How to Clone a WordPress Site Manually in 5 Easy Steps

You might be thinking that cloning word is not ethical. Yes, you’re right but here we are not going to anything wrong. Here cloning a WordPress site means we’re just going to duplicate a WordPress site and in any case if I am duplicating the site for some positive reason there won’t be any issue at all.

But before telling you what is cloning a WordPress site in details, let me tell you why you may need to clone a site?

Clone WordPress Site Manually

What is Cloning a WordPress Site?

Cloning a website is nothing but creating a duplicate copy of it. As we discussed, there can be various reasons for it, and we may need to replicate a website.

In this detailed tutorial, I’ll be providing all the details to duplicate a website very easily.

What is the Need to Clone a WordPress Site?

There can be various reasons for cloning or duplicating the site. I am just going to list few below-

  1. The first is if you will do some changes on your live site, there may be some downtime, and if that will go wrong, it will affect your users badly. So the better idea is to create a clone of it on local or another web server. So that you can first test then deploy.
  2. The second is if you have developed a site for your client on local host and now wants to move the setup to live server. You can easily make a clone of it and deliver.

And there can be N number of reasons for it. Now as got a basic idea about why one do cloning, let’s start with what is cloning of a WordPress site.

How to Duplicate a WordPress Website Easily?

The very first reason I love WordPress is due to its long list of plugins. There are more than 37k of plugins available in WordPress. So whenever you think of doing anything, and you will find many useful plugins for it.

Similarly, to make a duplicate of a site, there are many useful plugins that make your job very easy.

List of Plugins to Try

Some of the major plugins include-

The one that I will use today is BackupBuddy. It is an awesome plugin developed by iThemes.

So to begin with, I’m considering that by now you already have installed BackupBuddy plugin. The benefit of using BackupBuddy is, it not only allows you to clone a site but also you can restore a site using backup and also allow you 1GB of BackupBuddy Stash storage space.

Step 1: Install and Configure BackupBuddy Plugin

Just install the BackupBuddy plugin and after activation of the plugin, you will find a BackupBuddy tab in the admin sidebar. Open that and you will find the below screen.

Install BackupBuddy

The above image is self-explanatory. Just to tell you, enter your email id and password. Remember password as you will have to enter later in the process as well. In the 3rd and 4th step, chose as per you convenience. As I am using for the testing, so I have selected Local only and if you want the plugin to take backup automatically select automatic else do it manually whenever you want.

Once done, click on Save Setting option.

SEE ALSO: 11 WordPress Plugins to Detect Malicious Code.

Step 2: Take Backup and Make Clone

Now once you configure the BackupBuddy plugin, it’s time to take the backup of your site. Once you complete the setup of plugin successfully, it will automatically start making the backup.

Create Backup

Wait for some time as it will take few minutes depending on the size of your site and after completion of backup you’ll have two options-

  • Download Backup – You can download it in your system.
  • Send Backup to Destination – BackupBuddy supports many cloud destinations like Google Drive, drop box, Amazon web services, etc.

Now once you’ve saved your back up to the desired destination, it’s time to start cloning the site. For this simply move to the BackupBuddy tab in admin panel and roll over the tab. You’ll find a sub-tab called “Restore/Migrate”. Click on that and a new page will open. Here you’ll have to download the two files-

  1. Download importbuddy.php file
  2. Download the existing backup zipped file that you have already created.

Don’t change anything. Just download both the files and move to next step.

Step 3: Upload the Files to a New Location

This is the main part. Till now you’ve created the backup and have downloaded all the files whichever we’ll need to make a clone.

Backup Options

Now you have to upload these files to the new location. Here new location means where you want to make a replica of the site. In my case, it is on local, so I’ll upload in my folder under wamp server. The location may be D:\wamp\www\yourclonedsite\

Before migrating the file, make a folder and make sure it is empty. Now paste the two files we downloaded in above steps.

If you’re uploading the files on the web server, you may use FTP client or any other file uploading tool to perform this but make sure you have created a folder for this.

Step 4: Import the Files

This step is a bit lengthy and performs the primary operation. Once you have copied both the files from the backup, open the file import buddy.php in the browser. It can be like

yoursiteurl.com/ importbuddy.php or localhost/ importbuddy.php

Here you will be asked to provide the password. Enter the same password that you created during step 1 and click on Authenticate.

Now you will have to perform six operations on six subsequent windows. All are quite easy and self-explanatory.

Import Backup

In the first step, you will have to provide the backup file location but as there is only such file in your folder and so plugin will detect automatically and will take the path. So all you have to do is just click on Next step. Just follow the steps and click next.

In the third step, you’ll be asked to do setting for URL and Database. In fact here also you don’t have to perform much. Just check the default names and if are ok fine else do change and click next.

After completion of all steps, it will ask you to “Test Database setting”. Click on that and wait for the testing. If it passes all, it will show result as Pass.

Once all done and database test has been passed, you have done the setting. Just for confirmation, check the cloned site. Visit your URL where you have installed the cloned site and see if all are working fine or not. Do check your admin panel to ensure all is working well.

Step 5: Delete the Temporary files

Again Hover your mouse on BackupBuddy tab and click on “clean up and remove temporary files” option and delete all the temporary files created during the setup process.

This will ensure that every change that you’ll make will get reflected immediately without any cache issue.


That’s all. You have completed the cloning and migration of a WordPress site quickly. It’s too easy to duplicate a WordPress  site. As you have seen, it just took five steps to finish the entire processes.

These processes are quite easy but if you’ll face any issue, don’t hesitate to comment and ask. We assure you to resolve your issue.

If you liked the article, consider it for sharing.


  1. Andrew Lopez

    We use the ManageWP Worker plugin for many of our customers! Highly recommended and simple tool for WordPress Admins.

    • WPDean

      Thanks Andrew for letting us know! Will surely look into that plugin too in near future.

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