How to Migrate a WordPress site with the Duplicator Plugin

First of all, a reminder

Plugins are easy, but they can also add a lot of bloat and insecurity to your site. We always recommend that you think about which plugins you install. Do you really need them? Or are they just nice to have? See Jonathan’s article on which plugins slow your site down.

Now back to the Duplicator plugin

A very easy method of moving your WordPress site is using the plugin called, Duplicator – WordPress Migration Plugin.

Time needed: 15 minutes

Follow these steps to create a duplicate of your site for staging or testing purposes:

  1. Create New

    When you’re in Duplicator you will see a Create New button in the right-hand corner.
    Click on that to create a .zip file of your site. Just click next, next, next to build your package (which are your files and a dump of your database). You can check the documentation on how to use Duplicator here if you want to know more.

  2. Download the installer and zip file

    Download the installer.php and .zip of your site by clicking the One-Click Download button.

  3. Upload your files

    Now you will need to use a file transfer program like FileZilla to upload your files.

  4. Create a new site on (new Bolt)

    You will need to create a new site on your Bolt if you haven’t done so already. Remember to use SFTP when connecting to our servers.

  5. Prepare migration

    Locate your installer.php and .zip file that you downloaded, and transfer them to the ~/public folder. You can find the path in your Control Panel.

  6. Start the migration

    Go to your browser and type in your address with /installer.php at the end.

  7. Fill in the credentials

    Click accept all terms & notices, and continue. On the next screen, you will be prompted to fill in the credentials for the database. You can find them in the email you received.

  8. Test database connection

    Test the database connection and if that works, continue the installer script till the end.

  9. Log into the new site

    Once the process is finished, you can log into your newly duplicated site. Make sure everything works as it should before you continue.

  10. Delete Duplicator files

    Once you’ve verified everything is working as intended, you should navigate to the option provided by the Duplicator plugin to delete the installer.php and .zip files.

  11. Enjoy your duplicated site!

    That’s it. Once you’ve completed this step, you have successfully duplicated your site to its new location.

Other options

If you’re looking to use the Duplicator plugin to create a staging version of your site, you can also use Servebolt’s sitecopy script. This script allows you to migrate sites from one site to another site within a Bolt or from one Bolt to another.