What is the difference between:

Using the WP-Admin console to do an "All content" export of an existing Wordpress site and similar import on a fresh install of Wordpress on a different server, AND

Using the MySql export with schema and data on the existing site and a MySql import on the site hosting the fresh install of Wordpress?

And the motivation for this question really is, what is the best way to migrate a Wordpress site from an existing host machine to another host machine? What is the best practice for migrating all the plug-ins and their corresponding configuration? Assume that the target host and destination host both have the same version of Wordpress installed.

1 Answer 1


The Export / Import route will export and import your site's content -- all pages, posts, any custom posts, images (if you tell it to grab them during the import phase), and any associated metadata for the various posts & pages. (Note that you'll need to make sure any custom post types are set up on the new site before you run the import.)

The MySQL dump and import will get everything for your entire site, including which plugins are enabled*, what theme is in use*, all the settings, all the users, etc.



Also, if you haven't already Googled wordpress migration best practice, it turns up a number of suggestions:

...were all on the first page of results for me.

* Note that the database export won't install the plugins and themes for you; you'd need to make sure you copy the relevant directories and files to the new server.

  • 1
    There are notable differences here, such as hooks etc firing when you do a WXR import/export which don't happen when you do an SQL transfer, etc
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 22:30
  • Yes. I admittedly didn't dive very deep into the topic, and perhaps I should have.
    – Pat J
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 22:32

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