Migrate Your Website

How to Migrate Your Website Using All-In-One WP Migration

Full website migration from a local install to a live server, or from one server to another

All-in-One WP Migration plugin exports your current WordPress website into a backup – an archive file with the .wpress extension, which then you can import in any WordPress site. The plugin is a convenient solution for keeping regular backups of your website(s) for many different purposes or just transfer website from one domain to another.

This article explains in detail on how to migrate your website from a local install to a live server, or from one server to another, using the All-In-One WP Migration plugin.   Regardless of where you want to move a site from and to, and which method you are using, the process will remain the same.  In general what we are really doing is taking a backup of one site in one place, and restoring that backup in another place.

Note. The free version of All-In-One WP Migration has both site size, and destination, limitations. To overcome this for larger sites, the Unlimited Extension must be purchased. THere is a article on "How to quickly increase the All-in-One WP Migration plugin upload limit" which explains how to increase its limitations.

Export The Site

All-in-One WP Migration does not have any settings, and takes a very streamlined approach to the task of migrating your site. All needed options are included in the export and import workflow.  While this process is quite different to other migration processes with plugins such "Duplicator", is that the All-In-One WP Migration plugin only exports the site’s contents and database, and not WordPress itself.  Therefore to be able to import the site on the new location, WordPress must be already installed. Let’s see in details how it all works.

The first step is to simply click on the All-in-One WP Migration link on the WordPress Dashboard menu. The first thing you will see is a very streamlined page, with a large ‘Export To’ button at the bottom.  It is as simple as clicking on this button to proceed.  There are additional options, and there's a "Find and Replace" function at the top if needed, but most users can simply click "Export To", and continue the process.

The available options are exclusion options, and some are purely for troubleshooting purposes. Most users will not need, or want, to exclude any of their site’s content, but it’s worth having a look to see if any of the options apply to your site.

available options

Once you have chosen any of the options, the next thing to do is to click the ‘Export To’ button.  A dropdown appears with apparent choices of where to Export your file to. With the free version of All-In-One WP Migration, only the File option is available. All other options are individual extensions that you can purchase.


The plugin then prepares the Export file. This may take some time, depending on the size of your website. At the end of the process, you will see a ‘Download’ button. The file is also stored in the Backups section found at All-In-One WP Migrations > Backups. Click on the Download button to download the Export file to your local computer.  Again, this may take some time, depending on the size of the file and your Internet speed.

Once you have your file, you are ready to move on to the Import Process. This takes place on your new server.

Export Site 4
Export Site 5

Import The Site

Now you have your Export file, it’s time to complete the migration of your site. Regardless of whether you are moving the site from a local production site to a new server, or from one host to another, the process is exactly the same.

The starting point for importing the website is a fresh install of WordPress on your destination location. If it’s a brand new website, then all you need to do is organize and setup the hosting and domain name, and install WordPress in your new account.  If you are moving a website from one host to another, and you would like to avoid downtime, there are a few extra steps you need to take. There are many ways to do this, depending on your hosting, but basically, you want to be able to log in to your new account and import the site before changing nameservers.  One popular way of doing this is to get the IP address of the new account and use the hosts file on you computer to temporarily map the IP to the domain name, so then it can complete the import and only then, when the website has been migrated, change nameservers.

Once you have a fresh copy of WordPress installed on your destination location, you then need to install the All-In-One WP migration plugin again. Once you have done that, head over to Import. The dialog you see is as equally simple as the "Export" one.  The only thing to note here is that you might have a low Maximum Upload File Size, as shown in the image below, depending on your hosting. There are good instructions on the Servmask website for how to fix this.

Export Site 6

You can see in this second image where the "file upload size" has been increased.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All-In-One WP Migration has a built in limit of 512MB for uploading files. To overcome this for larger sites, the Unlimited Extension must be purchased.

Once you are ready to upload simply click on the ‘Import From’ button and navigate to the file you downloaded earlier.

Export Site 8

Once you have chose your file, the plugin gets to work preparing the upload. You will see a flurry of activity about Preparing the upload and checking extensions compatibility etc, and then you will be presented with a screen that lets you know that by continuing on from this point, files and databases will be overwritten. Click "Proceed" to import your site, or "Close" to abort at this point. If you proceed, the import begins. This might take a while, depending on how big your website is, and the speed of your host.

Export Site 10
Export Site 11

When the upload is complete, you are presented with a final screen, to let you know that your data has been successfully imported.  The final thing to do, as the screen indicates, is to log in to the new site (with the old site’s credentials) and save the Permalinks twice. This completes the process, and your site has now been migrated.

Export Site 12