startups and code

WordPress Site Migration - Duplicator

Back to home

There are several plugins, processes, tutorials, etc... on how to backup, restore, migrate WordPress sites.  I have done this a few time recently and in the process, tried a few different plugins.

Rather than leading you to read all of this content to find out what the answer is (a typical "teaser" which is really annoying sometimes), the answer is Duplicator by (Cory Lamle).

Here is the link to get it: or straight from WordPress

Now, there is a few notes about this from my standpoint.

  • You need to know how to create a database in MySQL
  • You need to know how to create a user and setup privileges for that user in MySQL
  • You need to know how to use FTP or File Manager in CPanel (for your host)

If you can do that without a problem, duplicator is simply amazing.

I can't write this article without mentioning Backup Buddy by iTheme.

Yes, Backup Buddy is the tool everyone I know swears by, but paying $297 for it compared to FREE, I will choose free generally.  Backup Buddy does a lot more than duplicator and it allows backups pushed to various storage locations, and it can determine changes, schedule backups, and restores are pretty simple.   That being said, Duplicator can do all of that with some manual help, and did I mention it is free?

So let me take you through the process,

  • Install the plugin (and activate it)
  • Create your package
  • Download your archive and installer files
  • Upload both to your new site
  • Create new database and user (or you can overwrite an existing one)
  • Browser to installer.php on your new site
  • Enter your database info
  • Test Connection, click next
  • Enter new site info
  • Migrate!
  • Update your permalinks correctly (it was set perfectly for me in 3 different migrations)
  • DONE! (What does done mean?  Plugins, Themes, Accounts, Customizations, Plugin Customizations, Child Themes, EVERYTHING identical to what I developed locally.)

For those who know me, I like to educate and share good information when I run across it.  I don't praise products easily and usually I have a comment of, it is pretty good, but it breaks if you do "this", or I wish it did "this".

Duplicator does EXACTLY what it claims to do, and does it better than any other plugin I have seen.  No, I don't work for them, consult with them, or even know them.  But it is a great product and truly has saved me hours of work.  Side note, I love my VitaMix too, and I don't work for them either. :-)

Oh, wait I forgot the additional "details" that make it even better... They have an active knowledgebase for help, a youtube channel with step by step tutorials, and they have a video player and a map plugin I have not checked out, but if I need one, I know where to go.

Truly great product.

Thanks for stopping by