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WordPress Duplicator - Quick Start

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Quick Start Videos


Create Backups

Backup Site

Backing up a WordPress website is commonly referred to as Creating a Package. A package consists of an archive.zip/daf file and installer.php file. The archive file contains all your WordPress files and database. The associated installer file is used to redeploy the archive file contents. The steps below will allow you to create a backup of your site.
  1. Click "Duplicator/Pro" ❯ "Packages" ❯ "Create New"
  2. Enter a package name
  3. Check "Default" storage endpoint ❯ click "Next"
  4. Let the scanner run and validate the results
  5. Click the "Build" button to make a package
The package files are now ready for installation. By default all files in your WordPress root directory will be archived as well as a copy of your Database. You have the option to filter directories, files and database tables when creating the package.
Watch Create a Package - Quick Steps (7:13)
Watch Create a Package - In Depth (52:03)

Backup to the Cloud Pro

The following shows how to backup to Dropbox. The procedures for S3, Google Drive, OneDrive & other cloud storages are similar.

1. Link Dropbox to Duplicator Pro

  1. Click "Duplicator Pro" ❯ "Storage" ❯ "Add New"
  2. Enter storage name ❯ select "Dropbox" type
  3. Click "Connect to Dropbox" ❯ Click "Authorize Dropbox"
  4. Click "Allow" ❯ Close Authorization Tab ❯ "Finalize Setup" on storage screen
A successful connection to Dropbox status will now show. This is a one time process.

2. Create Instant Package

Now build and upload a package to your Dropbox account.
  1. Click "Duplicator Pro" ❯ "Packages" ❯ "Create New"
  2. Enter a package name
  3. Check "DropBox" storage endpoint ❯ click "Next"
  4. Let the scanner run and click "Build"
At this point the package files will be automatically uploaded to Dropbox. You can then use the files to Install a Site. This process can also easily be replicated with with all the other cloud storage types.

Backup with a Schedule Pro

1. Create Template

A template is a reusable package configuration that can be used in instant or scheduled package creation
  1. Click "Duplicator Pro" ❯ Tools ❯ "Templates" ❯ "Add New"
  2. Enter a template name & specifications ❯ click "Save"

2. Create Schedule & Test

Schedules automatically generate packages:
  1. Click "Duplicator Pro" ❯ "Schedules" ❯ "Add New"
  2. Enter schedule name, template, storage location(s) and frequency ❯ click "Save"
Verify schedule operation:
  1. Click "Duplicator Pro" ❯ "Schedules" ❯ "Run Now" on the desired schedule
  2. Click "Duplicator Pro" ❯ "Packages" ❯ menu to view running package build
  3. Wait for the package to complete building
  4. Check back again to make sure the schedule runs as requested

3. Database Only (Optional)

Schedule a backup of only the Database
  1. Click "Duplicator Pro" ❯ Tools ❯ "Templates" ❯ edit template assigned to schedule
  2. Open "Archive Section" ❯ check the 'Enable File Filter' checkbox
  3. On the right side look for a link that says "[root path]" and click it
  4. This will be the root path of your site excluding all files
  5. Click "Save Template" and follow Step 3 above to validate.

Install Modes

Standard Modes


Import Install Pro

Overview

Full Details...
In addition to Classic and Overwrite install modes, Duplicator Pro includes the Import Install mode via a file (Drag-n-Drop) or URL. Quickly overwrite an existing WordPress site without FTPing or manual database creation. Simply "Drag" an archive from your PC desktop to the destination site's WordPress to overwrite the site. Optionally add the archive URL to the import and pull the file from a remote location (coming soon). This process will work with Both Duplicator Pro & Lite archive files.

Step-by-Step

WordPress Site-A This is the source site that you want to use for the final install result.
  1. Create Package: Duplicator ❯ Packages ❯ "Create New" [archive.zip]
  2. Download Archive: Duplicator ❯ Packages ❯ Download ❯ [archive.zip] to your computer
    [extra info]
    Note: Both Duplicator Lite & Pro packages will work with Duplicator Pro Import Install (Drag-n-Drop).
    See Import Installs with Duplicator Pro for complete step-by-step instructions.
WordPress Site-B This is the destination site that you want to overwrite with the source site.
  1. Install Plugin: WordPress Admin ❯ Plugins ❯ Add "Duplicator Pro"
  2. Import Package: Duplicator Pro ❯ Import [archive.zip] from your computer
  3. Run Wizard: Overwrite WordPress Site-B with WordPress Site-A
    [extra info]
WordPress Site-A This is the source site that you want to use for the final install result.
  1. Create Package: Duplicator Pro ❯ Packages ❯ "Create New"
  2. Copy Link: Duplicator Pro ❯ Package Overview ❯ Copy Archive Link
    [extra info]
    Note: Both Duplicator Lite & Pro packages will work with Duplicator Pro Import Install.
    The URL link can also be used from some remote locations.
WordPress Site-B This is the destination site that you want to overwrite with the source site.
  1. Install Plugin: WordPress Admin ❯ Plugins ❯ Add "Duplicator Pro"
  2. Import Archive: Duplicator Pro ❯ Import archive file from URL
  3. Run Wizard: Overwrite WordPress Site-B with WordPress Site-A

Overwrite Install

Overview

Full Details...
Overwrite mode is available in both Pro and Lite versions. The Overwrite Install process lets users replace (overwrite) an existing WordPress site with the contents of the archive.zip/daf file. The process for overwrite mode is very close to the Classic Install process, with the main differences being:
  1. Classic Install requires an empty directory with only the installer.php and archive.zip/daf files.
  2. Overwrite install will replace any existing files and the Database of the current WordPress site.
  3. Overwrite install automatically detects the existing site's database and pre-fills the database credentials.

