How to migrate to the WP Engine staging environment

In it’s 16th year, WordPress is still leading the pack when it comes to a versatile CMS.  A clear indicator of how powerful and dominant the platform has become is the advent of hosting companies offering specialized managed hosting specifically for the WordPress CMS.  The leading host in this growing market by many of our metrics is WP Engine.  A major feature of WP Engine hosting has been the ease in which sites of any size can be migrated over to the WP Engine servers.  The migration process to WP Engine is simple and straightforward, however you may not be aware of a very cool feature that we’re sure will come in handy on your future or present WordPress projects.

 

If you are familiar with the WP Engine migration plugin, you will be aware that you can migrate easily to the production environment over at WP Engine, but did you know you can do EVEN MORE?  This is a simple step-by-step explanation of how you can migrate a site not to the main production server/environment, but to a WP Engine Staging environment as well. This can be clutch when the available installs on your account become filled up but you still need the powerful features and reliability of WP Engine to ensure a fast and smooth work flow.

 

A Brief History

 

Website migration is complex and difficult which is why WP Engine has developed their migration plugin for WordPress which automates the process and takes out the labor-intensity. In addition to providing an efficient migration solution for developers, WP Engine maintains an impeccable customer experience with unlimited monthly data transfers, daily backups, malware scanning, and 24/7 technical support.

 

The process

 

Step 1: Install ‘WP Engine Automated Migration Plugin

Go to your WordPress Dashboard and download ‘WP Engine Automated Migration’ plugin by following the pathway: ‘Plugin’ > ‘Add new’ and searching for “WP Engine Automated Migration”.

 

Step 2: SFTP Credentials

NOTE: You will need to already have a staging environment created; you can find how to create the environment here.  Once the plugin has been downloaded, select the ‘Site migration’ tab from your WordPress Dashboard.  You will notice a set of credentials you need to supply.  You can fill in your email address immediately, but to generate the rest of the information, you must login to your account on the WP Engine User Portal.

Note: if your current host or WP Engine environment is password protected, you will need to enter that information so the plugin can access everything for migration.

 

Step 3: Website Migration

In order to migrate to the WP Engine staging environment of your website simply fill in the staging environment url you created for your website.  The staging URLs are formatted as sitename.staging.wpengine.com, fill in the remaining information, your SFTP address, username and password into the WP Engine migration plugin.

 

Once you have filled in all of the information correctly, select ‘Migrate’ on the plugin.  If you have followed the steps correctly and provided accurate credentials the migration will begin.   You will be redirected to the BlogVault Dashboard where you can access real-time updates of the process.  The time taken depends on the size of your website.

 

Step 4: Bask in the glory of a job well done

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All done! You now have expanded the usability of the WP Engine staging environment. Visit your newly migrated staging site at sitename.staging.wpengine.com

 

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