How to Migrate Your Website With All-in-one WP Migration – Plugin For WordPress
To move a WordPress website, there are two ways, the macho manual way or the easier way, use a plugin. LOL
There are several reasons to need to migrate a WordPress website. You may need to move a website from one hosting service to another, or if you are working on your own computer, you might have the need to move a website up to a hosting service, and if you are working on a site as a sub-domain during development you would need to move the site to its new home when it is finished.
Using a plugin such as All-in-one WP Migration you can easily move a website, well maybe with a few hitches if you are not a pro. LOL Migrating your website is not hard, but it is time consuming, and there is plenty of room for minor errors that can cause you hours of frustration.
For me, I wanted to move a website, along with the domain name, to a different hosting service. I knew nothing about migrating a website, but with some study and YouTube videos and help from my hosting service provider, JustHost, I was able to get it done. It took me a day of reading and studying on which migration plugin to use, and then three days, but to be fair, there was a lot of “just waiting” time and error time during those three days.
How this came about is I like to experiment, with everything, so I tried a different hosting service, but when that service came up for renewal I wanted to move my website to my long time hosting service, JustHost, as an Add-on domain under my primary hosting account. An Add-on is a domain in which the site can be hosted under a primary domain hosting account. It saves money on hosting, because I only pay for the primary hosting with a little extra cost to be able to host numerous websites with true domain names on that same hosting service. An Add-on domain is not a sub-domain name, which is only an extension of a true domain name. An Add-on domain functions as a true domain, it just shares a hosting account with other domains. When you set up an add-on domain it looks a bit like a sub-domain, but as a just said, it functions as a regular domain name.
So my goal:
1. Backup my website with a WP migration plugin.
2. Move my domain name.
3. Set up my domain name as an add-on domain name.
4. Move my WordPress website associated with that domain using a migration plugin.
Before I begin I want to say that if I had know how many days of my time were involved in learning how to move my website, I believe in retrospect I would have paid JustHost their hundred dollar fee to move my website for me. That said, I did learn a lot, so perhaps it was worth my time.
Day 1 – Backup, Move Domain Name, Create Add-on Domain Name
My very first order of business was to backup my website with the migration plugin I planned to use. Before starting this project I had spent a day researching migration plugins for WordPress, so perhaps I should have said this was actually a four day project. LOL I had narrowed migration plugins to use down to two “All-In-One WP Migration” and “Duplicator for WordPress”. I downloaded and activated both and used both to back up my website. At his point I only watched the short tutorials that were featured on the WordPress Plugins page for each plugin. That was enough to get me started and I easily made the backups.
I have to say that I am thankful that I used two different migration plugins to make backups, as it turned out one did not work for me and once the project was started my website was no longer accessible via WP to try another plugin, though the files were still there for a manual transfer. Please note that I used “migration” type backup plugins, not just simple backup plugins.
Now with my website backed up twice, with two different plugins, I felt confident to move along with my transfer project.
Move Domain Name:
To move my domain name required calling JustHost and working with a representative, who, by the way was extremely helpful. The transfer required that I have two browser windows open, one for the hosting services I was moving from, let’s call it the old hosting service, and the one I was moving to, JustHost. At the old hosting service I had to go to Domain Management and select the domain to move, in this case there was just the one domain name.
I had to:
1. Change the Name Servers (NS) to point to JustHost.
2. I had to do a simple click to unlock the domain name.
3. I had to copy the EPP Code, because I would need it to paste in at JustHost to authorize the move.
At JustHost, under Domain Management, I had to purchase a “domain name transfer”. Then I followed the prompts and guidance from the JostHost Rep to authorize the move of my domain name, including pasting in that EPP Code along the way. Then I received an email – “Domain Transfer Verification for PearlsOfDreams.com”, which I responded to, and then I received an “Order Complete” email and I was all set up. Well, for that part anyway. However, it does take about a week for the domain name transfer to actually work through the system, that is one reason to point the Domain Name servers to the new account.
Make Domain Name an Add-On:
Then I had to do a couple more things. Since I would be using this domain as an Add-on, I had to create an Add-on domain, very easy under Domain Management there is that option. And I had to set up an email account. I used the same email address name that I had used at the other hosting service so that I would not have to make any email address changes to my website; however, in creating a new email, your old emails might be lost when you cancel your other hosting service, so be sure to grab any important emails. (See more about this at the end of this article.)
Now I was told by JustHost Rep that it could take a few hours for the new Add-on domain to propagate, so I stopped there for day one. Everything had gone smoothly, so I was feeling good! 🙂
Day 2 Was Moving Day – (Which drug into Day 3 -ugh!)
I was packed (backed up), but I didn’t know how to load the moving truck (upload).
Where to start, I didn’t really know. Did I need a fresh download of WordPress? Did I need to create a Database? The short tutorials on the WordPress related plugins page about the two migration plugins were not specific. I decided to try the Duplicator plugin first, and so I went to YouTube and watched three videos on Duplicator (I will add links below). Two videos addressed uploading the backup site via cPanel with File Manager and one showed uploading with FTP, good thing I watched all three.