Duplicator Lite

  1. Create Package: Duplicator ❯ Packages ❯ "Create New" ❯ Package Files [installer.php & archive.zip] on source site
  2. Transfer Package: Copy (FTP/cPanel/ect) package files to root of existing WordPress destination site
  3. Run Installer: In web browser open installer.php file on destination site (site to overwrite)
    [show install wizard steps]
    1. Step 1: The "Mode" in the upper right corner should show "Overwrite Install" check the overwrite notice checkbox and continue
    2. Step 2: The Database inputs will be pre-filled from the existing wp-config.php settings. Check these values and continue
    3. Step 3/4: Continue through these steps and login to your newly overwritten WordPress site.

Duplicator Pro

  1. Create Package: Duplicator Pro ❯ Packages ❯ "Create New"
  2. Transfer Package: Copy (FTP/cPanel/ect) Package (installer.php & archive.zip) to root of existing WordPress site
  3. Run Installer: In web browser open installer.php file of transferred package file
    [show install wizard steps]
    1. Step 1: The "Mode" in the upper right corner should show "Overwrite Install" check the overwrite notice checkbox and continue
    2. Step 2: Login to your newly overwritten WordPress site.

Notes

Full Details...
Overwrite notice for Pro and Lite: Existing content such as plugin/themes/images will still show-up after the install is complete if they did not already exist in the archive file, when using overwrite install mode. For example, if plugin X is in the current site but that same plugin X does not exist in the archive file then that plugin including all its files will still persist.

The plugin will also display as a disabled plugin after the install is completed. The same concept with themes, images and files apply. This will not impact the site's operation. The behavior is expected since the install process only extracts the archive files to the deployment path. To guarantee that only the archive files are present we recommend a "Classic Install".

Classic Install

Overview

Full Details...
Classic Install mode is available in both Pro and Lite versions. These steps will show you how to install/redeploy your WordPress site (Duplicator package) to a new location.

Follow Along Step-By-Step (starting @ 8:00 of 24:57)

1. Create & Download Package

Create a Package and download the files [installer.php & archive.zip] to your computer (localhost) from these locations:
  • Packages Screen: Duplicator ❯ Packages ❯ Download ❯ [installer.php & archive.zip]
  • Other Download Locations
    • Package Details:
      Duplicator ❯ Packages ❯ More Items ❯ General Section ❯ Share File Links Button
      Duplicator Pro ❯ Packages ❯ Package Overview ❯ View Details button
    • FTP: This option is not common and can be used if any issues arise with the "Packages Screen" option.
      1. Open an FTP client like FileZilla
      2. FTP ❯ Website Root Folder ❯ Find "wp-content" Folder
      3. Find "backups-dup-pro" or "backups-dup-lite" Folder
      4. Find matching [hash-code]_installer.php with [hash-code]_archive.zip and download
    • Dropbox*: Go to dropbox.com OR Dropbox client on PC/MAC.
    • Google Drive*: Go to drive.google.com OR Google client on PC/MAC.
    • OneDrive*: Go to onedrive.live.com OR Onedrive client on PC/MAC.
    • Amazon S3*: Go to Amazon AWS account
      * Duplicator Pro users.


2. Transfer Package

Transfer both the archive.zip and matching installer.php files from your computer to the appropriate directory on a localhost or remote host web server. Make sure the directory they are copied to have the correct permissions.

Use FTP, cPanel or your hosts file manager to transfer the archive.zip and installer.php downloaded in step 1 to the remote server. Place both of the files in a new empty directory on your host where the files are accessible from a valid url such as: https://your-domain/installer.php
https://your-domain/your-wp-directory/installer.php
.
[extra info]
The files can be place on your web servers root directory, but do not have to be place there. On some hosts the root directory might be public_html -OR- www. and the host will allow files to be place at that location. While other hosts to not allow files directly in the web server root folder. If you're not sure where you can place the files then contact your hosting provider.
Be sure you have PHP, Apache & MySQL installed on your local computer with software such as XAMPP, Instant WordPress or MAMP for MAC. Place the archive.zip and installer.php into any directory under your webroot or where they can be served up by your local webserver then continue with Step 3 below.


