While it’s pretty easy to set up a new WordPress website, moving it from one host to another can be tricky. If you are not familiar with the migration process, one mistake can cause you to lose data, face downtime, or might even affect your search engine rankings.
Fortunately, WordPress is a pretty versatile platform and supports many plugins that can help you out. These plugins take automatic backups of your website, manage the transfer, and prevent the downtime that your website may face while migrating.
However, it can be difficult to choose the best migration plugin from the hundreds of available on the market.
In this article, we provide an overview of the migration process and also show you different ways to migrate a website.
To help you out further, we have also listed the 13 best WordPress migration plugins to help you to migrate easily.
What Do You Mean by WordPress Migration?
The process of moving a WordPress installation including its component parts from one server to another without affecting its functionality is called migration.
Migration can occur between:
- Localhost WordPress website to live server
- Changing your current hosting service provider to a different host
- Moving a website from a subdomain to a different directory
- Shifting the website content from one domain to another
Typically WordPress migration involves moving two components of a website:
WordPress Website Files
The WordPress website files contain information about your site’s overall design, structure and functions.
In WordPress terms, the files contain:
- Themes: Themes control the overall look and feel of the website
- Plugins: Plugins control the functionality of your website
- Media files: Media files include images, audio, videos, and downloadable files
The WordPress Database
WordPress is a database-driven content management system. It depends on the database to store everything from posts and pages to user accounts and custom code.
A database is like an organized filing cabinet for all your data. It can be used by software to manage and program the way it is stored within a website, including posts, pages or content on any given topic as well as comments from other visitors who have read those pieces of writing.
WordPress uses MySQL and it will include data such as:
- Custom fields
- WordPress options
A complete website migration involves the migration of both files and databases. For a migration to work, it must be performed without any loss of data.
What Defines a Good Migration Plugin?
Before we list the best plugins for migrations, let us first understand the features of a good migration plugin.
The migration of your website can be time consuming so it’s important to use a plugin with easy-to-use features.
We ideally want a simple process with a plugin that walks us through the entire process from beginning to end.
There’s a lot to a website migration and we want the plugin to make it as straightforward as possible.
Migration plugins must be able to handle complex scripts and ensure no detail gets overlooked.
That means smoothly transferring all its information into another database (including any customizations) and copying all files, images, videos, and all the assets that make up your website.
It is beneficial for any migration plugin to first back up your website but isn’t mandatory. Migration plugins will typically make a copy of your site and make that copy available for you to upload to your new location.
In theory, that leaves your original website intact and untouched. But, we don’t want to trust something as important as a website to a single plugin!
If your migration plugin doesn’t have a backup option, make sure to use your existing backup solution to create one before you migrate.
Some migration plugins let you store data on cloud services such as Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, and many others.
You can use this cloud storage to keep a copy of your website as well as to help transfer files between hosts.
Rather than download all files to your computer and then upload them to your new host, you can backup your site to cloud storage and then import them into your new host.
It’s faster and easier, which is why cloud storage is so useful.
Pricing is an important factor for anything. More expensive plugins may be out of reach of smaller businesses and agencies and may not offer the same value as others.
Our list of WordPress migration plugins covers the entire market. From free and cheap to more costly but feature-packed options.
What to Look For in a WordPress Migration Plugin
There are other characteristics we think make a good WordPress migration plugin.
Plugin Ratings and Reviews
The first thing to look for in a plugin is ratings and reviews. Ideally, you want it to have at least 4 stars with some people reporting 5-star experiences. While no guarantee, it increases the likelihood that your experience will likely be successful as well.
Do check the quality of support that the developers provide. In the WordPress repository, you can visit the support tab and check out the frequency of replies. Check the number of support threads and how many have been resolved.
If you are using premium plugins with its own website, try reaching out to support through a contact form, check FAQs and try to assess their ticket turnaround time.
It’s always important to make sure that the plugin you are using has been updated. You don’t want any part of your site left vulnerable, so ensure the plugin is still supported and keeps up with WordPress releases.
