How to Clone a WordPress Website Even if You’re a Total Beginner
WordPress sites can be cloned for various purposes. You may need to clone your WordPress site if you want to move your site to a live server from a development server or localhost. Cloning can also play a helpful role when you are planning to shift your entire site to a different hosting. If you want to develop a WordPress site which is similar to the old one, cloning might save you a lot of time. Cloning a WordPress site creates a replica of the original site. There are many plugins available in the WordPress plugin store that can help clone your WordPress site. In this tutorial, we will take a look at the top-rated plugin used for cloning a WordPress site – Duplicator
If you search the WordPress plugin store for a cloning plugin, you will see the Duplicator plugin at first. This plugin is highly rated by many users and has more than 10 million installations.
Duplicator Plugin enables you to:
- Move, migrate or clone a WordPress site between domains or hosts with zero downtime.
- Pull down a live site to localhost for development.
- Transfer a WordPress site from one host to another.
- Manually backup a WordPress site or parts of a site.
- Duplicate a live site to a staging area or vice versa.
- Perform a full WordPress migration without struggling with messy import/export SQL scripts.
Now, that we have gone through the details of Duplicator, let’s get started with the installation of the plugin and the steps involved in cloning the site.
Login to your WordPress admin dashboard using your admin credentials. On the left-hand side menu of your panel, Hover over the Plugins and Click on Add New. This will open the page where you can search for the Duplicator plugin. On the keyword search bar, Search for Duplicator and press Enter.
Click on Install Now to install the Duplicator Plugin. After installing the plugin, Click on Activate to make your plugin active.
After activating the plugin, look for Duplicator on the left side menu of the admin dashboard of WordPress. Hover over the Duplicator and Click on Packages. This will open the Duplicator page. The Duplicator page will look like the following if you are installing the plugin for the first time.
It will display “No package found” at the first time. Click Create New to build a new package.
After clicking the Create New, you will see the Setup Tab. It shows whether your site has met the requirements for the Duplicator to work correctly or not.
This page also gives you the option to set the storage location. By default, the local storage is selected. In Pro version of this plugin, cloud storage to Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon is available.
You can also set the name for the cloned site. After you have fixed the requirements check, Click Continue on the bottom left side of the page.
After clicking Continue, Duplicator will scan the website and provide you an overview of your site.
After the scan is completed, it will show you the status of the server and archive. More information on the specific can be viewed by clicking on the Good/ Notice button.
You can now move to the next step after confirming the build process.
Click on the checkbox next to Yes. Continue with the build Process! to continue and Click on the Build button to continue. If you are making changes to your system, you can again scan your website using the Rescan button.
After you click the Build Package, Duplicator will start the process and show you the screen while it builds your package.
The package building process usually takes around 10-15 seconds. The time taken also depends on the speed of the server your site is hosted upon.
After the package has been successfully built, it will show you the Package completed Information like the one in the screenshot below.
You now have the option to download the Installer version or the Archived version of your package. You can now download the file to your computer.
After download the cloned package, you can now upload it to your new server. You can use any FTP client application of your choice. For this tutorial, we will be using FileZilla which is a popular FTP client application. Download and setup FileZilla. Use the server information obtained from your hosting. After successfully logging into the new server, copy the package to the server’s root directory. The root directory used in WordPress is public_html
You need to setup the database for the cloned site in the new server. From your cPanel, Search for Databases and search for MySQL Databases and Click on it.
After going inside the MySQL Database, Create a new database by giving a name to your new database and Click the Create button.
Click on Create Database. Create a new user and set a password for the user and then add the new user to the database. Also, Make sure to tick the All Privileges option to grant you full access.
After the package is copied to the root directory and the database has been set up, now you are ready to run the Duplicator installer and complete the cloning process. Go to the URL bar and add /installer.php to the end of your new site to initiate the installation.
This will start the cloning process. Duplicator will scan the new site and ask for confirmation about going to the next step. Click Next to continue. You need to enter the database information of your newly created Database and Click on Next when you are ready to proceed.
After Clicking Next, Duplicator will ask for the new site’s URL, the installation path and the title for the new site. Fill in the details and Click Next to continue.
After completing the installation, Duplicator installer will prompt you to update the permalink structure of your WordPress site, test your new site and remove the installer files. You can check individual settings by clicking the button.
Over to You
If you have reached so far, you have successfully cloned your site and installed the cloned version into a new server successfully. There are similar other plugins available in the plugin store which does the same work.