7 Best WordPress Plugins to Clone or Duplicate a Site
Do you want to move your site to a new web host? Or perhaps you want to create a staging version of your site where you can try out new plugins without affecting your live site.
You can move your site manually, but it is a technical process that’s extremely time-consuming and prone to errors.
In this article, we’ll share some of the best WordPress plugins to clone or duplicate a site to help you save time and hassle.
Why would you need to duplicate a website?
- Move your site to a different web host or server.
- Move your site to a new domain name.
- Set up a staging site where you can test changes before making them live.
- Create a backup that you can later use to restore your site if needed.
- Develop a client’s website on your local server so they can review it before you finalize it and put it live.
You can copy the website manually or by using a plugin. Manually duplicating a website is a tedious copy-paste process that wastes your productive time. It may be a good idea to do it once to understand better all the work the plugin does for you. To duplicate a file manually and install it in a new location, you will have to
- create an empty database at the new location.
- give a name to the new database.
- fill in and make a note of the database login details, including user and privileges for the users.
- find export in the old server and export all the files.
- find import in the new database and import all the files.
- edit all the database references to point to the new location.
- connect to the new server and drag all your files from the old website using FTP.
- change all the URLs to reflect the new location.
- configure the domain settings.
7 Best WordPress Plugins to Clone or Duplicate a Site
1. Duplicator Pro
Duplicator Pro is our favorite WordPress cloning plugin. It’s extremely popular, with over 15 million downloads. You can use it to back up your site, but it’s also a very powerful plugin for cloning a site.
One of Duplicator’s biggest advantages is that it allows you to move a site between domains or hosts with zero downtime. If you don’t want to miss out on any traffic or customers, this could be an important consideration.
Duplicator works by bundling up everything from your site into a single “package” in a zip file. This package includes everything from your sites, including plugins, themes, content, database, and even WordPress files.
2. All-in-One WP Migration
Like most plugins on this list, All-in-One WP Migration can create a simple backup of your files. It also clones your website and installs it at a new location. You will need to install a WordPress plugin at both ends before you start the migration. The plugin interface is easy to use, and you can clone everything on your website—files, database, themes, and plugins.
Once you have done this, you have to sit back and wait for the completion of the import process. When this is complete, log in to the new website and save the permalinks. The plugin can handle serialized data competently, and you will not have to mess with the URLs. All database references are automatically changed. It is free, but for some functions, you will have to purchase add-ons.
The many premium add-ons support a higher file upload size and enable export and storage at additional locations like Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Google Drive. OneDrive, and loads of others. Add-ons will also help in migrating multi-sites. You can migrate the entire website or any part with this extension.
3. Updraft Plus
Updraft Plus, with 700,000+ active installs (equal to that of Duplicator) and a 4.9-star rating, is a popular plugin for cloning a website. It is primarily for creating backups, but the premium versions can also be used for cloning and migration.
Back up your files and database at different times. Exclude files that you don’t want to keep while backing up. You can also schedule your backups to happen automatically. Split larger sites into multiple archives and resume failed uploads. Restore selectively and automatically from a backed-up version. There will be no need to change URLs manually.
4. WP Stagecoach
WP Stagecoach is a great plugin that lets you set up a WordPress staging site, especially if your WordPress hosting company doesn’t offer this feature.
A staging site is a special testing version of your site where you can try out new plugins or code or simply perform updates that you don’t want to do live.
With the WP Stagecoach plugin, you can create a short-term staging site. You can use this to test everything out and then push your changes to your live site when you’re ready.
The plugin merges your database changes rather than overwriting the database. This means you won’t lose anything that’s happened on your live site in the time since you created the staging site.
It’s a quick and easy plugin to use, with robust testing that means it should work with virtually any site. WP Stagecoach hosts your staging site on their servers, too, so you won’t need to use your own web hosting space.
ManageWP is not a plugin. It is a WordPress Maintenance service that helps you manage all your WordPress sites from one dashboard. It can handle huge databases and replace URLs in serialized data after cloning. A new WordPress installation will be required.
ManageWP does not handle cloning multisite installations. It also includes detailed tutorials to guide you through cloning and migration.
XCloner is a simple, free WordPress plugin that lets you create backups of your site. It can create “differential backups” that only include files modified after a certain date.
You can set XCloner to create automated backups regularly. You can even use it to generate automatic backups before any automatic WordPress updates.
Once you’ve created a backup, you can use it to restore your website or in a new location. This lets you duplicate your website on a new host or a new domain.
It’s completely free. However, it’s a little more technical than some other plugins. You may want to pick a different plugin if you haven’t got a reasonable amount of experience with WordPress.
7. Duplicate Page
plugin to the previous one, offering you duplicate quickly, posts, custom posts, and pages. Using a single click, of course! The duplicate Page plugin gets you going immediately, offering you to create as many new duplicates as you want. Moreover, you can set the duplicate as a draft, private, public, or pending. The options are right at your fingertips.
Once you install and activate the plugin, you will see it appear in the Settings category in the left menu of your admin panel. From then on, you can set different parameters for how you would like the Duplicate Page plugin to operate and go from there. You can also set user roles, who can use the function, like admin only, editor, author, etc.
I have discussed the best plugins used to clone and duplicate your website. To sum up, all of them can do a fairly competent job. However, the level of technical knowledge required may differ for the plugins. Developers who move databases frequently between sites may prefer WP Migrate DB Pro. The free version of Updraft Plus will allow backup to a remote location. WP Clone and All-in-One WP Migration offer cloning functions in the free version without upgrading to the premium.
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