Menu

How to migrate your site to Flywheel using BackWPup

Updated on June 1st, 2022

Note

This migration method is ideal when your site exists solely on your local machine.

If your site is currently live on another host, we recommend migrating your site to Flywheel using our Flywheel Migrations plugin, as it’s a bit faster.

If you’d prefer not to use a plugin, or you have your site files ready to go and just need to import them to Flywheel, we recommend migrating your site to Flywheel manually.


Table of Contents:

1. Install and activate the free BackWPup plugin
2. Create and configure a new backup job
3. Run the backup job
4. Download the backup
5. Unzip the backup file
6. Upload your site files via SFTP
7. Upload the database SQL file via the Database Manager
8. If necessary, update the database prefix
9. If necessary, update domains and links to the Flywheel temporary URL


Install and activate the free BackWPup plugin

  1. Navigate to the Plugins page of your WordPress admin area and install BackWPup.
  2. Alternatively, you can download the plugin from the WordPress plugin directory and install it manually.

Create and configure a new backup job

  1. Navigate to the BackWPup menu on the sidebar and select Add new job.
  2. Enter a name for your backup job. Make sure the Database backup and File backup boxes are checked. Select Tar GZip for the Archive Format.
    backwpup_1
  3. Make sure Backup to Folder is checked.
    backwpup_2
  4. Click Save changes.

Run the backup job

  1. Navigate to the BackWPup menu on the sidebar and select Jobs.
  2. Hover over the job you created and choose Run Now.
  3. Depending on the size of your site, your backup may take a few minutes to complete.

Download the backup

  1. Navigate to the BackWPup menu on the sidebar and select Backups.
  2. Hover over the backup you created and select Download
    .

Unzip the backup file

  1. On a Mac, double click the file to open it.
  2. On Windows, you’ll want to make sure you have an archive program installed like 7-Zip.
  3. If the backup completed successfully, you will see various files and folders – make sure a folder named wp-content and a file with the extension .sql are present. These contain all the information required to recreate the site on Flywheel.

Upload your site files via SFTP

  1. If you haven’t already, create a new site on Flywheel.
  2. Log in to your Flywheel SFTP account, and open the destination site folder. (If you’re not sure how to connect to your Flywheel site via SFTP, check out this help article: How to access your site via SFTP.)
  3. Open up the wp-content folder of the destination site, and begin copying the files over from your local computer’s wp-content folder to your Flywheel site.

Note

When uploading these files to Flywheel, you can either overwrite the existing themes, plugins, and uploads folders, or you can merge them with the files already present. Just be sure that all the files from the backup’s wp-content folder are uploaded to the wp-content folder of the destination site.

Upload the database SQL file via the Database Manager

  1. Log in to your Flywheel dashboard and find your site.
  2. Navigate to the Advanced tab and locate the Database card. Click the Manage Database button.
  3. Select the Import tab.
  4. Click Choose File and locate the backup’s database file (the file with the .sql extension).
  5. Click Import File.

If necessary, update the database prefix

Your site’s prefix can be configured from the Advanced tab of the site’s Flywheel dashboard on the Database card. This value should match the database’s actual prefix.

  1. To confirm your database’s actual prefix, click Manage Database.
  2. Enter the term “users” in the search bar. This will bring up the users table, which is a trustworthy indicator of the database’s prefix.
  3. 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. In this example, the database prefix is “wp_”.
  4. If the prefix value on your site’s Database card differs, you can update it.
  5. Click the 3 dot menu icon next to the prefix and click Change.
    Change the database prefix in the Advanced tab of the site's Flywheel Dashboard
  6. Enter the database’s actual prefix and click Change Prefix.

If necessary, update domains and links to the Flywheel temporary URL

Depending on how the original site was built and how it stores its data in the database, this step may not be necessary. 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 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.


Still need help?

If you run into any snags migrating your site, get in touch with our Happiness Engineers, they’ll be happy to help point the way!

Was this article helpful?

Getting Started

New to Flywheel? Start here, we've got all the information you'll need to get started and launch your first site!

View all

Account Management

Learn all about managing your Flywheel user account, Teams and integrations.

View all

Billing

Everything about billing, invoices and payments can be found here.

View all

Features

Flywheel hosting plans include a ton of great features. Learn about how to get a free SSL certificate, set up a staging site, and more!

View all

Platform Info

All the server and setting info you'll need to help you get the most out of your Flywheel hosting plan!

View all

Site Management

Tips and tricks for managing your sites on Flywheel, including going live, troubleshooting issues and migrating or cloning sites.

View all

Growth Suite

Learn more about Growth Suite, our all-in-one solution for freelancers and agencies to grow more quickly and predictably.

View all

Managed Plugin Updates

Learn more about Managed Plugin Updates, and how you can keep your sites up to date, and extra safe.

View all

 

Flywheel help

Help is just a click away! Log into the Flywheel dashboard to instantly chat with an expert, open a ticket, or follow along with in-depth documentation. We happily offer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

Log in

Try Flywheel today

Launch your next WordPress site in minutes.

 Free migrations  24/7/365 support  14 day demo sites