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How to migrate a local flywheel site to live website hosting account

Hi there…

Sorry for the dumb question but what’s the best/fastest way to migrate a site developed in Flywheel Local to a live website hosting account (i.e. like Hostgator, SiteGround etc.)?

Many thanks
Nikoletta

1 Like

Nikoletta,

That isn’t a dumb question at all. I had the same question too. Here is what I’ve done for my site that is developed on Local and hosted on 1&1. This process assumes that the production site already has the same version of WordPress installed.

  1. Install the plug-in “All-in-One WP Migration” to your Local site and your production site.
  2. Install the plug-in “Force Generate Thumbnails” to your Local site.
  3. Create an export file using the “All-in-One Migration” plug-in.
    3a. Add a rule to ‘Find’ your development site name (e.g. yoursitename.dev) and ‘Replace’ with your production site name (e.g. yoursitename.com).
    3b. [Optional] Add a rule to ‘Find’ your development site database prefix and ‘Replace’ with your production site database prefix. This is only needed if the two are different.
    3c. Export to “File”, which is free with the plug-in.
    3d. Download the file that is created to your Desktop or Downloads folder.
  4. On your production site perform an import using the "All-in-One Migration’ plug-in. In the dialog box that opens just drag and drop your exported file from step 3d or navigate to the exported file location.
    4a. Wait patiently while the file uploads.
    4b. Apply the uploaded export file to the production site when prompted to do so.
  5. Verify the installation.
    5a. Look at the list of plug-ins and re-activate plug-ins that need activation. Typically these are ones that have a license key, and/or where the license key is difference on development than on production.
    5b. Check out your media library. If there are no thumbnails then use the plug-in Tools -> “Force Regenerate Thumbnails” to (duh) force the regeneration of thumbnails in the media library.
  6. Check out your pages and/or posts and/or comments. It should all match up with development now.

I’ve performed this process up and down now several times to perfect it. I experimented with other plug-ins and only had good results using the “All-in-One Migration” tool. My site, silverlakedevelopment.com, is a multilingual web site and only “All-in-One Migration” kept the translated pages intact and associated with the parent page.

Hopefully this is helpful to you and to any others using the excellent Local by Flywheel too.

14 Likes

jus a question …will this work for wordpress 4.8.1??

frederickd,

This Step-By-Step, easy to follow tutorial totally saved me. I tried to upload my Local site to my live hosting site via. FTP and it was a mess, had to call Tech Support, it didn’t work!

But after following your instructions my live site worked perfectly! I didn’t even have to use FTP - “All-in-One WP Migration” is a great plug-in!

Thank you so…much!

1 Like

Hey that’s great! I’m flattered that the instructions helped someone out. I’ve been very pleased with the “All-in-One WP Migration” plug-in. I even got the premium version as I have some really large sites.

The only thing I have to watch for now are the images. Sometimes after a migration I have to regenerate the thumbnails to get the Media all fixed up. That isn’t too hard. I use “Force Regenerate Thumbnails” and it has worked very consistently.

Thanks again for the feedback. We need to have each other’s back.

frederickd

1 Like

This is really good advice. I only have one suggestion:

All-in-One WP Migration is great, but it does miss things. I recommend installing the “Better Search Replace” plugin on the new site after migrating and then checking if there are any references in the database to the old site that didn’t get converted over properly.

If so, you can use that plugin to fix those references. i.e. you’d search for “yoursitename.dev” and replace with “yoursitename.com”.

1 Like

frederickd,
your instructions worked like a charm! - could hardly believe it when All-In-One WP Migration finished its job and I checked the live site.
Thanks & praises from a totally newbie hobbyst web developer.
Cheers!

Frederickd - you are a lifesaver! This was my first time creating a wordpress website and using local by flywheel and your instructions worked PERFECTLY.

The only issue I ran into was that one of my plugins was out of date when I migrated and it broke some things (had to jump into FTP to delete the plugin because it broke my wordpress dashboard). Mentioning this so anyone reading this doesn’t make the same mistake I did. Update your plugins BEFORE using All-In-One WP Migration!

1 Like

Thanks again for the tutorial Frederick.
I did purchase the all in one wp migration unlimited option.
I have tried several times, but at the prompt to overwrite the database it fails each time.
There is no error message it just spins at some random percentage while replacing the database.
I have let it run overnight once and all afternoon another time but it will never complete.
Have you ever ran into this problem before, I am at a loss for what to do next.

