Transferable Sites

On the WP Engine Digital Experience Platform, developers can create a website for a client using a transferable site that does not count against their plan’s site limit. When complete, the environment can easily be sent over to the client’s own WP Engine account. In this article we will explain how to create a transferable site, and how to transfer an environment to your client successfully.


About Transferable Sites and Environments

WP Engine includes a feature to create “transferable” sites and environments on your account to use for development. To refresh on what a site or environment is, review our guide here.

Each transferable environment has traffic blocked through basic authentication, and therefore transferable sites do not account against your hosting plan’s site limit. Local disk storage will continue to count towards your total plan usage.

Environments will be transferred separately, and not as an entire site.

If you need to unlock a site and all of its environments on your own account, this can be done using the unlock process.

Transferable Specifications

Transferable sites differ from standard, or billable, sites in a few ways:

  • Transferable environments are transferable to any another WP Engine account with sufficient space on their plan.
  • Transferable sites do not count against your hosting plan Site limit.
  • Environments within transferable sites are automatically password-protected to block traffic. The password cannot be removed until the transfer/unlock is complete, however it can be changed.
  • Custom domains can be added to transferable environments, but due to password protection, the domain will not serve live traffic.
  • Transferable sites are automatically exempt from server cache due to password-protection.
  • Transferable sites are ineligible for SSL and CDN.


Create Transferable Site

A “site” is the grouping of three environments (PRD, STG and DEV) and will need to be created before you can add a transferable environment.

  1. Log into the User Portal
  2. Click Add Site
  3. Enter your desired Site name
  4. Check the Transferable box
  5. Click Add Site
  1. On the next page, you will be prompted automatically to add a new transferable environment within this transferable site
  2. Add a Production, Staging or Development Environment

Change Transferable Password

Transferable environments are password protected behind basic authentication.. This additional login prevents the website from being taken live and receiving real traffic. Because the environment is not billable, the basic authentication login cannot be removed until the environment is transferred to another account or unlocked on your own account.

This password can be changed, however, in order to make logging in easier, or if the login has been shared for review and needs to be changed for security reasons. The user name will always be demo and cannot be changed.

NOTE: Do not change the password for a transferable environment until the environment has completed its initial set up.

To change the password, simply click the pencil icon next to the password in your User Portal, on the Overview page for the environment.



Initiate Environment Transfer

When the website is developed, approved and ready to transfer client, you can use the following steps. Initiating a transfer requires Full level user access to the originating hosting account.

NOTE: Only individual environments can be transferred to another account. If you need to make an entire site billable on your account, see the steps for unlocking a site instead.

Preparation Steps

  1. Ensure the client has their own WP Engine hosting account
  2. Confirm the client has enough available Sites on their hosting account to add a new one

Transfer the Environment

  1. Log into your User Portal
  2. Click your environment name in the list
  3. Locate the box labelled Transferable environment
  4. Click Transfer this Environment
  1. Enter the client’s email in the field labelled Send transfer code and instructions to
  2. Enter a Note to the recipient (optional)
  3. Click Send Code

The recipient will receive an email with instructions for how to accept the transfer, as well as your custom note. This email will look similar to the following example.

NOTE: The environment will not be removed from your account until the recipient has entered the transfer code into their own WP Engine account.


Accept Environment Transfer

The recipient of a transfer will need to enter a transfer code in the User Portal to complete the transfer process.

Accepting a transferable site on an account requires Full (with or without Billing) level user access to that account in the User Portal.

  1. Log into the User Portal for the receiving hosting account
  2. Click Accept Transfer
  3. Paste in the Transfer code from either the email or copied from the transfer initiation form
  4. Follow the prompts to confirm the transfer

Transfer Code

The transfer code is sent via email to the specified recipient when a transfer is initiated. It can be found at the top of the email, as shown in this example:

Alternatively, if you have access to both the sending and receiving account, you can simply copy the transfer code and paste it into the receiving account with no email. The transfer code in this case can also be found on the form prior sending the transfer email.


Unlock a Transferable Site

If you do not wish to transfer site to another WP Engine account and simply want to take it live on your own account, use these steps instead to unlock the site and convert it to “billable”. Only the entire site can be unlocked, rather than individual environments. Once a site is unlocked it will count towards your plan’s total Site limit.

  1. Log into the User Portal
  2. Locate the site name in the list
  3. Select the 3 dot menu icon to the right
  4. Select Convert to billable site
  5. Click Convert in the pop up to confirm you’d like to make the Site billable on the current hosting account

Your site will now count against your plan’s site limit. You may now serve live traffic from your site, as well as add SSL certificates and CDN.


Convert Standard Environment to Transferable

In some cases, you may want to transfer an environment that is not directly “transferable” or otherwise convert a live site to non-billable. An existing environment or site cannot be converted to transferable. Rather, you will need to create a new transferable site and environments, the copy the existing content onto it.

  1. Login to your User Portal
  2. Click Add Site
  3. Enter a site name and select Transferable
  4. Click Add Site
  5. Click Add Production, Add Staging or Add Development
  6. Select Copy From Existing
  7. Enter a new environment name (names cannot be reused)
  8. From the dropdown choose the standard environment name you’d like to copy onto a transferable
  9. Choose the most recent checkpoint
  10. Click Create Environment

The original standard environment can be deleted after, if desired.


NEXT STEP: Learn how to add Sites and Environments

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