If a plugin hasn’t been updated for the last couple of WordPress versions, consider looking for an alternative before installing it into production mode.
Older plugins won’t have the compatibility or vulnerability fixes, so choose carefully.
Make Sure It Does What You Need It To Do
When it comes time to migrate your site, make sure that the plugin you choose has functionality for everything from database and theme migration as well as WordPress file transfer.
For example, if you are trying to move a multisite installation, you need to figure out if the plugin can support a multisite migration.
How to Migrate a WordPress Site
Here are some of the methods you can use to migrate your website.
Migrating your WordPress website is a delicate task. You have to take a backup and move every aspect of your site. This includes backing up the database, themes, plugins, and all files.
After you have taken the backup, you need to upload them to a new server using an FTP tool such as FileZilla.
Check out our article that explains how to set up WordPress hosting and domain using an FTP tool.
Here’s the problem with manual migration.
Migrating to a website takes quite a bit of time and effort. If you are migrating large websites, you and your team may have to spend a considerable amount of man-hours through the operation.
It also opens doors to human error. With so many files, folders, and a database involved, it might not always be possible to track any issues that happen.
If you face any problems while taking backup of your website, that could affect the entire migration process.
You also need to manage downtime so your users don’t see a broken website. That could mean working at night or over the weekend to avoid impacting users.
If you want to save time, money, and resources migrating your website manually, we recommend using WordPress migration plugins.
We’ll get to those in a minute.
Migrations Provided by Your Web Host
Many web hosting companies provide free migration services for moving to their server. They usually have professionals on staff who are well versed with the migration processes.
Check out our article on the best WordPress hosting companies.
Certain web hosts also provide periodic backups so that you don’t have to worry about the hassle of backing up every single file.
Using WordPress Migration Plugins
If you’re skeptical about letting someone else migrate your website, you can always use one of the many WordPress migration plugins available.
They help you avoid the hassle of manual migration and still keep you in control of the entire process.
These plugins take backups, download and transfer all the site files for you and make the process a lot smoother.
Best WordPress Migration Plugins (Tried and Tested)
Here is a list of the 13 most efficient WordPress migration plugins around right now.
PluginPricing1. All-in-one WP Migration$69 one time price2. Duplicator$69 for the first year $42 from the second year onwards3. Updraft Migrator$49 for the first year$29.40 per year from second year4. BlogVault$89 per year5. Migrate GuruFree6. JetPack$39 per year7. WP Migrate DB$49 for a single site8. WPBackItUp$79 for a single site per year9. Backup Guard$25 per year10. Super Backup & Clone$35 one time price11. Total UpKeep$30 per year12. WPVivid$49 for a two site
All-In-One Migration by Servmask is a very simple yet powerful WordPress migration plugin. If you are not familiar with website migration, this plugin could be perfect.
The free version of the tool supports websites up to 512 MB in size. If your website is relatively new and is not too image-heavy, you can easily use this plugin to migrate.
Once the plugin is installed, you can download your website as a single file to your computer.
You can then upload the file onto the new server when you’re ready.
The plugin has a very user-friendly drag and drops import function which simplifies the migration process.
Best Features of All-in-One WP Migration:
- Most hosting providers have a file upload limit of about 2MB. However, this plugin bypasses the limit and uploads the entire website directly into WordPress.
- It comes with a number of extensions to help you with different functions. You can migrate multisite, store backups in cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive.
Drawbacks of All-in-One WP Migration:
- The free plugin has an upload restriction of 512 MB. If you have a larger website (>512 MB,) you need to opt-in for the All-in-One WP Migration premium plan.
Price of All-in-one WP Migration
The free version of the plugin comes with an upload restriction of up to 512 MB. If your website backup goes beyond the set limit, you can upgrade to the premium plan.
This plugin costs $69 for a lifetime.
Duplicator is one of the most versatile plugins on the market. It has an easy to follow migration system which is ideal for if you’re new to WordPress.
