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Manually migrating a site from another host to Flywheel


This is a newer guide with easy directions for migrating a site to Flywheel from another host or any live server. If you’re looking for the old version of this guide, or if you’re trying to migrate a site from your local machine, check out the older version of this guide instead.

One question we get a lot is, “Can I migrate my site to Flywheel myself?” and the answer is YES!

Many of our customers migrate their own sites. Interested in getting started by migrating your own site to Flywheel? Get started by following these simple steps:


Log into the site you want to migrate, and install Migrate Guru

Log into WordPress, and head to Plugins > Add New.

In the search field on the plugin install screen, enter “Migrate Guru” and you should see a screen with one result, shown below. Click “Install Now.”

Search for Migrate Guru on the plugin installation screen, and install the plugin

Alternatively, you can download Migrate Guru from here and install it by uploading it through WordPress or via SFTP.


Choose Flywheel

Click “Flywheel” once the plugin is activated, or click Migrate Guru > Flywheel from the WordPress admin sidebar to choose Flywheel as the destination site host.


If you haven't already, create a Flywheel site for your migration

If you already have a Flywheel destination site for your migration, you can skip this step. Otherwise, log in to your Flywheel account, then click the “New site” button in your dashboard.

Fill out the form to create your new site, and give us a little time while your new Flywheel site creates. You can proceed as soon as you see the new site’s dashboard.


Enter your Flywheel destination site's information in Migrate Guru

You don’t need to be logged into WordPress on the destination Flywheel site, but you will need some information from that site’s Flywheel dashboard.

Here’s a screenshot of the fields you’ll be filling out inside Migrate Guru on the site to be migrated:

  • Email is your own personal email. That’s just where you’ll receive a notification when the migration is complete (or if anything goes wrong).
  • Destination Site URL is the primary domain set in your Flywheel site’s domains list. This will be a domain if you just created the site. Be sure to include the “http://” before the domain; see the placeholder text in the box for an example of proper formatting.
    The primary domain in the domains list of the Flywheel dashboard
  • Flywheel URL is what shows in your browser bar while you’re viewing the Flywheel site’s dashboard. If you’re in the “Overview” tab of your Flywheel site’s dashboard (where the domains list above is also shown), then you can copy the page URL straight out of your browser. Be sure to include the protocol (“https://”, which should also copy automatically), so that what you enter here matches the formatting of the placeholder text.
  • SFTP username is your Flywheel username. If you’re not sure, you can find this in your profile, under the dropdown menu with your avatar in the upper-right of your Flywheel dashboard. NOTE: your Flywheel username is not the same as your email address.
  • SFTP password is your Flywheel password; what you use to log into Flywheel.

If you have any trouble with your passwords, we have a guide to passwords on Flywheel here.


If your Flywheel site has Privacy Mode enabled, enter those credentials

If your Flywheel site is a free demo site or hasn’t launched yet, it will probably still have Privacy Mode enabled. (If it doesn’t, you can safely skip this step):

Privacy Mode username and password

  • Copy the Privacy Mode username and password from the destination Flywheel site’s dashboard, then head back to Migrate Guru in the site to be migrated.
  • Click the “Advanced options” button (just below the SFTP fields in Migrate Guru)
  • Enter the Privacy Mode username and password (respectively) in the username and password fields under “HTTP Auth for Destination Site”:



Click 'Migrate'!

Once you’ve entered all of the fields required above and made sure they match the appropriate details of your Flywheel user and destination site, click the “Migrate” button.

If everything was entered properly, you should see a screen like this shortly:

If you don’t see this screen, or if the migration screen reloads with an error message, then odds are that something wasn’t entered correctly. Or, if you just created your Flywheel site, it may take a few minutes before Migrate Guru can connect to it. Go back through the directions above, and carefully make sure each field is correct, then retry. If you’re currently connected to SFTP, disconnect and wait ten or more minutes before retrying.

The screen above will show some progress bars once the migration begins. You don’t need to keep your browser window open once the migration begins; you can safely go on about your day!

You’ll receive an email from Migrate Guru once the migration begins, and again letting you know when it’s complete.

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