Website Migration Made Easy With WordPress Duplicator Plugin

If you want to do website migration, clone, or copy your WordPress website easily and quickly then Duplicator give that ease to move or simply serve as a backup option for your website from one location to another.

The unique feature with Duplicator plugin is that it serves the purpose of serialized and base64 serialized support and string replacement hence it simplifies the backup process. Duplicator helps you to migrate WordPress sites in few quick steps.

This plugin may be utilized for these three following purposes

  1. Migration of site from one server to another
  2. Migrate a WordPress website from the live server to locally develop on your machine.
  3. Clone a WordPress website from your local desktop server to a live server.

The most important feature that Duplicator plugin provides is hassle free backing up of your database, images, plugins, and moving them all for you individually! Plus the plugin is free!

It may be an easy to use plugin but if you are using WordPress Duplicator Plugin for the first time it may seem little confusing, hence I write this tutorial for you to follow that will help you solve any confusion or problems that may crop in during your backup procedure. I will take you through the process stepwise so here we go!

Step 1 – Download and Install the Plugin

Plugin Option on your Dashboard

Login to your WordPress account, the dashboard will be displayed. Click on Plugins option that you will view on the Right-hand side of the list of buttons. Click on “Add New” and then in the search bar type “Duplicator”.

Download Duplicator Plugin

Once you click on search it should be displayed in the first 3 or 4 options itself. Finally, just click on “Install Now”. For your ease, I am providing images that will help you with the process.

Once installed the plugin will be displayed in the list of your downloaded plugins. You can now activate the plugin so that you can start creating a site package for your website that needs to be migrated or moved or simply need backup.

Step 2 – You need to create Site Package and Activate the Plugin.

Setup Screen on Duplicator Plugin

Once you activated a plugin, A menu will be created called “Duplicator” probably below Settings menu. Click on the Duplicator on your main dashboard, the main setup screen will be displayed that will show a warning message that you have not created a package yet.

You need to click on the “Create New” tab.

Requirements Screen

You need to clear or Pass several requirements before you can start creating your site package. Keep your fingers crossed that you have cleared all the necessary requirements and if one or more are failed then you simply have to expand the box and find out what is the problem for you to solve it. Here take a look at the screen above.

In case, you do not have pass written for all your requirements you can click on the specific link on the right-hand side for more information about how you can check the exact problem that you are facing. Mostly common issues could be solved by yourself but in some rare cases, you might have to contact your hosting service provider to make the required changes for you.

If you are facing an error with “Zip Archive Extension” you might need to upgrade your PHP version of the domain so you can do that from your hosting dashboard itself.

The name will be mentioned by default and you can change it as per your liking, you might make necessary notes if required, also there are various other options in Archiver and Installer that you would like edit if necessary.

installer section

This section is for you to enter specific server details about the server you will be moving your WordPress site too. You may or may not fill these details at this particular time. You also have the option to provide these details at a later stage so don’t worry.

You can now skip the system scan and go to the package built, though I would consider this option to leave this option unchecked as well if I am aware of any potential problems. Once you click “Next” the server will perform a scan of all your files and database.

There is no compulsion to clear all checks to pass the package but it is advisable in order to eliminate potential threats.

Build Package Option

Here is what the page would look like if you clear all the checks. If you do not clear any check click on the link to view for more information. Look out for timeout warnings in case you have a very large site or loaded website.

You might choose to exclude those files from the package before you start the site package or you might also clean up your database before you export the package to avoid delays or glitches.

Package Complete Screen

Simply click on “Build” button and your package will be created. Once the creation is complete you will be given download buttons for an installer and the archive option that you created earlier. So now just download these files and you are good to go!

The completed package will be seen on the packages tab with the date and size information; you will find the files in your main website directory and are stored within the wp-snapshots directory.

“If your job is to only backup your WordPress website then you can breathe a sigh a relief as your job here is done !”

For website migration, you can continue with my further tutorial 🙂

Step 3 – Start Migration Process

Now you need to connect FTP to your new server and upload the installer.php and the zip file where you would like to install the site in. WordPress installation is not required on the new server.

The new server won’t set up the database for you so you will have to manage manually. You may refer to the cPnael documentation of your hosting provider for setting up your database or simply drop me an email and I will guide you with it!

Kindly note database password, username name and host as you will need them further.

You can access the script for installer by logging in to the web browser. You can go to

Step 4 – Run Installer on Site

Duplicator Installer Page

You will see a setup screen as above. Now all you need is to fill in these details for the set up for your database.

Click on the “Test Connection” button to verify that your script is connecting to the database. If you have done everything correctly then you will be greeted by a pop-up box telling you it has found the server and the script were able to connect to your database. If you face any errors or connection issues, kindly follow the “Common connection issues” or you may get in touch with your hosting provider for further assistance.

Before you proceed further don’t forget to enable the small box by clicking a tick that would indicate that you have read all warnings and notices. 

Finally, click on “Run Deployment” button to proceed with the migration of your website. Kindly check if you have written the new database name and not the existing one as here you will be notified by a warning message reminding you that any data existing in the database would be overwritten. Once you are satisfied you may click “OK”.

duplicator path and settings

Once the deployment is complete you will see a screen showing you the old and new Path and URL setting for your website. Here you have the option to create a new admin user as well as change your page title.

You may disable certain plugins while you are copying your site across if you have any problems from the advanced options section. Finally, you can click on “Run Update” button to update the database and you are done the site install!

duplicator website migration final step

The last and final screen will display a report of the installation with errors warnings and some further steps that need to be complete before you start using your new migrated website.

The wizard will take you to WordPress dashboard of your new site if you click on “Save Permalinks”. Using your original admin username and password or the new one your up in the previous screen you may have to login to your WordPress dashboard.

You may want to select the permalinks structure that you want save the setting.

duplicator data cleanup

On top of the page, you will read a warning page stating that the install files are still located in the WordPress directory, you delete these files directly using the link on the page as these may pose a security risk.

On this page, if you face any error message stating that the file was not successfully deleted, you will have to manually delete the file by using your FTP program or you may directly go to the back end from your hosting panel and delete the respective files.

Finally, you can breathe a huge of the sigh of relief ! Yes, you are finally done ! Kudos !!!

Now all you have to do is log onto the browser type your website address into the search bar and check if everything works properly. Check all plugins, images, content etc. Sometimes during migration, some plugins may need to be reinstalled but mostly you should see an exact copy of your original website.

During this entire process if you ever get stuck or you need guidance please feel free to drop me an email on hi@; I usually respond within 24 hours max so do not worry, we will together solve your issue out and then we may breathe a sigh of huge relief together 😉

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