Once installed, you can create the backup of your website (known as packages in the plugin) and download it along with an installer script.
These files then can be uploaded to the new server through FTP.
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.
Best Features of Duplicator Plugin:
- One of the great things about Duplicator is that it allows you to migrate between hosts and also help you clone the website to a new domain.
- You can download the website in a localhost environment and also create a staging environment if you are working on development.
- Duplicator Pro provides cloud storage to Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Amazon S3. Some pro plans include the Duplicator Pro advanced features (named “Power Tools”) such as hourly schedules, installer branding, and priority support.
- You can also migrate a WordPress multisite installation with this one plugin.
Drawbacks of Duplicator Plugin:
- The plugin has a bit of a learning curve while installing a backed-up website.
- Users not familiar with FTP software may need some help.
Price of Duplicator Plugin
The free version of the Duplicator plugin is usually enough to migrate most WordPress websites.
The premium plan of duplicator starts from $69 for the first year and continues with $42 from the second year onwards.
UpdraftPlus is famous for its efficient site backups. But this plugin is much more efficient than that. Website backups are swift with UpdraftPlus because of its ability to perform incremental backups and its integration with cloud storage platforms like Dropbox, Amazon Web Services, and Google Drive.
The cloning and migration feature of UpdraftPlus comes in the premium addon called Updraft Migrator.
You need both plugins to complete a website migration. First, you need to take the website back up through UpdraftPlus.
Next, you need to download the files to your computer or cloud storage. Once you host a new WordPress installation in your new server, you can upload the backed-up files through the Updraft Migrator Plugin.
Best Features of Updraft Migrator:
- The UpdraftPlus plugin provides cloud backups in the free version, making it convenient to use.
- With the Updraft Migrator plugin, you can migrate an unlimited number of websites.
Drawbacks of Updraft Migrator:
- You cannot migrate a multisite network with just the Migrator plugin. You need to buy and install the multisite addon separately.
- Alternatively, you may purchase Updraft Premium, which comes with all the plugins with limited website use. But you might not use a whole bunch of its features.
Price of Updraft Migrator
The Updraft Migrator Plugin costs $49 for the first year and continues with $29.40 per year.
BlogVault is one of the best WordPress backup plugins out there. The free version provides incremental backups, which is a premium feature in most WordPress backup tools. It’s a robust platform that also lets you migrate, restore and manage your WordPress website.
BlogVault is a very user-friendly plugin and offers one-click migration.
Unlike the other plugins listed here, you do not have to take back up and store on your computer. Instead, BlogVault backs up your website to their servers and migrates your website to a new host with the click of a button.
Best Features of BlogVault:
- The BlogVault plugin is compatible with 10,000 popular web hosts and offers a zero-downtime guarantee. The plugin offers complete WordPress website migration, including both WordPress and non-WordPress files.
- If your website is heavy on storage, BlogVault is the right plugin for your migration. It can easily migrate sites larger than 330 GB without any issue.
- The plugin automatically rewrites the URL of all your web pages, including product pages, blog posts, and site pages.
Drawbacks of BlogVault:
- BlogVault allows migration over its servers but cannot migrate a locally hosted site to an online server.
Price of BlogVault
For a single website, the BlogVault pricing starts from $89 per year, including the migration service.
Migrate Guru is a free migration plugin that runs on BlogVault servers and is the perfect free alternative to BlogVault.
Migrate Guru has partnered with some major hosting companies such as BlueHost, SiteGround, WPEngine, and GoDaddy. The WordPress migration process is pretty easy using this plugin.
Once you install and sign up, you need to pick the hosting provider you want to migrate to, fill in all the details, and hit the “Migrate” button to start the process.
Best Features of Migrate Guru:
- The Migrate Guru plugin is integrated with the most popular WordPress hosting providers.
- If your new host is not integrated, you can use it via cPanel and FTP.
- The migration wizard is easy to use and provides a fast migration.
- It supports multisite network migration, which is pretty rare to find in a free tool.
