WP Engine: Better Migration Process

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WP Engine: Better Migration Process is a 2014 “how-to” post showing webmasters how to get the best out of WP engine. Now, in 2015, it is outdated for several reasons:

As I make these changes, I will update this article to reflect better ways to migrate your website to fast, secure WordPress hosting services. In the meantime, you can get help with any issues you have with WP Engine by clicking the orange Support button, or go direct to my Internet Support Helpdesk.


Better Migration Process is the first of two posts related to migrating web hosting to WP Engine.

WP Engine is great if you want fast reliable hosting. As they specialize exclusively in WordPress hosting, setup is not an issue. When you sign up, or create an additional installation, WordPress is ready and waiting for you – even WordPress Multi-Site if you want it.

If you have already hosted your website elsewhere, and if you want to keep your content, you will need to export from your old host, and import into WP Engine. There are two ways to do this, depending on what you want to achieve. The standard way is to use FTP (actually SFTP) and phpMyAdmin. This process is well documented at WP Engine. There is a very prominent section within WP Engine Support area. All you have to do is follow the step-by-step instructions to move your entire WordPress installation from your old host to WP Engine. Unfortunately, there a couple of big holes, so let me explain my better migration process.

Actually, I’m going to leave an alternative migration process without phpMyAdmin and SFTP for another article. If you have problems with accessing the SQL database, or the file system on your old host, there is an alternative migration process. If you need to know about it, please ask in Shrewdies website support forum. Today I want to focus on the other big hole in WP Engine guidance – email.

WP Engine WordPress Hosting is unusual for 3 reasons: it is very fast; support is knowledgeable and swift; and it does not support email.

2015 Update: WP Engine is now superseded by my fast, secure hosting packages. If you are struggling to understand WP Engine Domains, please see Shrewdies WP Engine Domains Alternatives.

Yes, you read that correctly, it does not support email. When you move your domain to WP Engine, or if you start a new domain, you have to make alternative arrangements for your email server. I had a few sleepless nights because of this. It might even put some people off, but it shouldn’t. There are excellent reasons for separating email from web hosting. Even if you are not using WP Engine for WordPress hosting, you should consider moving email to a separate mailserver.

Email Migration Process

It would be better if WP Engine made their email support notes clearer. There is only one article about email in the WP Engine Support Garage. They suggest using Google Apps for email, or ZoHo as a free alternative. Google is probably the best for businesses with many employees, but I do not believe it is suitable for most small businesses. Nor do I believe that ZoHo, good as it is, is the best alternative for email.

For most small businesses, free personal Google email accounts are the best. Not only is the email good, but you need that account as the gateway for your Google authorship credentials. I’ve written plenty about Google authorship elsewhere, so please use the search box above or below to find more information.

So how do you link your personal Gmail account to your WP Engine domain?

First, let me repeat that this works with any web host. The procedure is not governed by WP Engine, it is governed by your domain registrar. WP Engine is again unusual in that it does not register domains for you. That’s not a problem. Personally, I use used to use GoDaddy, and this procedure now outdated.

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