How to migrate a WordPress website

3rd February 2018

Migrating a WordPress website has never been so easy!

Here are three things you can use to migrate a WordPress website – phpmyadmin, HeidiSQL and a plugin.

We’ll tell you our favourite plugin that we use which is what makes migrating a WordPress database so quick and easy.

phpmyadmin

phpmyadmin is accessed via a web browser. It’s interface is fairly simple, easy to navigate and use. There is usually a link to phpmyadmin in your control panel for your hosting account. In here you will find and ‘Import’ tab and an ‘Export’ tab.

Firstly you need to access phpmyadmin for the website you are migrating away from. Then you simply click Export to export your database. Then you need to access phpmyadmin for the website you are migrating to, and then import the database you exported early. Done… well almost!

The last thing you need to do is change all the urls in the database as they will still be pointing to the website that you migrated away from. To do this you go to the ‘SQL’ tab and run a query to replace all the old urls with the new urls. For example: UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = replace(post_content, ‘Existing URL’, ‘New URL’);


HeidiSQL

Not everyone has access to phpmyadmin, so an alternative to accessing a database is to use HeidiSQL, which is a light piece of software that you install.

You will need the database credentials to set up access to the database. There are options in HeidiSQL to import and export sql files (database files) and run queries just like in phpmyadmin.

You can do the same things in HeidiSQL as you can in phpmyadmin, only HeidiSQL isn’t as user-friendly for the more novice users. The interface isn’t as pleasant to look at, it looks much more technical which can be off-putting to some people, it’s harder to navigate and does requires you to play around which a few settings.


Plugin (Bamboo Migration)

Bamboo Migration is our favourite plugin to use for WordPress database migrations. There are several plugins you can use to migrate a WordPress database but this one is the quickest and easiest to use by a mile.

After you have installed the plugin and you are ready to export your database, all you have to do is one simple thing that; go to ‘Tools’ -> ‘Bamboo Migration’ and enter/paste the url of the website that you want to migrate the database to in the ‘New address (URL)’ input field, then click ‘Export Database’ and save the sql file. That’s it!

The beauty of this plugin is that is rewrites all the the urls for you so that you don’t have to do them manually by running an SQL query. This is especially good for people who aren’t familiar with or tech-savvy enough to run such database queries. When you input your destination url and export the database, it runs the query for you and gives you an sql file with all the url corrections ready to be imported into the new destination database.

You can view/download the Bamboo Migration plugin here.


 

Our database migration process

We use the Bamboo Migration plugin to export our databases and make use of its url rewriting abilities for ease and to save time. We then use phpmyadmin (if available) to import it into the destination database. If phpmyadmin isn’t available, we use HeidiSQL instead. No need to run any SQL queries as the plugin took care of those.

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