Cloning refers to the process of creating a new WordPress website by using an exact copy of another website. This process is quite useful when you want to create a staging site, or when you want to move an existing website to a new hosting server. Also, it is a useful strategy when you want to use a new domain name for your website. In this article, we will describe how you can easily clone a WordPress website using a popular plugin called Duplicator.
How to Clone a WordPress Site using Duplicator?
To demonstrate, how to clone a WordPress site, we are using a popular plugin called Duplicator. Here we will take a look at the step by step process.
Step 1: Install and activate the plugin
Duplicator has a free version available on the WordPress repository. You can install and activate the plugin just like you would for any other plugin. If you are not familiar with the process of installing a WordPress plugin, please check our article How to install a WordPress plugin.
In the case of Duplicator, you can get started instantly as there are no configuration steps after activating it.
Step 2: Create the backup package with Duplicator
Duplicator enables you to clone a website by first creating a backup package. For this, on your WordPress admin panel, you need to go to Duplicator > Packages.
Here, you will see a button to create a new package. Click the Create New button to get started with the process.
Now you will see a package setup, where you can add a name for the package you are going to create. Here you can click the Next button.
When you click the next button, a scan will start where the plugin checks for any issues while creating the package. If there are any issues or concerns, they will be notified after the scan. You can check and rectify the issues, before going ahead with the creation of the package.
Once all the issues are resolved, you can click the Build button to create a package.
Step 3: Download the package
If the package is created successfully, you will see a message “Package Completed”, along with a link to download the package. The newly-created package will have an archive of backup files as well as an Installer script. You can click the One-Click Download link to save the package on your computer.
Step 4: Upload the package to a folder in the new location
Now, depending upon your requirement, you can upload the package along with the installer script in a new location. This could be a new website, or your localhost WordPress site. To create the clone with a new hosting server, you can use an FTP client like FileZilla.
Experts advise that you need to ensure that the folder you are uploading the package to should be completely empty for the process to take place smoothly.
Step 5: Run the import script
Once the package is properly uploaded, you can run the installer script. Basically, the process is done by visiting your new site, and by adding installer.php at the end of the url. This could be a website on a different hosting service or the url of your localhost WordPress installation.
The Duplicator deployment will start at this stage. It will verify the backup archive as well as the basic settings and you will see a ‘Pass’ message on the right. You can accept the terms and conditions and click the Next button.
In the next screen, you can enter the database information for the new cloned site. Once, you enter the information, it will be verified, and you can continue by clicking the Next button.
The details of your new site such as url, path, title, etc., will be automatically populated in the next screen. Again, you can click the Next button.
The installation of the cloned website will be complete now. You can enter the credentials of the site and enter the WordPress admin area of the new site.
Step 6: Check if the new site has all the data
Once the installation is complete, you can verify if all the data is available in the cloned site. It is advisable to check both the admin area and the frontend.
As a final step, you can also delete the installer files from your cloned site. For this, on your cloned site’s admin panel, you can go to Duplicator > Tools and click the Remove Installation Files button.
More information about Duplicator plugin
Duplicator is one of the most popular options to clone, migrate or copy a WordPress site. It is also one of the widely used backup solutions in the WordPress ecosystem. The most attractive feature of this plugin is that helps you create migration bundles with all the data in the site including plugins, themes, content, database and WordPress files. These bundles or packages can be easily used to create new websites. Also, these can be used as pre-configured sites to help you create multiple websites effortlessly.
With Duplicator Pro, you will get access to several more advanced features that will make your job considerably easier. These include:
- An option to drag and drop archives to new sites.
- Cloud storage support for Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 and more.
- Really fast installations.
- Fast site restoration options to deal with emergency situations.
- Complete support for multisite installation and managed hosting providers.
We hope this article has helped you understand how to clone a WordPress site easily. Feel free to leave us a comment if you have any queries.