Attempting to partial-pull a large WPEngine site

Hi all. I’m attempting to pull a large WPE site to local for the sole purpose of testing MySQL 8 compatibility.

Site is a large media property with around 150GB of data, mostly in wp-content. Obviously not ideal to pull all of it.

I first tried to create a .wpe-pull-ignore file as per:

… and placed it in the site root (same directory as wp-config, etc) as the top level directory I can access via SSH or SFTP.

Unfortunately that seems to be completely ignored. Unanswered tickets here (WPEngine's `.wpe-pull-ignore` not being respected when pulling in a remote site) suggest I’m not alone in that.

I then attempted to do a partial pull, as per:

This appears to work - I can initiate a blank WP site, pull up the file browser, deselect the folders from wp-content that should be skipped. But then on clicking the Pull button the interface disappears - either nothing happens, or nothing happens that I can see.

Has anyone managed to successfully do a selective / partial pull from WPEngine to Local, or does anyone have any ideas why the partial pull seems to fail as above.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks,


System Details

  • Local Version:


  • Operating System (OS) and OS version:

OSX 13.4.1

Hi @t_r0

Generally speaking for large sites we recommend downloading a backup and direct importing that into Local.

You could also use a free plugin like WP Migrate Lite to create a partial backup of just what you need to pull down.

Hi Nick

Thanks for the pointers. For anyone else in the same spot, I managed to import by:

  • Downloading the ZIP from wp-engine
  • Unzipping
  • Removing a large number of folders from wp-content
  • Zip again and import that more minimal ZIP

The result was… half working?

But I found that for some reason the WP-Engine DB dump included two copies of the database, in two schema, and Local was using the wrong (outdated) one.

So then if you hit that problem:

  • Edit the local site wp-config to set the correct schema in $table_prefix
  • Edit the wp-options table in that schema via Adminer to set the site URL

After that, the site came up correctly in Local.


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