Advice Needed: Migration and Relaunch



Would really appreciate your advice.

I’ve convinced my business (small news site) to move to Cloudways, but we also want to relaunch the site with a new look and feel in a couple of months.

Not too sure how to go about the relaunch, should I:

  • Migrate and go live on Cloudways

  • Create a staging site (from the migrated site) and rebuild on that one - occasionally “Pulling” in the new content from the LIVE site (I’m assuming PULL will only bring in the new content (story posts) and not overwrite changes made on the staging site)

or, a fresh start

  • Migrate and go live on Cloudways

  • Spin up a new Wordpress/WooCommerce App

  • Build the new site and pages, then

  • Import the media and posts into the new site (I know how to do this, but I’m unsure if the stories and posts would link up once imported)

Which do you think would be better?



Or is there a better way to create the new site? Anyone?


Hi Mike,

This is really tough to give an opinion without knowing all the details. I probably would not migrate a big site that must be up and reliable if there is not an urgent reason to do so. If you do migrate, you should really test everything thoroughly and really make sure it is working. May not be worth the effort just to be on a new platform.

As far as rebuilding goes, my first reaction is to build up a clean install from scratch and launch when ready. Trying to keep two sites going and synchronized will likely not go well. If you’re only tweaking the design and the site is fundamentally the same, I would use the Cloudways migration plugin to copy the site and rebuild from there.

Keep in mind your URL structure when rebuilding. If content pages and links have a different URL structure you’ll need to add redirects. Otherwise you’ll get dead links in search results and likely impact SERP. Yoast or Smartcrawl Pro both do this well.

Good luck!


I opt for fresh start whenever possible. I find this eliminates a lot of problems going forward. Trying to migrate across platforms rarely goes perfectly and introduces bugs that may go undetected for years.

The apps Cloudways provides are pre-configured for performance on their servers. I highly recommend using them, vs. installing the default versions yourself.


Ok, build from scratch. Makes sense.

So, how do I get all that content, news stories mainly (posts and media) out of the old site and into the new?

If I use the Wordpress Export/Import, will I end up breaking a lot of the links?



I’ve found the plugin WP Migrate DB indispensable for site migration. You specify the new URL and Linux path on the new server, and them import the downloaded database directly into the database on the new server. Wordpress Export/Import, not so much.


You could try the WordPress importer. I have had some luck with this method. Most of the time it goes smoothly on a clean install. I like this method, because it only imports the content and not config settings. Sometimes stuff breaks or I have to update some links (usually links the user has added to the content). The media import seems to work pretty well too (but can take a long time). I haven’t tried this, but you could probably skip the media import when you run the importer and just copy the content of your media folder to the new server via FTP.