Cloning a WordPress site can be useful for a number of reasons, such as moving a site from one domain to another e.g. from terrykyle.net to terrykyle.com after the .com became available to buy.
The main limitation of the free version is that the site being cloned cannot be more than 500 Mb in overall size (including files and database, 200 Mb database + 300 Mb files = 500 Mb, for example), the paid version removes that limitation.
In this example below, we will clone terrykyle.com to a new domain name wikweb.com
Firstly, you obviously need to install the free Duplicator plugin, which can be found in the back end of WP from the “Add Plugins” menu or here:
After installing the Duplicator plugin, you have to create a “Package” which you will move later to your new domain.
This ‘Package’ contains all of your website files and the database with an installer.php file which is needed for the second part of the process, as discussed below.
It’s very easy to create the package – go to the Duplicator menu and click “Packages”, then click the “Create New” button:
There are a lot of options on the next page and a lot of visible settings under the Storage, Archive and Installer icons, but you don’t have to touch any of them.
Just leave them as default and click “Next”:
The Duplicator plugin will then scan your website files and database and check if they exceed the 500 Mb threshold of the free version.
IMPORTANT: If your website is bigger than 500 Mbs, the plugin will not allow you to continue further (that means you will need to either reduce the size of the website or upgrade to the paid version).
There will also likely be some notices and warnings from the plugin but none of the described issues will prevent the plugin from properly working – for example, one of the warnings here about the “PHP Open Base Dir” is ON but that should not cause any issues.
From here, click the tick box, then the “Build” button:
After the ‘Package’ is built, you now have to download the “Installer” and the “Archive”:
We’re about halfway there now – phew!
From here on, we do not have any more work with the website we are cloning (terrykyle.com in this case).
Moving forward, now we have to upload the Installer and the Archive file into the directory of your new domain.
Note: it’s very important that you have ADDED your new target domain to your hosting account BEFORE you continue further – we are using the current WPX user panel in this demo.
If you are not aware how to do that please check the following guide :
In this example, we will use the WPX File Manager.
Navigate to the /public_html of your new domain name.
Our new target domain is wikweb.com (yours will be different, of course).
Simply drag and drop BOTH the Installer and the Archive files in the empty /public_html of your new domain name.
After both files are uploaded, you have to run the installer file from the browser, which is easier than it sounds.
In the browser bar, type the new domain name slash installer.php – in this example this will be http:/wikweb.com/installer.php
If everything up to this point has been done correctly, this is what your screen should look like :
Again – IGNORE the PHP Open Base warning, tick the “I have read and accept all terms & notices (required to continue)” and click the “Next” button:
We are very close to finishing the whole process – yay!
The only step left is to connect the database.
In the next step, the Duplicator plugin will ask you for :
The “Host” with WPX Hosting will always be “localhost”
The rest of the required information you will need to copy from your own WPX User Panel.
The “Database” name can be found in the “Databases” menu in your WPX User Panel:
The “User” and “Password” can be found in the “Service Details” area inside the WPX User Panel:
Leave the rest of the settings with their default settings and click the “Test Database” button.
If everything is set correctly, you should get this message and proceed further by clicking the “Next” button:
In the next step, the Duplicator plugin screen shows you your new URL, and the new path to your files which the plugin will use to automatically search and replace in the database.
Leave everything with the default settings and then finish the process by clicking the “Next” button:
You successfully migrated/cloned your website to a new domain name without any downtime.
Now click the “Admin Login” button in order to log in to the new website but using the same WP admin login credentials from the original website.