Migrate a Local WordPress Installation to a Web Host

Learn How to Migrate a Local WordPress Installation to a Web Host

Learn how to use the Duplicator plugin or the All-in-One Migration plugin for WordPress to migrate a local WordPress installation to a web host. Develop your sites locally to save time and test plugin and theme compatibility, then move the finished website to a web host.

Choose a WordPress Migration Plugin

This step is very easy, you only need to choose one of the WordPress migration plugins listed below. Read the description for each plugin below to decide which one best suits your needs and skill level. We absolutely love both of these plugins, but neither of them works flawlessly in every situation, so if one does not work for you we recommend trying the other.

Duplicator WordPress Plugin

Duplicator: This is a great plugin for migrating websites and it’s very easy to use too. However, you will need to upload the files to your host using the file manager in their control or an FTP program like FileZilla (32bit), FileZilla (64bit), or FileZilla for Mac OS X. After uploading the files you simply visit the page http://www.YourDomainURL.com/install.php and Duplicator will walk you through the process of migrating your site in less than five minutes.


All-in-One Migration Plugin
All-in-One Migration: To use the All-in-One Migration plugin you will need to have WordPress installed at your web host. However, you can use this plugin to upload the files so you will not need to use an FTP program to upload the files. Most web hosts have a utility that will install WordPress for you, which makes the process very easy. Simply log in to your WordPress site, install the All-in-One Migration plugin and use the plugin to upload your files and migrate your site.


WordPress Migration
WordPress Migration Plugins
“Developing your WordPress site locally and migrating the finished site to a web host will save you time and money. Local website development also ensures your site looks and functions perfectly before it goes live.”

Install All-in-One Migration

In your WordPress dashboard look in the menu on the left side of the page. Hover over “Plugins” and select Add New. In the search box type All-in-One Migration. Click the install button and wait for it to finish installing, then click the “Activate” button. Now you will see a link to the plugin in the menu on the left side of your dashboard.

Click All-in-One Migration, then Export and then follow the instructions below.

Export to file as shown in the image below.

All-in-One Migration Export to File

The plugin will create a file containing your entire site, including the database. After it starts you need to stay on the page and wait for it to finish.

All-in-One Migration Creates a File

Download the file when it is finished (see image below).

Download the All-in-One Migration File

Now log in to to the WordPress site you created on your web host and import the file you just downloaded, using the All-in-One Migration plugin.

Import the All-in-One Migration File

You just migrated your local site to a web host using the WordPress All-in-One Migration plugin. Your password and user name will be the same as they were for your local site. Please make sure your password is strong to avoid being hacked.

Install The Duplicator Plugin

The makers of the Duplicator plugin have created a very good and detailed quick start guide that walks you through the entire process and explains everything very well, so we recommend visiting their site to learn how to use this plugin.

Duplicator Quick Start Guide

The Best WordPress Migration Plugins
Learning How to Use WordPress Just Got Easier

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of possible settings and uses for both for these plugins but you will find they are very easy to use after going through the tutorials. Both of these plugins are also great for backing up your site, though we prefer UpdraftPlus for backups since you can have your backups emailed to you or sent to your cloud storage account. You can send backups to Google Drive using the free version, but the paid version adds many more cloud storage options like Dropbox.


  1. Devlop WordPress Sites Locally
  2. WordPress Migration is Easy
  3. All-in-One Migration
  4. WordPress Duplicator Plugin

Update: 01/07/2018

In this article, we discussed the importance of backing up your WordPress site using multiple methods before migrating, and we want to stress again the importance of doing so in this update.

Recently we moved several of our clients to a new host using our go-to method, backing up the files and database and uploading them to the new host. Restoring your site using this method is a simple and straightforward method that works perfectly in the majority of cases. However, one of the websites did not work correctly after migration.

The home page and many of the other pages worked fine, but upon further inspection, some pages were generating a 500 Internal Server Error. It would have been possible to debug the issue, but it requires developer-level knowledge most users do not possess, and even with that knowledge we may have needed several hours to correct the problems.

How We Resolved the Issues

Resolving the issues was quite simple, we just installed a fresh copy of WordPress and the All-in-One Migration plugin we recommend in this article, uploaded the backup we created, and the site was back up in minutes.

This case is a prime example of the need to use multiple methods of backing up your site before migration, and even as part of your regular backup plan. Because if you have any problems migrating your site or restoring it after an update or getting hacked, most likely you can save yourself hours of work or a lot of money, which you would have paid a developer to debug your site and restore it.



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