SiteGround’s New WordPress Migration Tool: A Walkthrough + Honest Feedback

SiteGround Review

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In August 2018, SiteGround released a new automated WordPress migration tool targeted at small business owners looking to switch their hosting to SiteGround (read why I switched to SiteGround from WP Engine in 2017).

At first glance, it looks super-easy to use. And I’ve used ~10 different WordPress migration plugins & tools over the years, and not a single one has worked perfectly on the first try. Ever. So clearly, I was skeptical.

The time has finally come to give SiteGround’s WordPress migrator plugin a try.


Watch the SiteGround WordPress Migrator Video

The Site Being Transferred

The site being transferred is a super-simple, small WordPress site for a fellow designer friend of mine. Less than 10 plugins. A pretty basic use of the Divi theme. Nothing fancy at all (other than the beautiful design, of course 😉).

I think it’s important to mention she is using WPMUDev’s Defender Pro plugin for added security. Security plugins are known (sometimes) to cause issues with automatic WordPress migrations.

Old Hosting: GoDaddy Linux Hosting – Economy

GoDaddy

Please don’t hate on her and stop reading just because I mentioned the word “GoDaddy.” Many people still have sub-par experiences with them, but their old MO (modus operandi) is a thing of the past.

SEE: The Truth about GoDaddy

But obviously she (as have I) has chosen SiteGround over GoDaddy for a reason. SSL being a big one, and somewhat related to that, price.

SiteGround offers an unlimited amount of free SSLs, including wildcards, with one-click install & forced redirection to https.

But let’s get back to the migration…

This GoDaddy hosting appears to be an older, legacy version of their hosting. It does not use cPanel; rather, it’s own custom admin panel. But aside from that, there is nothing unique about her setup.

👨🏼‍🔧 Let’s Start the WordPress Migration

Immediately upon signing up for a new SiteGround account, you’re presented with an option to transfer an existing site. If it’s a WordPress, you can choose to use the WordPress Migrator plugin.

Choosing SiteGround's WordPress migrator option

After declining any further upgrades and clicking the Complete Setup button, you’re taken to a page to create a migration token.

Create Migration Token

SiteGround WordPress Migrator generate token page
Click the “Generate” button to generate a token

Copy this token or save it somewhere on your computer. We’ll need it in the next step.

SiteGround Migrator active tokens list
Your active tokens will show up here. Copy the token to your clipboard.

🔌 Install SiteGround Migrator Plugin

  • Now let’s go login to the WordPress admin area of our existing site
  • Navigate to Plugins > Add New
  • Search for SiteGround Migrator
  • Install & Activate the plugin

SiteGround Migrator plugin card

🏃🏼 Run the SiteGround WordPress Migrator

In your left navigation bar, click on SG Migrator.

SG Migrator menu item

Here’s where the magic happens!

  • Enter your migration token
  • Enter your email address to be notified when migration is finished (or has failed)
  • Click Initiate Transfer
Initiate transfer for WordPress SiteGround migration
Enter your token. Enter your email. Click the big orange button!

🤦🏼‍♂️ Migration Failed

Bad news. It didn’t work. Just like the handful of other WordPress migration methods I’ve tried.

SiteGround WordPress Migrator failed
Manifest file. What’s that?

I thought it might have something to do with the security plugin, Defender Pro.

Disabled Security Plugin. Let’s Try Again.

Nope. Same thing. SiteGround apparently still can not download the manifest file. Bummer.

Could It Be the Type of GoDaddy Hosting?

Possibly. But like I said, it was about as basic of a WordPress install as it gets. Maybe it had something to do with GoDaddy’s server.

SiteGround, if you’re out there, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what this error message means:

Can not download manifest file

🙂 Silver Lining?

For all new accounts, SiteGround offers one free website transfer. All you have to do is ask 🙋🏼‍♂️.

I ended up reaching out to SiteGround support and asked them to move the site for me. This is my first time having them migrate a site for me, so I’ll be sure to update this section as soon as its complete.

Fingers crossed they nail it! 🤞🏼


Have you had any experience with SiteGround’s WordPress Migrator plugin? It only has 2 reviews so far, but both are positive. What’s been your experience? Please share you existing hosting & site setup in the comments.

2 Commentson "SiteGround’s New WordPress Migration Tool: A Walkthrough + Honest Feedback"

  1. /

    I have tried SiteGround Migration wp PlugIn for 3 different websites on different hosting companies, AWS and media temple – no go for all 3. I thought it might be old PHP, nope, upgraded & still did not work, time out issue??? No Answers

    → Reply
    1. (Author) /

      I feel your pain. It’s obviously not working as well as they had hoped, and we would all like it to.

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