Can I use WP Stagecoach to move my site to a different host?

Some people want to use WP Stagecoach as a stepping stone to move a site to a different host.  They want to create a staging site, make changes on the staging site, and then instead of importing the changes back to the live site, they want to import the changes onto a new web host.

The short answer is currently: no, you can’t publish the staging site to a different host. 

The long answer is: WP Stagecoach is designed to import your changes – and only your changes – to your live site.  If your live site moves to a different host, then your staging site will continue to be connected to your live site no matter what host it is on.  But if you want to push your changes to a different host than your live site, then WP Stagecoach’s import tools will not work.  If you want to launch the staging site on a different host, there are a few things you need to be aware of: (1) WP Stagecoach uses hot linking which means that by default, your staging site doesn’t actually have all of your site’s files.  If you are planning to launch the site on a different host, you will need to turn off hot linking.  (2) You might think that a manual import would let you move from one host to another, and you are half right.  With a manual import, you get two files: a database file and a zip file.  The database file is a complete database, so you could use that on your new host.  But the zip file only contains files that have changed on the staging site, so it does not have all of the site’s files.  However, you could easily use a backup plugin to grab all of the site’s files.  So ultimately, publishing a staging site on a different host is basically like migrating any other site to a different host: you will still have to gather all of the files and the database, set up the database on the new host, and move the site yourself.

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