Before we talk about the all new, WP Engine Automated Migration plugin, let’s talk about WordPress migration process.
The process of migrating to a new host is messy. Believe me; it is not pretty and chances of error is high.
Throughout my blogging career, I have been migrating from one host to another, to find a web host I can truly call “home.” You are in the industry for some time; you would know that some web hosts will provide free migration while others provide paid migration services.
Now, let me share with you a little about the website migration process (it won’t take more than 2 minutes). The entire process starts with:
- Grabbing a copy of the website data from the phpMyAdmin
- Making a copy of the data from the WordPress backend
- Transferring all the data into the new web host
- Recheck the website to ensure all looks okay
- Change the IP address, Nameservers or/and the CNAME
The last two steps are easy but the first three, those are the hardest. If you get interrupted during the migration process, you might lose some crucial data which will affect your website sometime down the road.
Hassle, hassle and more hassle.
So, whenever you are changing to a new web host, such as the fully managed WordPress hosting WP Engine, you should always ask for migration services.
What Do You Need To Know About WP Engine Migration Services?
The first thing is unless there is a promotion on free migration, WP Engine does not provide any free migration service for your website.
So, you need to do it yourself (good if you know what to do) by referring to WordPress migration guide, or hire a third party agent to do it for you. Of course, the latter will cost you money.
When I recently moved to WP Engine fully managed WordPress hosting, I didn’t want to pay the hefty fee of migration ($99 if you are wondering) to have a third party to do it for me.
Call me a cheapskate but hey, if you can save money, that’s good right?
I was in luck because I found out (accidentally) about WP Engine Automated Migration tool. I was instantly amazed and hooked.
It was fairly simple though and continue reading to learn more about this awesome automated migration tool.
How do you use WP Engine Automated Migration?
Before you start, you need to sign up for WP Engine (you can choose the WP Engine plans here).
Here’s what you’ll see once you are log in.
This is the WP Engine dashboard. By default, you will have an ‘Install’ installed immediately for you. It will be like yourdomain.wpengine.com which you can later change to your domain name.
Now, head over to ‘Domains’ and once the page opens, click on the ‘Site migration’ option.
It will then lead you to this page:
Then, follow these steps:
- Download the WP Engine Automated Migration plugin
- Install on your WordPress blog
Once it is installed, you are pretty much ready for migration. Here are the extra five information you need to have before migrating to WP Engine:
- Your email address (for notification)
- Destination URL (yourdomain.wpengine.com)
- WP Engine SFTP Host
- WP Engine SFTP Username
- WP Engine SFTP Password
You need the fill up the details above in the columns as seen in the image below.
Important tip: I recommend you to deactivate ALL your WordPress plugins (except for WP Engine Automated Migration plugin) to have a smoother migration service.
You should ONLY generate the SFTP password once and keep it aside. You’ll need it later.
Start Migrating Using WP Engine Automated Migration Plugin
Once you click ‘Migrate’, the process will start, and you should not do anything with your blog. My website is rather large, and it took me around 50 minutes to completely migrate my existing website to the new ‘Install’ on WP Engine.
WP Engine uses BlogVault to migrate your website to WP Engine servers. Here, everything goes automated and you basically have to sit back and relax.
Here’s a snapshot of the backup service in progress. You can close the browser while waiting for it to complete.
Once the migration is completed, you will be notified via email and the next step is to check on your website using the temporary URL.
It is important for you to check random pages and posts to ensure that there aren’t any errors during the migration process.
Once you are happy with the migration process and outcome, head over to the ‘Domains’ in your WP Engine dashboard and add your live domain name to it.
If the site successfully moved over, you will need to re-run the migration one more time with the SAME email and SFTP credentials. Change the Destination URL this time to your live domain.
Note: The tool is smart enough to know that this is the second migration. The migration tool will not migrate everything again. However, it will pick up any file and database changes or additions and migrate them over. This results in a faster migration.
Once the second time migration is completed, you can buy yourself a beer as you have just completed the entire migration process without spending a dime!
Finalizing The WP Engine Migration Process
The last step is to change the IP address or CNAME to point back to the ones on WP Engine.
Your website propagation would take anywhere between an hour to two days. Mine was completed within 12 hours.
The last step is optional, but it is a MUST for those websites who uses SSL certificate or HTTPS. You should either purchase a new SSL certificate or use your existing one by contacting the WP Engine support team.With live chat support, you know that help is just one click away (during website migration).Click To Tweet
By default, the WP Engine Automated Migration plugin will automatically be removed from your list of plugins after the migration. So, you have nothing to worry about that.
You may want to check back your site AFTER the IP propagation to ensure that everything is in order, and it looks correct.
Summary – WP Engine Automated Migration
I want, to be honest with you. I’ve tested quite a few migration plugin and trust me; nothing works more flawlessly compared to WP Engine Automated Migration plugin.
I’m not only amazed and a happy customer at WP Engine, but I’m also extremely delighted that I’m able to save a whole lot of money ($99 to be exact) instead of paying for the website migration services.
The WP Engine Automated Migration is pretty new on the market, and WP Engine is the only one who is providing such automated migration services. I’m sure down the road, there will be more fully managed WordPress hosting providers who will offer such as well.
Interested to move to a better host like WP Engine? Click here to try on their Page Performance before you make up your mind!
Do you think that WP Engine Automated Migration plugin will the game changer and bring WP Engine back to fame it once had? Leave a comment below.