The free Duplicator plugin makes it easy to copy and migrate WordPress sites. It's the best free alternative I could find to BackupBuddy, the extremely popular backup and migration plugin from iThemes.
Note: We currently use ManageWP for migrating sites, but we still use Duplicator in some cases where ManageWP won't work (such as sites that aren't publicly accessible).
Here's how to make a copy of your site with Duplicator. The exact steps you follow may differ depending on your server/host.
Note: you don't need to install WordPress at the destination before following these steps.
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The Duplicator plugin is supposed to be able to create databases, but I couldn't get it to work, so I manually create them. If you need to do this, see your host for instructions (BlueHost and HostMonster users, see MySQL Database Creation)
For more details, see the Duplicator documentation. Here's the official overview video:
If Duplicator doesn't work the first time you run it, try again. Sometimes it works the second time.
Duplicator may not be able to create packages for sites with a lot of content; it may time out. Try going into the Duplicator settings and excluding wp-content. After using Duplicator to migrate the package, manually move wp-content via SFTP.
Duplicator should automatically change your links to reflect your new site URL. If you have problems, you may need to refresh your permalinks. In your WordPress admin menu, go to Settings > Permalinks. Your current selection should already be selected; just click Save Changes without changing anything.
Since I didn't create this plugin, and haven't used it in all its possible ways, I haven't experienced many of the problems that others have. So, I'm not the best person to ask for support. I suggest that you check the following places:
If you need professional help migrating or copying your WordPress site, please contact us.
If you like the free version of Duplicator, you may be interested in Duplicator Pro, an enhanced version which adds the following features:
If this plugin worked for you, please consider donating to support the developer (which isn't me). After all, how much time and money did this free plugin save you?
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