BackupBuddy: Magic Migration

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Magic Migration allows you to migrate your site without leaving your WordPress dashboard.


Step 1: Select Backup to Migrate

To get started, visit the Restore/Migrate page in BackupBuddy and select the backup that you'd like to migrate. Hover over the backup and select the Migrate to remote server link.


Step 2: Select Backup Destination

Next, you'll select where you would like to send the backup. With Magic Migration, your choices are:

If you have not already created a Local Directory or FTP location (BackupBuddy > Remote Destinations) , you can do so now in this window by clicking the destination type you'd like to use and +Add New.


Step 3: Begin Migration

Once you've selected where you'd like to migrate your file to, you'll begin the migration process. On the 'Begin Migration page, you'll see the URL corresponding to the FTP or Local Directory. This URL must lead to the location where files uploaded to this remote destination would end up. If the destination is in a subdirectory make sure to include it in the corresponding URL.


The 6 ImportBuddy Steps for Magic Migrations

ImportBuddy will now walk you through the 6 migration steps.

Step 1: Choose your backup file

Step 1 allows you to select the backup file that you'd like to use. Since you've selected this backup from your dashboard, you don't need to select a file to use for your migration.


On Step 1 is where you'll find the Advanced Options. Select any optional advanced options if needed or directed by technical support. Once you've selected your Advanced Options or if you do not need to select any of these options, click Next Step


Step 2: Unzipping Backup File

Step 2 unzips the backup file. There is nothing you need to do for this step. Just select Next Step once the extraction has completed.


Step 3: URL and Database Settings

Step 3 is where you will enter the database settings for the new location. Use your host's cPanel to create a database or use the Have cPanel? Click to create a database option.


  1. Enter the following URL settings:
    1. WordPress Address - This is the address where you want the final WordPress site you are restoring / migrating to reside. Ex:
    2. Use optional custom site address (Home URL)? - OPTIONAL. This is also known as the site address. This is the home address where your main site resides. This may differ from your WordPress URL. For example:
  2. Enter the following Database Settings:
    These settings control where your backed up database will be restored to. If you are restoring to the same server, the settings below will import the database to your existing WordPress database location, overwriting your existing WordPress database already on the server. If you are moving to a new host you will need to create a database to import into. The database settings MUST be unique for each WordPress installation. If you use the same settings for multiple WordPress installations then all blog content and settings will be shared, causing conflicts!
    1. MySQL Server - This is the address to the mySQL server where your database will be stored. 99% of the time this is localhost. The location of your mySQL server will be provided to you by your host if it differs.
    2. Database Name - This is the name of the database you want to import your blog into. The database user must have permissions to be able to access this database. If you are migrating this blog to a new host you will need to create this database (ie using CPanel or phpmyadmin) and create a mysql database user with permissions.
    3. Database User - This is the database user account that has permission to access the database name in the input above. This user must be given permission to this database for the import to work.
    4. Database Pass - This is the password for the database user.
    5. Database Prefix - This is the prefix given to all tables in the database. If you are cloning the site on the same server AND the same database name then you will want to change this or else the imported database will overwrite the existing tables.
  3. Once you've entered all the new database information or created your new database, you will need to test the settings. If the test is successful, you will be able to move on to Step 4. If the test fails, however, verify all of your database settings are correct and run the test again. Click Test Database Settings to start the test.


  4. Once the test is successful, click Next Step.

Creating a Database through cPanel

  1. If you haven't set up a database for the new location, but have access to cPanel for the new site, you can create your new database through cPanel in ImportBuddy's Step 3. To create your database, click the Have cPanel? Click to create a database button.


  2. In the window that opens, you can automatically create a database along with a new database user with permissions. Fill out the required information and then click Create Database.


  3. Once you've entered all the new database information or created your new database, you will need to test the settings before you can move on to the next step. If the test is successful, you will be able to move on to Step 4. If the test fails, however, verify all of your database settings are correct and run the test again.

Step 4: Database Import

Step 4 imports the database information into the database of your new site. Once the import is completed, click the Next Step button.

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 12.33.53 PM.png

Note: Advanced options are also available during Step 4. These advanced options allow customizations of various ImportBuddy functionality for custom purposes or troubleshooting. Exercise caution as some advanced options may have unforseen effects if not used properly, such as overwriting existing files or erasing existing database content.

Step 5: Database Migration

Step 5 updates all of the URLs, paths, etc. on your site to match your new site.

  1. Before you move to the final step, be sure to go to your new site and check all of your links to ensure they have changed. You may view your entire import log for providing to support by clicking the View Import Log button.
  2. Once you've tested your new site, you can move to the final step by clicking Clean up & remove temporary files.


Simple Problems & Solutions

  • Clicking on a posts results in a 404 Not Found - This is typically caused by a problem with your .htaccess file. Log into your wp-admin, navigate to Settings: Permalinks in the WordPress menu and click the "Save" button to update permalink settings to your .htaccess file. This typically resolves this problem.
  • Logging in redirects back to the old site - This is usually caused by entering the source site URL as the destination URL on Step 3. Re-restoring using the correct URL should fix this problem.
  • Source site has changed to the destination URL - This is caused if you restored over your source site database by entering the source site database settings on Step 3. You may re-restore using correct settings. You may correct the modified URL on the source site by using the Server Information page's Mass Text Replace tool.

Step 6: Final Cleanup

Step 6 removes any temporary files from your new site that were used for the migration. Your site will then be ready at the URL indicated on this page.


Magic Migration Tutorial

Migrating Using a Database Backup


The only difference between migrating a site with a Complete (Full) Backup and a Database Only Backup is that in your new location, you'll go ahead and install WordPress to the new location.

  1. Place a copy of importbuddy.php and your Database Only Backup file in the new location via any of the methods listed in the manual migration steps.
  2. Go to and follow the 6 ImportBuddy steps.

See also

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