STOP – I want to skip Day 2 for a bit and move on to Day 3. Why, because Day 2 with Duplicator was a bust, I never got my website installed. Millions of people use Duplicator successfully, but I could not get the new install to work. I believe it was an error on my part in the download, but for whatever reason, I will discuss my success first and write about my failure afterwards, because perhaps others can learn from my errors.
So skipping forward to Day 3
Day 3 – Migrating My Site Using All-in-one WP Migration For WordPress
To briefly summarize, Day 2 was a failure and my site was a total mess, full of files. I wanted to clean out the site and start fresh. I had been using FTP and to delete files and with FTP can take 4-5 hours, so I called JustHost and asked what was the quickest way to clean out my site. They said to use the File Manager via cPanel. So that’s what I did. Luckily I had another Add-on domain site setup that was not being used, so I looked at it for a guide to what files to not delete, although from what I saved I don’t know that any of the files were actually necessary, but I saved them anyway. Using File Manager I had my Add-on site cleaned out in minutes rather than the hours it would have taken using FTP. I was certainly glad for that time saver. Next.
1. Install a clean copy of WordPress.
2. Install the All-in-one WP Migration plugin.
3. Use the All-in-one WP Migration import function.
4. Save Permalinks.
5. Check URL address under Settings/General.
6. Verify website and basic page links.
7. If there is an error, I have no idea what to suggest, except to do Google searches looking for forum discussions at various forums.
Now with All-in-one WP Migration it requires a clean install of WordPress, so my next step was to use JustHost’s quick install for WP. That was totally easy, I just used cPanel, found the WP install option, clicked install and the rest as easy-peze. In the past I remember having to set some paths, and do a few things, but seems not any more, it installed WP in like a minute. Oh, do be sure to open up the “Advanced” options before installing to set your User Name & Password how you want them, they are pre-filled, but you can change them.
With a clean WordPress install I logged into my new WordPress website, after a few tries, I forgot what I set my User Name to, but luckily I had made a screen shot of the WP install setup page login information, and when I referred back to it I found I had a different name than I thought. LOL LOL Mojo Marketplace, the installer program, sends a welcome email with some information, but not all, so be sure to write your login info down or do a screen shot. (Note: a PDF save did not work.)
A clean install of WordPress also sets up a new database so no need to create a new MySQL database folder, that was nice.
Now it was just a matter of going through the steps. I installed the All-in-one WP Migration plugin, activated it and found it in the side bar. I clicked “import” and it was that easy, almost. I thought I needed to create a Zip file, so I did, and it would not upload. Note: Macintosh automatically unzips files (unless you think ahead to turn that function off), so I assumed my Mac had downloaded and unzipped the file. Not so, after reading numerous discussions I finally remembered from a video I had watched that the upload file must end in .wpress, not .zip, and that is what my original downloaded file was. So, I tired importing the .wpress file and wahoo – it worked. It took a few minutes and all went well, but then it wanted to begin the next step “restore database”. So I clicked okay and off it went, and went, and went. I came back four hours later and it was still restoring the database. That didn’t seem right. Hum…
I can not relate my frustration from the past several days. There was no way out of the routine that was running, so I gave up and went to the URL bar and truncated the end of the URL leaving just my website name. WOW – There was my website in full living color. What a site for sore eyes. But then I clicked on a blog link and only got an error page. I clicked on a page link and only got an error page. So close, yet to far. I was wrestling with myself, was I going to have to figure out how to manually install my website? What to do now…
Just as I was about to quit for the night, a memory flashed through my mind from the videos I had watched – save the Permalinks – save the Permalinks – save the Permalinks. Every video said “Save the Permalinks”. So I did just that, I went to the Permalinks page, clicked save and then save a second time. I went back to my website and with a hugely glad heart found my website there and all links functioning. Finally!!!! And with that, I sat down to write out and share my success, while it was still fresh in my mind, to hopefully help others to also migrate their websites.
I watched a YouTube video about how to migrate my website with All-in-one WP Migration.
Now for my Day 2 – Failure, but I am sharing it so hopefully others will learn from my frustration and mistakes.
How to Migrate Your Website With Duplicator For WordPress (and my failure to do so)
1. Create a MySQL Folder
2. Upload Installer
3. Upload Archive
4. Save Permalinks
5. I never got past step 4. LOL
After watching YouTube videos, I learned that I did not need a new install of WordPress; however, I did need to create a MySQL Data Folder. The videos go into good detail about how to do that, so I will not discuss it here, and although I had created a MySQL before, it was a couple of years ago so I appreciated the refresher courses in the videos.
Armed with my knew knowledge from watching the YouTube Duplicator Migration videos, my first step was to check my work from the day before, that my domain had transferred, and that my add-on was there under my primary domain. Check on both, so I was good to go.
I went into cPanel and the MySQL Admin and set up a MySQL folder. Three steps, pretty easy, see the YouTube videos. (links below)
Duplicator creates and uses an Installer and an Archive file.
