Shipper, Now Much Less Sh**ter (1.1.5)

Shipper, Now Much Less Sh**ter (1.1.5)

When we first set out to build a migration plugin, we reached for the stars. We probably shouldn’t have.

We didn’t want to build your regular ‘zip this up and transfer it across’ plugin that failed on most shared hosts or any sort of decent sized site.

And we wanted 100% success rates. Something brand new. File by file. Heck yeah!

Which was a great idea, and a lofty concept that was going to change the WordPress World. Until it wasn’t.

Because while Shipper was extraordinarily thorough and reliable, it, well, tended to take a medium size site at the very least a few hours… and a large site, let’s say, the better part of a week to migrate.

And it turns out while users really really would like stable and successful migrations, they generally would like them done within the calendar month. Fancy that!

But that’s cool… because we figured let’s put all we’ve learned into an absolutely excellent ‘package’ (yep, zipping it up) migration that isn’t crap.

And we did! The only problem was we kinda forgot to, erm, change the design to let you know!

So, while it’s been great for ages… it’s been hard to see this in action.

Which you didn’t hesitate to point out at length in the recent 2020 survey.

“I want it to work but it doesn’t!”

“Shipper always fails”

“2 AND A HALF DAYS???!!!”

“But we’ve fixed him” we cried, “he works beautifully now” we plaintively wailed into the ether.

As of Shipper’s latest release (1.1.5) his interface has been completely revamped.

His migration capabilities are now fully on display, and he’s also added another important security feature that was highly requested.

So without further ado…

Presenting: Shipper’s Extreme [Plugin] Makeover.

Shipper looking rather nervous about his extreme plugin makeover
Shipper won’t know himself after this extreme plugin makeover.

Check out Shipper’s new look below and let us know if it floats your boat.

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the notable UI and UX changes:

1.Shipper no longer looks like he has a bad case of sea sickness.

This wasn’t an issue that affected everyone, but we had reports that some users were still seeing the old Shipper character design.

Now while we love him, I’m pretty sure even Shipper himself would have to admit he isn’t looking his best in the frame below.


Shipper was looking rather seasick before his new updated look
Shipper moves so many sites, no wonder he was suffering from motion sickness.

Safe to say he’s looking a lot happier now. :)


After his update, Shipper is looking a lot happier
Shipper feeling brand new.

2.He’s got a new dashboard that allows easy access and explains both forms of migration.

In the past Shipper had been quite forthcoming with new users.

Encouraging them to jump head first into a site migration without explaining much about the process first.


A look at Shipper's dash before the new update
Shipper certainly wasn’t messing around before. Jumping straight into a migration many might not be ready for.

There were a couple of problems with this:

  1. Users were pretty much thrown into thinking an API migration was their only option, unless they happened to be paying close attention to the WP dashboard sidebar.
  2. Users were given little to no context as to what was involved in both of Shipper’s migration options and what to expect.

As the “After” screenshot below shows, you no longer have worry about these things, as our chuffed captain has been equipped with a slick new dashboard.

Including an overview of previous migrations, as well as details about both forms of migration, and what’s involved with each process. Scroll down further and you can also directly access more helpful Shipper settings and tools.


A look at Shipper's new and improved WordPress dashboard
Everything you need to know about the migration process on one central dashboard.

3. Shipper now offers up some helpful hints before continuing with your migration.

Although previous versions of Shipper did run pre-flight checks, the newly upgraded UI takes things a step further.

Before you proceed with your migration, Shipper will point out some possible issues and point out solutions
API migration looking like it’s going to take too long? Try a Package Migration!

Along with alerting you of any destination server issues, Shipper now also offers up some handy tips to help speed up your migration process.

This includes letting users know they have the option of a Package Migration, which might otherwise have been overlooked in the past.

4. ETA’s and calculated website sizes are now more accurate.

Another issue with the migration process in the past has been the clarity of package sizes and ETAs.

Mostly because in many cases ETA’s simply weren’t accurate, and migrations were a lot quicker than displayed. But sadly the described time frames ended up deterring most users.


An old look at the Shipper migration screen
Migrations actually took a lot less time than actually stated!

In Shipper’s new “Migration in progress” modal you can see that the ETA and package size are clearly stated, and have been upgraded to be more accurate.


A look at the brand new and improved Shipper migration in progress screen
Setting clear and accurate expectations like a true captain.

Bonus Feature: Protect your connected sites from hackers with password confirmation.

For increased security, Shipper now asks for a password confirmation before you continue with your migration
Password confirmation helps to protect your connected sites from hackers.

Along with Shipper’s new extreme plugin-makeover, he’s also received an important new security update.

When running an API migration, Shipper automatically gives you access to all of the sites you have connected to The Hub.

Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, however, if one of your sites were to get hacked, the hacker would in-turn have access to your other connected sites, and could wreak havoc by running migrations and breaking them.

To help prevent this, Shipper now asks for your WPMU DEV password before fetching the connected sites in the API migration.

This acts as a second level of security, so even if someone were to gain access to one of your sites, they’ll still need your WPMU DEV password to begin a migration.

So, what do you think of Shipper’s new makeover?

The truth is, Shipper’s been a new [sea] man for a while now.

It just took a quick cut and polish to reveal what our migration master could really do underneath all the boat rust.

If you do like the look of Shipper’s new style and time-saving migration features, we invite you to hop aboard. Just keep in mind Shipper is one of our premium-only plugins.

If you’re already a member be sure to check out his new looks for yourself… If you’re NOT a member, you’ll have to become one to join the migration party…

The good news is, there’s never been a better time to get aboard WPMU DEV with a no-risk membership free trial.

Because along with Shipper Pro… you also get access to all of our other premium plugins, our world-beating WP hosting, our ultimate website management platform The Hub, 24/7 expert support, and a whole community of like-minded WP buffs.

Just let us know when you’re ready to set sail.

Liking Shipper's new look? Let us know if you're digging his latest extreme [plugin] makeover.
Rick Crawshaw
Rick Crawshaw Rick is a copywriting and marketing fanatic who calls the beautiful land of New Zealand home (yes, it's as stunning as you've heard). When this kiwi's not making words sing off the page, you'll likely find him stuck down a weird YouTube rabbit hole, or bingeing throwback 90's sitcoms.