Do you want to migrate your WordPress website from a local host to a cloud server but dread the process?
You’re not alone! Migration can seem daunting, but it’s not much complicated. This guide will teach you the quick and easy way to migrate your WordPress website using a plugin.
Let’s jump in.
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What Do You Need for Moving WordPress Sites to Live Servers?
Before conducting the actual migration process, you must ensure that you have the following requirements:
- A functional WordPress website developed on a local server using XAMPP or WAMP.
- A web hosting plan matching that site’s resource requirements and compatibility with PHP and MySQL/MariaDB.
Note: Ensure your web hosting plan aligns with resource needs and PHP/MySQL compatibility. Explore our FREE web hosting pricing calculator to find the right hosting alternatives according to your site’s traffic.
How to Migrate Your WordPress Website From a Local Host to the Live Server
WordPress has a huge plugin repository that can ease the migration process. You can choose any migrator plugin, but here I am using WordPress Duplicator plugin because of its many benefits, discussed later in this blog.
Follow the steps below to migrate your WordPress site from a local host to a live server using the WordPress Duplicator plugin.
Step 1: Download and Install Plugin on the Local Site
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard
- Navigate to Plugins > Add New
- Search for the WordPress Duplicator plugin in the top-right search bar.
- Click on the Install Now
- After successful installation, click the activate
- After activating the plugin, you will see the Duplicator menu on the left side of your WordPress Dashboard.
Step 2: Export the WordPress Site by Creating a New Package
Here’s how you can package the WordPress files on your local computer using the Duplicator plugin to easily move these files to the live server.
Create a new package:
- Go to the Duplicator menu on the left side of your WordPress dashboard.
- Select Packages.
- Click the Create New button to build a new package.
This process has the following major steps:
- Click the Next button to start the process.
- The system will scan your site.
- Checkmark to continue with the build process.
- Click the Build button
- After this, you’ll be redirected to the following screen:
- Once you’ve finished the setup process, you will see two files: Installer and Archive.
- Download both files on your desktop.
- Next, let’s move the website files to the live site.
Step 3: Upload Installer and Archive File to Live Site
In the previous steps, you have already downloaded the Installer and Archive files to your computer. Now it’s time to upload those two files to the live server.
1. Choose your FTP Client
You can use any FTP client of your choice to upload these files. I am using FileZilla here:
- Open your FTP Client
- You’ll see the following screen
- Fill in the details.
2. Fetch the Details From Your Live Server
- Log in to your Cloudways account. If you are new to Cloudways, sign up for a new account to get the 3-day free trial.
- Once you have logged in, click the Servers tab to see the list of servers.
- Navigate to the server you wish to migrate to the WordPress website.
- Go to Servers → Server Management and get the FTP Master Credentials.
3. Connect to Your Server via FTP
Now that you have fetched the details fill in the FTP client’s fields to connect your server via FTP.
Note: On Cloudways, you must use port 22 to avoid issues.
4. Upload Installer and Archive File to your Live Site
- Go to the Applications folder after connecting your server via FTP.
- Find your destination WordPress application by using the DB name.
Note: Before you go ahead with uploading archive files, make sure that you delete the wp-config file (located in the public_html folder).
- Navigate to the public_html folder and upload the Installer and Archive files from your desktop to this folder.
It will take a couple of minutes because the archive files are generally large.
Step 4: Run the Installer Set Up on the Live Server
Enter your destination site’s address and add installer.php at the end.
Now follow the steps below:
1. Extract the Archive
- Go to the installer page, and you will see the following screen:
- Click the Next button to move over to the next step.
2. Set up the Database
You can either install a new database manually or use an existing database. I’ll go with the latter here:
Note: The WordPress Duplicator Pro version saves you from the hassle of manually installing the database.
Fetch the details by following the steps below:
- Go back to your Cloudways dashboard, choose your Server > Application
- Under Application Management, you will see your database details, including the DB name, username, and password.
- Add the details and click Next
The Duplicator plugin works best with empty databases. Hence, before moving forward, you need to remove all previous data.
- Go to the Application Management screen and click the Launch Database Manager.
Next, the database window will open.
- Check the checkbox named tables to select all the tables in the database.
- Click the Drop button to remove the selected tables.
- You’ll be redirected to the following screen:
- Click Yes to confirm.
3. Data Replacement
- Once you click the YES button, you will be given a URL, path, and title automatically.
- Click the Next
4. Test Site
The final step is to test your live website. For that, the WordPress Duplicator plugin will ask you to follow several important steps.
Save Permalinks: Click on the Save Permalinks button to redirect to your live site. Change the permalink settings as per your requirements.
Test Site: Click on the Test Site button to open the front end of your live site. Here, you can test if everything is working as expected.
Security Cleanup: Lastly, Security Cleanup lets you clean all the files created by the Duplicator plugin during transfer. Before cleaning up, ensure your website is properly copied and working fine.
