Three years ago, I joined an agency that up until my arrival had been manually migrating their WordPress sites. This processes usually involved pulling down all the site files through FTP or compressing them through shell on a development server, exporting the mySQL database through phpMyAdmin, uploading the site files to the live server, modifying some sort of config file, importing the mySQL database to the live server, edit a few tables in the database to reflect the live information, and followed up with a find and replace in all the content (usually with a lot of praying and cursing in between). Several hours and failed migrations later I determined there had to be a better way.
After a few Google searches the answer was obvious. Enter BackupBuddy!!! BackupBuddy by iThemes claims to have the best way to back up and move a WordPress site and I would agree. After using the plugin for a few years, I have easily migrated 50+ sites.
So why am I writing about how amazing BackupBuddy is today? Generally speaking I use BackupBuddy to migrate developments sites usually no larger than 500mb in size. Well, today I needed to move an existing site that came in around 2.5GB in file size and an uncompressed database of over 500MB to a development environment to work on. Think of it as if I duplicated a shitty car, park it into my garage to work on, then burned the old car to the ground, and rolled the now fixed car out of the garage. Now until now I had never attempted to migrate a site of that size with the plugin, usually because the existing site would be coming from some shitty server that wouldn’t be able to handle it. The success of a migration has a lot to do with the quality of where the site is currently hosted. But I had few options this time around as I did not have access to the servers databases. So I fired up BackupBuddy and ran a backup which the first time around halted at around 2.4GB of file backing up, which is damn good, but unfortunately the server wasn’t powerful enough to capture the whole thing. So then option two, I pulled down all of the site files, moved them to the development server, then ran BackupBuddy to backup the database only, followed the BackupBuddy instructions to migrate, and SUCCESS. A WordPress site with about 10,000 posts with large amount of images successfully migrated.
So buy BackupBuddy (Note: this was not paid for or sponsored by iThemes, I just really like the plugin.)