With the WP Migrate DB plugin you can move your WordPress database in just a few steps and migrate all your content to another website. The plugin is particularly suitable for developers to exchange data between staging and live websites.
WP Migrate DB exports your database as a MySQL dump, finds and replaces all urls and file paths and then allows you to save the database as a SQL file on the computer. To complete the migration, you can then import the SQL file with e.g. phpMyAdmin on the target website to replace the existing database there.
WP Migrate DB
You can find the basic version of the plugin for free in the WordPress plugin directory. There is also a Pro version with more features, but more on that later. WP Migrate DB comes from the Delicious Brains developer studio and is currently active on 300,000 websites.
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In contrast to the WordPress importer contained in the core, it allows the migration of the entire WordPress database , ie not only your content such as posts and static pages, but also all core, theme and plugin options are included.
Export WordPress database
You can find the settings of the plugin under Tools → Migrate DB in your WordPress backend. The main function Export File is already selected and allows you to download a compressed gzip file from your database.
In addition to exporting an SQL file, the free version also lets you search and replace content in the website's database. For this task I would recommend the Search & Replace plug-in because of the better feature set.
In the options for Find & Replace you can have the URL of your website and, if necessary, the file path of the wp-content directory replaced automatically when exporting. Most of the time, the URL is enough for the target website. In the Advanced Options you can exclude certain content such as spam comments, revisions and transients from the export.
Finally, there is still the option to save your settings as a migration profile. This allows you to perform the same migration again at a later point in time without having to reconfigure. With a click on Export & Save the export is carried out and the SQL file is offered for download after completion.
In contrast to a database backup with a WordPress backup plugin or a MySQL dump with phpMyAdmin, the exported SQL file from WP Migrate DB is directly prepared for import because all URLs and file paths have already been adapted and changed for the target website .
Move WordPress database with SQL import
As a final step, you can now import the exported SQL file onto the target website. In most cases you should have access to a database management tool that allows you to import the database using a web interface.
Web hosting providers usually give you access to the database with tools like Adminer or phpMyAdmin. From there, the SQL file can be imported.
WP Migrate DB's SQL file contains DROP TABLE commands, ie your existing WordPress tables will be completely deleted and replaced by the newly imported tables. As always with such critical activities, I strongly recommend that you ensure sufficient backups of all data in advance - just in case.
More features with WP Migrate DB Pro
There is also a Pro version for the free WordPress plugin, which offers a range of add-ons and additional features.
Among other things, it is also possible to import exported SQL files, so that external tools such as phpMyAdmin are superfluous and you can do everything directly in the WordPress backend. The push and pull functions also enable easy synchronization of the staging and live server without having to deal with SQL files.
The WP Migrate DB Pro add-ons enable the synchronization of theme, plugin and media files between two WordPress installations, better support for WordPress multisites and integration with WP-CLI , the WordPress command line tool.
I rarely use WP Migrate DB , but it always worked great when I needed to migrate the database. The plugin is characterized by its focus on a specific purpose and very good usability. And the most important thing: It runs reliably without crashing and has no problems with complex and large databases.