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Migrating large wordpress sites I have found is quite tricky, especially into GoDaddy! So a bit of background; I had a large WordPress site for a client that was 14.1GB in size. Trying to do WP All-in-one migration failed – as any plugin installs on the source site came up with an error ‘can’t create directory’. I tried the GoDaddy migration assistant, twice, and it got most of the way and failed

I enquired with GoDaddy and they couldn’t see why it failed – I thought it was size, but I did have 50GB of space, and GoDaddy told me this was not the issue.

Next I tried following the instructions for migrating a site into WordPress manually. Here: http://www.wpexplorer.com/migrating-wordpress-website/

And here: https://www.godaddy.com/help/move-your-wordpress-site-manually-12371?v=1

So I was able to take a backup of the home directory (all 14.1GB) and it took a few hours to download. I was also able to do a download of the database (27MB) from the cpanel on the source site. However trying to import the database in the GoDaddy instance just kept falling over with a curious error.

So I thought I’d think outside the box…

Thinking of a different approach

I thought, well what if I can do a local install of WordPress on my MacBook Pro, and then import the site site – using the above procedures (with full permissions, access and control), then install WP Migration, and then export everything in one go. Install WP Migration on a vanilla GoDaddy install, and then import that file….

Well you know what! It worked.

Install on MAMP

Locally I chose to use MAMP – this is the Mac WordPress/MySQL stack. I was able to get phpAdmin working eventually. After setting in preferences the ports to 80 and 3306. And then running mySQL locally in terminal using the following command ‘/Applications/MAMP/Library/bin/mysql –host=localhost -uroot -proot’ I then stopped getting MySQL connection refused errors, MyPhpAdmin loaded, and then I was able to import the MySQL database.

Only it was constrained to 8MB – so I had to edit the php.ini here: /Applications/MAMP/bin/php/php7.2.1/conf/php.ini – and basically where changed to fields:

max_post_size = 60M
upload_max_filesize = 32M
max_file_uploads = 20000

Then restart mysql / MAMP, and you should be able to go to the ‘mysql’ database, and do Import. Then choose the mysql you exported (27MB) above, and choose SQL as the format, and un-enable partial import. This may or may not give you a progress message, so once clicked GO, give it some time to complete. It will either give a success message or error. For me it was successful.

Next I uncompressed the tar backup of the home directory, and in the mamp HTDOCS directory I moved in the content from the ‘public_html’ directory.

Then I used the following script to replace the domain name in the database with ‘localhost’. ‘Search-Replace-DB’ – http://github.com/interconnectit/search-replace-db . Download he GitHub repo, extract it, copy into HTDOCS in a subdirectory. Then open the page in a browser via localhost. Then do a try run (if successful) then do it for real.

Now go to localhost/wp-admin and save the permalink twice. Now visiting the site it will work; or in my case it worked!

The migration phase for Migrating large wordpress sites

How you have a working mirror of your site locally, install WP Migration All-in-one, and export the database – this will be one file (quite large!).

Then on the GoDaddy site install the same migration plugin. Because it’s over 512MB you’ll need to pay $69 on the unlimited plugin – the time saved its worth it though. Once purchased, downloaded and installed the unlimited plugin, then import the migration file.

After several hours the upload completed.

Then I was prompted to import, and that it would overwrite content in the database and file system, I clicked proceed. A while later the migration completed. In this case I had to save the permanlinks twice and re-activate all the plugins. When this was done the website was migrated perfectly!

So in conclusion migrating large wordpress sites to GoDaddy is very feasible and possible to achieve, see above!

Hosting and site migration services

If you would like to migrate your site onto new hosting (ours or someone else) – we can assist. So please get in touch. Especially if you’re having trouble migrating large wordpress sites.