How to Migrate WordPress Website to WP Engine?

Even when you have enough proficiency with web servers and their management methods, it can be a cumbersome task to migrate WordPress site of yours to a new web host. It is so because some web hosts want you to follow one big set of steps, which can be messy at times too. That’s why webmasters and bloggers, especially newbies, are quite a lot afraid when it comes to migrating a website satisfactorily and making the WordPress site work on your new never as nothing has changed. The thing is quite easy, however, if we take the case of WP Engine.

WP Engine, as you know, is one of the most reputed names for WordPress specific hosting — or, also known as the managed WordPress hosting. Trusted by thousands of professionals, many WordPress sites rely on WP Engine to get an uncompromised, stable and consistent performance, all the way long. So, we were talking about migration, and it is time to talk about migrating your existing WordPress site to WP Engine managed to host servers. If you thought it is a tough task, you’re wrong! With WP Engine, transferring your WordPress website to the new host — which is WP Engine — is a simpleton task.

To keep it simple, however, you need to use the simplest method available there. Very surprisingly, the simplest method is also the most effective method as well. In this post, we have a systematic tutorial to help you migrate WordPress site from your previous host to WP Engine. And, it’s the best way to enjoy the ultra-performance, reliability and that power of reliability that WP Engine gives you.

Before We Begin

If you’ve followed a traditional site transfer, you know the hardships very well. Understanding this tiresome task, WP Engine has built a dedicated plugin to deal with WordPress site migration. It works just fine with all the WordPress installations you have and the process would take lesser time than it would have been with the established methods of WordPress site migration — where you’ll have to copy and paste a lot of stuff. So, in this tutorial, we are following a tutorial that makes use of the automated plug-in and dedicated transfer environment of WP Engine. Can we start?

Prerequisites

Before we begin the migration, make sure that you have created a new WordPress Installation in WP Engine account. In that installation, you can use a .wpengine.com sub-domain, which can be altered after the real migration. We will be migrating the existing WordPress site into this WP Installation.

Steps for Migrate WordPress Site to WP Engine

Step One — Get Things Ready

Before we begin something, make sure you have opened the following pages in different tabs of your browser. This way, you can save a lot of time and make the management easier than it seems.

  • WP Engine User Control Panel, where you can have a list of your WordPress installations
  • The existing WordPress site, from which you want to migrate the stuff
  • The .wpengine.com sub-domain that you have created temporarily

First, we will be transferring the existing site to the temporary sub-domain. Once that’s successful, we will do the real transfer, to the live domain you have.

Step Two — Install WP Engine Automated Migration

So, as the first part of the tutorial, you need to install WP Engine Automated Migration, which is a completely free & effective WordPress plug-in to get things done. You can install it right from the WordPress plug-in section of the current site. To do that, go to the left sidebar and,

Plugins –> Add New

From the page, search for WP Engine Automated Migration, and you can find the result in the top position.

Now, install and activate the Plugin. Alternatively, you can get the plugin from the WordPress directory and upload it.

Step Three — Provide Details about your WP Engine Installation & Account

Once the installation and activation are complete, you can click on the ‘Site Migration’ tab on the sidebar. Opening the page, you can see a fully-fledged form for site migration.

Now, enter the following details in the corresponding forms.

  • Your Email Address — This address will be used to let you know the status of the ongoing migration
  • Destination URL — since we’re migrating for the first time, you need to enter the .wpengine.com sub-domain.
  • SFTP Host — you can have the details from WP Engine Control Panel
  • SFTP Username — you can have the details from WP Engine Control Panel
  • SFTP Password — you can have the details from WP Engine Control Panel; this password needs to be created

Also, if you have password-protected any of the source/destination WordPress sites, you will have to provide the username-password combination to give the plug-in complete access.

Step Four — Let WP Engine Migrate Your Site

If you are sure that you have provided the details correctly, you can click on the Migrate button. In seconds, you will be redirected to the BlogVault dashboard.

This is a dashboard that gives you real-time information about the ongoing WordPress transfer. You can see the amount of data that has been transferred, the number of tables that have been transferred and the overall progress of migration of site.

In case, if you think you did something wrong, you have the option to cancel the migration.

Step Five — Finish the Migration

Depending upon the size of the content you have in the source WordPress site, the migration may take half an hour or a lot more than that. The server speed of your current WordPress site is also an affecting factor.

If you hadn’t closed the BlogVault page, you can see the real-time details. Otherwise, WP Engine will contact you via the email address you’d provided while setting up the migration. Either way, you can know the migration process is completed successfully. And, in case if you needed a break, you have time for that.

Step Six — See if It’s Working Right

Now, try opening the .wpengine.com temporary sub-domain, to which you have transferred the content. If you see the changes, make sure that the changes are complete —all your pages, blog posts, and media have been brought to the WP Engine server and that there are no mistakes whatsoever.

If you are sure about the confirmation, you can move on to the final migration step.

Step Seven — Redo the Migration

Don’t be skeptical. This time, we are going to migrate WordPress site to your live domain.

So, before we migrate, make sure that you add the domain name into WP Engine dashboard. You can do it in the Domains tab of the WP Engine control panel. There, click on the ‘Add Domain’ button and type the URL. It’s quite as simple as that.

Now, go back to the source WordPress site and open the Site Migration tab. While providing the details, you need to change the destination URL to the live domain. For instance, if you have added ‘mydomain.com’, you have to type it there in the corresponding form. The plugin is intelligent enough to understand that you’re redoing the migration.

So, not all your content would be transferred. On the other hand, only the changes made after the first migration are to be transferred. In short, the process would be completed in a few seconds or so.

Final Step — Finalize Everything

You need to re-check everything is fine! Once you have confirmed, you can change the DNS of your domain name. To get the DNS details, you can log on to the User Control Panel of WP Engine. So, tada, you’re done. If you need more details about the DNS change, you can check the official support article from WP Engine.

Must Read: WP Engine Web Hosting Features

Conclusion

Now, you’re officially a part of WP Engine dedicated WordPress hosting. In around eight steps, you have completed the WordPress site migration process. The process is way too simple when compared to that of other web hosts out there. What makes things quite simple is that the presence of WP Engine Automated Migration plug-in, which can be quite useful in managing the whole migration process, leaving you nothing to be tensed about. You need to make sure that you’re providing the correct information about destination WP Install. Don’t you think it was simple?

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