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How To Migrate A Site, Step By Step, In Practice [2023]

Migration is one of the most challenging tasks for any SEO and can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the momentary situation or the resourcefulness of each SEO. It’s a process that requires a lot of planning, knowledge of techniques and thorough analysis, in order to minimize possible losses in organic search results, visits and revenue from the previous site.


In order to carry out a migration, we need to have certain accesses, such as PHPMyAdmin, which is where we export and import the database, access to the WordPress administrative panel and FTP for uploading and organizing the files. That said, when it comes to moving a site, we shouldn’t do it in a hurry, so we should take the following steps:

  • Backup the site you want to transfer;

  • Make a .zip file of your complete WordPress: plugins folders, themes and image uploads;

  • Export your WordPress database via PHPMyAdmin on your local server: click “Export” on the WordPress database and then click “Run” with the default mode;

  • Recognize which pages will actually be migrated, because when you change your site, you take advantage and leave behind low-quality or faulty pages: create a list of all the old but desired URLs;

  • Create reports on traffic, organic traffic, referral traffic, pages with 404 errors, keywords, indexed pages, Google Analytics;

  • Many sites now work with subdomains. If this is the case, don’t forget to do a complete migration of this database as well. On the new server, you will need to recreate the subdomains;

  • Export the Sitemap of the old URLs;

  • Once all the files have been exported and verified, upload them to the desired folder, in this case, the FTP root of the new site;

  • Create a database for the desired online site in PHPMyAdmin: don’t forget to write down the name of the database, user and password, as well as its host address;

  • Edit the wp-config.php file in the root of your desired WordPress with the information you collected earlier (database name, user, password and address);

  • Import all the files from the local database into the online PHPMyAdmin you have created;

  • Create new DNS entries on your new site (DNS is the system responsible for mapping a domain or more IP numbers);

  • Create the Sitemap of the new URLs;

  • Prepare Robots.TXT;

  • Check that all pages are available to be crawled;

  • Launch the new Robots.TXT file: here you need to check that there are no directives preventing crawling on the new site;

  • Check all redirects;

  • Check the canonical tags;

  • 301 redirect the old URLs to the new URLs, also check for 404 errors or other URL-related problems;

  • Add the new Sitemap: here you will need to transfer both Sitemaps (old and new) to the target site for migration;

  • Disconnect the old Sitemap;

  • Notify Google Search Console of the new Sitemap;

  • Re-open the site for Google indexing;

  • Monitor that page reports, indexing and Google Analytics are flawless;

  • Check, before completely deleting the old account where the site was hosted, that they are sure that everything is fine with the new server and its hosting.

Migrate WordPress Sites With A Plugin

Another way to migrate a WordPress site is via a plugin, there are several to choose from on the internet and we’re going to talk about some of them. We can use “All-in-One WP Migration“, with this plugin, the default maximum upload file size is 512 MB. You can choose which data is “left behind” when you migrate the site: other plugins, themes, comments or images. This plugin is free but also has a paid version from US$ 59 to US$ 179. The premium package will give you a variety of additional features, such as support for cloud storage via Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Cloud Storage.

Duplicator is another of the most popular plugins, providing an all-in-one solution for backups and migrations in WordPress. This plugin ensures that migration between domains or hosts is smooth, without the site going down, even with the free version. The premium version of the plugin costs US$49 per year. The paid plan allows you to access the CPanel directly from the installer, make regular backups and provides access to a number of cloud storages, such as Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive and more. 

Another plugin is “BackupBuddy“, which allows you to make automatic scheduled backups: daily, weekly or monthly, depending on your needs. The plugin also offers excellent cloud storage locations for backups, including FTP, Dropbox, Rackspace Cloud and you can even send this backup data to your email. This plugin is only available as a premium, one-off payment, ranging from US$80 to US$199.



Before carrying out a migration, you need to take some precautions. Bear in mind that the site must work on the new server in the same way as it did on the old one. Any errors could damage the quality of the site. All data must be protected and not at risk of being lost. As the site will be undergoing changes, it is best that it has no traffic at the time of migration, so disable its visibility in search engines. If you migrate the site using a plugin, check that your domain is pointing to the correct host.

Today, many companies need immediate results, but the truth is that they cannot afford to implement SEO internally while leveraging with the priority of their business focus. If you still can’t handle these steps or don’t have the time to put them in place, Bringlink SEO ensures you get the brand visibility and growth you deserve.

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