Transfer Files to a Live WordPress Site with BackupBuddy
You use the BackupBuddy plugin to move a client's WordPress website from its temporary hosting environment (sandbox) to its permanent one. Website designers often test their WordPress designs in a sandbox environment, and later transfer the site to its real domain after final approval. You can also use BackupBuddy to transfer files from your sandbox environment to your client’s server and vice versa.
BackupBuddy is not a free plugin available on the WordPress Plugin Directory page. You have to pay for this plugin, but it’s worth every penny because it takes the entire backup and migration (or transfer) process and makes mincemeat out of it. Translation: BackupBuddy makes the backup and migration of your website very easy to accomplish and can be done in minutes, instead of hours.
Purchase and download the BackupBuddy plugin.
At this time, the cost for the BackupBuddy plugin starts at $45.
Install the plugin in the sandbox environment.
Install the plugin on the test website, and not the destination server just yet.
In WordPress Dashboard, choose Plugins→BackupBuddy→Activate under the BackupBuddy plugin name.
WordPress activates the plugin.
The Backups page appears.
Click the Full Backup button.
This initiates a full backup of the website's database, files, and content and then packages it neatly into one Zip file for storage on your local computer, in a location of your choosing.
Download the importbuddy.php file by clicking the importbuddy.php link on the Backups page and downloading it to your local computer.
Preferably, place this file in the same directory as the backup file you downloaded in Step 5.
Files and folders on the destination server appear within the ftp window.
Upload the backup.zip file and the importbuddy.php file.
These files are uploaded to the root, or top-level, directory on the destination web server. On some web servers, this is the /public_html folder, but on others, it may be the /httpdocs folder. If you aren’t sure what the root directory is, the hosting provider can tell you.
Create a new database on the new hosting account.
A database is created.
Navigate to the importbuddy.php file in your web browser.
This URL looks like http://yourdomain.com/importbuddy.php (where yourdomain.com is your actual domain name).
The BackupBuddy page loads in your web browser.
Follow the steps provided on the BackupBuddy page to import the backup file and install WordPress.
These steps include adding the database information needed, such as the database username, database name, password, and host.
Type the URL of your website in your web browser address bar and press Enter.
This loads your website in the browser window, and after BackupBuddy transfers the files, the new website is completely loaded onto the new server and is an absolute duplicate of what you had in your sandbox environment.
Using this method to back up and transfer a full WordPress website from one server to another takes about 5–10 minutes to accomplish (depending on the number and size of the files), which is a huge timesaver.
If you had to transfer and back up the site manually (by taking manual backups of separate elements, such as images, content, themes, plugins, settings, and so on), it’d take a couple hours to complete. The BackupBuddy plugin is thus an essential tool in any web designer's toolkit