How to Transfer a WordPress Site to WP Engine
If you’re looking to switch to a more fully-managed solution, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process of transferring a WordPress site to WP Engine so that you can get back to focusing on growing your business instead of worrying about server maintenance and backups.
The Reasons For Moving To WP Engine
There are a number of reasons why you might want to move your WordPress site to WP Engine. For one, the platform offers free backup and security for your site as well as a dedicated support team if you need help. In addition, the software installs easily and is highly compatible with all major browsers and devices.
If your existing platform isn’t capable of doing all of that (and you don’t want to spend money on purchasing additional tools), then WP Engine is a perfect solution for you. On top of that, the platform boasts a variety of plans ranging from free to fully-managed, so you can find the one that best fits your budget.
The Steps To Take Before Deploying
Before you start transferring your WordPress site to WP Engine, you need to take a few moments to think about what you will need in order to do so. In addition to considering the technical requirements, you should also think about what process you will go through in order to get everything set up correctly. To that end, here are a few steps you should take before launching your site on the WP Engine platform.
Update Your Platform
The first thing you need to do before transferring your WordPress site is to update your platform. In most cases, this will mean installing the most up-to-date version of WordPress available. For the best user experience, create a new installation of WordPress and install it on a separate server (if you’re using an existing server, then you need to update it first).
Installing the latest version of WordPress will also ensure that all of the platform’s security plugins and other relevant packages are updated and installed properly. As a result, you will prevent any vulnerabilities from being exploited by hackers, which will then lead to the loss of your valuable data.
Install WP Engine
Once you’ve updated your platform and installed WordPress, you can move on to installing WP Engine. To do this, simply visit the WordPress.org website and look for the link to the official plugins directory. Once you’ve located this link, simply click it and download and install the latest version of the WP Engine plugin. Once installed, activate it on your WordPress site.
You will then be presented with the option to create a new WP Engine account or log into your existing one. If you decided to create a new account, please make sure to use a strong password as well as choose a unique username (this will be how you log in to the platform).
If you decided to use your existing account, please ensure that your password is still valid and that you’re actively monitoring it as you’ll be needing it later on in the process.
Create A New Database
Even if you decide to use your existing account, you’ll still need to create a new database for your WordPress site. This is because WordPress stores all of its data in databases, and when you first installed the platform, it created a database for you automatically. However, if you forgot to connect the database to your WordPress site or otherwise decided not to use it, you’ll need to do this manually.
To create a new database, visit your WordPress dashboard and click on the gear icon in the upper right corner. From here, you can select Settings from the drop-down menu and then click on the button in the top right corner to reveal the General Settings screen. On this screen, you can select the database option and then click on the button to create a new database.
Set Up Your FTP Account & Subscription
You can now set up your FTP account & subscription. For those unfamiliar, FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is a way for you to upload and download files from your PC to and from your site’s server. In most cases, you won’t need to set up an FTP account specifically for WordPress sites because the platform handles this aspect of the process automatically. However, if you’re using an FTP client that doesn’t support the auto-detection feature, then you’ll need to set this up manually.
To set up your FTP account, simply visit the WordPress dashboard and click on the gear icon in the upper right corner. From here, you can select Settings from the drop-down menu and then click on the button to reveal the General Settings screen. On this screen, you can select FTP from the drop-down menu and then click on the button to create an account.
You will then be required to enter an FTP username and password. Make sure to use a unique password for this account as you’ll be needing it to login to the WP Engine dashboard later on in the process. Next, you need to select a subscription plan that fits your budget. If you’re looking for a free plan, then you can select the standard plan, but if your budget allows, you can opt for the Plus or Pro plan.
Set Up Your Domain
If you’re using WordPress for the first time or have an existing website that you want to transfer to the WP Engine platform, then you can use the free domain generator that comes with the platform. Simply visit the WordPress dashboard and click on the gear icon in the upper right corner. From here, you can select Settings from the drop-down menu and then click on the button to reveal the General Settings screen. On this screen, you can select the Language option and then click on the button to reveal the Domains screen. Here, you can input the domain you wish to use for your WordPress site (e.g., yourdomainname).
Once you’ve entered the domain, select the plan that you decided on (free, Pro, or Plus) and then click on the Create Domain button to continue.
Set Up Your Login Page
Users will then be required to log in to access any pages on your site. To set up a login page, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of your WordPress dashboard. From here, select Settings from the drop-down menu and then click on the button to reveal the General Settings screen. On this screen, you can select the Theme option and then click on the button to reveal the Themes screen. Here, you can select the theme you wish to use and then click on the button to continue.
You will then be prompted to input the username and password for the WP Engine account that you created earlier on in the process. Make sure to keep these credentials secret as you’ll be needing them to login to the platform later on in the process.
Install WordPress Plugins
Once you’ve set up your WordPress site and connected it to the web, you can now install plugins. WordPress is a very flexible platform and allows for very extensive customization, which is great for those looking to improve their site’s functionality or just spice it up a little bit. However, this customization also makes the platform more vulnerable to hacking, so make sure that you’ve updated all of your plugins with the latest versions available. In most cases, this will mean installing a new plugin every month to ensure that you’re always receiving the latest updates.
The Importance of Backups
It’s important to make regular backups of your site’s data as well as restore them in case something happens. When talking about backups, most people automatically think about backing up their sites regularly using some type of automated tool. While this may be true, it’s not the only option available to you. Many platforms, such as WP Engine, offer an optional backup solution that doesn’t require you to use an external tool. This solution takes the form of a plugin that automatically creates backups of your WordPress site at specific intervals.
If you’re looking for a solution that doesn’t require you to manually create backups or decide on specific intervals, then you should consider opting for the Premium plan on the WP Engine platform. In most cases, this will be the best option available.
It’s also important to regularly test your backups and restore points to ensure that everything is working properly. To that end, you should perform some type of restore test on your site after making each monthly backup. This way, you’ll know for sure whether or not the backup you just performed was successful.
If you decide that it was, then great. If not, then you’ll need to go back through the process and start over again.