- It can be used to migrate large websites without affecting server performance
Drawbacks of Migrate Guru:
- Migrate Guru does not support local website migrations to live servers.
- It also does not support live-to-localhost transfers.
Price of Migrate Guru
MigrateGuru is entirely free to use, but the parent plugin, BlogVault, is premium and comes with a lot more features.
JetPack is one of the most robust plugins on the market. It has many features such as security scans, complete backups, a Content Delivery Network (CDN), and automatic posting to social media.
Jetpack is one of the most powerful tools in WordPress when it comes to backup and restores. It not only provides scheduled backup but also has a feature of collecting real-time backup of your website.
The migration process is simple and you can follow the six-step tutorial on cloning or migrating a WordPress website by JetPack.
Best Features of JetPack:
- The automated backup provided by Jetpack saves the hassle of manually backing up your site.
- The backup storage in Jetpack comes with unlimited storage. This feature makes Jetpack suitable for bigger websites.
- Easy migrations make the WordPress website migration process super smooth.
Drawbacks of JetPack:
- The migration feature is included in the JetPack paid plan only. If you want a real-time backup, you will need to pay additional fees.
Price of JetPack
The JetPack daily backup plan costs $39 per year.
WP Migrate DB is a WordPress plugin specifically designed to simplify database export and migration. It lets you export your WordPress site database into an SQL file, which you can then import into the new server via phpMyAdmin.
WP Migrate DB is a very simple to use migration plugin. You can export your website database as SQL to your local server. You can then import it back to a live site after migration.
The plugin replaces the file path and URLs and supports serialized data and arrays. This reduces the risk of data corruption.
With the WP Migrate DB Pro, you can transfer theme and plugin files between two WordPress websites without needing FTP access.
Best Features of WP Migrate DB:
- WP Migrate DB Pro offers several add-ons for you to have a customized migration. With the Multisite addon, you can migrate entire multisite networks at one go.
- You can also choose the media files you want to migrate using the Media Files addon in WP MigrateDB Pro.
Drawbacks of WP Migrate DB
- The free plugin does not migrate the entire website. To have complete control over your migration, you need to upgrade to the Pro plan.
- You need to have some knowledge of databases to operate this WordPress migration plugin.
Price of WP Migrate DB
The basic plan of WP Migrate DB starts from $49 for a single site. But this plan does not activate all the addons.
All the addons are unlocked in the Developer plan, which costs $199.
WPBackitUp is a very efficient backup plugin that creates scheduled unlimited backups.
However, it also provides effortless migration from one server to another.
The migration process is pretty fast and efficient. You just need to download a backup of your website to your computer and then upload it into the new host.
Best Features of WPBackItUp:
- The WPBackItUp plugin allows you to take backups of your website and download them locally without needing an FTP client.
- The interface of WPBackItUp is very easy to use.
Drawbacks of WPBackItUp:
- Although backup is included in the free version, migration is a premium feature.
Price of WPBackItUp
WPBackItUp offers website migration for $79 for a single site for a year.
Backup Guard is another backup plugin that provides WordPress cloud backup and migration. It features a clean interface and user-friendly navigation.
The free version of Backup Guard allows you to store your backups in the cloud. It also supports scheduled automatic backups and has a security scanner for WordPress websites.
Backup Guard Pro provides server migrations, local server to live server migration, and also from one domain to another.
Best Features of Backup Guard
- You can schedule backups and export them directly to Dropbox.
- You can also migrate your website by using the free version. This feature is perfect for you if you don’t migrate frequently.
Drawbacks of Backup Guard
- The website migration feature is not available in the free version of the plugin.
Price of Backup Guard
The pro plan of Backup Guard starts from $25 per year, which unlocks all its features.
The Super Backup & Clone plugin is a premium plugin available from CodeCanyon. It is an excellent alternative to subscription-based migration plugins and provides similar features and performance.
The Super Backup & Clone plugin provides instant WordPress migration, scheduled and automatic backup.
