Migrating WordPress – Staging to Production (Step by Step Guide)

migrating WordPress
Image credit: Pixabay

Do you want to understand the processes involved in migrating WordPress – staging to production? Well, if you’re a beginner, migrating WordPress from staging to production might turn out to be an intimidating task because of all the steps that must be followed correctly. However, once you get used to the process, it will become quite easy, and you will be able to accomplish it without wasting valuable time.

For this piece, we are going to explore the definition and meaning of WordPress, the best way to migrate the software (including the step by step method). We will also look at other tidbits that will be of benefit if you are in the process of migrating WordPress from staging to live. 

What is WordPress

migrating WordPress
Image credit: Pixabay

WordPress, often referred to as WordPress.org or WP, is a content management system (CMS). founded by Mike Little – an English developer and his colleague Matt Mullenweg who is a known American developer. The release date for the software was on the 27th of May 2003, and it was released under the GPLv2

Its open-source (written in PHP) makes use of the MariaDB database or MySQL database. However, it was originally designed as a system for blog-publishing. Over the years, WordPress has evolved to support other forms of web content like media galleries, membership sites, more traditional forums and mailing lists, online stores, and LMS (learning management systems).

Many present-day websites leverage WordPress because this content management system (CMS) is not just great for hobby blogging, it is equally great for business, e-commerce, and portfolio sites. According to available data, there are currently over 60 million websites that leverage WordPress, and as of April 2019, 33.6 percent of the best ten million sites are already using WordPress, giving it pride of place among the most popular CMS solutions in use. 

More so, it is a versatile system, created with flexibility and usability in mind. To put it simply, WordPress is, without doubt, the simplest and most powerful website and blogging CMS we have today.

Some great features to look out for in a WordPress include a template system and a plugin architecture; these are known as ‘themes’. However, before you can get WordPress to function, it must be installed or set up on a web server.

This can be done as a computer running or managing the software package WordPress.org or as a component of an Internet hosting service such as WordPress.com in a bid to function as a network host in its own right.

migrating WordPress
Image credit: Pixabay

Migrating WordPress – Staging to Production 

Below is a step by step guide to migrating WP from staging to live 

Step 1: Set Up An All-in-One WordPress Migration, both Live and Local

First, you need to set up an all-in-One WordPress migration. The direction to follow here is exactly what you would normally do with the installation of a normal plugin. 

  • In your local staging site, the plugins on the control panel of your WordPress has an ‘Add New’ tab, click on it.
  • Search for the All-in-One WP Migration. Once found, download, install, and activate it.
  • To understand if the plugin was downloaded, check the menu bar towards the left-hand side on the control panel of your WordPress. If the ’All-in-One WP Migration’ tab is there, then it means the download was successful.
  • Now, head over to the Live site’s WordPress control panel and install the All-in-One WP Migration by repeating the process.

Step 2: From Your Site’s Local Version, Create Your Export File 

The essence of this second step is to secure the local site by creating a backup.

  • On the left side menu bar, beneath the ’All-in-One WP Migration’ tab on your WordPress control panel, click the ‘export’ tab.
  • Once clicked, you will notice that you only have access to the advanced or higher settings to export specific data instead of the entire site.
  • The recommendations are that you export the entire site. To achieve this, click the ‘export’ button to display the drop-down menu.
  • The plugin will now prepare the file for export. Once done, a window with a ‘download’ option will appear. Click on it and have the backup or support file downloaded onto your PC.

Step 3: From Backup to Your Live Site 

Once the backup for your staging site is complete, you are now free to move to the WordPress dashboard of your live site. The below instructions will help;

  • Search for the All-in-One WP Migration’ on the left side of the menu bar. What we are looking for this time around is ‘Import’.
  • Select ‘Import’ and select ‘File’ when the menu drops down.
  • Search for the file you have already exported and when you locate it, select ‘Open’. This will upload the file to WordPress.
  • Once the upload is complete, a notification pop-up will ask if you want to overwrite what’s on your live site – this includes orders, comments, and much more. Once you agree with the terms, it is time to click on ’Proceed.’

What happens next is that your new website will be installed by the plugin, overwriting everything in the older version. The amount of time this stage will take is dependent on the size of your site.

Migrating WordPress – Staging to Production: Which Hosting Company?

There are many ways to migrate a WordPress site; however, the All-in-One WordPress Migration (as featured above) is the best option.

With your live site completely backed up, you can leverage the hosting services of your website to push your site. This is the easiest as well as the safest way of accomplishing things at this stage.

Some WordPress web hosting companies offer a totally independent environment on your hosting server. This way, you can carry out tests, as well as try out some new ideas. For this option, hosts like Kinsta, SiteGround, Bluehost, and premium hosting package from FlyWheel are all-inclusive.

The most popular among all the hosts is BlueHost, the reason being that staging service from them is free of charge.

On the other hand, hosts such as SiteGround are popular with many because their quality of service is superior and a notch higher than what is obtainable from others.

However, the proposed size of your website and the expected amount of traffic will have to be a deciding factor. Also consider the returns you are expecting from the site – is it enough to cover all the expenses? Another relevant question to answer is whether the choice you have made will aid or hinder your set objectives.

While churning out the numbers for maximum profits, keep in mind that you need to reduce overhead costs as much as possible. For larger businesses, hosting should be taken more seriously, as cutting corners might jeopardize profit. 


From this write-up, it is evident that migrating WordPress – staging to production is pretty straightforward. Just follow the same directions as you would when setting up your normal plugin. For optimal results, remember to use the best host according to the size of your site and the expected traffic.

Did this article help you out? If so, go ahead and share and feel free to comment below.