What is the migration process?

After you have approved your new website, we’ll need to migrate it from my development server to your server, referred to as the production server. There are two approaches we can take.

For existing websites, before any development begins I copy your website in full to my development server and build upon it. The difference between the two options only concerns content created after development has begun.

Standard Migration

Best for: New websites or existing websites with content that doesn’t change often
This is the most common approach for law firms, corporations, and non-profits. I’ll copy all files and the database (which includes the content) from my development server to your production server. If this is a rebuild of an existing website, your existing website will be completely replaced. Any new content created since development began should be added to the development website as well.

If we’re using this opportunity to change hosting to WPEngine, there will be no migration necessary. I’ll simply change the owner of the install to you and we’ll update DNS to point to WPEngine.

For blog posts created after development began, I recommend creating a category called “Migrate”, adding them to it, then using WordPress’ import/export tool to copy just those posts from your live site to the development server (I can help with this). You might have some images that don’t make it over, so review the imported content carefully.

A typical migration takes 30 minutes.

Enterprise Level Migration

Best for: Existing websites that are updated frequently
This is the most common approach for publishers. Once the development website is approved, at a scheduled date and time we will migrate your current website (production) to a staging environment provided by your host.

We will implement a content freeze on your production website to ensure no new content is created while migration occurs.

I will copy the theme and plugins from the development server to staging server, and set everything up (configuring plugins, menus, widget areas…). Once complete, we’ll have a staging environment using the new design containing all your current content. Now is the time to make any final content changes you want in place before the new site is live.

Your host will then move the staging environment to production, completely replacing your live site with the staging server version. This will wipe out your existing production website, but due to the content freeze there will be no new content to worry about.

A typical migration takes 2-6 hours depending on the complexity of the website.