Are you thinking of cloning a WordPress site? If yes! Then this article is for you. You can easily clone your WordPress website with the help of free WordPress plugins and you can also clone your websites manually.
There can be many reasons behind cloning websites, including moving your website to a new host, testing a theme or plugin, or taking backup of your website. We also recommend you clone your WordPress site before updating to the new WordPress version, because sometimes it may break your entire site.
The risk of damaging the website is shallow, but you should take a backup by cloning your site for additional safety. In this article, I have shared the exact way you need to follow to clone your website. Follow the below instructions to be done with it.
Below I have shared four different ways to clone a WordPress website, including:
- Cloning a site using Duplicator
- Cloning a site using WP Staging
- Cloning a site using All-in-One WP Migration
- Cloning a site manually using a cPanel
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How to Clone WordPress Websites Using Duplicator?
Duplicator allows you to clone a WordPress website for free. It is a freemium plugin that also offers you the Pro version, but for this tutorial, you don’t need to purchase its Pro version. Follow the below instructions carefully:
1. Create WordPress Clone Using Duplicator
First, you need to download and install Duplicator on your WordPress website, login to your WordPress admin area >> then go to the Plugins and search for Duplicator. As soon as you find the plugin, click on Install and Activate it.
It’s a pretty popular plugin, and Duplicator has more than 1 million active installations.
Once the Duplicator plugin is activated, you will get the option of Duplicator just the Setting option. Click on Duplicator, and you will be redirected to the plugin control panel.
In the Duplicator control panel, you will get the option as Create New; click on it, the next page will open. Here you will see all the information, like which files are included in the WordPress clone you create and more.
Don’t make any changes here; click on the Next button at the bottom of the page. The Duplicator will scan your entire website and see if there is any problem. As soon as the scanning is completed, click on the Build button, and Duplicator will start cloning your site.
The Duplicator packages building will take some time. Once the process is completed, click on One-Click Download, and two files will be downloaded, where one is a Zip file, and another is the installer.php file.
Done, you have successfully created the WordPress clone; it’s time to move it to another server.
2. Move Clone Created With Duplicate To Another Host
Moving the clone to another server is required to login to the server. Here I have to host with cPanel, but if you don’t cPanel, you can upload the files using FTP clients.
The few best free FTP clients include Cyberduck, Filezilla, WinSCP. You can use any of them, available for both Windows and Mac.
As I have cPanel hosting, I will upload my files using File Manager. To upload the file using cPanel File Manager, go to the File Manager >> Then to your website directory, which is most probably the “public_html” >> delete all the files already over there, select all the files and click on the Delete option at the top.
You will see the Upload button at the top, click on it and upload both the files to your server.
Once the files are uploaded, go to the MySQL® Databases and create a new database, make sure you save its username and password. Once the database is created, go to your site URL + /installer (For Ex – example.com/installer.php)
3. Run the Duplicator Installer and Finish Cloning the Website
Now go to example.com/installer.php (Replace example.com with your new website domain name)
Here you will see the setup wizard as like you are installing any software in Windows, do not make any changes, check on “I have read and accept all terms & notices” and click on Next.
Now on the next page, you will see the option as Action. Choose to Create a New Database option from the dropdown >> then scroll down and click on Test Database. If you have entered the correct information, all tests will be passed.
Click on Next, and the Duplicator will start importing the database. You will need to configure the URL on the page since, most probably, you are moving your website to the new domain. By default, it will grab the correct URL, so you don’t need to change it.
Click on Next, and you are done.
After completing to clone your WordPress website using Duplicator, we highly recommend you to check whether the “installer.php” file you have uploaded in the cloning process is deleted or not.
The Duplicator plugin automatically deletes this file, but it is better to check. If you found the “installer.php” file, then delete it manually because, using this file, anyone can reinstall the cloned WordPress again.
How to Clone WordPress Websites Using All-in-One WP Migration?
All-in-One WP Migration is another free plugin that allows you to clone, backup, or migrate your WordPress website in a few easy steps. It’s a freemium plugin, and you can use it for free till a specific limit; after that, you need to purchase its premium version.
When cloning the WordPress website, you can backup your entire website for free using All-in-One WP Migration. Still, when you upload the website to another server, the plugin will ask you to purchase its premium version if your website size is more than 100 MB. Now let’s understand how you can clone your WordPress website using All-in-One WP Migration.
1. Clone WordPress Website Using All-in-One WP Migration
First of all, log in to your WordPress website using the correct username and password. Then to the Plugin >> Click on Add New >> And then search for All-in-One WP Migration; as soon as you get the plugin click on Install and then Activate the plugin.
Once the plugin is activated, you will get the All-in-One WP Migration option below the tools options, hover over it, and click on Export and you will be redirected to the export site page. Now click Export To and choose File, then All-in-One WP Migration will start preparing a file for you.
