Seven easy steps to clone an existing WordPress site

You need to be smart and plan your moves carefully when it comes to cloning a WordPress site. While cloning anything would be considered an illegal, as well as an unethical practice, when it comes to duplicating a WordPress site, there is a whole new set of ethical responsibilities that can benefit your business. Let us start with:

Why Do You Need a Clone Website?

The answer that instantly pops up in your mind when you hear the word ‘cloning’ is making an exact copy of something to deceive someone, or probably to do something on other’s account. However, with WordPress, the idea behind making a clone is to apply the same design and features to another website, and there are several good reasons to do this.

Situations often arise when you need an instant template for a project and you do not have hours to develop a WordPress site from scratch. Here are some common reasons a developer may state when attempting to clone a website:

  • Moving an existing WordPress site to new domain name or new web host
  • The website you are developing for your client is on your local server. (It makes it really easy to duplicate the entire work and shift it to your clients’ server)
  • Cloning a WordPress site to your working server can help you understand a website’s features, as well as assess it.

Quick Steps to Make it Happen

Step# 1 – Use a Duplicator Plugin

There is something known as the duplicator plugin. This powerful WordPress Migration and Backup plugin works not just for professionals but for beginners as well. It is simple to use. You need to start with installing and activating the plugin. It is an off-the-shelf product, so all you need to do is install and activate, without configuring it for your use.

Step# 2 – Create a WordPress Backup

Backing up is real easy with the duplicator plugin. You just need to open the duplicator, visit ‘Packages’ and click on the top right button that says, ‘Create new’. This click will start the wizard and you need to click on ‘Next’ to proceed.

Creating new package in Duplicator

It will then scan the website to check whether everything is in place. If a warning appears, it means that the plugin has found an issue.

After everything is marked fine, you need to click on ‘Build’ to continue the building process. The duplicator will start backing up the WordPress database, templates, plugins, images and other files in single and compact packages that are downloadable. You can easily unpack it in a new location.

Pre-package scan

Step# 3 – Preparing the Clone

After the backup process is complete, download the archive from the link that contains the installer script and the backup files. Just hit ‘One-click Download’!

Packaging finished

Step# 4 – Upload the Archive and the Installer to the New Site

The new location can be a site on your local server, as well as a live website. If it is a website on the local server, you need to copy paste the files into a new subfolder, inside the htdocs, or at www folder (C:\wamp\www\mynewsite\).

On the other hand, if it is a live website, then you need to upload these files to a root directory using an FTP client.

Upload backup files and installer

Step# 5 – Run the Import Script

Next, you will run a Duplicator installer script. Just visit the new site in a browser and add ‘installer.php’ at the end of the URL, and replace the example.com with a local host address or your domain name. After everything is done, and no errors show up, check the box saying ‘terms and notices’, and click ‘Next’.

Running installer script

Next you need to enter the database information – one that you want for the cloned WordPress website. Also, click on the ‘Test Database’ button to verify that your input is correct, and then click next.

Enter your database information

Now the duplicator will import the files and the database, and ask you to update the settings for the new WordPress site. It will automatically detect the changes and fill in the path, URL as well as the title. All you need to do is click ‘Next’.

New data

Once the Duplicator finishes its work, you will find yourself on the admin’s login screen. Click on it and you will be at the new site’s admin area.

Here are the snapshots of the step-by-step process:

Step# 6 – Test the Cloned WordPress Site

Test the cloned site using both, the front end of the website as well as the admin area. Check to see if the data you entered is there and the website is working exactly how you want it to.

Step# 7 – Delete the Temporary Files

One you have checked everything and all seems to be in place, you should go ahead and delete all the installation files created by the plugin. Go to ‘Tools’ in the duplicator on your cloned site and click on the button, ‘Remove Installation Files’.

Remove installation files

That is it… You are done! The process is really simple and straightforward, but if you run into any errors, follow our blog to learn more and rectify those issues with ease!