You might have to clone WordPress websites at some point. Perhaps you need to test new features in a secure environment, or maybe you want to move your site from one host to another. How can you ensure that the cloning process runs smoothly?

This is what we will tell you in this post. Duplicator is a free plugin that allows us to do this. Duplicator allows you to create fully functional copies of your WordPress site and then set them up on any WordPress-supporting web server. Duplicator makes it simple to create staging websites, change your domain name or migrate to a new host.

Cloning a WordPress site might be a good idea.

Let’s first discuss what cloning means in this context. Cloning your website is not the same as backing up. The two processes may seem very similar but they serve different purposes.

Cloning is the process of creating an operational copy of your website in a particular location. Backups of your website create a “dormant” copy of your files, which you can keep safekeeping.

Cloning your WordPress website can be a great way to save time.

  • You need A staging website is Testing major updates live can be dangerous. A clone is a copy of your website that you can use to test your changes before making any major updates to your live site.
  • To migrate web hosts, you can take your WordPress website and put it on a new server.
  • Changing domain name: Switching domain names involves moving your site to a different location on your server.

Cloning is also relatively simple. We’ll show you how it works in the next section.

Four steps to clone WordPress websites using Duplicator

You will need to create a local environment before you can proceed to the next step. But, we will take care of this during the cloning process.

Step 1: Make a copy of the site and then download it

First, install the Duplicator plugin and activate it on your site. Next, navigate to your dashboard and find the Duplicatortab. Click on it to choose the Create a New option:

A Duplicator package is a set of files that creates a cloned website on a new server using a standalone installer. You can create as many packages as you like using the plugin.

First, create a name to identify yourself. You can also select from the various storage options, choose archive or database files, modify installer settings, and more. Once you are satisfied with your choices, click Next.

Duplicator will now scan your website to identify any problems.

It is normal for warnings to appear here depending on the web host you use and how large your site is. You can check the box to confirm that this is happening. Keep building! Click on the Build button at the bottom of this page.

Step 2: Upload a copy of your website to your server

Next, upload the files that you have downloaded to your new server. You will need a File Transfer Protocol client (FTP) to do this. We recommend FileZilla if you don’t already have one.

Use the credentials that you received when you signed up for your web host to log in to your new server via FTP.

Step 3: Create a database to clone your website

Your clone will need a database that stores the information on your WordPress website. This step will be used to create an empty database that will house your cloned website in preparation for step four. This will allow you to use the Duplicator installer for import to your new site the contents from your old site’s database.

You’ll see several options for databases if you use a standard webhost. We are looking for the MySQL Databases.

Once you are logged in, go to the section where you want to create a new databank. Click on the Create a Database button to confirm your selection.

Scroll down until you see the Add new user section. Next, choose a name and password for your user. Next, click on the Add User To Database, Locate the User you just created and then select your new database using the drop-down menu.

The tool will then ask you to confirm the privileges that you wish your new user to enjoy. You will be granted full access if you tick the All Privileges option. Save the name of your database as well as your user’s information. You’ll need them in just a moment.

Step 4: Start the Duplicator installer to complete the cloning process

Once both files have been uploaded to your root web server, you can access your new website using your browser. Add /installer.php URL to your new website, such as the one shown below.

This will allow you to access the installer file that you downloaded in step 1. Duplicator will inform you if your files are corrupted and ask you to confirm that you wish to continue.

After clicking on Next Duplicator will take some time to extract your files. After it finishes, you will be asked to fill in the details of your new database. When you are ready, click on Next. The plugin will import your existing database into the new one.

Duplicator will then ask you to confirm the URL, installation path, title, and description of your new site. These fields are required. Click on Next one last time.

The installer will ask for to modify your permalink structure and test that the cloned site is functioning correctly. Finally, you can delete the installer as well as the archive files. Click on each button and let Duplicator do all the work.

You can then give yourself a pat on the back. Now you know how to copy a WordPress site!


Although it might seem daunting, cloning your WordPress website is not something you should be afraid of. There are some additional steps, but there aren’t insurmountable obstacles. The Duplicator plugin simplifies the entire process by simply clicking a few buttons.

That’s all you need to clone WordPress websites with Duplicator

  1. Make a backup of your website and then download it.
  2. Send a copy your website to your new web hosting provider.
  3. Create a database to clone your website.
  4. Start the Duplicator installer to complete the cloning process.

Leave a Reply