The Short Version
Move That Blog is a WordPress plug-in that hooks deep into WordPress on both the sending and receiving blogs to transfer your content. Once you have confirmed (and re-confirmed) the transfer, our servers will begin processing the transfer in the background, leaving you free to go bowling or something (our CEO loves bowling).
Our cloud servers will grab a copy of your existing or old blog and download it. Once the transfer is complete, the data is of course deleted. This process allows us to offer extreme support; our support staff gets notified immediately of any failures that happen or problems that pop up. By the time a customer reaches out, we are usually already looking into the issue (if we don’t already have a fix).
Once we have all of the data, we push it to your new blog, deleting any existing data. This means we can offer a carbon-copy or photocopy of your blog.
Of course, you can see all of this happening in real-time on your dashboard once you’ve started moving a site!
The Technical Nitty-Gritty
So you want to know the technical details do ya? Good, because we’re pretty proud of what we’ve built and we LOVE to talk about it:
Once you’ve installed the plug-in on both ends, you will be asked to log in. This process fetches an API key from our server that will be used to verify that all messages come from us. Once you’ve logged in, you will be redirected back to this site to start the transfer.
From your dashboard, you will be asked to select an old blog and a new blog and will be shown the blog name AND domain name to ensure that the selected blogs are correct. You will then be asked for your FTP information. This is required for two purposes: to transfer files such as uploads, themes and plug-ins, and files that are not a part of WordPress core and to copy important configuration file info over. Without moving the configuration info, you would be required to reset all user passwords.
Finally, you’ll be asked to confirm exactly what you’re moving so that no mistakes will be made. Once you’ve confirmed the details, our cloud servers will begin downloading a copy of your log. This includes all files (not just WordPress core files), posts, pages, settings, etc. We do not make a copy of the database specifically because this doesn’t work for very large installs and because a lot of the associations between pieces break or need to be modified (ie. links to your media). Instead, we grab everything in chunks (1 MB of files at a time, 10 – 20 posts at a time, etc.). While this does take more time overall, it allows us to move installations of any size and means you can get back to doing something else while we worry about the move.
Once we have all of the data, we’ll make the same API calls to the new blog to push the data into it. First we’ll push all files: we will not overwrite WordPress core files (since your new host might have a newer version), but we will remove any conflicting themes, plug-ins, etc. and replace them with the copies from your old blog. After the files are transferred, we move your settings to ensure all of the correct plug-ins are activated to process any incoming data, then we transfer users, posts, categories, etc. We also move non-WordPress tables (like those used by forms plugins).
You’ll be able to monitor the status of your transfer from your dashboard, getting details about how far along each piece is. You can even close the window and come back later to check on things. One of the benefits of using Move That Blog is that, given the way we transfer things over, all front-facing IDs will be the same: post IDs, permalinks, even links to your media files.
Once the transfer is complete, you can transfer the DNS or domain over to your new host and begin using your new blog!