Over the past couple of years we’ve migrated dozens of large Oxygen websites for clients. This guide will walk you through a couple of ways to migrate an Oxygen site, and also discuss some tips and tricks that we’ve learned over time.
One of the most popular questions by beginners and advanced users a like is “how can I migrate my site without issue”? if you take one look at the official Facebook group, or run a Google search, you will see that users bump into issues migrating websites with this page builder all the time. When we first began using this tool, we also had similar issues. By design, Oxygen websites may appear broken when migrating.
So, let’s talk about our process for migrating websites, large and small. Hopefully this will save you a bit of time/error when it comes to moving your own.
Most of our migrations occur from local or development servers to live service. We typically Cloudways (our own) for development hosting, as this is publicly available for our team, and makes collaboration with developers and clients easy. We will typically move the final website from this server to it’s new host - we prefer Cloudways, Servebolt, or Rocket.net.
There are a few ways to go about migrating an Oxygen Builder website, but here is how we do it. Depending on the size of the website, we employ two methods.
The best way to maigrate an Oxygen Builder website (in our opinion) is to use All In One WP Migration.
Export your Oxygen Builder website as a file, using this plugin. This will save a complete archive of your website files as well as the database to your desktop. Then, install the plugin on the receiving host/server/website, and import from the recently downloaded file.
We also recommend having a back up of the existing website that you are soon to overwrite in case you need to go back and grab any data in the future.
Sometimes, you will need to increase your file upload limit. You can do this by getting the unlimited extension which is a paid extension to the free All In One Migration Plugin, or by jumping in the php.ini file, and setting it that way (a quick Google search will show you exactly how to do this).
Once the website is installed, the dialogue will let you know that everything has been finished. Upon reloading the page, you will need to log into your WordPress dashboard. Use the user login from the website that you have migrated.
A helpful trick: Be sure to disable any security or login plugins BEFORE migrating any WordPress website. This can save you a ton of time if the security plugins on the newly migrated website block you out.
Once logged in, you must resign all shortcodes - go to the Oxygen Settings Page, Security Tab, and click the “resign shortcodes” link. Oxygen signs it's shortcodes for security purposes, and when migrating domains, the website will inevitably break. This is by design, and the page builder has a feature that will simply re-sign all of these codes, resolving all issues. Some more info can be found in our Oxygen Troubleshooting guide.
Once your shortcodes are re-signed, you should be good to go, having migrated your website from one house to another.
If you bump into an issue where all your pages are white, an easy way to fix this is to simply load the Oxygen Builder editor, and resave the manually resave the impacted templates and pages. In the past, we have also used Hydrogen Copy/Paste and cut the whole body out of the page, than re-paste it in.
If it is a complete website rebuild, sometimes we are able to get the client to pre-purchase hosting where we can build a website on the development domain. Then, instead of moving it to a new server to go live, we simply point the existing domain via an A record to the new server.
For this method, we recommend setting up Cloudflare, as the DNS is incredibly fast and you won't need to wait for propagation if proxying through this service. Keep in mind, you will still need to re-sign shortcodes.
In some situations, you have a website that needs to be migrated, but data is constantly being added to both the development website and the live website. This could be the case for something like a WooCommerce store that is currently live, but rebuilt with Oxygen.
As new orders come in, you will need to account for that on your development website. Another situation may be a popular Content Website, where dozens of blog posts are published every single day.
To migrate these type of websites, you first need to determine how the migration will occur. Will you do it like a standard website migration, where you completely over right the old website with the new one?
Or, will you keep the database of the old website in place, and move to Oxygen that way?
We have done both methods, and it’s up to you to determine which is best for your situation. Here are our recommendations in terms of a website that is consistently getting new database entries.
If minimal downtime to you or the client isn't a major issue, the best way to make the migration is to have a development version of your website with pages, posts, and Oxygen builder templates ready to go. When you're ready to go live with the new website, make the current website locked to all public interaction. We typically do this with a coming soon plugin.
Then, using WP All Import, we recommend synchronizing both databases (we've also used an awesome tool called WPSynchro). This does not mean overriding the development website, or you will lose all of your oxygen templates in pages. Instead, just move over the new data from the existing website.
For example, if it's a WooCommerce shop, then you will just want to move over the new orders to the development version. Once everything is synchronized, migrate the development website to the new server, and bring it live.
If downtime is a concern, you can try this method without locking down the current website. However, this is more suited to a consistently updated website in the content space, because WooCommerce orders typically come in to fast to seriously synchronize.
You can also wait until the new website goes live, and then move everything from the old website. However, this can get very tricky and our best recommendation for a dynamic migration with Oxygen is to move it in the middle of the night when downtime is permissible.
It's difficult to install Oxygen on on an existing website and build new pages. If you want to go about this method, we recommend installing oxygen on a local development environment, building your templates, and then moving those templates to the new website. A method that we have seen online is simply copying and pasting all redesigned template/page shortcodes from an old website to the new one.
Expect that the migrated website will appear broken until you fix the templates, re-sign the shortcuts, and do a collection of other things to resolve any issues. You should let your clients know this before hand.
Regardless of the type of website that you are migrating, plan for some downtime. We usually migrate all of our websites in the middle of the night when the least amount of visitors are on the pages, which minimize the impact to the business.
We hope that this article gave you some insight on how to migrate an Oxygen Builder website. There are some things to keep in mind before doing this, and we recommend notifying clients of these elements before undertaking the task. If you have any questions or other tips on how to migrate your website an easier fashion, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
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