Migrating a Large WordPress Site


    So you want to move a large website? 30GB? 50GB? maybe even 200GB? You have options, and I’m going to go over them each here.

    First, Plugin or Manual?

    PHP based Plugin Backups are Good but not Great

    There’s a number of WordPress backup and restore plugins that you can use to backup and restore WordPress site. However, they’re written in PHP and will use your own hosting resources to accomplish the backup and restore. This is great for small sites, but not large sites.

    PHP isn’t a efficient Programming Language

    Why? PHP is inherently inefficient. Every time you run PHP code it needs to be complied before it can be run. This leads to a considerable amount of CPU usage, essentially you’re compiling code almost anytime someone visits your WordPress site or does a checkout with WooCommerce.

    Caching helps but PHP 8.0 is Coming!

    Granted, full page caching and opcode (bytecode) caching has help with this. But it hasn’t fixed the problem entirely, as logged in users can bypass full page caching and opcode cache can only cache so much data at one time. This will however not always be the case, PHP 8.0 will enable JIT (Just in time compiler) which will improve processing time of PHP but to what extent on WordPress workloads? It’s not yet know. Here’s more on PHP 8.0 and JIT https://platform.sh/blog/2020/php-80-feature-focus-just-in-time-compilation/

    Too many Plugins!

    There’s actually quite a number of backup and restore plugins available for WordPress, both free and paid. Some free plugins are limited in what you can do and how much you can backup and restore. Some include remote backups, and some use proprietary archiving methods (AIO).

    Everyone has their preference, it’s human nature. But there are some that are better than others. I’m hoping to eventually test each plugin against a number of different sized sites. When there’s free time of course.

    Manual SSH + rsync + mysqldump reigns supreme!

    At the end of the day, manually migrating your site using SSH + rsync + mysqldump is the gold standard to successfully migrate your site.

    Plugin Migration

    Popular Plugins for WordPress

    Going to list more after a small poll on our Facebook Group! Join here!

    Local File Backup and Restore

    More to come!

    Remote File Backup and Restore

    More to come!

    Manual Migration

    There are quite a few ways to migrate a WordPress site manually. We’re going to cover all of them, at least all of the ones I know 😂

    I’ve broken this down to two sections, one for Database and one for Files. They’re both totally different and so they need there own sections.

    Database First

    You’re going to need a copy of your database.

    1. PHPMyAdmin

    Super simple, if your host provides PHPMyAdmin you can use the “Export” function when you have the database selected.

    Instructions to follow 🙂

    However, for larger databases you might find this process will timeout. Especially if your hosting provider has aggressive restrictions or the server you’re on is overloaded and there is no available resources.


    Files Second

    1. FTP/SCP

    This is pretty straight forward method, and most likely available on all hosting providers.

    Download a FTP/SCP Client

    Grab a popular FTP/SCP client, here’s a few!

    There’s quite a few more online. Simply search and you’ll find them!





    Comments are closed.

    You May Also Like