That’s very strange. I’ve had the plugin take its time restoring but that was with a really large site. My upload speed isn’t the greatest. It took eight hours.

You may want to check with All In One Migration tech support. I have a hunch that a memory setting for the web site might be too small.

I use Divi exclusively and had to update a memory setting to have the Divi Builder not time out. Perhaps something similar is happening here.

Hopefully some of this is helpful.

This is awesome. So I would add the following to the beginning of your list.

Put production site into maintenance mode
Update all plugins on Production Site
Update all plugins on Local Site

Then add the following to the end of list

Take production site out of maintenance mode.

New List:

  1. Install the plug-in “All-in-One WP Migration” to your Local site and your production site.

  2. Install the plug-in “Force Generate Thumbnails” to your Local site.

  3. Put production site into maintenance mode

  4. Update all plugins on Production Site

  5. Update all plugins on Local Site

  6. Create an export file using the “All-in-One Migration” plug-in.
    6a. Add a rule to ‘Find’ your development site name (e.g. yoursitename.dev) and ‘Replace’ with your
    production site name (e.g. yoursitename.com).
    6b. [Optional] Add a rule to ‘Find’ your development site database prefix and ‘Replace’ with your production
    site database prefix. This is only needed if the two are different.
    6c. Export to “File”, which is free with the plug-in.
    6d. Download the file that is created to your Desktop or Downloads folder.

  7. On your production site perform an import using the "All-in-One Migration’ plug-in. In the dialog box that opens just drag and drop your exported file from step 3d or navigate to the exported file location.
    7a. Wait patiently while the file uploads.
    7b. Apply the uploaded export file to the production site when prompted to do so.

  8. Verify the installation.
    8a. Look at the list of plug-ins and re-activate plug-ins that need activation. Typically these are ones that
    have a license key, and/or where the license key is difference on development than on production.
    8b. Check out your media library. If there are no thumbnails then use the plug-in Tools -> “Force Regenerate
    Thumbnails” to (duh) force the regeneration of thumbnails in the media library.

  9. Check out your pages and/or posts and/or comments. It should all match up with development now.

  10. Take production site out of maintenance mode.

2 Likes

This process took like 17 hours, and went wrong, isn’t there a faster way, I mean, 17 hours???

Sorry that it didn’t work out @albertising!

The issue is that every host has a slightly different way of doing things. Some ways to upload a site will work for some hosts, while other things will not. When you add in things like slow networks or low resources for shared hosting, you can certainly have a slow time doing things.

These steps are a good advice, but I also like to keep in mind the overall picture of how to migrate a site which basically boils down to:

  1. Move the media – ie, everything in the uploads folder
  2. Move the code – WordPress Core files, plugins, themes
  3. Move the DB – export the database, and then import it into the host, searching-and-replacing as necessary

Most of the plugins that say they migrate sites are basically just automating that general process, so if you can understand what issues you are running into when migrating to a certain host, you can optimize the process for that host.

Hope that helps give a larger context for things, and possibly allow you to successfully migrate a site!

– Ben

1 Like

@ben.turner I want to go live with Godaddy, but the all in one migration gives an error when trying to export my local site to a file. I keep getting “Unable to open file for writing. File: /app/public/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-wp-migration/storage/” Please help…

That means that the file couldn’t be created. I’d look closer at the plugin’s settings to see if you can change to the path that it creates the backup so that it is within the wp-content/uploads folder, which is often times writable whereas the plugins folder might not be.

Hi there

Just arrived on this topic and I have a dummy dumb question too what about the DB?

In local by Flywheel the db name is local but on my hosting live db the name is different can it be an issue as I guess that the plugin export the DB too from local to reimport in the live site?

how do I access my production site to upload all in one?

Sorry for the delay in responding. I have not had a problem with a DB that has a different name. I make sure either the prefix is the same or I map from one prefix to the other, depending on which direction the transfer is going.

Sorry for the delay. You would need to be able to access WP-Admin and install the plug-in from the WordPress Dashboard for Plugins.

force general thumbnails is no longer on the wordpress immediate download library.
went to their site and saw:

“This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.”

is there another plugin you would suggest, or should this plugin still word despite its lack of updates with wp?