I have been a WPEngine hosting user for more than a year but eventually I’m fed up of their overage charges. Despite of offering cutting edge technology for hosting WordPress blog, the way they bill their client (Including me) is unacceptable. I have talked about overage charges from WPEngine in my review video over here. In this tutorial I will show you how to migrate your WordPress blog away from WPEngine using SSH and sFTP.
One of the limitation of WPEngine is it only allow access via sFTP and doesn’t give ssh access on demand, more over you can’t run commands to zip or unzip your wp-content folder, so when you are moving away from WPEngine, you need to ask their support team to create a single archive file of your WP-content folder. It’s a good idea to ask them to also take a backup of your WordPress database, so that you can quickly migrate everything with few commands. In my case I was moving away from WPEngine to Cloudways.
Cloudways is a cloud hosting platform which will let you host your WordPress blog on Amazon or Digital ocean cloud. I will talk about them in any another post, for now lets’ focus on learning ssh and sFTP command to move files away from WPEngine. Depending upon which hosting company you are moving to, you need to get ssh login details. If you are using Mac, you can use Terminal to run these commands & for windows you can download free software call Putty to ssh into your Webhosting.
How to use sFTP to move WordPress Blog away from WPEngine:
To Get started with this, you need to have following things handy with you:
- Your new server ssh login
- Your WPEngine sFTP login ( You can login to my.wpengine.com to get these details)
- Your wp-content folder on WPEngine compressed in single archive file. (You need to ask WPEngine support team to do it for you. Use Live chat support as it will happen in real-time)
In my case I’m using Terminal on my Mac to run these commands, and for Windows you can use Putty. Here is a guide on how to connect to ssh using putty.
Now let the magic begin:
Open terminal and login to your new hosting company using following ssh command.
now enter your password to login to your hosting ssh panel. Now, it’s time to create a folder where you want to import the file. The process is quite easy and just replicate as I have listed down the command below.
Here is what this command will do:
mkdir – make new directory
test – the directory name to be created. You can use any other name
cd – change directory
test – name of the directory
With above command our currently working directory is test under our new hosting server. Now it’s time to login to your WPEngine hosting via sFTP and copy the archive.zip file to new hosting. In my case, WPEngine team has created a directory call _wpeprivate and put my compressed wp-content folder with name archive.zip
Logging into WPEngine hosting with sFTP
On the same SSH terminal we will login to WPEngine server. Replace username with your sftp username and serverI.P with your WpEngine IP.
Now enter password to login to your WPEngine hosting account via sFTP. Type ls to list down all the files, and use command cd to change your working directory to _wpeprivate.
again use command ls to list down all the files and you will see archive.zip file in the current list. Now all you need to type is
This will import archive.zip file from WPEngine server to your new hosting account. This file will be moved to test directory of your new hosting server.
You can type command bye to exit sFTP server and go back to your ssh console of new hosting server.
Now you also need to decompress the single archive.zip file, and here is the command for the same:
Now you need to copy all the files to WP-content folder of your new hosting WordPress installation. You can do that by using any graphical sFTP tool such as Cyberduck or FileZilla. There are few more things which you need to do such as migrate your WordPress database, and I assume you already know that. If not, you can refer to this guide on ShoutMeLoud on moving WordPress blog to new hosting.
Using ssh and sFTP you will save countless hours of your time on moving files from one server to another.