Site Migrations


This web-page is for general notes and information regarding the import/export procedure of migrating a site from the old CLF theme to the new.

1. For a visual representation of the procedure, see here: Process Snapshot
2. For a full list of what does / doesn't migrate (using the 'import/export' method) - see here: Full transfer list
3. See below for specific topics and information.

Tools, Guides & Workarounds

Profiles: importing profiles correctly (using the Profile Custom Content Type plugin)

Redirections: import/export process

Widgets import/export guide

Gravity Forms: importing correct Form ID's

Affiliate logos: to migrate your affiliate logos


Create New Site

You'll need to request a new site from CTLT first, you can do this here: Website Request


Make sure all plugins from the old site are enabled on the new site -Note that this doesn’t mean that the plugin lists should be a 1:1 match. The new site should have more plugins enabled than the old.

New site

  • Add existing users
  • Gravity Forms (if the site uses Forms)
  • Import form entries: Gravity Form Mass Import Plugin (if the site uses Forms)
  • Profile Custom Content Type (if the site uses Profiles)


Site admins need to confirm user list, to check for:

  • redundant users
  • new users requiring access
  • role changes to existing users

Once you’ve received about list, make the appropriate changes in the New Site

If you want to add the current users to the new site. You can do so by enabling the 'Add Multiple Users From Network 1.0.0' Plugin. And following and then navigation to the Users -> Add from Network. And following the steps.

Current site

  • export XML file
  • remove all users (except site admins)

This aids in site freeze (no edits during migration)

New site

  • add users (without email confirmation, via ‘add existing user’ plugin)
  • use updated user list received from site admins
  • import XML file
  • remove users (except site admins)

This allocates correct users with page/posts, etc. and also stops edits on the new site from users Once new site is finalized & signed off, re-add all users back

Delete default items

This needs to be done on the new site, to make sure that no content exists, even a blank example site may have a dummy page/post, etc.

e.g. menu items, posts, and pages (except Home Page)

On Dashboard > Appearance > Menus, make sure the option “Automatically add new top-level pages” is unchecked.


  1. During import, make sure to check 'Download and import file attachments' box
  2. Content created by any users that do not exist on the new site should be re-assigned to the site administrator

Post-import tasks

a. Theme settings Walk through the theme settings of the old site and replicate their settings on the new site. If the old site has content in the “Frontpage Content Area” (in the old site’s Dashboard > Appearance > Theme Options > Frontpage), it should be copied and pasted into the new site’s “Home Page” page. Make sure that page is used as the Frontpage by the new theme (in the new site’s Dashboard > Appearance > Theme Options > Frontpage, in the “Content” section)

b. Recreate widgets Widgets are not imported. They must be recreated and placed in their proper regions.

c. Upgrade profiles (if used) Dashboard > Profiles > Settings, there’ll be a button near the top

d. Check the custom CSS We need to determine how much work we’re going to be doing. So far, I’ve been noticing that a lot of custom CSS won’t be applicable anymore (static width of regions, etc.)

e. Fix custom CSS (note: your level of service needs to be determined. If you are to migrate a site, do you have an obligation to fix any custom CSS that may break under the new CLF?)

f. Check your Settings pages (Dashboard > Settings) for all other settings you need on the new site

g. Tools / Workarounds / Known Issues

Refer to the tools/guides/workarounds/known issues sections for extra info to assist in migration

h. Testing is conducted

i. Add required users back to the new site

j. Other Notes:

  • hard coded hyperlinks will need to be changed: If any links refer directly to their old "internal" URL (*, these links will need to be updated. Links to their 'public' URL (* will remain unchanged.
  • Site admin(s) may need to review their site structure for mobile use (new CLF has responsive design)

Domain transfer

The following steps will switch the public domain to point to the new site:

  1. new site is marked as publicly searchable in Dashboard > Settings > Reading > Allow search engines to index this site
  2. The public domain name (e.g. is removed from the old site, and the new domain should be (not This is done in Dashboard > Tools > Domain Mapping.
  3. The public domain name (e.g. is re-added to the new site and marked as the primary domain *
  4. Once domain is switched and confirmed to be working, the old site is marked as private / un-searchable in Dashboard > Settings > Reading > I would like my site to be visible only to Site administrators

'* remember to add 2 types of domain names:


The old site will still be accessible by its 'internal' domain name (e.g. * However, if there is no need to maintain your old site, you should delete it as all of your new content will be added & updated on your new site. To delete your site, go to Dashboard > Tools > Delete site.

If you are concerned about backing up your site before you delete it, you can do so by going to Dashboard > Tools > Export > (all content). This will allow you to save an XML file to your computer which can be used to re-create your site again if you ever need it. We (CTLT / CMS) do not maintain backups of WordPress sites.

Archiving (optional)

Once migration is complete, the old site can be 'archived' for backup purposes. This can be accomplished by creating a new "Archive" CWL and creating a user on the CMS service for that CWL. From there, sites can be archived following these steps:

  1. add 'archive CWL' user to old site
  2. remove all other users from old site

The site will only be accessible via the Archive CWL account at this point. If, in the future, other users need access, it will need to be managed by the owners of the Archive CWL account


2 responses to “Site Migrations”

  1. sgibbons

    Not very. There was really no step by step guide for beginners to migrating the old site over to the new site. Very disappointing.


    I agree with sgibbons, this information looks more appropriate for someone with IT experience. How are people who only have a basic knowledge of wordpress and of websites supposed to migrate a website over with these steps. I will have to seek assistance from our website/communications specialist to do this.

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