Kinsta offers different types of migrations which vary based on the plan you choose, type of WordPress site you have, and the number of sites you need to migrate. From requesting a free premium or basic site migration, purchasing additional migrations, and bulk pricing; below is everything you’ll need to know regarding how WordPress migrations work.

How to Do Your Own Migration

Before we dive into our premium and basic migrations, some of you may prefer to migrate your own WordPress site for the following reasons:

  • You have sensitive data you don’t want to disclose.
  • You want to migrate immediately rather than coordinating with us.

If you’re migrating yourself, don’t worry, we’ve still got you covered with in-depth walkthroughs:

Important: Migrating larger and complex sites yourself can easily result in data loss or fail entirely if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s much safer to let our expert migration team take care of everything for you. Moving your site to Kinsta usually won’t incur any downtime and we’ll help you inspect your migrated site prior to going live. Therefore, we recommend taking advantage of our free premium migrations.

How to Request a Free Premium Migration

All of our plans include one or more premium migrations credits (see the number included per plan on our plans page). One premium migration credit allows you to request one premium migration free of charge.

By premium, we mean sites that have complex requirements. This typically includes sites that change continuously (eCommerce sites, membership sites, etc.) or those that use a reverse proxy. These often require the placement of the site into maintenance mode, additional setup, and careful scheduling to avoid data loss.

For those of you with a lot of WordPress sites, we also offer bulk migration pricing.

To start a premium migration from within your MyKinsta dashboard simply launch Migrations on the left-hand side. You’ll see the number of premium migrations credits you have. If you don’t have any premium migration credits left, you’ll see the option to request one. The cost is $100 per each additional migration and this will automatically be added to your next invoice.

Click on “Request Premium migration” to start filling out the form.

Request premium WordPress migration

Request premium WordPress migration

Step 1

You will be required to fill out a secure form which helps provide information that our support team will need, such as:

  • Details of your current host
  • Details of your site setup
  • Connection details
  • Optional HTTPS and data center setup
  • Payment information if additional migrations are requested

To perform the transfer we ask for a number of passwords. We value and guard your privacy. This form is highly secured over SSL, once we’ve finalized the transfer we destroy all passwords we receive. We never modify your original website during migration. It will continue to work as usual during and after the migration. We always notify you whenever a migration is started and when it ends. Simply click “Next” to get started.

Migration introduction

Migration introduction

Step 2

On the next page, you will be asked for your current hosting details. This includes your host’s name, hosting panel login URL, username, and password. In our example below, we are using WP Engine. Then click “Next.”

Hosting details

Hosting details

Step 3

On the next page, you will be asked for your domain, WordPress credentials, and additional configuration options such as if your site is an ecommerce or community site, running over HTTPS, multisite, etc. If you’re running a highly dynamic site such as WooComerce, check out additional details on how Kinsta handles these types of migrations. Then click “Next.”

WordPress site details

WordPress site details

Step 4

On the next screen, you will be asked for your connection settings, such as SFTP and SSH login information to your current host. If you don’t know what these are, your current host can provide these. Then click “Next.”

Connection settings

Connection settings

Typically your FTP, SFTP, and SSH connection information can be found in your current hosting provider’s control panel. If you’re unsure of these details, reach out to your current host or ask a member of the Kinsta support team for help.

If you’re using cPanel for example, your username and hosting server details are listed in your User Area → My Accounts → Information & Settings page. FTP account information can also be found under Files → FTP Accounts.

Step 5

On the next page, you will be asked if there are any special settings or instructions that should be done while migrating your site. Such as, forcing HTTPS or any special .htaccess or Nginx rules that you might need.

You will also pick where you want to physically host your site. We have 20 data center locations available. Then click “Next.”

Kinsta settings

Kinsta settings

Step 6 and 7

On the next page, you will be asked to look over all the information you provided to double check it for any errors or typos.

On the final page, you will be notified of how many premium migration credits you have left. If you don’t have any left, you will also be asked for your payment information. You will be routed to a 2FA confirmation with a one-time password to complete the payment securely.

When you are ready, click on “Finish.”

Finalize migration

Finalize migration

After submitting the migration form, one of our support team members will get in touch with you to schedule the migration. Your pending migrations will then show up under “Migrations” in which you can check the status anytime. You will also be continuously updated on the status by our team.

Pending WordPress migrations

Pending WordPress migrations

How to Request a Free Basic Migration

We offer unlimited free basic migrations from the following hosts:

  • WP Engine
  • Flywheel
  • SiteGround
  • Pagely
  • Pantheon
  • Cloudways
  • GoDaddy
  • DreamHost
  • Bluehost
  • HostGator
  • A2 Hosting
  • tsoHost

It doesn’t matter if you have one WordPress site or 50, our expert migration team is ready to help make your transition to Kinsta a breeze!

Restrictions on Basic Migrations

  • The unlimited migration offer applies to standard WordPress installations. It is not available for multisite networks or for sites using WP Engine’s LargeFS.
  • We will complete your migrations as soon as possible, which could take up to 3 business days. If we believe processing your migrations may take longer we will let you know at the time we receive the request.
  • Redirects that have been added to an .htaccess file or to your prior hosting provider’s control panel will not be migrated as part of this service. If you do need to add redirects as part of your migration you can add them using our Redirects tool.
  • Some sites need to be migrated using a 2-step process where there is an initial trial migration followed by a second migration at a later time. The first step in this process, the initial trial migration, can be handled as part of this offer, but the second step when the site is migrated for a second time will incur a fee.

