I’ve been testing out the quickest and smoothest free method of cloning a site. You may need to clone a site for one of many reasons:
- To get a backup
- To refresh an existing site
- To stage or test changes to a site before making them live
For me, I had to clone a site as I was refreshing an existing site and cloning that site allowed me to make all the changes, get them approved, before revamping the existing site. I spent lots of hours testing different approaches and the best one that worked for me was WP Clone by WP Academy because it:
- Doesn’t require FTP access to either source or destinaton site (I had a lot of issues getting FTP to work on another plugin)
- Doesn’t backup or restore WordPress system files (only the user content and database) – reducing time and improving security
- Uses site backup from the host’s direct http connection – super fast and again avoids a lot of download/upload issues associated with other plugins
This plugin suffered from some negative reviews in earlier versions due to failure in some large installations but the latest update solves this issue.
I will not be covering this plugin in depth in this post so please visit WP Clone by WP Academy to read plugin details and installation steps.
Backup existing site
1. Install the plug-in on existing site
2. Go to Admin Dashboard-WP Clone
3. Review and adjust settings as needed. For example, if there are a lot of large image or doc files that you don’t want to clone, you can enter a value under “Skip files larger than”. The default value is 25MB.
4. Click Create Backup
5. After backup is done, click on “Copy URL”
Restore on new site
1. Install WordPress in your new site.
2. Install WP Clone by WP Academy plugin
3. Click Restore from URL and paste the URL from step 5 above
4. (optional) Install Restricted Site Access to prevent others from seeing your test site without logging in.
Move contents to new site
1. Once changes have been to the new site, go to Admin Dashboard-WP Clone and create backup and copy URL
2. Go to the existing site and click Restore from URL and paste the URL from step 1 above
3. Mission accomplished!