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:
Alternatively, you can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory here.
Make sure the ‘Database backup,’ ‘File backup,’ and ‘Backup to Folder’ options are all checked. Create a name for your archive and click ‘Save changes.’
Usually, your specific site files (like themes and uploaded photos) are the most important files to copy. They’ll be located in the wp-content folder. Be sure to un-check the last box titled ‘Include Special Files’ and select ‘Save changes.’
(If you’re not sure how to connect to your Flywheel site via SFTP, that’s covered in this help guide.)
Open up the wp-content folder of the destination site, and begin moving the files over from your local computer’s wp-content folder to your Flywheel site.
Make sure you grab all of the files in the backup wp-content folder you just unzipped and upload them to the wp-content folder in your Flywheel site. You can either overwrite the existing themes, plugins, and uploads folders or you can merge your backup with the files already present. Just be sure that anything in the local wp-content folder gets uploaded to the wp-content folder in the destination site.
Once all the files have been uploaded, log in to your Flywheel dashboard and click into your site. Then choose the ‘Advanced’ tab and move over the database manager on the right. Click the ‘Manage’ button.
Your database prefix can be seen in the Advanced tab of the site’s Flywheel Dashboard. Just click the ellipsis icon next to the prefix and click “change.” Enter the database prefix that matches the prefix of the tables in the SQL backup file that you just uploaded. (The database prefix is an identical string of characters at the beginning of every single table name in your database. The default is “wp_” but frequently varies. Prefixes almost always end with an underscore.)
Depending on how the original site was built and how it stores its data in the database, this step may not be necessary. But often, the domain which was being used to build the original site being imported will still remain in the database.
You can easily run a search-and-replace, if necessary, by using a plugin like Better Search Replace, or by using SQL commands from the Advanced tab of the site’s Flywheel Dashboard, if you’re comfortable doing so. Otherwise, feel free to reach out to Flywheel Support for a search-and-replace.
You’re done! After you have your site migrated, you’ll be able to go live on Flywheel!
If you can get logged into WordPress on your Flywheel site at this point, you can run that search/replace using a plugin, if needed. Otherwise, if you’re savvy with SQL, you can run a command to make that update from the SQL tab of the database manager. But if neither of those are options, just contact us and we’ll be happy to make that update for you.
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