors to happen for those who’re new to migration.

To organize for a guide migration, the perfect factor to do is to familiarize your self with the steps concerned. Our Ultimate Guide to WordPress Migration is an effective useful resource, because it outlines the whole lot you’ll must know earlier than you get began.

You too can familiarize your self with some frequent troubleshooting points that different individuals have stumbled upon in the course of the migration course of. You’ll be able to put together for this utilizing our information on How one can Troubleshoot Frequent WordPress Migration Points.

Once more, it’s important to take a current backup of your website earlier than you begin with guide migration!

Incessantly Requested Questions

Earlier than you go, listed here are some continuously requested questions on making ready for WordPress migration:

How lengthy will the migration take?

This is determined by the dimensions and complexity of your website. Small to medium web sites could take just a few hours, as much as a number of hours; giant web sites could take just a few days.

It’s exhausting to estimate the precise time your website migration will take, however it’s a good suggestion to organize for a great chunk of downtime. (Because of this timing is so key!)

Does it price cash to finish a WordPress migration?

It doesn’t must (aside from the price of your new internet hosting supplier, after all). For those who use an automatic migration software, it’s going to come at an additional price. You too can pay for a backup plugin with the intention to guarantee all of your information are secure.

For those who go for guide migration, it is best to keep away from any prices, however you’ll clearly must take your personal time into consideration; operating a website migration will pull you away from different duties, so that you may determine to automate the method as an alternative.

What are the dangers of web site migration?

There are just a few dangers with migration, together with:

  • Lack of visitors and a interval of decrease conversion charges
  • Downtime
  • Enhance in bounce rate
  • Attainable person frustration
  • Broken links
  • Issues with analytics

Most of those issues are fixable (though, after all, for those who lose out on some visitors in the course of the course of, there’s not a lot you are able to do about that). It’s value understanding the dangers upfront, nevertheless, so you’ll be able to attempt to mitigate these issues.

Will migration work the primary time?

For those who’re ready for migration, there’s each probability that it’s going to work the primary time! If it doesn’t work, you might encounter a 404 error, so you could have to reset your permalinks.

Making ready for WordPress Migration: Our Last Ideas

Making ready for migration isn’t that tough, and it’s value taking the time to verify your website is totally able to go.

The details to contemplate are:

  • Choosing the least disruptive time for the migration by taking a look at your analytics and fascinated with which period of day is the least busy
  • Notifying guests and different crew members in regards to the migration to organize them upfront
  • Disabling any plugins that will trigger points, notably caching, redirect, or firewall plugins
  • Test for updates for WordPress, your widgets, and your theme
  • Run a full backup of your website simply in case there are any points within the migration course of

Whether or not you propose to do a guide or automated migration, taking the time to organize is essential to mitigate any points.

Following these steps ought to assist your migration to be as clean and pain-free as doable!

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