To start a basic migration from within your MyKinsta dashboard simply launch Migrations on the left-hand side. Then click on “Request basic migration” to start filling out the form.

Request basic WordPress migration

Request basic WordPress migration

Step 1

You will be required to fill out a secure form, which helps provide information that our support team will need, such as:

  • Details of your current host
  • Details of your site setup
  • Connection details
  • Optional HTTPS and data center setup
  • Payment information if additional migrations are requested

To perform the transfer we ask for a number of passwords. We value and guard your privacy. This form is highly secured over SSL, once we’ve finalized the transfer we destroy all passwords we receive. We never modify your original website during migration. It will continue to work as usual during and after the migration. We always notify you whenever a migration is started and when it ends. Simply click “Next” to get started.

Basic migration introduction

Basic migration introduction

Step 2

On the next page, you will be asked for your current hosting details. This includes your host’s name, hosting panel login URL, username, and password. In our example below, we are using WP Engine. Then click “Next.”

Hosting details

Hosting details

Step 3

On the next page, you will be asked for your domain, WordPress credentials, and additional configuration options such as if your site is an ecommerce or community site, running over HTTPS, multisite, etc. If you’re running a highly dynamic site such as WooComerce, check out additional details on how Kinsta handles these types of migrations. Then click “Next.”

WordPress site details

WordPress site details

Step 4

On the next screen, you will be asked for your connection settings, such as SFTP and SSH login information to your current host. If you don’t know what these are, your current host can provide these. Then click “Next.”

Connection settings

Connection settings

Typically your FTP, SFTP, and SSH connection information can be found in your current hosting provider’s control panel. If you’re unsure of these details, reach out to your current host or ask a member of the Kinsta support team for help.

If you’re using cPanel for example, your username and hosting server details are listed in your User Area → My Accounts → Information & Settings page. FTP account information can also be found under Files → FTP Accounts.

Step 5

On the next page, you will be asked if there are any special settings or instructions that should be done while migrating your site. Such as, forcing HTTPS or any special .htaccess or Nginx rules that you might need.

You will also pick where you want to physically host your site. We have 20 data center locations available. Then click “Next.”

Kinsta settings

Kinsta settings

Step 6 and 7

On the next page, you will be asked to look over all the information you provided to double-check it for any errors or typos.

On the final page, you will be asked again to double-check that the site your submitting complies with the free basic migration requirements. If it doesn’t, you’ll want to request a premium migration. When you are ready, click on “Finish.”

Finalize basic migration

Finalize basic migration

After submitting the migration form, one of our support team members will get in touch with you to schedule the migration. Your pending migrations will then show up under “Migrations” in which you can check the status anytime. You will also be continuously updated on the status by our team.

Pending WordPress migrations

Pending WordPress migrations

Important Additional Migration Notes

  • Note that migrations are only free if your account is open for at least 30 days. If you cancel your subscription earlier the migration will be charged at the regular price of $100. Once you reach the number of free migrations included in your plan, you can still request site migrations from our team for a fixed fee of $100.
  • We may not be able to migrate highly-customized WordPress installations where the WordPress Core files and directory structure have been customized.
  • Occasionally we will migrate a site that makes heavy use of .htaccess to set up complex redirections and URI masking rules. While our team is happy to set up simple redirections, if your site’s .htaccess file includes complex rules, you will need to work with a developer to convert these into Nginx format and then supply the converted rules to our team to add to the Nginx configuration.
  • Setting up DNS and configuring third-party services is not included in our migration service and you will need to handle these tasks. A few common examples of tasks that clients will need to take care of include migrating DNS records to Kinsta DNS, setting up Cloudflare or Sucuri, updating the A record or nameservers at your domain name registrar, and setting up email service.
  • In some cases, a client may have us migrate their site but not be able to go live in a timely manner. When the client is ready to go live with the site on our servers they may need to have the content of the site updated to reflect changes made to the site while it’s been live and hosted elsewhere. Check out details regarding requesting a second migration.

Migrating WordPress.com Sites

For WordPress.com migrations, we cannot do a traditional migration because WordPress.com does not allow access to the site files nor the database. We are only able to export your WordPress content such as posts, pages, comments, meta tags, etc and import them into a new WordPress installation on our platform.

The above does not include moving over your WordPress theme, any of your WordPress plugins, or any other customizations that you might have made over at WordPress.com. This means that your site will not look exactly as it does at WordPress.com

After the migration, you or your web developer will need to re-install the theme and plugins, and make any customizations again that you made at WordPress.com so that your site will match exactly.

After the Migration

Kinsta’s migration team will move your site over to Kinsta’s infrastructure and then alert you that the migration has been completed. At that point, there are a few things you’ll need to do for the site to go live from our infrastructure:

  1. Verify your site is working properly
  2. Update your domain’s DNS records
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