Clone a WordPress Site in Minutes

Clone a WordPress Site in Minutes

There are many reasons why you might decide to copy the WordPress site. It could be for testing new plugins, testing various themes and even moving your website to a different server.

It’s actually quite simple to create a duplicate of your WordPress website using this plugin Duplicator. The plugin will compress your themes, uploads as well as plugins and, the most important thing is all the WordPress content.

We’ll walk you through five easy-to-follow steps to copy your WordPress website with the help of Duplicator.

The reasons to duplicate the HTML0 code of a WordPress website:

  • Set up a test website for testing WordPress changes, like themes or plugins
  • Transfer your WordPress website to a different web host or server
  • Backup your WordPress website

Video Tutorial

Don’t feel like watching a video?

Here’s our complete step-by-step guide for copying your WordPress website:

How do you duplicate an existing WordPress website by using Duplicator

There are a myriad of plugins to help you move your WordPress website. In this tutorial we’ll be using Duplicator because it’s easy to use and cost-free.

Duplicator – WordPress Migration & Backup Plugin · 98% Avg Review · 1,000,000+ Active Installs

Are you in need of regular backups? Duplicator Pro offers drag and drop installation as well as scheduled backups, cloud storage downloads as well as more!

Here are the 5 easy to follow steps to clone WordPress site:

Step 1. Installation of Duplicator to your WordPress website.

The first thing to install is your duplicater plugin. It’s as easy as login to your administrator dashboard and clicking Plugins>add a new in the left-hand sidebar. You can then search for “Duplicator” and it should be the first result (it has more than 1 million installations currently active).

If you require more assistance installing Duplicator check out our guide on how to install WordPress plugins.

Duplicator plugin is available on the “Add Plugin” page

Once when you install and activate Duplicator you’ll be able see Duplicator in the admin sidebar.

You can select the packages that will provide you with options to export your site.

Duplicator settings in the admin navigation

Let’s now go into more detail regarding the process of exporting sites.

Step 2. Copy the package to a different location.

When you are on the Duplicator page, click “Create New” on the top right corner to begin the process of exporting. What the “package” Duplicator will make includes your themes and plugins, as well as media and content (everything you have on your website).

Creating a new package in Duplicator

There are a number of choices, including the contents of the exported file as well as what the title of the file. Most likely, you won’t have to alter any settings, so you’ll just need to go to the next.

Following the next button, Duplicator will check your website to determine if the export is working properly. If you encounter any issues, you can contact your web host and resolve any issues that arise. We had no issues with our system scanner.

If you click Build, the website is compressed and made into a file. It is an PHP installer file as well as the zip file contains everything on the WordPress website’s files and content.

You can download the entire WordPress duplicated website simply by selecting “One-Click Download”. This will provide you with the PHP file and the zip archive.

Download your duplicator package

Depending on the browser you are using, you might get a warning that the website is downloading several files. If that happens, click Accept if it is the case (like the warning in Chrome in our case).

Now that we’ve got our website all packaged up, it’s time to add it on Our new web server.

Step 3. Transfer the Duplicator package onto the new (or already existing) server

In order to upload your WordPress website clone, you’ll have access to your website’s FTP. If you’re unfamiliar with FTP you’ll require an FTP client such as Cyberduck that is available for free on Mac and Windows. Typically, you can find your FTP login by visiting the administrator page of your hosting company’s. If you are unable to locate your FTP login details, we suggest contact your web host, and they’ll be able to help you log into.

A well-known FTP client to WordPress users

  • Cyberduck (Free on Windows/Mac)
  • Filezilla (Free on Windows/Mac)
  • WinSCP (Free on Windows)
  • Transmit (Paid on Mac)

In this case we’ll be creating an FTP account on SiteGround. Many hosting interfaces are different, however the functions should be the same.

Creating an FTP account in SiteGround

Once you have created your FTP login, note down your username and password. Then input them to Your FTP client. We will use Filezilla, a free FTP client Filezilla in this tutorial.

Enter FTP info into Filezilla

It is important to know whether your host is using FTP, or SFTP If your login doesn’t work, it could be because you’re using a SFTP account (SFTP is a common type of login nowadays). This is a change that can be made via the option for protocol of the FTP client.

After you have successfully logged in to your FTP navigate through the folders to make sure you’re within the public-facing folder. The majority of hosts refer to this folder as “public_html” or something similar. If there are no directories on the server, then you are probably already in the public directory that is default. If you are unable to locate your default public folder, we suggest contacting your web host to find the exact location.

You’ll need to remove the default files that are on your server too. Here you can see the fact that SiteGround includes the default.html file that we don’t require when we upload our WordPress website (just make sure you’re not eliminating anything that is important).

Delete default files from your server

Now with a clean public-facing folder, it is time to upload the Duplicator Zip as well as the Duplicator installer.php file. This is done by simply dragging the files to the FTP client.

It could take several minutes, depending how big your website. The majority of FTP clients will notify you the remaining time during the upload.

Once the uploads are complete, you’re ready for your next stage.

Step 4. Create a brand new database for the new website

The new WordPress site will require a brand new database, so you’ll have to set up a database within your host’s dashboard. The interface of your host may appear different, but its functionality will be identical. If you require help in establishing the MySQL database, you can contact your host’s support team via email.

Creating a MySQL database in SiteGround

In SiteGround, it’s as simple as pressing “Create Database” in their website tools.

Once you’ve set up your database, you’ll be required to connect a database user it. The database stores your data and the user is able to grant access. The username and password you create will be used during the process of setting up Duplicator so be sure to keep it in your wallet.

Creating a database user in SiteGround

Once you have created your database user, ensure that users have access to the database that you have created. In SiteGround you simply need to select manage access and it will select your database if it does already have one.

Now with the database name as well as username and password, we can proceed to install the Duplicator.

Step 5. Install the Duplicator installer and complete cloning the website

After adding the files to your server you can access the Duplicator installer by going to This will start the Duplicator installer, which will require your MySQL database information that you created in earlier steps.

When you load the installer, it will check your host environment and verify the configuration is properly.

Duplicator installer step 1

Click on the checkbox for terms and conditions and you’ll be able to continue. If you are unable to validate you can inform us of the issue in the comments, and we’ll be able assist!

If you click the next button, you’ll be able to input the details of the database we made previously. This includes the name of the database username, password, and username. The default setting for Duplicator will remove the content stored in the database, and will add to it the WordPress content. Be careful if you’re running it on a database that is already in use.

Duplicator installer database options

Because you’ll likely be moving the site to a different domain, the next choice allows you to select an alternative URL for the website. By default, it will be the correct URL for the new domain, so you don’t need to do anything; especially if you’re staging your site.

Duplicator URL options

Alongside changing the URLs, you can also create a brand new WordPress administrator account. This is helpful for cloning sites that you don’t have which WordPress password to.

Creating a new admin account with Duplicator

After you click the next button, Duplicator successfully copied your website. It is crucial to allow Duplicator erase the install files. Otherwise, another person could take over your site making use of the installer.php file. As a the default setting, Duplicator removes these file, but it’s not a bad idea to confirm that they’ve removed from Your FTP client.

Then, you’ve cloned your WordPress website! Just click the “admin login” button and your site should work just as you would expect it.


Leave a Reply