There’s a new plugin that has received a lot of attention lately, and it’s taken me a while to get to writing about it, but after having given the plugin a go, I’m sufficiently impressed that I had to share my experience with you.
WP Migrate DB Pro is a tool that, in a nutshell, allows you to copy a database from one site to another. It’s very useful for developers, who regularly develop a site on one server (a dev server or local installation), and then when the client is happy with everything, they can move the entire site to the production server, or live server.
Clearly, each WordPress installation has a unique address: your development environment might be something like http://client.mydevserver.com/ or http://localhost:8888/client/ and your live site, or production environment is probably something like http://www.myclient.com, so when you’re ready to move from your dev environment to your live environment, every reference to the dev environment in your database (such as site URL, paths, image URLs, widgets, GUIDs and internal links) needs to be changed to the correct live reference.
You may see people recommending downloading the database and simple doing a find and replace to change all of the old URLs to the new ones, but the trouble there is that in certain places, WordPress uses serialised data, so if you try and change the data within a serialised array, it will become corrupt and invalid (which is why if you’ve tried that, the widget settings never come across properly).
So, WP Migrate DB Pro handles all of that for you (including changing the URLs within serialised arrays), and it makes the whole process extremely easy, by employing a push/pull feature. Simply install the plugin on both sites, go into the settings and tell it which site is the source (push) and which is the destination (pull), and start the transfer.
The transfer process then begins, and a beautiful progress bar tells you how far along in the transfer process you are, however, because it’s so quick, you’ll probably only catch a glimpse of it before the transfer is complete.
And with that, all that remains to do is zip up wp-content and copy it to the live environment, and you’re done – you just moved an entire site in a few minutes.
WP Migrate DB Pro really does make a developer’s life much easier. I’m glad I shelled out and bought a developer license. It’s already paid for itself. Highly recommended.