To clone a WordPress site might sound pretty complicated at first, but what if we told you, you could do that in a few minutes?
Fortunately, today there are numerous ways to clone a WordPress site in a few minutes. We will share these ways with you, but before that, it is time to understand the need to clone a WordPress site.
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Reasons to clone your WordPress site:
There are numerous reasons why you might need to clone your WordPress website. These include:
1. Domain name swap:
When changing your website’s domain name, you will be redirecting the old domain to the new one. However, you need to transfer the content of your old domain to your new one. Instead of manually copy-pasting the posts, you can simply clone your old website and transfer it to the new domain. Doing so ensures that you can recreate your website on a new domain in no time.
2. Updating plugins and themes:
Many times, cloning a WordPress site is a security measure. For example, when uploading plugins and themes, it is good to create a clone and save it. If anything goes wrong with the new updated theme and plugin, simply refer to the cloned version.
3. Site testing:
Are you testing the functionality of your website?
If so, it is good to clone your website and keep a copy. That way, even if you add new features to your website or modify it significantly, you will have a clone to which you can revert. This way, you can conduct site testing with complete peace of mind.
4. Creating a child theme:
Creating a child theme provides excellent customization and keeps the main theme unchanged. That way, when you want to revert to the main theme, you can do so in a single click. However, the changes in the child theme can sometimes break down the entire site. If you have already cloned your WordPress website and downloaded it as a backup, you won’t have to worry about such breakdowns.
5. Migrating web hosts:
Are you migrating your site to a new web host?
If so, clone your website from the old to the new host. That way, the entire migration process will be automated.
6. Customizing site elements:
Are you customizing any element of your website?
You can customize the post section, home page, or any other element of your website. However, when you do so, take a clone of your website in advance so you can revert to it in case anything goes wrong.
7. Updating WordPress:
WordPress releases new versions time and again. The problem is that the new versions often consist of bugs while attempting to close down the earlier loopholes. In that case, your site might likely break down. However, cloning your website in advance ensures you can revert to the older version in no time.
Now that you know the causes of cloning your website, it is time to understand how to do so in a few minutes.
How to Clone a WordPress Site in a Few Minutes?
The only way to clone the WordPress site in a few minutes is by using plugins like Duplicator, WP Staging plugin, and NS cloner plugin. There are numerous plugins to do so. We will cover most of them below.
Method 1: Using the Duplicator plugin:
Step 1: Install the duplicator plugin:
After logging in to the WordPress dashboard through yourdomain.com/wp-admin, install the duplicator plugin.
Step 2: Click on create new:
Once the installation of the plugin is complete, click on the name of the plugin from the sidebar and click on packages. In the upper right corner, there is create a new button that you need to click on.
Step 3: Name the package & Click next:
In this step, you have to name the package and click next. In this step, you can select the files you want to clone. However, stick to the default setting and after naming the package, simply click next.
Step 4: Click build:
You will be able to view the build option only if there is an error when you click next. In case there is an error, you have to select the years, continue the build process option and click on build.
Step 5: Download the files:
Initially, the site will be scanned, and thereafter the package will be built. It will alert you to the percentage of the package built. Once the building is complete, you can view the package status and two files. The first is the installer file, and the second is the archive file. Click on both files to download them.
Step 6: Create a clone database on the new domain
After downloading both files, you must upload them to the new domain and create a clone database on this domain.
The name should be similar to the one you have just cloned.
After that, add a similar user to this domain name.
You can do so through cPanel, provided by your hosting provider.
Step 7: Run the installer:
Visit the URL newdomain.com/installer.php to run the installer and clone the entire website. There are essentially four steps in this installer.
Step 8: Go through the installer wizard:
When you progress through each step, the installer will alert you to any errors and what you should do in this case. If there are no errors, you must simply proceed to the next step using the button in the dialogue box, and the website will be cloned.
At each step, this plugin helps you understand what you’re doing and how you should progress. That is why, even if you haven’t cloned a website before now, this plugin will help you do so.
Method 2: Using the WP Staging plugin:
Step 1: Install and Activate WP staging Plugin:
Like any other plugin, you must first lock it to your WordPress dashboard and install the WP staging plugin.
Step 2: Create a Staging site:
From the sidebar, click on the WP staging plugin name, and after that click on the start option. Once you do so, you can view create new staging site button on the right-hand side. Click on it.
Step 3: Name the site and click start cloning:
In the next step, name the staging site and after that click on start cloning.
By default, most files and databases are selected. Still, if you want to customize the files being cloned, you can click on the database table or file/down menu and select the files you want to clone before clicking on start cloning.
Once you click on start cloning, the process will start, and the plugin will alert you when it is completed.
After that, the plugin allows you to edit the staged version within your website itself.
If you want to clone it to a new domain, you might have to go for the paid plan this plugin offers.
Method 3: Using the NS Cloner plugin:
You might often have multiple WordPress websites in different subfolders or subdomains of your site. You might also allow clients to create their websites in different subdomains. In that case, you need a plugin that can clone any websites. The one which we are highlighting now serves that purpose.
Step 1: Install the plugin:
Login to your WordPress dashboard, install the NS Cloner plugin, and activate it.
Step 2: Choose the site you want to clone
While hosting multiple WordPress sites, you will have access to the network dashboard. Through this network dashboard, you have to access the NS cloner plugin. After that, you can select the site you want to clone. You can enter the URL and title of the new site and click the clone button thereafter.
This will clone the site whose URL you have entered.
How long does it take to clone a website?
You can clone the website in under ten minutes using the plugins above. In most cases, if the website you are cloning has limited resources, you can do it within a couple of minutes.
Only when you attempt to clone it manually it can take 30 to 40 minutes.
Is it good to clone a website?
If you are cloning someone else’s website, it is unethical. Not only that, you might infringe on other Webmasters’ copyright. In such a case, it is not good to clone a website.
However, the use cases that we have highlighted above will help you clone your own website. As you can see, there are a number of reasons (mentioned above) which cloning a website makes perfect sense. In that case, there is nothing unethical or wrong with cloning the website.
Thus, instead of thinking that cloning a WordPress website will require a lot of technical knowledge or a lot of time, simply use any of the plugins we have highlighted above. Once you do so, it is easy to clone a WordPress site. In fact, you will be able to not only clone it but also migrate it (if required).