My method of choice for migrating sites is using BackupBuddy. I’ve been using it for years and find it a time-saving tool. I consider myself a front-end developer and so BB is my tool of choice. Back-end developers prefer manual migration and that’s fine too. There are many ways to do this and it’s what each person feels comfortable with.
There are a few steps to keep in mind that may trip you up in BackupBuddy until you’ve gone through the steps a few times.
- Upload the backupbuddy plugin to the site you need to copy/migrate.
- Go to the Import area of the plugin and be sure to add a password before you download. Then write it down.
- Make a complete backup and then download the file.
- Log onto FTP and go to your new directory/new folder.
- Drag/drop your importbuddy.php and backupbuddy.zip to this folder.
- Create a new database at your host and write down the database name, username, and password. (My host of choice is SiteGround for their easy interface (although you have to search for the phone number like most places these days: 1-800-828-9231).
- Type in your new domain name [this has to be assigned already—so go through those steps if you haven’t already] in the address bar. (My domain registrar of choice is Google Domains. They have an easy interface and you can point to your preferred host, plus having your domain independent of a host creates an extra layer of security.) Here’s an example of how to type in the address bar: website.com/importbuddy.php and go through the steps. Occasionally one of these steps that the plugin walks you through will trip you up.
- You’ll need to copy/paste the exact info from step #6. Just be sure you have everything exact—typos are a big reason for errors so it’s better to copy/paste.
- All done! Check out your migrated site.
- Be sure to use a plugin to hide the site if you develop on a new site such as plugin: hidemysite that’s simple and easy
- Add Google Analytics to the site. You’ll need to copy/paste the tracking code to your website UA-********-*. Some themes have a built-in spot for just the ID others do not and you’ll need the full tracking code. In which case you’ll paste the tracking code as the first item into the <HEAD> of every webpage you want to track.
- If you’re using WordPress when you decide on a theme be sure to use a child theme so future theme updates won’t be affected. My theme of choice for its vast flexibility is Jupiter. It’s a frequently purchased plugin, which means the developers keep it up to date and there’s a lot of community support. The theme is highly customizable so you don’t have to worry that it looks like every other site. Although all templated websites do have a similar look. But most people can’t afford custom development and so this is the way to go.