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WooCommerce migration

How to Migrate a WooCommerce Site (Beginner-Friendly Guide) 

Want to start a WooCommerce migration?

If your online store is experiencing slow loading times or downtime, it may be time to migrate your WooCommerce site. By moving to a new web host, you’ll be able to scale your site resources and enhance security measures, ultimately leading to increased conversions and business growth.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to migrate a WooCommerce site to a different location!

Why You Might Consider Migrating Your WooCommerce Site

If your business is losing conversions, you might optimize your online store by creating flash sales, building an email newsletter, or reducing your prices. However, the problem might be your web hosting provider.

A poor web host can frequently cause slow loading times and downtime. To solve this problem, you can migrate your WooCommerce site to a WordPress host with better infrastructure. 

Here are some more reasons for a WooCommerce migration:

  • Target a different market: If you’re expanding your business internationally or targeting a specific geographic location, it makes sense to move your store closer to your target audience. This can help reduce latency and improve website accessibility for customers in that region.
  • Better scalability: As your business grows, you may need more resources and advanced features to handle increased traffic and transactions. Upgrading your hosting plan can provide higher performance, better server configurations, and enhanced scalability options to meet your evolving needs.
  • Enhance security: If you’ve experienced security breaches, moving to a more secure server can help protect your store and customer data more effectively.
  • Improve support: You might be dissatisfied with your current hosting provider’s customer support. In this case, finding a host with a reputable and responsive support team can ensure your store runs smoothly.
  • Rebranding: Migrating to a new domain name allows you to create a new brand identity. You can choose a domain that aligns better with your business goals, target audience, or brand values. 

Although all of these benefits sound appealing, WooCommerce migrations can be a difficult process. To ensure you don’t lose any customers, you’ll need to successfully transfer all your product data, customer information, orders, and other critical data to the new location. Fortunately, it’s possible with the right tools!

How to Migrate a WooCommerce Site

Below, we’ll show you how to perform a full migration of a WooCommerce store. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to move your shop’s data to a new server or domain name. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Install Duplicator Pro

Manually migrating a WordPress site can be a complex and time-consuming process. Plus, it requires some technical experience. To simplify the process, you could use a WordPress migration plugin.

Duplicator Pro is a migration plugin that provides a more efficient way to migrate your website. It eliminates the need for manual file transfers, database exports, and imports. With Duplicator, you’ll be able to package your entire site and move it seamlessly to a new web host or domain name:

Duplicator plugin

Another reason why Duplicator excels over its competitors is that it can migrate your WooCommerce site with zero downtime. You won’t have to worry about decreased traffic, conversions, or SEO ranking.

Duplicator is a great migration tool for all types of WooCommerce sites, regardless of their size or complexity. Whether you have a small online store or a large e-commerce platform with multiple extensions and customizations, Duplicator can handle the data migration seamlessly.

To get started, visit the Duplicator website and purchase a premium subscription. There is a free alternative, but we’d recommend taking advantage of premium features like drag-and-drop imports, recovery points, and large site support.

After downloading Duplicator Pro, you’ll need to install it in WordPress. If you’re unsure how to do this, check out this guide on how to install WordPress plugins.

Finally, head over to Duplicator Pro » Settings » Licensing. Paste your license key in the Activation settings:

Activate Duplicator Pro license key

Once you hit Activate, you can use Duplicator to start your WooCommerce migration!

Step 2: Create a Package of Your WooCommerce Site

Duplicator Pro allows you to create a migration package that includes all of your necessary files and database information. This package serves as a complete backup of your WooCommerce site, capturing its content, plugins, themes, settings, and configurations.

To build a package, navigate to Duplicator Pro » Packages » Create New:

Create Duplicator package

On the next page, feel free to give the package a custom name. Then, choose Local as the storage location:

WooCommerce site package

Next, you can choose exactly what data from your WooCommerce site you want to migrate to the new server. By expanding the Archive section, you’ll see checkable boxes next to each site component:

Duplicator custom package components

To migrate all of your data, select All. However, this can be an opportunity to clean up your WooCommerce store. For example, you could only include active plugins and themes to remove any unnecessary software:

Back up active plugins and themes

When you’ve finished customizing these options, click Next. Duplicator will scan your WooCommerce store and notify you of any issues before building the package:

Duplicator package scan

Review these notices and then hit Build. On the Packages page, download your package’s archive file:

Download WooCommerce package

Tip: If you have a large WooCommmerce site on a shared web host, we’d recommend creating a package as a DupArchive rather than a ZIP file. This custom file format will allow you to avoid server timeout issues when compressing everything on your site into a single file. For more details, read this tutorial on how to migrate a large WordPress site

Step 3: Update Your Hosts File

For e-commerce businesses, downtime directly translates into lost revenue. If your site is inaccessible, potential customers may abandon their shopping carts, seek alternative options, and lose trust in your store. 

During a migration, you might expect downtime at some point. However, you can easily move your WooCommerce site without losing visibility.

To do this, you’ll need to add some data to your hosts file. This file is used to map domain names to specific IP addresses on your local computer. 

By editing the hosts file, you can assign your new IP addresses to your old domain name. After this, your computer will think your DNS has been changed, allowing you to set up your new site while the old one stays online.

First, locate and copy your new IP address. For most web hosts, you’ll find this information in your control panel:

Bluehost IP address

Then, open your hosts file. For Mac operating systems, you can run this command in Terminal:

sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

In your hosts file, paste your domain name and new IP address in this format:

Save these changes. Now, your old domain is linked to your new host’s files. You’ll need to keep this entry until you finish migrating your WooCommerce site to the new server. 

Step 4: Set Up the New Website

Now it’s time to set up your new WooCommerce site! Your web host will likely provide a way to install WordPress in one click. After you do this, you’ll need to create a database.

