I have been searching for a reliable way to do this for literally years. I have, surprisingly frequently, found myself needing to move the contents of one WordPress site to another server, under a different URL. There have been lots of solutions for this over the years, most of them demanding not inconsiderable amounts of money, usually on the order of $45 dollars a year for an annual license, or more.
But I am a tightwad when it comes to things like this. I like to consider myself generous in other ways (helping friends with cosplay props, giving people needful things to make their lives better, et cetera) but I cannot abide being made to pay for something that just puts a few pushbuttons on something I know how to do myself.
Migrating a WordPress site, though, is a different animal. Smaller sites you can migrate yourself with the built-in import-export tools. Bigger ones kind of break that, and you have to have a plugin, or use a service, and that’s usually where you part with a couple of Benjamins.
Except that now there’s this plugin for Wordpres called WPVivid Backup, which just handles everything. You install a copy on both source and destination Wordpres sites, get a key from the destination site, paste it into the source site’s interface, and hit the button. It couldn’t be simpler.
Or cheaper, There is a premium version that adds some bells and whistles that I assume would be very useful for somebody who maintains dozens of WordPress sites for a living, but none of them are required for the basic essential function of porting a WordPress site from one domain to another, and WPVivid Backup is a free download, with no surprise “to finish this transfer process, pay the license fee that we hadn’t bothered to tell you about before you started monkeying with this” message in the middle. (Yes, one of the plugins I tried actually did this. Holding my data for ransom? Shame on you.)
In particular, it makes a web site designer’s job a lot easier because you can move a testbench site into its production URL WordPress setup without having to manually monkey with SQL dumps, shell access or any of that. It just freaking works.
If you want to do things like not migrate the entire site at once, you’ll have to pay for that. That’s fair and reasonable, and I may pay for that in the future if my back is ever up against the wall and I need it. For now, though, WPVivid Backup saved my ass.
And did I mention free? As in beer?