It also supports cloud storage of backup and is integrated with cloud drives such as Google Drive, DropBox, Amazon S3, and Rackspace. You also have the option to download the backup files to your computer.
Best Features of Super Backup & Clone:
- This plugin supports WordPress Multisite migrations.
- The interface is very user-friendly.
- Keeps all the statistics related to your backups in one place.
Drawbacks of Super Backup & Clone:
- The plugin has no free version.
Price of Super Backup & Clone
This WordPress migration plugin has a one-time price of $35. With this price, you get all future updates and six months of customer support.
With the Total Upkeep plugin, you can rest assured that your site is always backed up. It is easy to take scheduled backups in this plugin. It also provides remote backup solutions in cloud servers such as Amazon S3, Google Drive, or FTP / SFTP.
Apart from a solid backup, it helps you migrate your website seamlessly between servers and domains. All you need to do is install Total Upkeep on both websites, create a backup archive on the first site, then restore that backup on your second site.
Best Features of Total UpKeep
- The migration feature is available in the free version
- You can automate the migration process
- The premium version is quite inexpensive
- It features automated cloud backup to Amazon S3, Google Drive, or FTP / SFTP
- Total UpKeep also monitors your site for errors that might lead to a site crash
Drawbacks of Total UpKeep
- The premium version does have recurring charges
Price of Total UpKeep
The premium version costs $2.50 per month billed annually, which brings its price to $30 per year.
With the WP Vivid plugin, you can migrate, backup, and restore your site with one click of a button. It’s easy to automate your backups so that they are done automatically every day or on-demand!
Website migration with WP Vivid is easy to use and is seamless.
It also includes a staging and development plugin that lets you edit, modify and test website changes in a staging environment. The additional image optimization plugin helps speed up your website by compressing your images in a lossless way.
Best Features of WP Vivid
- The UI is decent and the plugin is pretty easy to use
- It provides multisite support
- Additional plugins such as Image Optimization Pro and Staging Pro lets you perform advanced tasks which could cost you a lot of money otherwise
- It provides incremental which helps save storage
- Migration is super easy and it helps move sites between servers seamlessly
Drawbacks of WP Vivid
- The pricing of the plugin is a bit high as compared to others in the list
Price of WP Vivid
The premium version starts from $49 per year for two websites to $149 per year for unlimited websites. The lifetime charges start from $99 to $299.
WordPress Backup and Migration is a complete WordPress backup plugin that supports both manual and automatic backups. With its user-friendly interface, you can migrate your site without any technical expertise.
The plugin provides the ability to backup your entire website content or selected content such as database, folders, and files. You can schedule backups to any location such as local, FTP/SFTP, Google Drive, and Amazon S3.
For migrations, the plugin can take a complete backup of your database and files and makes short work of moving to a new host. Alongside the full suite of backup options, that makes this plugin well worth checking out.
Best Features of WordPress Backup and Migration
- Simple user-friendly interface
- Variety of backup location options
- Scheduled backup
- No size limitations
Drawbacks of WordPress Backup and Migration
- The feature to backup selected files during scheduled backup is limited to the premium version.
Price of WordPress Backup and Migration
WordPress Backup and Migration is free to use.
Our Favourite WordPress Migration Plugin
Picking the right WordPress migration plugin depends on your needs.
If you are looking for a multisite migration, we would recommend going with BlogVault or Updraft Migrator.
In terms of a free plan and you have a relatively small website in terms of size, we recommend going with MigrateGuru.
If you’re looking for more than just server migration, i.e., additional features like security, real-time backups, and localhost migration, then JetPack or Duplicator could be a perfect choice.
Migrate WordPress Sites
Migrating a WordPress site is not a walk in the park but is possible for people of all experience levels.
If you’re not comfortable with a manual migration and don’t want to use your web host, you can use WordPress migration plugins. These plugins take backup and migrate WordPress websites within a few clicks, without all the hassle of doing it manually.
Do you use any of these migration plugins? Have any others to suggest? Tell us your thoughts below!