There are a number of plugins available that allow you to migrate WordPress sites but many of them require access to the database. A new plugin called WPSiteSync by ServerPress, LLC, enables you to quickly migrate content from one WordPress site to another without touching the database.
WPSiteSync is freely available from the WordPress plugin directory. To use it, both the source and target sites need to have it installed and activated. Even though the admin notice informs users to configure the plugin’s settings, you only need to do so on the source site.
To test WPSiteSync, I created two local WordPress sites using DesktopServer. When you save a post for the first time as a draft, a new metabox appears with options to push or pull content to or from the target site.
The free version of WPSiteSync only allows you to push content to a site. If you want to pull content from a site, you’ll need to purchase the Pull extension. Once a post is saved as a draft, you can push it to the target site with the click of a button.
The post title, category, tags, featured image, format, and media are transferred to the target site. One of the most convenient aspects of WPSiteSync is that it uploads the transferred media to the target site and changes the URL. This eliminates image hotlinking and having to use database queries to manually change the URL.
SeverPress was founded in 2011 as a sole proprietorship and reformed as ServerPress in 2013. WPSiteSync marks the first time the company has expanded its product offering in the WordPress ecosystem. Marc Benzakein, Operations Manager at ServerPress, explains why they’ve chosen to branch out from DesktopServer, “Our focus has always been to create tools for designers and developers to make their workflow more efficient,” Benzakein said.
“We’ve spent a lot of time supporting and involving ourselves in the WordPress Community. And while we do have our eye on a future where our offerings are not exclusively WordPress, it will always be the community for which we will develop first.”
Determining the Price and Commercial Extensions Slated for 2017
Although the core of WPSiteSync is free, there is a commercial membership option available for $99 per year. This price is available for a limited time and is a large discount from the regular price of $249 per year. I asked Benzakein how ServerPress reached this price point, “Our price point philosophy is fairly simple,” Benzakein told the Tavern.
“Since we all come from Development backgrounds, we look at how much time we’ll free up in a year vs. how much money we’ll spend. If the amount of money you’d make in those hours freed up is more than the amount of money the product or service cost you, then everyone wins.
“And for us, the only way to build long-term relationships with our customers is if everyone wins. When we looked at Sync, the question simply was, ‘If the average developer charges $75.00 an hour, will it increase their efficiency by two hours within that year?’ We feel it will do far more than that and from what we’ve heard from our customers, it’s already gone a long way toward that end.”
There are a handful of commercial extensions available to enhance the plugin. Other than what’s already in the pipeline, Benzakein gives a glimpse into what users can expect in 2017.
“2017 will likely see a focus on eCommerce extensions and everything that works within,” he said. “Before then, we’ll be offering form-builder and theme builder extensions. Of course, we are a company that listens closely to what the Community at large wants, so if we get a common request for something we hadn’t thought of, we’re not above making a slight change in course.”
A Few Caveats
I tested WPSiteSync by syncing a number of posts between local sites and didn’t encounter any issues. However, before installing and activating it on your site, keep in mind the following.
Support for the free version is only provided on Fridays from 10am-12PM Pacific standard time. A cursory glance at the support forum shows the ServerPress team responding to a number of threads.
You can only migrate one post at a time so if you need to migrate an entire site, consider looking at alternatives. Benzakein says the team is working on a bulk migrator extension and that it may be the next one released.
WPSiteSync Feels Magical
One of the quotes on the WPSiteSync website says, “One button does it all. It’s like Magic!” This quote is not far from the truth. After configuring the source site, pressing a button and having content synced to another site in record time feels magical.
I encourage you to give WPSiteSync a try and let us know what you think about it in the comments. To learn more about what it does and the features that are available, check out the WPSiteSync website.