switching from development to live using snapshot


Could you please tell me if it would be possible to use Snapshot to move a completed site on a development server/domain to a live server/domain.



  • Paul


    Yes, you can use Snapshot to migrate a development site to a different server. But it appears you are using Snapshot You need to upgrade to Snapshot for this feature.

    Note that when I say 'site' I mean an individual site. Snapshot will work under Multisite but will not transfer the entire Multisite system to a new server. But can be used to transfer a single blog within the Multisite network to a different Multisite system or even to a stand alone installation.

    Also, the destination WordPress system must be already setup and running.

    Basic steps:

    1. On the source development site run snapshot to create a fresh archive.

    2. If you have the FTP information to the destination site you can set this up as a remote destination within Snapshot. Otherwise you would need to manually FTP the archive from your local system to the remote server. On the remote destination it needs to be placed into the wp-content/uploads/snapshots folder.

    3. Once you have the archive in the correct folder on the destination system go into wp-admin to Snapshots > Import. Just click the submit button. This will scan the wp-content/uploads/snapshots/ and import the archive into the snapshot configurations. When the page reloads you will see if this was successful.

    4. Once the archive has been imported you need to run the actual restore. For this go to Snapshots > All Snapshots. You should see the imported archive in the listing. Hover on the name (first column) and click the 'restore' link. This will take you to a second screen where you need to verify the selection. On the third screen you will see a section in two columns. On the left is the source information about the archive. Information like the source URL, database prefix, etc. On the right side column you will see the destination information. This is basically telling you that Snapshot will convert the database prefixes, URLS, etc as part of the restore. Select the database tables and files to restore then click the submit button.

    5. Final note about users. I'm guessing you are migrating a regular (non-Multisite) WrdPress install. In that case all users will be migrated and replace the users on the destination system. This seems to be an issue with some other members using Snapshot.

  • Paul

    Hey @Pete T,

    Yep. There are some considerations with the users and usermeta records. Basically, when you run the archive creation on the source system and if you include the users and usermeta database tables then there is some fuzzy logic applied to the restore on the destination system to attempt a merge of the user and usermeta records. .

    Basically, during the restore it reads the archived user table and checks to see if the user ID already exists on the destination system. More than likely the User ID 1 will be present in both. So next check is if the user name (user_login) is different. Then the email address, etc.

    In the case where the user record from the archive is considered non-unique then snapshot will create a new user ID by inserting the user record into the destination users table. Then the issue is the usermeta, posts, comments all need to be updated to reflect the new user ID.

    This can create further issues if you are using some plugins like BuddyPress since the stored user ID in those tables are not updated. Only WordPress core tables. Seeing as somewhat of an upcoming issue Snapshot does store the original user id as part of the restore usermeta records.

    This is the same basic process WordPress uses when you import the XML file into a Multisite. It creates new user ID and updates the usermeta, posts and comments.

  • Pete T

    Hmm. Understood.

    Just wanted to report that I moved a standard site from one Web server to another as per your instructions above and it worked like a charm! Saved me a bunch of time!

    Also, I had to install the destination Wordpress with a temp domain to get it going since final domain was still in use. Snapshot did a great job migrating to the temp domain, but I eventually used the Wordpress Search & Replace Tool to change from temp to final domain and it worked perfectly. Great companion to Snapshot if someone runs into a similar scenario.


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