BackupBuddy: Manual Migration

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Manual Migration

Getting Started: Make a Backup

When migrating a site with BackupBuddy, you need to make sure that the new location you are migrating to is "clean." There should be no WordPress files at the new location.

Before you start the manual migration process, make a complete backup by going to BackupBuddy > Backup in your WordPress dashboard.


Manual Migration Methods

You can send the backup file to the new location a couple of different ways:

  • Upload to the new location through FTP
  • Send the backup file from BackupBuddy in the dashboard of your original site
  • Upload through ImportBuddy
  • Select the backup file you want to use from Stash

Uploading through FTP

If you chose to do this through FTP, you will need to upload the backup file and and a copy of the importbuddy.php file to your chosen location.

To get these files, you can go to BackupBuddy > Restore/Migrate in your dashboard and download both the backup file you'd like to use and a copy of ImportBuddy.

Downloading the ImportBuddy and backup files

You then need to decide on the FTP directory that you would like to migrate or restore the backup to (using an empty directory is best) that corresponds to the web URL you want your destination site to be at.

For example, if you want your new site's URL to be then your server directory MIGHT be something like this: /user/username/public_html/mybuddy/. This is the directory you will then put importbuddy.php and backup file (don't rename the zip file!) into. The directory structure varies host to host but often follows a similar format.

Sending from the Dashboard

Instead of having to upload the backup file and your copy of importbuddy.php to your new server, you can send them directly from BackupBuddy in your dashboard.

To do this go to BackupBuddy > Restore/Migrate and click the Send ImportBuddy to a Destination button to send your importbuddy.php file to the new server. Then hover over the backup file you'd like to use and click the Send File link.

Sending ImportBuddy and Backup File

Clicking both the Send ImportBuddy to a Destination button and the Send File link will open your destinations window.


There, you can either create a new destination to send your files to or select from one of the remote destinations you've created previously. You can also check to "Delete local backup after successful send" if you'd like the file to be removed from your current server after the send.

Uploading through ImportBuddy

In ImportBuddy's Step 1, you can opt to upload your backup file there (this will be covered in more detail Step 1). You still, however, have to either upload importbuddy.php to your new server location or send it through the dashboard to the new location.

Selecting from Stash

In ImportBuddy's Step 1, you can login to your Stash account and select the backup file that you'd like to use (this will be covered in more detail Step 1). You still, however, have to either upload importbuddy.php to your new server location or send it through the dashboard to the new location.

The 6 ImportBuddy Steps for Manual 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. When doing a manual migration, you can:

  • Select a backup on your server


  • Upload your backup file


  • Login to your Stash account and select the backup you'd like to use.


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 all the database settings for the new location.


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 in ImportBuddy's Step 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.


Step 5: Database Migration

Step 5 updates all of the URLs, paths, etc. on your site to match your new site. 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. Once you've tested your new site, you can move to the final step.


Step 6: Final Cleanup

Step 6 removes any temporary files from your new site that were used for the migration.


Manual Migration Tutorial

Migrating Using a Database Backup


The only difference between migrating a site with a complete backup and a database only backup is that in your new location, you'll go ahead and upload WordPress to the new location.

You'll 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, go to and follow the 6 ImportBuddy steps

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