Duplicator Plugin

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This page describes a WordPress plugin named Duplicator that makes an exact copy of an existing WordPress site. We’re not the authors of Duplicator, but we provide instructions for it to customers who wish to copy their site this way.

If you decide to use Duplicator, follow the steps below to install the Duplicator plugin on your existing WordPress site and copy the content to our servers.

Just so it's clear, if you use the Duplicator plugin, you would not use our WordPress installer or the WP Clone plugin. The instructions below cover everything you need to do.

Install the Duplicator plugin on the existing site

The first step is to install the Duplicator plugin on your WordPress site at the other Web hosting company.

  1. Download the latest version of the Duplicator plugin. (There are several plugins with the word “duplicator” in their name, but the one this page describes is simply called “Duplicator”, by company “Snap Creek”.)
  2. Login to your existing WordPress site.
  3. From the left side, choose Plugins, then click Add New.
  4. At the top, click the Upload link.
  5. Choose the zip file you downloaded and install the plugin.
  6. Once the installation is complete, choose Activate Plugin.

Run Duplicator on the existing site

Now that the plugin is installed, you can use it to create a compressed file “package” containing your entire Web site and database contents.

If you have a large site (more than around 100 MB total), you should first go into the Duplicator settings and check the box marked Archive Flush: Attempt Network Keep Alive, as it will avoid many timeouts.

To create the package:

  1. Choose Duplicator from the menu on the left.
  2. Click the button to create a new “package”. This process can take a long time depending on the size of the site. The screen will update once the progress is complete.
  3. Download the “Installer” and “Package” files that were created to your computer.

This completes the steps you need to take at the old company. The rest of the steps are done at our company.

Create a MySQL database for the new site

WordPress uses a MySQL database to store the blog entries and settings. To create the database on our servers, follow our instructions explaining how to create a MySQL database.

We recommend creating a new database specifically for WordPress, rather than using an existing one. There’s no specific format you need to follow when naming the database, but the rest of these instructions will assume that your database is called wpexample. If you use a different name, just use that name instead of wpexample when following the instructions below.

Upload the files to our servers

Use an FTP program to publish the “installer.php” and the separate “package” zip file that were created by the Duplicator plugin.

You should place them at whatever location on your Web site that you would like to use for your WordPress site. Most customers will place the files at the top level of the site.

Run the Duplicator installation script

  1. Load the “installer.php” URL in your Web browser. If you’re putting WordPress at the top level of your site, this will be http://www.example.com/installer.php.
  2. Enter the information for the MySQL database created earlier:
  3. Leave all default options checked.
  4. Click Next repeatedly to finish the installation. Again, this process can take a while for a large site.
  5. Follow each of the “Final Steps” listed on the page.

Test your site

At this point the “duplication” is complete. You should test your site to make sure everything looks and works as expected.

Having trouble with the “Duplicator” plugin?

If the “Duplicator” plugin doesn’t work for your site for some reason, the WP Clone plugin is similar and may be worth a try.

Seeing timeouts or errors?

First of all, make sure you’ve checked the Archive Flush: Attempt Network Keep Alive checkbox in the Duplicator settings, as it solves many timeout problems.

Beyond that, most timeouts happen when Duplicator tries to compress a large “/wp-content/uploads” directory. To avoid this, the Duplicator FAQ recommends: “exclude your wp-content/uploads folder by adding it to the directory filters option. Then after the install is complete at the new location you can manually copy/FTP those files back over.” You can find this setting in the “Archive / Files / Enable File Filters” section of the “Duplicator / Packages / Create New” page.