Move Your Site

Export Your Site

You can move your site’s content to a new home on the internet using the Export tool.

Your site’s content is downloaded into an XML file (a type of file used to transport data) that you can then import to another site, another WordPress host, or even another platform.

This XML file (also referred to as WXR file) contains your posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and links to images. It does not include the site’s design, themes, and plugins, but you can use a migration plugin for that.

Table of Contents

Before You Get Started

Before exporting your content:

  • Make sure your site is set to public at Settings → General to ensure images are transferred over.
  • Clean things up as much as possible, such as removing unwanted draft pages and posts and deactivating unused plugins, so that the export file is as small as possible.
  • Review and delete any comments marked as spam. If there are pending comments, approve or delete them as needed.

Export Content to Another WordPress Site

To create an export file with all of your site’s content, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Tools → Export:
Sidebar menu with the Tools section expanded and the Export item highlighted
Tools → Export
  1. Download your export file by:
    • Clicking the Export All button (if you have a site without plugins installed.)
    • Selecting all content and clicking the Download Export File button (if you have a site with plugins installed.)
    • Download specific content only, like posts, pages, or feedback.
  1. Wait for the export to process (it’s safe to navigate away from the screen once the export is in progress.) Once it’s ready, click the Download button that appears, or check your email for the download link.
  2. You will receive a .zip file to save to your computer with the .xml file inside of it. This file contains your posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and references to your site’s images.
    • Larger sites will include more than one XML file to ensure that your export process will be fast and complete successfully. When importing into another site, you’ll need to unzip the file and import each of the .xml files individually.
  3. Import your file to the new site. If you’re importing to another site, you can follow the steps in this guide.
Site Address

If you are leaving for another host, you can redirect your site address (such as, as well as all of your permalinks, to your new domain name with a Site Redirect.


An XML export can move your images and other media. However, it’s important to know that XML export files don’t contain any actual images or media files. They contain links to images and other media, which will transfer to the new site after you import the XML file to that site.

For this reason, the site you exported from must remain publicly accessible. This process can take a few hours depending on how many media files you have.

If you intend to delete your content (or the entire site), it’s important to wait until after media files have been successfully imported into the new site.


If you are exporting your site content to another host, your subscribers and followers will not come along in the export. However, if you are moving to a self-hosted WordPress site, you can migrate your subscribers once you install our free Jetpack plugin, and use the Subscriber Migration Tool.

Export to a Non-WordPress Site

Many other platforms support XML files. If the site to which you want to move can accept XML imports, you can migrate your site’s content to a non-WordPress site by exporting it using the same process described above.

Export Using a Plugin

You can use the All-in-One WP Migration plugin to move a site including plugins, themes, and users. This option is suitable for moving to a self-hosted site, another plugin-enabled site, and local/staging sites.

Export Your Existing Site
  1. Install and activate the All-in-One WP Migration plugin on the site you wish to export.
  2. Go to All-in-One WP Migration → Export.
    • If you’re using the same domain name on the new site, you don’t need to use the find and replace feature at All-in-One WP Migration → Export. However, if you’re changing domain names as part of the migration, you’ll want to enter your current domain name in the Find field and your new domain name in the Replace with field. Then, generate your Export file.
  3. Click Export to and choose the File option. The other methods you see here will cost money, whereas the File option is included with the free version of All-in-One WP Migration.
  4. When the file has finished preparing, click the download option to save the file to your computer. The file will be in a .wpress format, and can be imported to your new site using the All-in-One WP Migration plugin.

Next steps for importing content to a site.

Exporting the Media Library

If you wish to download your images and other media files to your computer, you can use the Export Media Library option located at Tools → Export.

Export Media Library option on the Export screen

Your media library will be downloaded as a .tar archive. On Mac OS X you can unpack this archive by double-clicking on the icon. For Windows you might need to download a program like 7-Zip to allow you to do this.

If your media library is very large and/or you have a slower connection, the download might time out before it completes. If your browser supports resuming a failed download you can resume it without starting over completely.

Media files downloaded in this way cannot be imported to another WordPress site. If you want to move your media to a different site, it’s best to use the regular export option described above.


This feature is not currently available on sites with plugins installed. Instead, you can download a backup of your site which will contain your media files.

Export Errors

There may be times when you get an error message when attempting to export your site content. The most common reason for this is very large files. To resolve this, you can export sections at a time. If you have several authors on the site, you can export posts by author, or you can do so by date.

The filters include options to export by author, date, category, and status (Published, Draft, Pending Review, Scheduled, Private, or Spam). You can use more than one filter at a time and export your posts and pages separately.

Export Posts filter has sections for Author, Status, Start Date, End Date, and Category. You can add more than one filter to choose exactly what to export.
Posts export has a filter for Status, where you can choose Published, Scheduled, Draft, Pending Review, Private, or Spam posts to export.

If you’re still having any trouble, it can help to deactivate plugins on your site (which will not be in the export file anyway) and delete any spam or pending comments to clear out anything you don’t need.

Using Export as a Backup Tool

If your site is hosted here at, we handle all necessary backups. If a very large meteor were to hit all the servers and destroy them beyond repair, all of your data would still be safe, and we could have your site online within three days (after the meteor situation died down, of course).

But if you want to back up your site content manually, you can use the Export option described above. This can be a good idea, especially if you’ve assigned additional users to your site. Editors and administrators have the ability to delete any posts or pages, and there is no way to recover material that they remove from your site.

If your site has a plugin-enabled plan, you can download entire site backups and restore your site to any previous point in time. Learn more about these backups.

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