Screencast Tuesday: Moving Your Site

How do you move your site? Believe it or not, we get asked this question a lot! This week I thought I’d show two ways I’ve moved sites when dealing with clients or switching hosts. Both are a fun easy way to move your site from one location to another. We first use our preferred tool, Backup Buddy, a great tool by our friends over at Plugin Buddy. After that, we take a look at doing things the manual way. And when I saw we do things manually, we do everything manually. We manually get a database dump, move files over manually, and manually edit the wp-config.php file.

This screencast runs around 28 minutes, but covers both using Backup Buddy and moving things over the manual way.

How do you move sites over?

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17 Responses

  1. Well, that settles it…i’m getting Backup Buddy!! LOL

    Nicely done showing how to do both methods. And it shows how much time you can save by getting Backup Buddy too.

    • Yeah, that was exactly my point. 🙂 Backup Buddy makes it so much easier to do this type of thing. The fact that I can move sites from server to server with such ease, AND have a backup solution is a no brainer!

      I even use it for when I start work with a client! If they have an existing site, I make a backup of it and put it on my servers so we can play around with theme design and do any development and have all their content already in it. When we’re ready to put the changes up to their site, I just do a content diff, and then use Backup Buddy to move the “new and improved” site over to the live one.

      I’ve got lots of uses for Backup Buddy!! 🙂

  2. Great to have the manual back-up explained so well. Thank you. I’m a big Backup Buddy fan, but you can’t always rely on it working. It has undocumented “side issues” and it won’t work no matter how you apply support provided by Dustin. The manual system you explain is good “backup” for Backup Buddy.

    • Yeah, I just encountered a weird issue with BackupBuddy, and had to do a “manual” backup. It’s ok, but a pain at times. 🙂

  3. Thanks- this helps and I’m beginning to get my head around different ‘moving’ concepts.

    I have a 2 site multisite with domain mapping on a VPS and want to move the sub-site to its own independent installation on the same VPS.

    I’m unclear on exactly where I should set up the new/moved WP install on the server. I don’t think I want it in a subdirectory, since I use W3TC caching plugin, which doesn’t always play nice with subdirectory installs.

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

  4. AJ, thank you so much for this screencast. Just a few days ago I watched it. Twice. I had a site that I needed to move. I had three years of content invested in that site, so I was a bit nervous. I backed everything up, of course. Still, I ended up with a few issues.

    My problem was that I was taking a site that was a subdomain and moving it up to replace the domain. After creating a full backup with BackupBuddy, I should have deleted the old databases, but I didn’t. Even though I created a new database for the migration, it still created issues. Once I deleted the old databases and went through the migration process again, it worked like a charm.

    All in all, it was a great learning experience for me… one that I wouldn’t have been open to without your screencast. Thanks again!

    • Glad to hear it helped you out! If you ever run into problems with BackupBuddy make sure to check with their support group. Just experienced a minor issues with DB stuff that was causing me problems, and they helped out very quickly and helped get my site back up and running.

  5. AJ, Nice video but I have an important question: Where do you put the .zip and importbuddy files when you upload them to your new site??

    I have a FATCOW hosted site, and I moved the files to the root directory. When I opened a browser window and typed in, I got the error: “Error #224834. This directory is not write enabled. Please verify write permissions to continue.” There are no write permissions allowed on the root directory.

    Yes, I talked to FATCOW and they’d never heard of backupbuddy. (although they had heard of WordPress). They were also baffled as to why I would build a WP site on my PC and then move it …

    Anyway, do you have any suggestions? I’ve also left this question on backupbuddy’s site … no answer yet.

    • Well the zip file and the importbuddy.php file go into the root of your ftp folder. If you’re running into trouble though, you need to contact PluginBuddy so they can help you out.

    • I experienced the exact same error and wouldn’t you know — I’m on Fatcow, too! I’ve contacted both PluginBuddy and Fatcow for some help, but haven’t heard back yet from either of them. Do I need to completely delete everything from the domain first before I migrate? There’s an existing (old) site there that might be interferring? Sorry, I’m a total noob…

  6. I have moved my site from temporary domain to main domain. But the visual design is lost. What should i do? I am a developer and i transfer it manually as i do for other wordpress site. Help me please

  7. So lets say I develop a theme on Site A. I want to import my new theme onto an existing site called Site B. 
    Site B has photos, blog posts, the works. Does this method work for that?

  8. I also was having trouble with my BackupBuddy on a new hosting account with FatCow. Couldn’t set up my WordPress installation in the root, but had success putting it into its own folder, changing the permissions for the folder to 755 and 644 for the importbuddy and files.

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