How to Migrate your WordPress websites with UpdraftPlus

How to Migrate your WordPress websites with UpdraftPlus

The free version of UpdraftPlus is the first step in this guide. Click here to go to the ‘How To Migrate Your Site With UpdraftPlus’ page.

UpdraftPlus is a free service that allows you to migrate your website.

This tutorial refers to the source site and destination site. The destination site refers to the site that you are migrating from.

1. Install and activate UpdraftPlus at both the source and destination sites

  • Install plugins by clicking on the Plugins menu.
  • Search for UpdraftPlus by clicking on ‘Add New.
  • Click ‘Activate after installation’ to finish the process.
  • UpdraftPlus can be found under the ‘Settings” menu on the left-hand side of WordPress.

2. Select a remote location for storage at the source site

  • UpdraftPlus’ settings can be found by clicking the ‘Settings” tab.
  • Choose from the list of remote storage locations.
  • You will be taken through an interactive user journey to connect UpdraftPlus with the remote storage location.

Upgrade to UpdraftPlus Premium for access to other cloud storage options, such as Amazon S3, Rackspace, and Google Drive. Upgrade to UpdraftPlus Premium to back up other cloud storage services.

3. Take the backup

  • Click on the “Backup/Restore” tab.
  • Click on ‘Backup now.’ The progress of the backup will be shown by a progress bar.
  • The script will show which part of your website is being backed up.

4. Open the destination site

  • Ensure you have installed and activated UpdraftPlus as you did previously.
  • Choose the same remote storage as before.

5. Complete the WordPress migration by restoring the backup.

  • Scroll down to the ‘Backup/Restore’ tab.
  • There should be a section titled ‘Existing Backups.’
  • You should be able to see your backup of the source site in the destination site if you have both sites connected to the same remote storage.
  • Click the ‘Restore button’ next to it.

Click ‘Rescan Remote Storage’ under More Tasks’ if your backup is not listed. This will show all backups for all sites that are connected to the remote location.

6. The wizard will guide you through the remainder of the migration process.

  • UpdraftPlus will restore the items you select by checking the appropriate boxes. Plugins, themes, and uploads are all included.
  • Once you click ‘Next’ and then ‘Restore,’ your migration/restoration is complete.

Because your database on your source website has been migrated to your destination site, your sign-in credentials will no longer be valid. You’ll have to use your credentials from your source to log in.

Although the free version can make the migration of your website to a different domain easier, it is important to recognize that the migration process is not easy. Some issues require technical expertise.


Please note that our team is able to offer more support via UpdraftPlus premium than what can be provided through the WordPress forums. We can take a backup of your site, minus any user data, to reproduce any errors that you are experiencing.

How to migrate your website with UpdraftPlus premium

UpdraftPlus Premium allows users to customize the migration in every way, even down to what plugins and themes will be carried over. You only need to link two sites once in order to make multiple migrations with just a few mouse clicks.

We continue to refer to a source site” and a ‘destination website’ in this tutorial. A source site is the site that you want to copy or migrate. The destination site refers to the site that you are migrating from.

1. Install UpdraftPlus Premium at both the source and destination sites

  • Purchase UpdraftPlus Premium. The link to the plugin will be sent via email.
  • Install plugins by clicking on the Plugins menu.
  • Click ‘Add New,’ then Plugins.
  • Click ‘Activate after installation’ to finish the process.
  • UpdraftPlus can be found under the ‘Settings” menu on the left-hand side of WordPress.

You’ll have to delete and deactivate your free UpdraftPlus before you can install Premium. Installation instructions are available here.

2. Click on the ‘Migrate / Clone tab.’

  • Scroll down to the section titled “Migrate” at the bottom.
  • Click on the third box in blue titled ‘Receive backups from remote sites. ‘

3. Create a key

  • Enter the name of the key to identify migration. To keep track of the migration to which the key belongs, it is helpful to use a key word that is clear and concise.
  • Click ‘Create a key.’
  • Copy (ctrl+X) or select (ctrl+A) the generated key.

Could you save it to a safe place? Once you leave this site, you will not be able to see the key.

4. Open UpdraftPlus on the source website and click the ‘Migrate / Clone’ tab again.

  • Scroll down to the bottom and select this time, ‘Send backups to another website.’
  • Add the site by clicking ‘Add Site’ and paste the key that you copied from your new WordPress instance.
  • You should see your site as an option on the dropdown menu below the words “Send to Site.”
  • Click on ‘Send to start the automatic migration of your WordPress site to the new site.

5. Configure your WordPress Migration

  • Choose which parts of your website to migrate.

In general, it is recommended that you check all boxes to complete the migration. However, there are cases when it may not be necessary or desirable. If you already have a production database on the new site and don’t want to replace it with the data from the previous location.

  • Click ‘Send when you are ready’.

6. Restore the backup by returning to the destination site

  • The final step is to restore the backup on the destination site.
  • Navigate to the Backup/Restore tab on the destination website.
  • You should see an entry for the migrated backup in the section titled ‘Existing Backups’ at the bottom. Click the restore option’.

7. Customise your migration

  • Select whether you wish to migrate plugins, themes, or other files.
  • Select the pieces, plugins, etc. On the next screen, choose which plugins or pieces you want to restore.
  • Check the box next to ‘Search for and replace the site location.’

This option is very important as WordPress saves site URLs and links to pages in its database. If you don’t run the search-and-replace, it could lead to broken links or to links that point back to your old domain.


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