When it comes to moving your WordPress website from one location to another, let’s just say this, it’s not easy. Of course, we all wish that moving a website was as easy as clicking a button. But the truth is, migrating a website just doesn’t work like that.
It takes a lot of time to move a website. And the chances of you making a mistake are very high, even if you know what you’re doing.
That’s why enlisting the help of a WordPress migration plugin is probably going to be your best bet. Unless of course, you have an amazing web host that will do it for you, like HostGator with its free website migration services.
But for everyone else wanting to move their website, check out this roundup of the best free WordPress migration plugins in the market to help you move all your site files and data quickly and without error – regardless of your skill level.
Why Use a WordPress Migration Plugin
Manually migrating your WordPress website is definitely an option, though it’s not recommended unless you really know what you’re doing.
There are many technical steps involved and the process can take a long time, especially if you have a large website.
And even if you do know what you’re doing, there’s no reason not to use a plugin to simplify and speed the process up. After all, you don’t want to risk crashing your entire site and losing all your hard work because of one tiny mistake.
So, if you’re ready to move your website, and need a little help and guidance, consider using one of these free WordPress migration plugins that are designed to do all the hard lifting for you and provide a seamless migration without any data loss.
5 Best Free WordPress Migration Plugins
1. Migrate Guru
If you need to migrate your WordPress website between hosts and need a simple, easy to follow, and affordable solution, Migrate Guru is my top choice.
Powered by BlogVault, Migrate Guru uses its own servers and intelligent processes to move your site from one place to another. And to top it off, there are zero risks to your sites during the process because the plugin automatically rewrites URLs, bypasses import-export scripts, and even handles serialized data for you.
And if you want to clone a WordPress website, it can do that too.
Migrate Guru was built for large websites. And since it uses its own servers to complete the process, you never have to worry about live-site server import limits crashing your site and interrupting the migration.
Built to work with all the best web hosting companies on the market, Migrate Guru handles all the hard work and notifies you via email when it’s all done.
Here’s how it works:
Start by installing and activating the Migrate Guru plugin on your WordPress website. Next, you’ll be prompted to enter your email and agree to the BlogVault terms and conditions.
Next, choose the web hosting company you’ll be migrating your website too. If you don’t see your web host, select the cPanel or FTP option to complete the migration.
After you choose your web host, you’ll need to enter the following information:
- Destination Site URL
- Destination Server IP Address
- cPanel Username
- cPanel Password
You might need to fill out additional credentials. For example, if the destination website is password-protected, you’ll need to provide the username and password for it before you can move on.
All that’s left to do is click Migrate. From there, you’ll see a progress bar, so you can see how the migration process is going.
When your site has been migrated, you’ll see a success message and a button that links to the newly migrated site.
WPvivid Backup is one of the only free all-in-one backup, migration, and restore plugins in the market. And with over 10,000 downloads, you can tell people want all three features in one plugin to make their lives easier.
When it comes to migrating a website, all you have to do is make a copy of your site (no matter how big it is) and transfer it over to the new host with a single click. You can even do this from a staging environment if you want, which is great for developers.
In addition, you can migrate a site to a subdirectory, from one domain to another, and much more. Lastly, you can choose what data to migrate: the entire site, the files, or just the database.
In addition to migration functionality, you can schedule automatic backups, enjoy one-click site restores, and even save copies of your website to offsite cloud storage locations such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3, to name a few.
All-in-One WP Migration exports your WordPress website (including the database, media files, plugins, and themes) to another location without needing any technical knowledge. All you have to do is drag and drop your site into its new location.
This WordPress migration plugin imports your site to its new location in chunks so you never have to worry about surpassing upload file size restrictions.
This also reduces the chances your site will crash during the migration process. All-in-One WP Migration does not require PHP extensions and works with PHP version 5.2 and higher. And unlike many migration plugin solutions, this plugin is 100% compatible with mobile devices.
Duplicator is a well-known migration plugin that comes in both a free and premium version. You can use it as a simple backup tool as well as a tool for cloning, copying, and moving a website from one location to another.
It handles serialized and base64 serialized replacements for you. And whether you want to move to another host or a new domain, Duplicator has you covered.
During the migration process, Duplicator creates a package that bundles your website’s plugins, themes, content, database, and WordPress files into a simple zip file.
This package is then what you use to migrate your site. And get this, WordPress is not required for installation since the package created for you holds all your site files.
Keep in mind that the free version of Duplicator has its limits. For example, if you want to schedule backups, save your website to cloud services like Dropbox, receive email notifications, or connect to cPanel directly from the installer, you’re going to need to invest in the pro version.
5. WP Staging
Just like Duplicator, WP Staging comes in both a free and premium version. And, as with all freemium solutions, WP Staging’s free version is limited.
That said, you are able to create an exact copy of your entire WordPress website for staging or development purposes in seconds. In fact, when you clone your website, you’ll find the copy in a subfolder of your main WordPress installation, including the database.
All data you copy and migrate belongs to you and stays on your server. There are no timeouts on huge websites and small hosting servers will do just fine.
If you want features such as pushing and pulling from a staging site or the ability to choose a separate database and select a custom directory for cloning, you’ll need to purchase the pro version of WP Staging.
Moving your WordPress website from one location to another doesn’t have to be difficult. While manually migrating a website can be very challenging, when you use a dedicated WordPress migration plugin, you can move your site to a new host, domain, or anywhere else you want in a matter of minutes.
So, if you’re thinking about making a move, and don’t have a web host that provides free WordPress site migrations, don’t stress out.
Just research some WordPress migration plugins, find the one that has the features you need and click a few buttons. Your site will be moved in no time.
Matt Ahlgren is a web developer and online marketer with nearly 15 years of experience in the online marketing space. He blogs about WordPress, web development and web hosting over at www.websitehostingrating.com