How do I migrate a site to Timpani with SFTP?

This guide will talk you through transferring a site using SFTP to transfer site themes, uploads and plugins. We'll ask you to install a plugin on your old site, and talk you through doing everything.

You'll need a working ftp/SFTP client. We recommend FileZilla, we've a guide on setting it up to work with Timpani here.

The first thing we would recommend you do is to setup an instance. Don't add your domain yet, we'll add it later when you're ready to migrate, just for now use the domain so we can get everything ready. Whilst you're waiting, install this plugin on your site:

We need to prepare and output the old database to a file on the old site. Login to the old site's dashboard; You can find the Migrate DB settings under Tools -> Migrate DB:

We need to change some settings. You should now see:

We need to change two things here. Firstly, you should remove the second 'Find' line, by clicking the little x next to the 'New file path' field.

Secondly, where I've put "//", you should put the domain we've automatically created for your new instance -- it'll be //

Once that's done, hit "Export". The plugin will automatically prepare your database, and then give you a download, save it to your computer.

Now we just need to upload it. The first thing to do is to go back to the Timpani panel. Select the new instance, and then scroll down to select the "PHPMYADMIN" bar.

Timpani always gives you a User Acceptance Testing install of WordPress. You don't have to use it if you don't want to, but it'll always be accessible via the web, using the url If you want to just use the UAT copy, hit the righthand button. Otherwise, hit the left one.

You'll be logged into phpMyAdmin automatically. You'll see your wordpress database listed on the left-hand side -- it'll be a string of numbers and letters. Click on it, and then click on the 'Import' button.

From there, click on the 'Browse' button, and find the database export file that Migrate DB prepared for us earlier. Once that's selected, hit the 'Go' button. Note, this will delete everything in the the new site's database.

NOTE: If your original site did not use the wp_ prefix on its wordpress tables, you will need to do the following additional 3 steps:-

1) Drop all the original wp_ prefixed tables (this is not your imported data)

2) Rename all your prefixed tables from whatever_ to wp_ (phpmyadmin has a handy "replace table prefix" feature to make this easy)

3) You need to change a couple more things in the database. Do this by running an SQL query (click SQL tab) and entering the following:-

update wp_usermeta set meta_key=replace(meta_key,'jj_','wp_');
update wp_options set option_name=replace(option_name,'jj_','wp_');

Change jj_ to whatever your old prefix was.

And click "Go"

A short video guide to doing this is here:

Now the database is migrated, it's time to migrate the site content:

Now, open your favourite FTP program, and connect to your old site's (s)FTP space. Browse to your www or public_html folder, and download 'wp-contents' to somewhere safe locally.

Once you've downloaded your site files, you can now upload them to our servers, using SFTP. We've a guide on setting up FileZilla here, but if you're using another client, you'll need to set hostname as '', username as your instance name (bit before, and you'll need to configure it to know the private key paired with the public key you've uploaded to us.

Once connected, you should see your local files on the left hand side of the pane, and the files we have for you on the right hand pane. Open the wp-contents you downloaded earlier in the left hand panel, and drag-and-drop the contents of the folder into the right-hand-panel. That'll upload all of the site files to us. If asked about overwriting existing files, select 'yes. Note: You cannot upload files or folders directly into the webroot (public_html) for security reasons. The way we restrict your access limits you to writing files into wp-content.

Nearly there. To ensure that the new migrated site shows the most up-to-date copy of your site, head over to your dashboard, and use the 'Purge Cache' option against the new site.

Finally, once your upload has completed, you can login to your new site at, and check everything's working! If anything has gone wrong, don't hesitate to contact us. When you're ready, you can add domains on our dashboard, and set the domain to be 'canonical' when it's DNS has updated.

Note: Your username and password for wp-admin/ now matches your old site, rather than the ones emailed to you after instance creation completed.

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