Use WordPress Duplicator to Move Your Site

Moving your WordPress site from one host to another is a challenging task. Luckily, there are some free WordPress plugins which can help. In this tutorial, I will introduce you to one such plugin: the WordPress Duplicator plugin.

Most people think that copying all the files and uploading them to the new site is all you have to do. But that’s only half the story. While the files on the server are required for a WordPress site to function, you also need to move the database. The database is where all of the content of your website is stored.

So, unless your an advance WordPress user, I recommend you use a plugin to migrate your website.

Getting Started with WordPress Duplicator

First of all, install and activate Duplicator on your WordPress site. Once you activate the plugin, you will notice a new menu titled ‘Duplicator’ in your website dashboard.

Clicking on that link will take you to a page that looks like this:

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Showing No Packages Found

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Showing No Packages Found

Creating a New Package

On the next page you will be greeted by a message that says you haven’t created any packages yet. To create a new package, click the ‘Create New’ link from the top-right corner. This will take you to the three-step package creation process.

At this point, you should see a screen like this:

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Package Setup

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Package Setup

Make sure that the ‘Requirements’ are marked as ‘Pass’. Below, you can choose a custom WordPress duplicator package name and some advanced level options. I don’t recommend any change other than the package name.

Once you are done, click ‘Next’.

At this point, Duplicator will start scanning your site. When it’s done, the ‘Scan Complete’ notification will give detailed information about your server, archive and the database.

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Scan Complete

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Scan Complete

If you want, you can perform a rescan by clicking the ‘Rescan’ button. Otherwise, click ‘Build’ to start creating the package.

Depending on your website, the package creation process may take some time.Once the package is created, you will see a screen similar to this:

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Build Status

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Build Status

Download both the installer and archive files by clicking on them.

Configuring the New Site

Now, upload the two files you just downloaded to the new site’s server. Make sure that you have uploaded the files in the root directory, not in the ‘WordPress’ directory.

Then, paste the following URL into your browser and hit enter: http://www.YourDomainName.com/installer.php

Be sure to replace “YourDomainName” with your actual domain name.

If everything is okay, you will be taken to a page that looks like this:

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Installer Deploy

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Installer Deploy

While Duplicator is supposed to be able to create a new database, I couldn’t get it to do that. Therefore, I will create a MySQL database manually (video tutorial). Once the database is created, provide the database details in the ‘MySQL Database’ section.

Then, click the ‘Test Connection’ button below. Make sure that the connection status shows ‘Success’ for both server and database.

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Test Connection

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Test Connection

Preparing the New Site

At this point, you have everything ready for importing your old site to the new site. At the bottom of the page, there is a ‘Warnings & Notices’ section. Take a quick look at them and tick the checkbox below the section.

Then click ‘Run Deployment’. You will be asked for a confirmation. Make sure that you have selected the right database and click ‘OK’.

This may take some time. If the migration was successful you will be taken to a screen like this:

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Installer Update

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Installer Update

From the new settings section, you can change the site title. You can also create an admin account for the new site. To do that, click the ‘New Admin Account’ link and provide the username and password. From the ‘Advanced Options’ section, you can choose to activate any plugin in the new site.

After configuring the options, click ‘Run Update’. You will be see a page like this:

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Installer Test

WordPress Duplicator Plugin Installer Test

At this point, your website is successfully copied into the new location. In this page, the plugin will display some final steps like displaying the report, saving permalinks, testing the site and deleting the backup files.

After deleting the backup files, you can close the setup page and continue on with your new site.

Final Words

WordPress migration is complicated, but once you do it a couple times with a plugin like WordPress Duplicator you will be able to do it in your sleep. Let me know if you still need help using the plugin in the comments section below. And if you use any other plugin for moving your WordPress site, please share your experience with me.

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