How to Completely Move a WordPress Site from WP Engine to any other Hosting Provider

For this task we’ll need two things:

  1. Access to your WordPress install.
  2. SFTP Access to your site on WP Engine’s servers.

Step 1, Getting Your Files

This is where SFTP comes in. “SFTP” is more or less synonymous with FTP, one stands for File Transfer Protocol, the other stands for Secure Transfer Protocol. You’ll need an FTP client for this step, such as CyberDuck for your particular operating system.

The login info you’ll need won’t be posted here–you should have received it from WP Engine or, if you’re a hosting client of mine, from me–however to logging in to a WP Engine server has a few constants.

Firstly, make certain you set the FTP client to SFTP, as opposed to simply FTP or one of the other options your client will provide.

Port should be set to 2222.

The Server or Host setting should be your site’s IP address. You can find this by going to the WP Engine tab in your WordPress installation, and looking for it in the second sentence under General Settings, which reads something like this:

Please read over our DNS Best Practices before you set your DNS to CNAME: or an A record to

It’s the numeric bit there.

the WP Engine tab in WordPress
Here’s where you’ll find the info above in WordPress.

Your username and password are the final pieces of the puzzle, so dig those up and proceed to connect to the site.

At this point, you should see a list of files. Download them all to your computer, into a folder where you can keep them all organized.

Once you’ve got them downloaded, you need to repeat the process for your new host. Get your FTP info, login to the new host, and upload all of those files to that server.

Step 2, Getting Your Data

While this is probably best done via direct access to PHPMyAdmin, if that’s not available, you can do it directly via WordPress.

When logged into WordPress on the WP Engine server, go to Tools > Export. You’ll get this:

screenshot of WordPress export page.

You will have different items listed there, depending on how your site was setup. Unless you have specific reason not to export everything, leave the setting at All Content and click the button Download Export File.

Now, go to your new WordPress site on your new server. Login with whatever credentials you were provided, or if you were never provided credentials, you’ll need to get WordPress setup. This will require that you FTP back into the new server, open up the file called wp-config.php, and enter in the database information for your new server. Your host should be able to help you get that info if you don’t have it.

Now you can go through the process of visiting and getting WordPress setup initially. Or if it was already setup, just login.

Now, go to Tools > Import. Look for WordPress near the bottom of the provided list, and click the Install Now link just beneath it. You’ll be prompted to install a plugin, then asked if you’d like to import now. You would. 🙂

Upload the file you previously downloaded, and check the “Import Media” box near the bottom. This will import your content, provided you don’t have so much of it that your host can’t handle the import.

You’ll likely be logged out automatically, and can then log back into your new site.

There are some other things you’ll need to do, like point your domain name away from WP Engine’s servers and back to the new host, again, something your host and/or domain name provider can help with.

Up Next: Give Someone Access to Your GoDaddy Account