WPCloud Deploy Documentation

Import Sites

When you’re looking to move a site from an existing host to one of your new WPCD servers, you can usually use any backup and restore plugin.  This allows you to import sites from many of the major WordPress SaaS hosting services such as WPENGINE, CLOUDWAYS, SITEGROUND, GODADDY, PANTHEON, PAGELY, FLYWHEEL, BLUEHOST etc.  As long as they allow you to temporarily install a backup/restore plugin, you’ll be able to import your site into WPCloudDeploy.

Internally, we use UPDRAFT PLUS (the premium version) but you can use whatever back/restore/transfer plugin you like.  Here’s a general idea of the process we use with UPDRAFT PLUS.  Note that some sites are unique and will require additional steps but these generally work for most standard sites:

  1. Install Updraft Plus on the old site.  Make a backup with it.
  2. Download the backup files from Updraft Plus (it makes you download them one at a time so you’ll probably have to download five or more files – just make sure you get them all).
  3. Create a new site on one of your WPCD servers using the domain you’re transferring and then point the DNS of the old site to it.  THIS WILL TEMPORARILY disconnect your old site from the internet.
  4. Enable SSL on the WPCD SSL tab for the new site.
  5. Install Updraft Plus on the new site.
  6. On the new site, upload the backup files using the UI that Updraft plus provides in its admin area.  (If the files are too large you will need to upload them using sFTP instead to the Updraft Plus backups folder).
  7. Restore the site using Updraft Plus.  It handles the database including table name changes and so on.
  8. Compare your old wp-config.php file with your new wp-config.php file and make sure any non-standard entries are moved over.  For most sites this isn’t an issue but some sites have plugins that have custom wp-config entries.

Note that for step 3, it might take a bit for the DNS to propagate and allow access to the newly created site.  But if you have a proxy service such as CloudFlare, it should only take a minute or two at most.

The above steps work for non-critical sites that can handle some down time.  If you have sites that cannot handle a lot of down-time the process is a little more complicated:

For Sites That Cannot Handle A Lot Of Down Time

  1. Install Updraft Plus on the old site.  Make a backup with it.
  2. Download the backup files from Updraft Plus (it makes you download them one at a time so you’ll probably have to download five or more files – just make sure you get them all).
  3. Create a new site on one of your WPCD servers with a temporary domain.
  4. Point your DNS for the temporary domain to the server’s IP.
  5. Enable SSL for the temporary domain on the WPCD SSL tab for the new site.
  6. Install Updraft Plus on the new site.
  7. On the new site, upload the backup files using the UI that Updraft plus provides in its admin area.  (If the files are too large you will need to upload them using sFTP instead to the Updraft Plus backups folder).
  8. Restore the site using Updraft Plus.  It handles the database including table name changes and so on.  It will also change the domain of the imported site to the temporary domain.
  9. Compare your old wp-config.php file with your new wp-config.php file and make sure any non-standard entries are moved over.  For most sites this isn’t an issue but some sites have plugins that have custom wp-config entries.
  10. When you are ready to make the change permanent, use the WPCD DOMAIN CHANGE feature to change the domain back to the original domain.
  11. Point the DNS of the updated domain to the IP of the server.  This will DISCONNECT your old site from the internet – you’ll need to wait for the DNS changes to propagate.
  12. Request a new SSL certificate in the WPCD SSL tab for the site.

Notes

  • Some backup/restore and import plugins and techniques can sometimes change the WP folder permissions.  You’ll notice this if you create an sFTP user and try to change a file or delete a file – you’ll get a permission error.  Just use or RESET PERMISSIONS tool under the site TOOLS tab to resolve this issue.
  • Some backup/restore and import plugins add entries to the wp-config.php file using double-quotes.  We expect single-quotes to be used.  When reading the wp-config.php file for database and other information during operations such as backups, clones, restores, etc.  double-quotes will cause errors.  So please double-check your wp-config.php file to verify that they are indeed using single-quotes instead of double-quotes after importing sites.

Premium Help

Prefer to have someone else handle site migrations for you?  Check out the bottom of our services page for our Site Transfer Service pricing.

Share: