Scope: Prime Mover Free / Pro version

What are the complete list of files migrated or backup?

If you chose complete export mode which is “Export database, media files, plugins and themes.” , it will export the following:

  • Database of your site. (one SQL file), you can encrypt this database in PRO version.
  • All files in your wp-content/uploads directory for single site or wp-content/uploads/sites/[blog_id] for multisite subsite. You can exclude files in PRO version. You can also choose to encrypt all these media files in PRO version.
  • All activated plugins for that site (this includes network activated plugins if you are in multisite, you can exclude these plugins in PRO version for both single-site/multisite).
  • The current activated theme of the site(parent theme or parent theme + child theme if both are used).

It does not currently include the following:

  • WordPress core files. This is not needed since most WordPress installations assumes to be using latest version for security reasons.
  • All files outside your WordPress installation, for example you have custom directory created within your WordPress installation that is NOT on the site uploads directory. In the future release, this might be considered to be added in PRO version.
  • wp-config.php of the site. – this is not needed since it will use the wp-config.php of the target site always.
  • .htaccess or any other server configurations (such as in nginx, etc.) – this is not needed also since it will always use the target site server configurations for maximum compatibility.

Do I need to adjust my PHP upload parameters for large packages?

This is not required. Prime Mover is designed to cope up with limited PHP upload parameters. So even if your package zip size is 60 MB and your server PHP max upload file size is only 2MB (PHP default, and you are on shared hosting- cannot change).

Prime Mover will automatically slice your package to 2MB upload sessions until its uploaded completely. It even checks if you have slower connection, it even slices it lower as your connection can only allow without sending too much to the server.

However we recommend the following for best upload experience (especially for those migrating or upload very large packages):

  • Fastest upload speed connection you can obtain.
  • If you can change upload_max_filesize and post_max_size (or if your hosting allows to change this for your site). Set them as high as possible as your server can allow.
  • Upgrade to PRO version if you are restoring a very large site (e.g. >300MB zip package size) especially if you are on a slow upload connection and will not be able to change any server settings. PRO version offers more solutions in case you will have upload issues in the FREE version.

IMPORTANT: If you restore via upload in a local server (e.g. localhost), it is recommended to change the upload_max_filesize and post_max_size parameters as high as possible so your upload will complete as soon as possible. Since you are in a local server, you should be able to control these settings. If you are in a remote web hosting that you can also control, its good to change these settings as advised previously. Your upload will complete faster.

I got runtime error “Main extraction Failed: No error” in Windows / Microsoft IIS, what’s the workaround?

This is caused by some Windows limitation relating to the number of characters in the file path (path inside zip included). Please read this guide for the complete workaround and solution.

Do I need to adjust my server timeout settings for exporting or restoring very large sites?

No. If you are using version 1.0.7+ and if your server has these PHP core functions enabled:

  • escapeshellarg
  • shell_exec
  • popen
  • exec

This will allow Prime Mover to run time-intensive task in PHP-CLI environment which is not subjected to HTTP web server timeout (except server memory limitations in some hosts, e.g. in shared host).

If you don’t have these functions enabled and you are getting timeout errors, please read this guide on migrating large sites and see if adjusting a timeout works for you as well as other solutions.

I got errors that wp-config is not writable ?

Prime Mover requires wp-config.php to be writable. To make this writable, you can run this command if you have SSH root access:

sudo chmod 664 wp-config.php

You need to run this command on your WordPress root on the directory where wp-config.php is found.

ERROR: Shell process terminated = by your web host due to insufficient resources ?

Quick workaround is to enable non-shell mode by adding this to your wp-config.php:

define('PRIME_MOVER_SLOW_WEB_HOST', true);

If this still does not work, please create a bug report ticket.

What is a debug package?

Debug package is a Prime Mover package without media uploads. This simplifies migration. An ideal solution for developers needing to clone/migrate a site for WordPress debugging.

Debug package is not recommended for migrating complete sites (which means working/stable images, etc.). It does not handle images like it was in stable sites. This is only used for debugging/troubleshooting purposes.

Does the free version be able to handle very large sites?

Yes, however the maximum size supported in free version is 4 GB (total zip size of a complete package that includes dB + media + plugins/themes). This is mostly related to browser upload limits. Prime Mover will validate and notify you if the package size is too much for the browser to handle.

If your site is more than 4 GB, free version cannot handle it by default (due to browser limits). If you upgrade to Pro version, please follow this tutorial to restore big packages.

Alternatively, you can try Prime Mover remote URL restore feature (Pro version).

If your browser can still accept the uploads (say for example, you have a package less than 4 Gigabytes but still very large). It is now recommended to increase the size your server upload and timeout parameters to speed up the process. Otherwise the restoration will be very slow.

If you are using free version on shared hosts and you have a very big site, you might have problems. It’s because shared hosts restricts CPU, memory and other resources required for migration to complete.

It is always recommended that you switch to VPS or dedicated hosting solution for best performance if you have a large site. You can still migrate your large site inside your shared hosts using these techniques if you encounter migration issues.

Is there any way to speed up the migration process for default upload restoration?

If your package is hosted on third party sites like other websites or in cloud services like Dropbox, Google drive, etc. You can use the PRO feature “Remote URL restore” feature. This will speed up the process since it will fetch the zip package URL directly from the source and download it directly to your site. No need to download to your Desktop and upload again !

But if the source package is located in your local Desktop and you want to migrate it to remote site. You can upload that package using SFTP client (e.g. Filezilla) and restore it via Prime Mover backup manager.

If browser uploading is your only option (e.g. in Free version). There are three approaches you should do to speed-up the upload if you can tweak these settings:

  • Use large upload_max_filesize (ideally 32MB + ) in your target site.
  • Use post_max_size ideally about 4 times your set upload_max_filesize. So if you set upload_max_filesize to 32MB, set your post_max_size to 128MB.
  • Make sure your memory_limit is around the same or greater than post_max_size
  • Make sure your Internet connection provides the fastest upload speed possible to your remote site.
  • Use latest version of Prime Mover.

Does the free version be able to restore encrypted packages created by the Pro version?

Yes, but it is required that the target site uses the same key used to encrypt the package at the source site. Take note that the free version cannot be used to create encrypted packages but it can restore encrypted packages.

Why I’m only be able to restore only by uploads

You are using the Free version. In Pro version, you should be able to restore via uploads, remote URL to the zip and restore zip as backup within your server.

How can I exclude some plugins from being included in the migration package ?

The free version does not include a plugin exclusion feature. This is only available in the PRO version.

How can I exclude some media files from being included in the migration package ?

The free version does not include a media files exclusion feature. This is only available in the PRO version.

Is my package secure ?

The free version saves the zip path at your Prime Mover backup directory with randomized file names. This is also protected with .htaccess in Apache. So there is no direct way for anyone to download it. However the free version does not have encryption support, so the database and media files are readable by anyone if they can access your zip. In Pro version, there is an optional encryption support that you can use to protect your database and media files. Also in Pro version , you can move the backup directory outside the web root. This is highly recommended if data security is a concern.

How does this work in multisites ?

Prime Mover support multisite migrations (including FREE versions). This is done only on the network administration pages by super-administrators. Both Free and Pro version does not support giving this privilege to ordinary subsite administrators.

The migration mode can support (available in both Free and Pro version):

  • Single-site migrate to Single-site
  • Single-site migrate to Multisite sub-site
  • Multisite sub-site migrate to another Multisite sub-site (even using different blog IDs)
  • Multisite sub-site migrate to Single-site.

Why is it required to provide blog ID for single site to multisite migration ?

Prime Mover uses this blog ID to validate which site does the package will be restored into. Without blog ID, there is no way to detect the target sub-site in multisite.

Any limitations on using this plugin?

In a multi-site, you can only migrate sub-site (one zip package for one site – just like in single site). You cannot use Prime Mover to migrate the main site of a multisite or migrate all sub-sites (or entire network) in a single zip package.

If you are on a shared hosting and you are migrating very big sites, it can be very slow. As the plugin is limited by the resources provided by your shared host (CPU, memory, requests ,etc). Sometimes these shared hosts are very restrictive in resources that makes it unable to complete export or import for even any migration plugins . Even WordPress core operations itself like installing or updating big plugins from repository- you will get errors). That is why it is always recommended nowadays that you switch to a VPS, managed hosting or dedicated hosting to meet the demands of your large site.

Is this PHP 7.0+ compatible?

Yes, PHP 7.0+ is highly recommended if your hosting supports it. PHP 7.4+ is the fastest currently (as of January 2020) based on our testing. We recommend using this one if all of your plugins supports it.

We don’t anymore recommend using PHP 5.6 as its outdated, slow and not anymore suggested by WordPress (in fact you should see upgrade PHP notice in recent WordPress updates). Prime Mover still runs on PHP 5.6 (as of January 2020, a lot of sites are still using this). But will be deprecated in the near future, so please upgrade your PHP version.

While restoring a site it freezes at importing database or renaming dB prefix; is this normal?

No, you might need to provide complete secure keys and salt to your wp-config.php. Try this solution:

  • Go to
  • Copy the keys and all salts (all of them) and update it to your wp-config.php. Make sure to remove old keys and replace them with the one in the generator.
  • Clear browser cache.
  • Delete any temporary files (unfinished import) in wp-content/uploads/prime-mover-import-files.
  • Repeat the import process.

Permanent fix to this one is already added in version 1.0.6 / 1.0.7. Please always use the latest Prime Mover version in both of your source and target site.

I saw some errors being logged during migration, do I need to panic?

No. Due to complex nature of restoration, you might see random errors as the site is not fully migrated yet. This is usually normal if the site does not encounter fatal runtime errors. It is recommended to wait until the migration is completed and check the visual and functionality results of the site. If the site appears broken, its time to look into these errors in detail.

I saw some 404 errors after migration. do I need to worry?

No. You need to refresh the permalink by logging-in to your `WordPress admin -> Settings -> Permalinks` . Simply click save (do not change any settings). This should resolve most 404 issues.

The site got locked in maintenance mode. How to get out of maintenance mode?

In version 1.0.3+ we added a link to administrators to disable maintenance mode. So, pasting them in the browser address bar is no longer necessary. If you happen to be logged-out, you should manually delete the option named as prime_mover_maintenance in the WordPress database options table.

If you are on a multisite, manually delete the .maintenance file just like any stalled WordPress updates.

I got error “Fatal error: Cannot declare class WPConfigTransformer” when activating Prime Mover?

This is caused by a third party plugin conflict. You have activated a plugin that loading the WP Cli WpConfigTransformer class incorrectly. Actually this is a third party PHP library and should be added as plugin dependencies using a PSR-4 composer autoloader for maximum compatibility.

Solution: Try deactivating that plugin in conflict temporarily and then activate Prime Mover. And for permanent fix, please report that to the plugin developers for fixing.

Error: Wrong import site package! Please check that the import zip package is correct for this site.

This is caused by incompatible restore package. For example, you restore a single-site package to multisite server or vice versa. Or you restore multisite package that is intended for another sub-site blog ID.

To fix this issue, make sure that:

  • If you want to migrate to WordPress single-site, make sure you create a single-site export and restore that single site package to any WordPress single-site only. For example, make sure this is checked during export:

And then restore this package ONLY to single-site.

  • If you want to migrate to WordPress multisite subsite with blog ID (e.g. 7), make sure to create a multisite package targeting blog ID 7. And restore that multisite package to only to subsite blog ID 7. For example, you need to check export to multisite format and provide 7 as the blog ID, e.g.

And then restore this package only to the multisite sub-site with blog ID 7.

It does not matter if you are creating these packages at single-site or multisite. The only thing that is important is you created the correct package for your target destination (by providing correct export type) (single site package for single site destination or multisite package for multisite destination)

Can I deactivate or remove Freemius?

No. We use Freemius as a licensing platform for the plugin pro version. It’s included in the free version, so any users can easily upgrade to PRO version. You can choose to un-subscribe to any communications by Freemius after you have activated the free version. Just click “Skip” in the opt-in dialog. Freemius will not slow down your site or harvest for personal details without your permission. If you have any questions related to Freemius, feel free to shoot a question to

How can I get support?

There is a community-support for free version of Prime Mover which is hosted in forum. PRO and Free Trial customers can get faster/dedicated technical support through emails. This can be done using the contact form within the plugin admin settings.

What is your support policy?

It’s here.

Where can I ask Pre-sales Questions?

You can ask questions before you buy. This is recommended so we will know whether Prime Mover is the right solution for your problem.

This is the link to our pre-sales questions page.

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