I have recently had to migrate a new WordPress website from a previous CMS, and it only took me 5 minutes, with less than a minute at most of downtime.
Both the speed of implementation, and the downtime, are based on how fast your files are moved from an ambiguous subdirectory. I would use FTP like Filezilla as a last resort, if your host does not have a web interface for managing files (File Manager).
I’ve outlined the steps below so that you could re-use this guide:
I use the plugin ‘All in One WP Migration’ since it’s a one-click solution. And it’s free for websites up to 512MB. Please make sure to delete
node_modules before exporting, lol.
- On Staging site, export the website using the plugin ‘All in One WP Migration’.
- Log-in to the File Manager of Production site, e.g. through cPanel, FTP.
- Install WordPress in an ambiguous subdirectory e.g.
- Log-in to WordPress on subdirectory example.com/w/, and install the plugin ‘All in One WP Migration’, and import your .wpress file onto subdirectory /w/ of production site.
- After import is complete, save Permalinks, as instructed by the migration plugin
- Setup the WordPress website as you wish e.g. setup HTTPS, run any checks, etc.
- In your WordPress install, change both the WordPress URL and Site URL, by removing the subdirectory e.g. remove
/wfrom both URLs, click Save.
- Your WordPress install should now be broken *wink*
- Enable your WordPress’s .htaccess file for maintenance mode, using the code snippet here [link to setting up maintenance.html]
- Move all unneeded files from
public_htmlinto another ambiguous folder, e.g.
- Move all contents of WordPress install
/w/up ↖️ into
*This will present your .htaccess file’s maintenance mode now. Nice!
- Log-in to WordPress install using new URL — this time without the
Yes! The site should now be working on WordPress.
- Disable/Comment out the .htaccess file’s Maintenance Mode
- Completed in 5 minutes. Now do a website healthcheck e.g. setup Search Console, Google Analytics
Migration complete! This is where developers lose calories, but are in a high-stress situation.
I’ll share my experience where I have learned the lesson to:
Always ask for cPanel access (and make a backup), never migrate a website without these.
Any additions/suggestions to this, please let me know in the comments below.
If you’ve enjoyed this post you’ll ❤️ to search around my website for more like these. See you then!