Although considered unethical, website cloning has been a popular choice amongst the WordPress website designers. It makes room for more experimentation and also helps in situations of data loss. At the same time, it is a powerful benefactor tool during server shiftings and significant customization changes. WordPress development companies recommend cloning the website before making any substantial changes in the layout. The same is recommended, even at the time of domain change. What creates such a buzz around this new trick? Let’s find out!
- Why clone a WordPress site?
People often confuse backups with cloning. Well, both of them are similar in terms of the basic concept but differ in their front end functioning. To be specific, backups are a passive copy of your website. They don’t welcome any dynamism on the front end and won’t entertain changes. If you make specific changes in the back end of your back up, you won’t be able to see its impacts on the front end.
On the other hand, clones are responsive. They work exactly like the original website and hence, provide the perfect place to test any significant changes before launching them live on the main site. If you lose any data in the process of domain or server change, you can retrieve it from the clone.
- How to clone a WordPress site?
There are various plugins and software available in the IT market, which help in cloning a website. A famous example of a cloning plugin is Duplicator. It has an easy to use interface. Moreover, it is readily available and safe to use. Here is a step-by-step guide to take you through the process:
- Create a backup of your website and download it
- After installing and
activating the Duplicator plugin on your website, you will find a new tab
called Duplicator on your dashboard. Choose it and click on Create New option.
- In the new window that pops up, name your package and click Next. You may receive one or two pops up, prompting you regarding any faults in your setting. Click the necessary options, select the checkbox at the bottom, which says ‘Yes. Continue with the build process!’ and click build. Your back up will be ready in some time!
- In the next window, select the option to download your files.
- Upload this copy to your server
- Setup an FTP client, and
log into your new server using the credentials you obtained when signing up.
- Once you log in successfully, copy both the files to the root directory and proceed to the next step.
- The root directory is mostly called WWW or Public_Html.
- Run the import script
- Run the Duplicator Installer Script.
- Visit the new website in a browser and add ‘installer.php’ at the end of the URL.
- The Duplicator Installer script will open on your screen. It will detect and choose all the required files by itself. If everything looks fine, then agree to the terms and click on the Next button.
- On the next screen, the window will ask you to choose a database for your website. Select the database.
- Make sure you choose the ‘Test database’ to ensure that you clicked on the correct database.
- The plugin will import all the data as it requires and then asks you to update the settings.
- It will automatically detect and fill the fields. You have to click Next.
- Soon after the installation finishes, you will find yourself in the admin window of your new website.
- Test your cloned website
- This is a pivotal step.
Make sure you test both the front end and the admin area of your website.
- If you run into any errors, make sure you resolve them in time.
- Delete temporary files
- During the process,
Duplicator uses and creates some installation files. They are temporary and not
needed in the future. It is advisable to get rid of them to avoid filling the
space on your computer with the residual data.
- To delete, go to the Duplicator on your cloned website. Then click on tools and choose the option, ‘Remove residual files’.
- In a nutshell!
Cloning the website is a popular choice amongst WordPress website designers because of the security it brings along. Whenever you are trying to introduce significant changes in the design of your website or changing servers, it is natural to fear data loss. Also, for the time being, your user won’t be able to access your site, and hence, the process may cost you significant traffic and credibility. Website cloning is a highly effective way to bypass these solutions. There are various effective ways to achieve it. You must consider the options before trying to make any massive changes to your WordPress website.
Brandon Graves is an expert WordPress web designer at HireWPGeeks, a well-known web development company. He specializes in WordPress custom plugin development and loves to read and write about all things related to the open-source platform. Follow him on Twitter to receive updates about all his latest posts.