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James Osborne
Blog, WordPress Tips

The easiest way to migrate any WordPress website

WordPress restoration

If you’re looking to backup your website or migrate elsewhere there are many plugins you can use to make the process much easier. You can use the native WordPress export tool, a manual database/files backup or a third party plugin.

All the above come with their own advantages and disadvantages, but for me I would recommend using Duplicator, which makes the process easy.

Why Duplicator?

From being a web designer previously, with a huge amount of clients I was often moving sites from my WAMP localhost setup to various hosting providers. I always liked the idea of having websites stored easily into a single file, which I could then store elsewhere in the form of regular backups. Duplicator does just that, and more!

  • It’s free (with a premium version available): The free version is more than enough for the average site owner. I’ve only ever used the free version
  • It’s intuitive and easy to use: It stores all your files and database backup into a single zip file, along with an installer.php file to easily perform any restoration if you choose.
  • Restorations don’t require a WordPress site: You don’t need an existing or newly created WordPress site to restore to. Run the installer.php file in the same folder as the zip file and all the hard work is done for you!
  • It’s not intrusive: You don’t have to deal with constant popups or notices

Steps to create a site backup

Creating a duplicator backup takes just a few clicks, with your backup being stored into a single zip file, database, plugins, themes and everything in between intact. You can then download that zip file (along with the accompanying installer.php file) to easily restore your WordPress website from scratch elsewhere. You don’t even need need

  1. After setting up the plugin as a typical WordPress install a new “Duplicator” top level tab will appear in your WordPress dashboard
  2. Navigate to “Packages” and “Create New”
  3. Click on the “Next” button button with default configurations (unless you want to add password protection to your backups
  4. The plugin will scan your site and inform you of any errors. As long as everything goes well simply click on the “Build” button
  5. Once complete your backup should be ready, both the zip file and the installer PHP file. Click on the “Only click download” to download both at once.
  6. Done, magic, presto! Simply save both files into a folder on your computer or wherever you like to store your backups. While you can also leave the backup within your site it’s only going to take up your site storage.

Steps to restore a backup

The steps involved in restoring a backup are just as simple. Restore a backup locally or for your latest and great domain name, once you’re ready to go live.

  1. Place the zip file and installer.php files into the root directory of your domain (or a local folder if you’re restoring to a localhost setup).
  2. Run the installer.php file along using your attached domain name (or localhost folder). ie. example.com/installer.php
  3. View the setup status and click on next providing everything looks good (I never modify any of the defaults). Click on next to proceed to step 2, after accepting the terms & notices.
  4. Fill in your database details and click on “Test Database”. If you don’t have a database already created select the “Create new database” option and fill in your details.
  5. After confirming your database works ok click on “Next”. You may need to confirm that you wish to overwrite an existing database (depending on your setup).
  6. Confirm your site title and any other information at this last stage. You also have the option to change your admin login details. I usually leave these settings as default settings before clicking on “Next”
  7. Step 4 of 4, all done! Click on the “Admin login” button to be directed to your newly created backup.

So there you have it, all done! It’s a great plugin which I highly recommend and which I often use. I have no affiliation with the plugin, the suggestions above are based on my own experience from using this plugin.


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