Guide: How to Export a WordPress site

Guide: How to Export a WordPress site


In this post we’re going to take a look at all the different steps you can take to export your WordPress site.

If you’re transferring your site from one host to another, you need to transfer the site’s content in entirety. In all such cases it’s useful knowing how to export a WordPress website.

Export WordPress site with the inbuilt export tool

To access the tool go to Tools>> Export from your WordPress dashboard.


Next, choose the option that says “All Content.: This exports all the content including posts, tags, comments, custom fields, categories, navigation menus among others.


The method exports the WordPress database and will not export themes or plugins.


Now simply download the export file to your computer. You create a copy of your site and it will not harm the site in any way or create duplicate content.


To import the .xml file to a new site is easy. First download, install and activate the importer plugin. 

Go to tools>>import.

Click on the run importer link to get started.

This will take you to a page where you can upload the .xml file. Click on upload file and import.

If the original site is online WordPress is capable of importing all the files, posts and images.

The method requires you to manually back up theme files and plugin files and at times media files.


That’s why this isn’t the most preferred route for a lot of people.


Here’s what an alternative method looks like:


Export WordPress site with the Bluehost Migrator

Most hosting companies have started providing users with an option to migrate the site and now we are going to talk about Bluehost since it is one of the most popular hosts there is.

The Bluehost site migrator plugin is one of the simplest tools you can use to move your site from one host to another.

Install and activate the Bluehost site migrator plugin.


Once activated you will see a new page on the dashboard for the plugin. Click on the check compatibility option.

Once done 

After a few moments Bluehost determines the site compatibility. Once that’s over click on start transfer button.


Your website will be prepped for the migration.

It will take a few minutes for the site to get fully exported.


Next you’re going to see a welcome to Bluehost button.


On the screen login to Bluehost after entering your site credentials.


Once you do that your site is connected to Bluehost. You will get an email to the registered ID saying that they have started the transfer.


Once that is done it might take a few minutes to couple hours depending on small or big the site is to finish the migration.


Export WordPress site using the Siteground migrator

The next option you can use is the Siteground Migrator.


Siteground is another WordPress host that offers full fledged site migration options to its customers.


On Siteground go to the dashboard and click on WordPress>>Migrator.


Select your domain from the dropdown menu. If you want to install wordpress on a sub folder menu, you can do that as well.

Once you select the domain click on the generate button.


Next go to your WordPress dashboard and click and download and install the Siteground migrator plugin.

Click on the migrator link on the WordPress admin.

Enter the migration token here and click on the initiate transfer button.

Also enter the email address where you want to receive the details regarding the migration when its complete.


When moving the site to a new domain, you will be shown a warning message.  Click on continue.


Export WordPress site with UpdraftPlus

Updraftplus is another WordPress plugin you can use to export your WordPress site.

Updraft plugin is primarily used for backing up a WordPress website.

Activate the Updraft plus plugin first. Go to settings>>Updraft plus backups page on your WordPress site.


Click on the backup now button.


A popup appears with several messages on it. The default options at the top like include your database in the backup, include your files in the backup remain to be checked.

Click on backup now option.

Updraft plus creates a copy of your site.

You can restore this backup to your new site.


Export WordPress site manually with SFTP and phpMyAdmin

This is the last option for exporting WordPress site. There’s plenty of chances of going wrong with this, so only do this if you’re doubly sure regarding this.

To do this connect your existing site hosting account with secure FTP.


Locate the root folder of your site and download it to your PC. This will take a long time depending on the size of the WordPress site.

This exports all website files, media files, plugins and themes. However this doesn’t export posts and pages, comments and contact form submissions.

This is contained within the WordPress database, To export the database go to your WordPress hosting’s control panel and search for php my admin. It’s mostly under advanced options.

Inside click on the Export button located in the menu options.

If you want to export all database tables click on the go button on the next screen. This downloads the .sql file to the pc.

Upload the file to a fresh installation of WordPress. When trying to export the database to pre-existing WordPress site. You need the custom option and scroll down to the box that says add drop table/trigger statement. Once the database file is imported. The pre existing databases with the same name get deleted and overwritten on with new data.

You can keep the other settings on by default.


If you’re moving a site from a different website platform to WordPress you won’t be able to use these methods. You will need a custom method for each of these sites. I will be writing tutorials on the subject and will update them shortly here.

The options and methods outlined here are for WordPress ot wordpress migration and this tutorial is helpful for anyone wanting to export their WordPress site entirely.

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