How you create a database will vary depending on your hosting provider. For Bluehost users, you can click on the MySQL Databases option:

MySQL databases

Then, name the new database and hit Create Database:

Create MySQL database

Along with your new database, you’ll need to create a new user. Find the MySQL Users section and enter a username and password:

Create MySQL user

Lastly, assign the user to the new database:

Add user to database

To fully prepare for the WooCommerce migration, install and activate Duplicator on your new WordPress dashboard. 

Step 5: Import Your Site Package

Once you have Duplicator Pro set up on your new site, you’ll be able to simply drag and drop the backup of your old site into the new one. This will transfer all of your store data into the new WordPress installation.

To do this, open Duplicator Pro » Import:

Import website archive

Import the archive file that you saved earlier. Once it uploads, you’ll see an overview of your WooCommerce site:

WooCommerce imported package

Hit Continue. If you’re ready to replace the default WordPress installation with your original site, launch the installer:

Launch site installer

This will open the Duplicator migration wizard:

Deploy WooCommerce migration

If you expand the Setup settings, be sure to enter the new database information:

Duplicator database connection

Next, validate the installation and review any notices. If everything looks correct, accept the terms and notices and continue.

To finish the WooCommerce migration, you’ll have to confirm that you want to overwrite the current site:

Confirm WooCommerce migration

After this, there will be a data transfer from your old server to the new one. To sign in to your WooCommerce site, hit Admin Login:

Finished WooCommerce migration

You’ll see that Duplicator migrated your entire e-commerce site. It’ll import data including the WooCommerce plugin, tax rates, custom shopping carts, customer information, and WooCommerce product data.

Step 6: Update Your DNS

At this point in the migration process, there will be a fully functional copy of your WooCommerce site in a new location. Now, you’ll need to point your domain name to the new web host. 

Log into your previous hosting account. Next, find your Domain Name System (DNS) nameservers settings and start editing them:

Edit DNS record

Instead of the default nameservers, choose Custom. You’ll then be able to enter the nameservers specific to your new host:

Custom nameserver setup

Be sure to save this change. It’s important to note that you may have to wait up to 48 hours for your DNS to propagate. 

Step 7: Add 301 Redirects

If you are migrating to a new domain name, you’ll want to make sure that visitors can easily access your new WooCommerce store. An easy way to do this is to set up 301 redirects. This will inform search engines and users that your website has been permanently moved.

To maximize your store’s search ranking, you’re probably already using an SEO plugin like AIOSEO. Fortunately, you can use this same tool to redirect your entire WooCommerce site. This avoids the need to manually set up 301 redirects in your site files:

AIOSEO plugin

On your original site, make sure you have AIOSEO Pro installed. Then, go to the Redirects page and activate this feature:

Activate AIOSEO redirection manager

Finally, head over to the Full Site Redirect tab. Here, turn on the Relocate site option. Finally, enter your new store’s URL:

AIOSEO site redirect

After this, hit Save Changes. Every time someone visits an old product page, they’ll automatically be redirected to your new site!

Step 8: Inform Google of the WooCommerce Migration

For domain changes, it’s important to notify Google right away. When you do, search engines know exactly where your WooCommerce site is. They’ll be able to find, index, and display your content more easily.

You can update your website’s domain in Google Search Console. This is a free tool that allows you to monitor and optimize your site’s presence in Google search results:

Google Search Console

As a first step, make sure you have both the old and new WooCommerce sites added as properties. To help you with this, check out this tutorial on setting up Google Search Console

Next, you’ll see both properties available in the dropdown menu at the top of the page. Select your original domain name:

Select old domain in Google Search Console

Then, find Settings » Change of address:

Change site address

Now all you’ll need to do is select the property for the new WooCommerce site:

Select new domain

Click on Validate & Update to finish informing Google about the migration. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I migrate WooCommerce to a new server?

You can migrate your WooCommerce store to a new server by installing Duplicator Pro and creating a full backup of your site. Then, drag and drop the generated archive file into the new WordPress installation. The Duplicator migration wizard will walk you through the process of importing your original data. 

Alternative: Cart2Cart is an e-commerce migration service that can transfer data like product categories, images, orders, and product variants. It allows you to select your source and target carts and run a free demo migration. 

How do I move my whole WordPress website to a new domain?

You can move your whole WordPress website to a new domain by creating a package with Duplicator Pro and dragging and dropping it into the new website. After the migration, the AIOSEO plugin can help you redirect visitors from the old domain to the new one. Also, be sure to inform Google about the domain name change. 

Why migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that provides more flexibility and customization options than a Shopify store. You can use a wide range of free and paid extensions to enhance your store’s functionality and integrate with third-party services. Additionally, WooCommerce has no transaction fees, enabling you to have more control over your profit margins. 

Alternatives: Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) and BigCommerce are additional options for setting up your e-commerce store.

What is the best way to migrate a WooCommerce website?

The best way to migrate a WooCommerce website is to use Duplicator Pro to create a package with your site’s files and database information. Then, simply drag and drop this package into the new location. This allows even beginners to easily move their online stores without downtime or data loss. 

How do I migrate WooCommerce products?

WooCommerce offers the Product CSV Import Suite extension that allows you to easily migrate products as a CSV file. If you want to use an XML file, you can use the native WordPress export tool. Alternatively, consider migrating your entire WooCommerce store with Duplicator Pro. 


You’ve just finished a WooCommerce migration!

Do you need to redesign your WooCommerce site without disrupting your live traffic? You may also like our tutorial on moving a live WordPress site to a local host for safe development.

Want to safely move all of your WooCommerce products, orders, and other important data? Download Duplicator Pro for hassle-free site migrations!