Once the file is ready, click on the Download to start downloading.
Done, you have successfully cloned your WordPress website, now the next step is to upload your website to the new server.
2. Upload All-in-One WP Migration Cloned Website To New Server
To upload your website cloned with All-in-One WP Migration, you first need to connect a domain to your new hosting/server and install WordPress on it. Now log in to your new WordPress installation >> Go to Plugin and click on Add New >> Then search for All-in-One WP Migration and Install the plugin.
Once the plugin is installed, you will find the option of All-in-One WP Migration below the tool, hover over it, and click on Import; you will be redirected to the size import page of All-in-One WP Migration.
Click on Import Form >> Then File and choose the file you downloaded earlier. After importing the file, follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.
Done, that’s how you can clone your WordPress website using All-in-One WP Migration.
How to Clone WordPress Websites Using WP Staging Plugin?
WP Staging is the freemium plugin that allows you to clone your WordPress website into the subfolder, but if you want to create a new copy on a sub-domain or new domain name, you need to purchase the paid version.
Cloning the WordPress website with WP Staging is one of the best methods for you if you are cloning your website for testing a new theme or plugin. Let’s understand how you can clone your WordPress website using WP Staging.
1. Install & Activate WP Staging
First, you need to install WP Staging on your WordPress website. Go to Plugin and then click on Add New >> Now search for WP Staging >> Once you get the plugin, click on Install and then Activate the plugin.
2. Create A WordPress Website Clone Using WP Staging
Once you activate the plugin, you will see the option as WP Staging just below the plugin option. Click on it, and you will be redirected to the WP Staging control panel.
Here you will see the big blue bottle as “Create New Staging Site” click on it. And then, click on the Start Cloning button, and the WP Staging plugin will start cloning your WordPress website.
Once the cloning is completed, you will see the button “Open Staging Site,” click on it to open your cloned website.
Done, that’s how you can clone your WordPress website using the WP Staging plugin; this cloning includes all files and databases.
How To Clone WordPress Websites Manually?
Cloning a WordPress website manually is not a challenging task. Still, it may be challenging for you if you are unfamiliar with the server interface, don’t know how to use the control, and deal with the database.
To clone your WordPress website manually, what you need is just access to your server. Follow the below instructions carefully to be done with it.
1. Copy Files And Database From Source
First of all, login to your control panel (Here in my case, I have hosting with cPanel), then go to File Manager >> Find the “public_html” folder and open it >> Here, you will see the “wp-content” folder, open it and download all the files in this particular folder which includes your themes, plugins, and media uploads.
To download the files from the “wp-content” folder using cPanel, you first need to compress all the files in one zip archive and then download it, select all the files and click on the Compress option at the top right corner as shown in the image.
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You also need to download the “wp-config.php” file inside your “public_html” folder and replace it with the “wp-config.php” file you created in the next step.
Done, all files are downloaded. Now it’s time to copy the database.
To copy the WordPress website database using cPanel, go to phpMyAdmin. Here you will find all the databases available in the right corner >> select your website database >> then click on Export option and export database in SQL format as shown in the image below.
2. Upload Your Downloaded Files and Import Database to New Server
To upload your downloaded files and database to a new server, you first need to connect your domain to the new hosting and install fresh WordPress on it.
Now, go to the File Manager >> public_html >> wp-content and then first delete all the files from here and upload your Zip file and extract it as shown in the image below.
Once the files are uploaded, it’s time to import your database to phpMyAdmin. Go to phpMyAdmin >> create a new database >> click on Import and select the SQL files you have and click on “Go.”
Make sure you create a new user for the database using phpMyAdmin, add the newly created to the database, and give the new user all the permission.
3. Edit wp-config File
Now you need to edit the wp-config.php file of your new website to connect it with the database, select the wp-config.php file and click on the Edit option at the top, and the cPanel code editor will open.
Now replace DB_NAME, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD & DB_HOST. You already have all the information, so you can easily edit it. For DB_Host, localhost, the default hostname is localhost.
Save the file, and you are done.
That’s how you can clone your WordPress Website. Among all ways, we suggest you use the Duplicator one because this plugin allows you to download the WordPress site clone for free, whereas in WP Staging, you need to purchase its free version.
You can also clone your WordPress website for free using All-in-One WP Migration, but when importing it to another server, it will ask you to purchase its paid version if the file size is above 100 MB, but in Duplicator, there is no limit.
Duplicator also offers a pro version, but there is no need to purchase it for this tutorial.
Talking about manually cloning the WordPress website, it’s a tricky process. If you are not a technical person, you will face lots of challenges; that’s why we recommend you go with the plugin if you are a newbie. I hope this article about how to clone a WordPress website is helpful to you.
If you face a problem during the cloning process, comment below, and I will try to help you in any possible manner.