How do you manually migrate a site?

Many WordPress developers set up websites on a local server for testing and appraisal. This allows users to test new themes, plugins, and other features without worrying about breaking the site. Even though you can achieve this using dummy content, real site data gives you a better representation of how your changes will manifest in a live environment.

Laying the Groundwork

Before proceeding with the actual migration, you have to prepare the local server for hosting your site by installing the latest version of WordPress. You can skip this step if you are overwriting an already existing site. You also have the option of creating only the database, and then proceed with migrating it.

Downloading a Backup

Before starting with the manual migration process, you are required to have your entire site content ready in one place, preferably in a compressed format. If you are using a good WordPress backup service like blogVault, a ready-made download solution is available to you. The Download Backup feature provides you with the option of downloading any one of the last 30 backups from blogVault’s repository.

The next step requires you to enter details regarding the backup that you want to download:

  • Version – Choose the backup version that you want to download.

  • Url – Enter the URL corresponding to your local server. All references to the original site URL, both in the files and database, will be overwritten to the local URL. In this way, blogVault prevents any broken links post migration.

  • Database Details – Enter the details of your database by referring to the WordPress configuration file wp-config.php file. If you are planning to migrate just the database, you must check the Only Database option under Advanced Options. blogVault also provides an option to migrate just the Files too.

Copying the files

The last and final step to migrate your site is to copy the content onto your local server. To migrate the WordPress files, copy them to the appropriate location on your local server from where your test site will be served. For migrating databases, you must import the bvfulldump.sql file. You can achieve this using phpMyAdmin from your host’s cPanel.

And that’s it! You have successfully migrated the site to your local server.