How to Clone a WordPress Website – The Fastest Way

There have probably been numerous situations when you wondered how to copy a WordPress site since anybody who ever created a blog or a website had to do this for any number of reasons. It can be frustrating if you don’t know how to do it, so we will show how to do it in the easiest possible way in this post so you can clone your WordPress site in a fast and reliable fashion, without any worries you might lose some important files during the process. Just make sure to follow our guidelines and you will soon have your own cloned WordPress website.

Why Should You Do It?

You might feel like cloning is on a somewhat questionable moral ground, but when you realize that cloning a WordPress site simply means creating a duplicate WordPress site a great number of opportunities can arise for your business.

Cloning is basically a process of making an exact copy of one WordPress site and pasting it on another. This can be very useful in many situations and there could be a lot of different reasons you need to do this, such as:

  • You want to move a WordPress website to a new web host or new domain name. Cloning can save you a lot of time in this situation.
  • You are developing a website for a client, so you can clone the project site to the client’s site.
  • You want to clone a live WordPress website for trail and building purposes to your local server.

Clone your WordPress website by Using BackupBuddy

We have decided to show you how to clone your website with a help from a WordPress backup plugin called BackupBuddy. This plugin is a perfect tool to assist you in cloning your WordPress website and it lets you do more than just backup your site since it also allows you to restore your website from a backup with ease.

The process itself is not very complicated and if you follow our guidelines you should be able to clone your WordPress site very quickly and without much trouble, so here are the steps you must take to use BackupBuddy to clone your WordPress website.

1. Install and Setup BackupBuddy

The first step you have to take is installing and activating this simple plugin. You will see a new menu item under the name of BackupBuddy in your admin bar after you are done with the activation. When you click on it you will go to BackupBuddy setup wizard.

You shouldn’t have any trouble with the setup wizard because it is pretty basic and simple. It will ask for your address first and then you will have to enter a password which will be used when you restore your WordPress website.

After this, you will decide on a location where you want to store your WordPress backups. You are also going to be given an option to set up automatic backups if you want it.

When you use BackupBuddy you will be able to store your backups on a number of different cloud services, like Rackspace, Amazon, Stash and Dropbox, as well on your own server or if you want you can just email them to yourself. Of course, when you are done with all that, click on the save button and go on to the next step.

2. Backup Your Website

This step is pretty crucial since you want to make sure that all of your files are safely stored and will be ready to use on your new WordPress website.

When you are done with the setup wizard, BackupBuddy will automatically start the backup process. When it is all finished, you will be given a choice to download your backup or send it to a remote destination.

You can create a fresh backup anytime you want by visiting the BackupBuddy > Backup page.

3. Preparation for Cloning

BackupBuddy has a very simple site cloning and migration tool. Just go to the BackupBuddy > Restore/Migrate page to initiate the cloning process. The first thing you need to do is to download the importbuddy.php file to your computer.

After you do this, you must download the backup zip file from your existing backups shown on the very same page.

4. Upload ImportBuddy and Backup to a New Location

Now that you have the needed files, you have to upload them to the new location, which can be a site on your local server as well as a live website. This is an important step in cloning your WordPress website, so do it very carefully.

The first option is to upload backup and ImportBuddy files to a local server. If you want to do this you will need to copy and paste these files into a subfolder in your htdocs or www folder.


The second option is to upload backup and ImportBuddy to a live site. If you want to do this then you will need to upload the files to the root directory using an FTP client.

It makes no difference whatsoever where you copy the files, but you do have to make sure that the folder is absolutely empty and has no other files or folders inside, except importbuddy.php file and your backup zip file.

5. Run the Import Script

Next step in cloning your WordPress website is probably the most important and you should make sure to do it exactly as we tell you. A mistake here could cause your website to have problems working and you will then need to fix these problems, which can take a lot of time and a lot of patience.

When you are done uploading both files, you need to visit importbuddy.php file in your web browser. You will find it in a URL like this:

You will, of course, have to replace with your domain name.

After this is done you will need to enter your ImportBuddy password. This is the password you have created during our step 1 when you ran the setup wizard. When you enter the password you will see that ImportBuddy already found your backup zip file, so you just have to click on the Next Step button to proceed.

ImportBuddy will now go on to extract the backup file, so when it finishes you just need to click on the next button. That’s how you will reach the URL and database settings section.

ImportBuddy will automatically know your new URL and show you the previous one. Under that, you need to enter the new database settings. Enter the new database name, database username and password.

In case that you still did not create a new database, you can log in to your hosting account and create a database with cPanel and if you are placing the site on a local server then you can use phpmyAdmin to create a new database.

After you have finished this you just click on the test database settings. If you have done all previous steps correctly you will see a test process what will go through on your database settings.

Click on the next step button and ImportBuddy will now import your WordPress database and show you the success message. After you see this message you can again click on the next step button. Then ImportBuddy is going to run some tests and you will see your new cloned WordPress website’s URL to confirm that everything is working like it is supposed to. Then you can get to the next step which is testing your cloned website.

6. Test Your Site

You can test your new WordPress site by going to the link we showed you at the last step of ImportBuddy process. Make sure your single posts links are working without any problems and visit the WordPress admin page so you can check if you are allowed to perform all administration tasks.

7. Delete the Temporary Files

Now you must delete all temporary files. You will do it by going to the ImportBuddy screen where you will click on the cleanup and then remove temporary files button. This is how you delete ImportBuddy along with all temporary files it has generated during the cloning operation.

This was the last step and if you have followed our detailed instructions carefully, you should have your own cloned WordPress website.

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