- Now it’s time to move on to the live site.
Step 5: Reactivate the Plugins
In most cases, all plugins are deactivated when you move the WordPress site from a local host to the Cloudways server.
But you can reactivate all the deactivated plugins by following the steps below:
- Navigate to Plugins → Installed Plugins.
- Select all and then click the Activate
This is an important step to finalize the successful migration of your site from the local host to the Cloudways managed server. These recommended settings optimize the website and enhance the speed of WordPress websites.
Congratulations! You have successfully tested and moved your WordPress website from localhost to Cloudways – A Managed Cloud Hosting Platform.
Why Use WordPress Duplicator Plugin?
The Duplicator plugin allows WordPress administrators to migrate, copy, or clone a WordPress site from one location to another.
Using this plugin, you can forget your worries about backing up and moving the database, plugins, and themes because the WordPress Duplicator plugin does everything for you.
Even if you are a newbie, the Duplication plugin easily helps you migrate your WordPress site from localhost to Cloudways server.
However, it requires you to know more about finding your database credentials and related information.
Here are some of the benefits of the WordPress Duplicator plugin:
- Easily migrate WordPress websites from one host to another
- Take manual backups of WordPress websites
- Pull down a live site to localhost
- Easy website duplication
- Schedule backups at your convenience
- Expert support available
- Email notifications
- Additional developer support
- Connect to cPanel directly from the installer
- Database creation built into the installer
- Integrated transfer to cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3
What Are Some Other Good WordPress Migrator Plugins?
Apart from the WordPress Duplicator plugin, several other plugins allow you to migrate your website from the local host to a Cloudways web hosting server without any issues.
Here is the list of the best WordPress migrator plugins that you should try:
- WordPress Duplicator (Freemium)
- All-in-One WP Migration (Free)
- BackupBuddy (Premium)
- UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin (UpdraftPlus Migrator) (Freemium)
- WP Migrate DB (Premium)
- Migrate Guru (Premium)
- VaultPress (Premium)
- WP Clone (Free)
What Is the Duplicator Pro Plugin?
Duplicator Pro adds extended functionality to the Duplicator plugin. It allows WordPress users to migrate, copy, move, or clone a site and back it up to various cloud locations.
The Duplicator pro plugin comes with an extensive feature set, including:
- Works with multiple sites and subsites
- Fast package engine to handle large sites
- Choose backup limits to avoid maxing storage space
- Use existing databases or build new ones
- Overwrite old sites with a click
- Simple single-archive bundles
- Receive email notifications
When to Upgrade to Duplicator Pro?
Although the WordPress duplicator plugin covers you with all the basic tasks, I’d advise upgrading to the pro version if you:
- Have a website bigger than 500 MB
- Want to backup using an FTP or a cloud storage service
- Need support for WordPress Multisite
- Need support for multithreading
- We wish to create new databases and users in CPanel
- Don’t want to manually install databases
Having a WordPress website on a local host is a great way to experiment on your WordPress site and keep improving it until you’re satisfied.
However, you will eventually need to move it to a live server for your online visitors. We understand that the migration process can look intimidating, but with WordPress plugins like the Duplicator Plugin, you can easily migrate your site from a local host to a live server.
And I have shared all the migration steps in this tutorial. Don’t hold back if you encounter any cloud migration problems while transferring your website content! Feel free to ask us and leave your questions in the comment section below.
Q. How do I install WordPress duplicator?
Follow the steps below to install the WordPress duplicator plugin:
- Go to your WordPress Dashboard
- Navigate to Plugins > Add new
- Search for Duplicator – WordPress Migration Plugin
- Install and Activate
Q. Can I copy plugins from one WordPress to another?
Yes, follow the below steps to copy plugins from one WordPress site to another:
- Connect to your source website’s FTP
- Go to the plugins folder in wp-content/plugins
- Download the plugins that you need or download the whole plugins folder
- Connect to your destination website’s FTP
- Navigate to wp-content/plugins
- Upload the plugins folder you had downloaded from your Old FTP
- Go to your destination website’s WordPress Dashboard > Plugins
- Activate all plugins that you need
Q. How do I migrate using duplicator pro?
Here’s how you can migrate your website using the Duplicator Pro plugin:
- Go to your source site’s Dashboard
- Click Plugins > Add new > Duplicator Pro
- Create a new package
- Download the package to your local PC
- Go to your destination site’s Dashboard > plugins > Add new > Duplicator Pro
- Select Import
- Drag and drop the archive file that you downloaded from your source site
- Review the details and click Launch Installer
- Click Continue and overwrite
Liza Rajput is a Technical Content Producer at Cloudways. Being a software engineer, she loves to play with data and its processes and wishes to grow and excel in Data Science and Big Data Engineering. She has also been an avid reader and exceptional writer, with sufficient experience in technical, research-based, and creative writing.