Why WordPress Migrations Need an Overhaul



Every serious WordPress user has had to deal with the complexities involved with migrating their website from one web host to another. Migration can be a daunting task, and even cost a lot of money.

Unfortunately, migration has to be done manually. Hand operated and nonautomatic work means multitasking of the highest order. While moving websites, not only will you be in charge of content creation, but you will also have to make the compounded effort to take care of the content transfer and migration.

In this article, I am going to discuss the existing WordPress Migration methods and their current state.

WordPress Migration is Essential

A WordPress site goes through multiple migrations in its lifecycle. This can include the following scenarios:

  1. After a web site is first created in a development environment, it has to be moved to its production host.
  2. To test any new change, I have to migrate my website from production environment to staging and back to production state.
  3. If the URL associated with a website changes, then I have to make sure that even the website URL needs to be migrated.
  4. Other reasons for migration include improper backups, poor security, a site being slow, bandwidth limit and allocated storage exceeded, increased downtime, or even inefficient customer support. If I have a backup of the website, migration of the website to another web host is possible.

Current State of Existing Migration Systems

Current WordPress migration methods that exist today need manual work, or time, or both. We know that web site migration is inherently tricky and convoluted. Losses may be incurred in the case of any small process performed incorrectly.

There are five key factors WordPress Migration needs to improve:

    1. Ease of Use
    2. Ways to Fail
    3. Low Speed
    4. Accuracy

Let’s look at each one.

Ease of Use

Nowadays, everything happens with a click of a button.

Migrations must also be easy to handle. It is simply too complex for most people, especially newbie developers, or people without technical skills. If you want to manually migrate your website, you have to create backups, change configurations, copy files using FTP clients, and import the data using PHPMYAdmin.

This is admittedly a lengthy process and depending on the size of your website can take more than 48 to 72 hours! That is too much time spent away from the actual content of your website.

Ways to Fail

There are many ways in which migrations can fail. Backups are difficult, especially with large sites. Copying data over FTP fails often, especially from poor home networks.

There are numerous other errors which can arise from incompatibilities between web hosts. Often tools handle this unintelligently and just raise their hands when they encounter any issue. They are not intelligent enough to fix those problems. Even when you follow instructions to the exact letter, because there are so many confusing steps, it might yield disastrous results.

There is very little room for deviation in the process and this makes it inflexible. It is an exhausting undertaking which requires enormous amounts of patience, unlike other technical operations.

Low Speed

In this day and age, everyone wants everything done quickly. We do not want to wait hours or days to get a site migrated. When things are time-consuming they will be put off.

The longer it takes the longer your customers or readers can’t access your site. You might be losing out on business during the whole process, some of which you may never get back.


The developer will have to dedicate precious customer service time trying to troubleshoot different errors encountered by their customers. The customer will ultimately suffer.


WordPress migrations can be elaborate, so accuracy and intelligence in the field are especially conspicuous. The hurdle here, however, is tied to the amount of manual work needed i.e. the possibility of human errors.

There is a high chance of goof-ups and flaws in the system. The ease of performing an action will mean nothing without accuracy.


White Glove Service

Many hosts and agencies offer white glove service for WordPress migrations. They have experts who take care of the migrations for their customers. This is an expensive affair which can take a long time.

Although White Glove service is designed to go above and beyond to ensure their client and end users’ requirements are met, even specialists agree that all is not completely perfect. Considering the vast number of resources they seem to employ, their output does not satisfy at times.

WordPress Migration Plugins

If all this sounds overburdening or fatiguing to you, you are not alone. A great way to automate the process is using plugins.

WordPress plugins like Migrate Guru, All-In-One WP Migration, and Duplicator can help you cut down the number of tasks to be performed when you want to migrate your website. Whatever the reason for migrations may be, these plugins can take care of it.

All of these are free and easy to use.

Did I miss any of your favorite Migration Plugins? Let me know in the comments below.

Akshat Choudhary

I’m Akshat Choudhary, the founder and CEO of BlogVault, MigrateGuru & MalCare. I love building products that solve real problems for real people, and have been building systems and products since 2005. My core beliefs behind building any product are to make sure the end-user doesn’t need assistance and to assist them in the best possible manner if they need it.

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