While there are many excellent plugins that make migrations easier for developers, WordPress migration as a service hasn’t been widely marketed. MigrateWP is a new business dedicated solely to providing smooth, painless migrations for people who don’t have the skills or time move a site from one host to another. Pricing starts at $200 and includes DNS migration and a free site audit. Larger and more complex migrations range from $300-$750.
Founder Daniel Griffiths describes MigrateWP as a curated migration and conversion service for WordPress. Griffiths is best known for his work as an Easy Digital Downloads extension developer and is also the founder of the Redux Framework. During the course of his work, he found migrations to be a source of continual frustration for the average WordPress user.
“The idea came about as a direct result of a series of issues posted in the Easy Digital Downloads support forum related to migration issues experienced by one of our users,” Griffiths said. “I came to the realization that no matter how well documented, migrations suck! Even for someone who’s done a few, they’re a headache and for a new user, they’re downright impossible.”
A Hands-On Migration Service with No Automation
After researching the problem, Griffiths found that there are very few resources available to facilitate site migration, let alone conversion, for end users who aren’t technically inclined. “Yes, there are a few other services, but they all suffer from one fatal flaw: automation,” he said. “MigrateWP was built on the premise that no matter how well thought out, automated systems can’t compare with the reliability that manual processes can.”
Griffiths hand-tailors the migration process for each user’s unique scenario, and all migrations are completed hands-on by specialists with a high level of experience. This enables MigrateWP employees to ensure data integrity and customer satisfaction.
“Beyond the basic migration component, we do site conversions, full site auditing, and every migration is run through malware checks both before and after the migration process to ensure the client receives a clean site when the process is finished,” Griffiths said.
Customers often have no idea how much information they will need to provide access to in the course of a migration. I asked Griffiths how he plans to simplify the process of interfacing with his clients’ old and new hosts. “Before the migration begins, we personally contact every client to work out the details of the migration,” he said. However, the initial contact on the website is designed to be quick, without attempting to capture all of the information required.
“Our client contact form is extremely simple for a reason,” Griffiths said. “Particularly in the case of companies, it’s unreasonable to expect a single individual to know all the details up front. After all, companies frequently have multiple employees responsible for various facets of their tech. This may well include different people responsible for the physical hardware as opposed to software, or corporate staff changeovers.”
Griffiths’ team first performs a site review and engages each potential client directly to get a grasp of the actual migration before proceeding. He is aiming to hire a 5-10 person staff within the first year.
In the future, he hopes to attract developers to utilize his service, in addition to assisting end users who don’t have the skills to migrate their own sites. Any capable WordPress developer should be able to easily handle an average site migration, but Griffiths hopes to free up their time by creating agreements with development agencies or hosting providers to manage their client migrations.
The commitment to provide a more personalized migration experience with no automation is what Griffiths hopes will distinguish MigrateWP from its competitors. Many hosts already offer free automated migration when you sign up for a new account. Do you think end users are more likely to utilize a dedicated migration service or will MigrateWP find more success among developers and agencies?