Migrations aren’t in any way a bad thing. On the contrary, they can mean that your site is growing, so now you require the support of a better hosting provider, or you might simply want to migrate because you feel that the services and support that are given to you by your current provider just aren’t up to your standards.
One thing migrations definitely are, though, is that they are difficult to do. Why? Well, because they require you to complete quite a number of steps and devote quite a lot of your valuable time in order for a migration to be successful.
What we just said is true for the people who decide to do a migration using the manual route. Luckily, like with most WordPress-related things, there is an easier and quicker method of getting things done. That method is, of course, using a plugin.
Migration plugins, in a nutshell, are tools that will first download all the files that make up your site and then transfer those files to a new location.
These plugins are able to handle all types of files from entire databases and media files to your themes, plugins, and everything else belonging to your site.
To say there are plenty of them available on the market, both free and premium, is an understatement, but like with all plugin types, there are a few plugins that stand out. In this article, we will talk about those plugins specifically and, in that way, guide you into making the right choice when it comes to picking a migration plugin. So without further ado, let’s start with exploring our picks for the top six WordPress migration plugins.
Let’s start things off with one of the most popular migration plugins on the market, and that plugin is All-in-One Migration. This plugin can be used for doing tasks such as moving databases, media files, as well as plugins and themes to another domain. The plugin is widely praised for its unlimited upload size, compatibility with all major operating systems, mobile-friendliness, and the option to move an entire site to Dropbox, Google Drive, or any other type of cloud storage.
Besides being mobile-friendly, the plugin is also very user friendly and can be used by both pros and people just getting into WordPress.
Its user-friendliness comes largely from the fact that the plugin allows you to do everything without messing around with any code and from its design, which was purposefully made to be very intuitive.
Some of the notable features of the All-in-One Migration plugin are the multiple find and replace operations and the options to exclude files, restore backups, work with WP-CLI commands, fix serialization problems, and so on.
The All-in-One Migration plugin had been installed millions of times and has thousands of reviews along with a stellar rating. It also has partnerships with many hosting companies, so you don’t have to worry about potential issues and conflicts in that area. It is available in a free or a paid premium version, which costs $69.
Duplicator is another widely popular migration plugin that can be used to copy, clone, move, and migrate an entire site. The plugin is also able to do backups, both manual and automatic.
It works by backing up site files on your local machine and even allows you to choose which files you want or don’t want to download. Once you have the files on your local machine, you can then use Duplicator again to upload the files to a new server/host a.k.a. the new site location.
Duplicator’s more interesting features include theme revising, site staging, and the option to create pre-configured sites for reuse and distribution.
The plugin is extremely “tidy” because it fits an entire site with all its elements in a single zip file and supposedly does everything with 0 downtime and without any complications.
A great thing about this zip file method the plugin uses is that since it really does contain an entire site, a zip file can be used to set up the site on a domain that doesn’t even have a WordPress installation.
Of course, we have to mention that the plugin is very intuitive and even comes with a wizard to help you out with the migration process. This plugin has a free version and a premium plan for $59.
While the first two plugins are considered to be simple solutions, WP Migrate DB is a more complicated one. This doesn’t mean that the plugin is hard to use; it only means that it will take more getting used to because of the higher level of control it gives you during the site migration process.
The plugin operates by doing a MySQL data dump through which it exports a website into a SQL file. That file can then be uploaded using phpMyAdmin. Besides exporting the site, the plugin can also replace URLs, file paths, and manage serialized data for you.
The free version of the plugin comes thus-mentioned features but for $39 you can get a premium version which will come with email support, a license valid for four active sites, and a ton of features such as excluding post types, pausing and canceling migrations, migrating a multisite to a single site and much more.
To switch back to the more easy-to-use plugins, we present you with Migrate Guru, a plugin that offers the option of one-click migrations. But, don’t let this plugin’s ease of use fool you, this is a powerful plugin that can handle even large site migrations and won’t require the help of any add-ons or extensions to do so.
Besides being powerful, this plugin is also fast and has the ability to transfer 1GB of data in 30 minutes. To top it all off, it is fully automated, compatible with all hosting services, and stores your site’s data on its own servers so that it won’t take up any of your storage space.
Like most migration plugins, it has a find and replace feature, but it claims that its feature is the most accurate one.
If you do decide to migrate your site using Migration Guru, you’ll get the possibility to track the migration process and to get alerted about it in real-time. The best thing about this plugin might be that it is completely free.
If you have heard of Updraft in the context of it being a backup tool, you’re not wrong, but this plugin can also be used to do migrations thanks to its many restore features.
The backups and restores done with this plugin don’t require much effort except a click and restoring can be done on the same domain or somewhere else.
The plugin works with a number of cloud storage services and claims to have one of the fastest backup techniques. Regular and automatic backups come in the free version of the plugin while the premium version, which costs $70, gives you the option of incremental backups, duplicates, quick migrations, and even more cloud storage options.
The plugin’s search and replace feature is also an advanced one since it does support arbitrary search and replace functions.
Over the last ten years that it has been around, BackupBuddy has acquired quite a consumer base and has been used on almost 500.000 sites.
As its name suggests, it is a backup plugin that can also do restores and migrations. With its dedicated migration feature, BackupBuddy enables you to change servers and/or hosts, to adjust domains and to replace URLs in one simple step.
Since BackupBuddy is a tool loved by developers, it also has a cloning feature along with pushing/pulling options from and to staging sites. It is also great for creating temporary sites, which you can migrate to a new domain later along the line if you wish to.
Two BackupBuddy features that are beloved by everyone, not just developers, are the malware scans and the site protection through serialized data.
Backing up with BackupBuddy can be scheduled to be done daily, weekly or monthly, and the backups can be stored on a number of cloud storage services or even sent to you directly via email. Since it is a premium plugin, you’ll have to pay in order to use it. The cheapest BackupBuddy license costs $80 and comes with support, regular updates, and 1GB of storage.
Now that we’ve completed the rundown of the top 6 migration plugins for WordPress, we hope you found at least one that could be the perfect solution for your website migrating problems. As you saw, all of the options come with the essential migration features but also with some unique ones as well.
Which plugin should you go for? Well, that’s completely down to your preferences. But if you go for any of the plugins mentioned in this article, you won’t be making a mistake, since all the plugins are indeed great options.