The best options for migrating enterprise WordPress websites
There are four predominate options for migrating enterprise WordPress websites: manual migration, service-based migration, plugin-based migration, and hosting based migrations.
One of the best ways to migrate a WordPress website, if planning to DIY the move from one host to another, is by using specialized plugins or services.
These tools can help you safely and quickly transfer your files, databases and configurations in order for the site to continue working properly on the new server. For many organizations, it may be helpful to consult with an experienced developer who has experience migrating websites in order ensure that everything goes smoothly during the transition process.
Let’s explore these four options in more detail.
Manual WordPress Migration
This can be the least efficient and most time consuming method of migrating a website, but it does provide more control over how your organization manages the migration and the end-result. Manual migrations can be an involved process that requires technical expertise, including creating backups of all relevant data before beginning, synchronizing MySQL databases between servers, adjusting DNS records accordingly, managing SSL certificates, and manually transferring content, if needed.
If your organization has labor resources with the technical expertise to manage a migration, this option is worth considering. Some IT departments, web resource departments, etc. offer support for organizational or departmental website development, check if this is an option within your organization. For highly technical startups and tech companies in general, this process may be within your capacity.
Typically, for large, high-value enterprise websites, this option can be daunting and expensive. If your migration is mission-critical, and if downtime is of importance, or if your website has eCommerce features, this option may be outside of the scope of your internal capacity, and any other option could prove more successful.
WordPress Migration Services
For many organizations, migrating a website is as simple as submitting a work order or support request with some information about the new host. The hands-off nature of hired professional WordPress migration services benefits most enterprise, corporate, nonprofit, and governmental organizations mission.
The expertise gained is critical for high-dependency, large, or complex organizational websites. Even if your organization’s website isn’t that complex, dynamic, or highly trafficked, that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Take measures to protect your asset by trusting professionals to handle it with care.
Depending on your specific needs, a comprehensive WordPress management plan, which includes moving as frequently as necessary, may be a great option. The team also provides assistance along each step of the way, so you don’t have any problems getting up and running with a new hosting plan or troubleshooting related issues after they’ve completed the transfer process. Highly qualified professionals, our migration engineers are specialized in performing migrations swiftly while ensuring quality results at minimal cost.
This is a great option if you don’t have the technical expertise to manually migrate your website yourself. Their services are typically paid but will ensure that all of the data from your old host is transferred properly to the new one without any issues or downtime.
WordPress Migration Plugins
WordPress migration plugins are extremely useful for anyone who wants to save time when moving a WordPress site from one host to another.
Plugins like Duplicator, All-in-One WP Migration, or VaultPress can help automate the process of transferring files, databases and configurations in order for the site to continue working properly on the new server.
These migration plugins typically create a “snapshot” of your existing website that can be quickly uploaded into its new hosting environment without having to recreate it manually. This is ideal if you’re looking for an easier way to move sites between hosts or across domains (e.g., staging/production environments).
Depending on which plugin you choose, some may also allow you access remote storage options such as Dropbox or Google Drive, so backups don’t take up space locally, but serve as a live secure offsite backup of your WordPress website in case storage issues arise later down the line.
This approach is usually cheaper than hiring a provider or freelancer to migrate your website, and they require significantly less technical know-how than manual migrations. WordPress migration plugins allow for the smooth transfer of a WordPress website from one hosting provider to another with minimal effort or technical expertise.
This approach may not be for all types of organizations or types of websites. It’s important to note that not all plugin-based migrations are created equal, and some may require additional technical expertise in order to be successful. As an example, most popular plugins on the market don’t officially support large websites or eCommerce sites, and without assistance from experienced professionals who know what they’re doing, the migration can quickly turn into a nightmare.
You should consider if your organization has someone available with enough experience using this type of tool before committing to it as an option.
Hosting Managed Migrations
If you are moving to a new hosting provider, many of the most popular hosting services offer new customers simple migrations from other providers or existing sites, some at no cost to you directly.
Depending on how much control and access your organization has with its current host, this may be an ideal option for quickly transferring websites without having to manually transfer files and databases.
This approach is especially helpful if you don’t have technical expertise in-house available for manual migrations or plugin options. The downside of hosting based migration is that it can take longer, the communication during the migration from hosts is typically infrequent, and there are often issues with the resulting migrated website the host wont help troubleshoot.
For organizations with simple WordPress websites, utilizing your new web hosting provider’s offered migration service can be the perfect balance of expertise and cost. If the costs of migration plugins or migration services seem daunting, and you lack the technical experience in migrating MySQL databases, media libraries, or complex post data, then we suggest your organization give consideration to this option.
Which option is right for your organization’s migration?
Migrations can be a complicated process. Every website’s individual requirements are a little different, and each will determine which of the options is best for your organization.
It’s important to consider the level of expertise you have available within your team, and if budgeting restrictions are present that may impact the success of the migration, or if time constraints might impact your choice.
Assuming there aren’t any major roadblocks with either manually migrating the site yourself (time/budget) or hiring an external migration provider (cost), then it usually comes down to weighing up how experienced your team are at working with complex WordPress websites and assessing whether they’re confident enough to migrate without specialist’s help.
If cost isn’t a factor, any long-term thinking organization should minimally consult with an engineer or freelancer about their migration, and take note of any potential concerns with your organization’s plan to migrate.
Most larger organizations will opt to bring in a team of experienced engineers, if the organization isn’t highly technical by nature. Our team is available to answer any questions you might have about your organization’s upcoming migration and are happy to consult with you and your team to plan a successful migration.