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Website cloning is the process of creating a replica of your website. By doing so, you can create blueprints, test compatibility, perform updates safely before implementing the changes on your live website.
In this guide, I will cover a few of the use cases where website cloning can solve the problem and then discuss several ways to clone a WordPress website.
When Do You Need to Copy a Website?
Creating an exact copy of a website is something that every WordPress power user should be able to do. This is particularly helpful for web agencies that run several websites across multiple WordPress hosting providers. Whenever an issue arises, they can create a copy of the client’s website and try out various fixes until the problem is resolved.
Consider the scenario where you have three websites on a server and you want to update the theme on the third website. Here’s how you can safely do that without breaking anything – clone the website, test, and when you are done with testing, either remove the previous version or make the clone the primary version.
Here are a few use-cases when you might need to clone a website.
- Compatibility Test
- Move Your Website to a New Server
- Back up Your Website
- Clone Website for a Similar Project
- Compatibility Test
– Compatibility Test
Compatibility Testing involves checking whether the website components are working as expected and the entire code base is capable of running on various hardware and/or software infrastructure.
It is always recommended to test changes on a staging/cloned website instead of a live website, mainly because untested themes and plugins could conflict with the existing installation and bring down the entire website. Similarly, any custom changes in the code need to be tested at a staging/cloned site before it can be pushed to the live site.
– Move Your Website to a New Server
If you want to transfer a website to a different hosting provider, you can create a clone by backing up website files, databases, and import the whole package to the new web hosting provider.
The process seems easy. However, things could go wrong and you could end up with a “broken” archive.
– Back up Your Website
Cloning is also used to back up a website (including web files and database) and keep it at an offsite location for disaster recovery. In the case of WordPress, many people use different WordPress backup plugins.
I will also cover the process of copying a website that can be used to create a backup of your website.
– Clone Website for a Similar Project
If you are a web agency
This article was written by Mustaasam Saleem and originally published on The Official Cloudways Blog.