To upload the backup (Archive) with Duplicator, I first tired the cPanel / File Manager, and the “Installer” uploaded just fine, but when I tired to upload the “Archives” folder it would not let me. (yea, I figured out later I was trying to upload an unzipped file) – Not realizing what was wrong, I changed to FTP. I opened FTP, under public_html, I located the new Add-on domain I had created, I opened that and took a deep breath and drug the “Archives” folder to the FTP window and so it began, I waited a couple of minutes, but it was still running so I looked at the loading data and WOW it was going to be a l-o-n-g load. I made sure to set my computer’s Energy Saving settings to never go off, to prevent my computer from going to sleep, and then I waited. And I waited. The YouTube videos all made it look it it only took minutes. I am writing this as it is still uploading and I am up to 2 hours now, and just a little more than half-way done. Ugh. What the heck is going on? Did I do something wrong? Yes I did. I was supposed to upload a “ZIP” file. I totally forgot that my Macintosh computer automatically unzips all download files. What a mess I created, and it may be why I never succeed in uploading my website using Duplicator. See once I moved my domain, I couldn’t go back to the WP control board to re-download the site with the auto-unzip option on my computer turned off. And although I tried several times to “compress”/“zip” the Archive file that Duplicator created and my computer unzipped, I never got my site to install.
Total upload time, even with Charter high speed Internet, almost 4 hours. I eventually figured out the zip problem I had created and tired using cPanel and File Manager, but I never had any luck moving my site with Duplicator.
Back to the story.
I had FTPed the Archive files and the Installer. Next step, to install the content. I had uploaded the archived content, but it needed to be properly deployed and the MySQL data content sent to the new folder I had created.
Per the Duplicator instructions, I put my website name in the browser search bar and then add the extension:
Be sure this matches the “Installer” name you uploaded, it should unless you have done multiple installs.
Okay, I am really put out now, 4 hours later and the Installer will not install, what is wrong – did the file need to be zipped, because now that I think about it my Mac computer auto unzips files, I am frustrated, but I will try that. And yes, that was the problem. Now the Installer setup is visible and I need to go back to JustHost and the MySQL Databases to find my database info, after so many hours I have forgotten it all now. LOL
Okay, now what? I ran the Installer, with the MySQL database info, all went fine, it says everything passed, no error and no warnings, but no website and it will not let me in to save the permalinks. Now what?
From here on it is one long nightmare. I must have tried twenty times to install my website. I tried zipping the Archive file and uploading it FTP, uploading it via File Manager. I tired both MySQL database options in Duplicator, connect and clear tables. I tired unpacking the files manually. I can’t even begin to go over how many variations I tried. Always the same, everything looked good, but at the end no website and no access to save Permalinks.
Day 3 – The beginning (part 1 – before I changed and used All-in-one WP Migration)
I decided to give Duplicator one last trying. As I wrote above in the Day 3 All-in-one WP Migration portion, I called JustHost and found out how to clean out my hosting domain files, which I did, and check that my database folder was clean. I learned from the JH Rep that there was nothing in the database folder, and he also pointed out to me that the wp-config.php was also empty. Whatever. So no wonder the site was not working.
So I cleaned out my Add-on domain account and proceeded to try Duplicator with a good fresh start. I used cPanel File Manager. I uploaded the Installer. I zipped the Archive file and uploaded it. In the browser bar, I put the websitename/installer.php and began the install process. I tested the database connection, good, I went through the steps, all seemed good and I reached the end. I clicked the link to update the Permalinks and like all the tries before, still NOTHING.
The end. Done. Stick a fork in me. No more. I’m moving on. Finished. Frustrated. I can’t take anymore. Okay, I can’t really quit, so I will try the other plugin All-in-one WP Migration. (See above Day 3 above – for that part of the story.)
Guides & Videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdvOGV2eIjE (using FTP)
Final Note About Email
There are many ways to save your email when changing hosting services. I don’t know the best, but here is what I did.
Using these instructions. (Which by the way does not totally agree with my version of Horde at HG hosting service, but it got me started.)
Using Horde, an email option in cPanel for reading emails, I downloaded my emails from my old hosting service, obviously before deleting the old account. (Note: you can download the file as a zip for speed, but the instructions say that the file “can not be” zipped when uploaded.) I right clicked “Inbox” then you need to select to download as zip or not zipped.
(JustHost had a different version of Horde.) Using the new email account I had created at my new hosting service, I created a new folder titled “imported_hosingname” then I uploaded the “unzipped” file INBOX.mbox. Worked great! Notes here though, the tutorial I found was not accurate for the uploading, so I had to create a new file by clicking “Folders” on the left and in the gray are above the folders I clicked the drop down menu “Choose Action” and the selected “Create”. After I created the file, I selected it and using the same “Choose Action” drop down I selected “Import Messages”. I did not figure out how to integrate my old emails with the new, so the old are filed for reference only. Perhaps you can figure it out, but I am out of time and had to move on with this project. If something is important perhaps, when I have time to look things over, I can just forward ant important emails to the current email.
Also here is a page about reading emails via Horde.
Here is an article about how to use FTP to move emails, but I did not use this method.
Final Note About Other Databases
You might have on your site not related to your WP site.
Moving a MySql Database From One Server to Another
This is the website that you are viewing is the site that I moved. It is now hosted with JustHost.