WordPress allows to manage your content effectively by keeping text content safely in database and store the files separately. However, this can be a problem when you want to clone or duplicate entire WordPress site. Manually exporting/importing database and migrate files to another location is not an easy task. With the tons of available plugins in WordPress, it is easier to achieve cloning a website. Here are the steps to go through the process of how to duplicate entire WordPress site even if you are a beginner.
Need for Duplicating a WordPress Site
The reason for duplicating (also known as cloning) a WordPress website may vary but are usually one of the followings:
- You want to have a staging site to try new themes and test new plugins.
- Keep an offline backup outside your server.
- Want to move your site to another hosting server.
How to Duplicate Entire WordPress Site?
WordPress offers a default importer to export and import content to another website. However, this will not import core WordPress files, you must import each post type separately and this method will fail if you have large number of posts and attachments. Good part is that you have backup plugins that you can use for duplicating entire WordPress site with ease. These backup plugins can copy your uploads, themes, plugins and all contents in the WordPress site and make it readily available for transfer or migration.
You can save hours while moving a live WordPress site to a new host, duplicating/moving a website from a local server to a live server, cloning/moving a live site to a local server for testing and development purposes.
Installing & Activating Duplicator Plugin
To start cloning your WordPress site, install and activate the Duplicator plugin, but why that? This plugin is powerful and serves as a WordPress backup & migration tool for both professionals and beginners. The plugin does not need any configurations to setup and you can start using it immediately after activation.
Log in to your WordPress Dashboard and navigate to “Plugins > Add New” section. Use the search plugin field to type and find the Duplicator plugin, then click install and activate after that – that’s all.
Backing up Your WordPress Site with Duplicator
Before getting entire copy of your website with the Duplicator Plugin, it first backups the contents you wish to load into a new location. In creating your site backup storage package, locate or hover through the “Duplicator” menu at the sidebar and click on “Packages” option. Locate that “Create New” button at the top right and click on it.
The plugin will automatically load a wizard and after that click the “Next” button leaving every other detail as it is.
This prompts a scan on your website to ensure everything is in order and the site supports the WordPress plugin. If there is any issue, you will receive a warning pointing out what isn’t right. Else since the scan will complete with all requirements are good marked. Click on the “Build” button to continue the backup process.
Having this done, your whole WordPress site database, including templates or themes, plugins, images and all other files – are now in a single downloadable package.
Duplicate Your WordPress Website
This stage comes in after the completion of the backup process of your site package. You would see the “Archive” (contains backup files) and the “Installer” script as downloadable files of your site on your screen. Move to click the “One-Click Download” link below those buttons, and there is an automatic download of both files at once. Alternatively, click the buttons individually and download the files to your computer.
Never leave one file for another, as both files are essential in completing your entire site duplication.
Uploading Archive & Installer File to New Site
Now, go over to the new location you want the files representing your entire website to be loaded. Be it you are cloning and moving a site to a live or local server, here is how to go about each.
- For a Site in a local server: copy the downloaded files (Archive & Installer) and paste them into an empty subfolder in the htdocs of your resident server. Note that htdocs is the document root folder when using local WordPress installations with MAMP, XAMPP and many other applications. However, it may be different depending on the app you use for creating localhost. Make sure to paste the files in correct document root for your localhost. In this example, we create a duplicate site under a subdirectory called “learnwordpress” which should be under “htdocs” folder.
- For a Site in a live server: You can upload the files in the root directory of your domain using File Manager app from the hosting panel.
Whichever case it may be, ensure the files are in empty subfolders – no other files or folders whatsoever reside alongside them.
Running the Installer Script (Installer.php)
All things being good and if done well, running the import PHP script won’t have issues. Open your web browser, head over to your new live WordPress website using the below URL that adds the installer script to your domain name. Remember to replace your-new-site.com with your own website name.
Else use the below URL for moving to a local site. Make sure to use correct subdirectory name or remove it from the URL if you are moving to the root of your local server.
The duplicator dashboard now shows you the assessment of all the necessary configuration settings obtainable and marks a pass. Proceed to check the terms and conditions if everything looks great from your site grades. Further, click on the “Next” button.
There is a requirement to fill in new database information as shown for the site you are duplicating. Once done with the data entry, you can further click on “Test Database” button to ensure correctness before clicking the “Next” button.
You might likely receive an installation confirmation message to attend to, which requires clicking the “OK” button. Once database installation is over, the settings for your new site is automatically detected and prefilled for you.
Click the “Next” button to finish the package installations and the plugin will now presents you with the last phase – testing your duplicate WordPress website through clicking on the “Admin Login” button.
Testing Your Duplicate WordPress Website
The admin area or WordPress backend isn’t the only place to survey. Go ahead typing the URL of your new live or local clone site to view its frontend and know if everything is working. Hopefully, you won’t be having any issues as you are following through with these guides properly.
Lastly, Delete Installation Files
You can now remove the temporary files created by the Duplicator file while duplicating your site. Here is where the satisfaction comes in that everything is successful. On accessing your newly cloned WordPress site dashboard, hover on the “Duplicator” menu and click on “Tools” option. Locate the “Remove Installation Files” and click the button to delete all installation files generated by the plugin.
Note that there is an automatic removal of some temporary files if you visited the admin login area at the final phase of your database installation (part of running the installer script).
Conclusion on Duplicate Entire WordPress Site
We understand how it feels to pull through with your new clone or duplicate site. There might be other ways of going about site duplication but, we bet that this is the best match with little or no technicalities and suits a beginner.
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