3. Install Package

Duplicator Lite Steps
  1. Open a web browser (i.e Chrome, Firefox, IE) and browse to the 'installer.php' file such as:
    • http(s)://your-domain/installer.php
    • http(s)://your-domain/[hashed-data]_installer.php
  2. On Step 1 ❯ Click Next Button
  3. On Step 2 Setup ❯ Enter Database Connection Info ❯ Click Validate Button ❯ Click Next Button
    • Database Connection Tips:
    • Most setups require the 'Host' field to be set to 'localhost'
    • To create a database see this link "Create A New Database and User". Alternatively you can contact your host to have them create the database and user or get the correct information to use.
    • Visit the FAQ for more database troubleshooting help
  4. On Step 3 ❯ Click Next Button
  5. On Step 4 ❯ Login remove installer files
  6. Your site has been migrated
How to Restart the install process:
1. Remove all files and directories from where you just installed your site (except the installer and package file).
2. Hit your web browsers back button or browse to the installer.php file again.
3. Run the installer again.

How long should I wait for the installer to run?
The installation process may take a few minutes (never hours) depending on the speed of your system and the size of your content. Be patient and wait for the process to complete. Once the installation starts an install-log.txt file is created in the same directory as the installer.php and package file. You can open up this file anytime during the install and see the progress of the install. You will have to refresh the page to see any process updates to the log file.

Duplicator Pro Steps
  1. Open a web browser (i.e Chrome, Firefox, IE) and browse to the 'installer.php' file such as:
    • http(s)://your-domain/installer.php
    • http(s)://your-domain/[hashed-data]_installer.php
  2. On Step 1 Setup ❯ Enter Database Connection Info ❯ Click Validate Button ❯ Click Next Button
    • Database Connection Tips:
    • Most setups require the 'Host' field to be set to 'localhost'
    • To create a database see this link "Create A New Database and User". Alternatively you can contact your host to have them create the database and user or get the correct information to use.
    • Visit the FAQ for more database troubleshooting help
  3. On Step 2 ❯ Login remove installer files
  4. Your site has been migrated

[extra info]
Notice: If you are installing over an existing WordPress site or you see [Overwrite Install] in the installer upper right corner then check-out the Overwrite Install Instructions.

Custom Modes


Recover a Backup Pro

The Recovery Point provides an incredibly quick and reliable way to restore your system in the event of failure of a manual operation without the need for WordPress to be operational or even installed.

See Quickly Restore a WordPress Site with a “Recovery Point” for step-by-step instructions.

Database Install

The following details how to backup only the database from "Site A" and deploy it to "Site B". Please note these steps will only move the database, so if your files are not in sync with the Database you will have issues. Please use the approach with caution and be sure that your files are not out of sync with the database.

1. Create DB Only Package

  1. Goto Duplicator ❯ Packages ❯ click "Create New" button
  2. On Step 1 Setup ❯ Archive ❯ check "Archive Only the Database"
  3. Build and download package (installer.php & archive.zip/daf) files

2. Transfer Package to Target

  1. Login to target location via FTP, cPanel or your host's control panel tools
  2. Transfer installer and archive to target location
  3. Open web browser and browse to http://yoursite.com/installer.php

3. Run Installer

  1. Installer should have 'Database Only Mode' in upper right corner.
  2. On Step 1 ❯ Click the next button
  3. On Step 2 ❯ Enter database setup info ❯ test connection ❯ click next
  4. On Step 3 ❯ Click the next button
  5. On Step 4 ❯ Login remove installer files
  6. Only the database will be updated

Database & File Synchronization:
How do I know if my files and database are in sync? There is no real clear answer to this question however there are some general rules you can consider. Typically the file system is only updated when you do the following actions:
  • Add a new image/video/file to a page/post or media content
  • Install a new plugin or theme
  • Update a plugin setting that writes to files like the .htaccess file (i.e. security plugins)
So if any of these actions have been performed then its likely that WordPress wrote to both your file-system and database. For example say you both have "Site A" and "Site B" where "Site B" is a mirror copy of "Site A". You then install a new plugin on "Site A" and create a Database only archive and try to move it over to "Site B" using the "Database Only Install" option.

In this scenario the files on "Site B" are not in sync with the database created on "Site A", because "Site B" does not have the plugin files. So if you try to install the "Site A" database onto "Site B" you may run into issues because "Site B" did not get the plugin files that "Site A" just installed. In many cases you can simply install the plugin on "Site B" and things will be in working order. However if you do allot of changes on "Site A" then it is recommend to go ahead and also update those files onto "Site B".

Two-Part Install

The following procedure was developed for use tightly restricted hosts that prevent a zip archive from getting created. Note that this operation is valid for both Duplicator and Duplicator Pro but is usually not needed in Pro due to its support of the "DupArchive" format. DupArchive was specifically designed to get around limitations imposed by hosts related to zip.

PART 1: Manually copy WordPress files

These steps show how to manually copy from source site to destination.
cPanel (Faster)
  1. Login to the source site's cPanel, click "File Manager" and enter the site's directory*
  2. Select all files, right click, select "Compress", choose zip and set name to mysite.zip.
  3. Download mysite.zip to your local computer
  4. Upload mysite.zip to the new location*
  5. Extract mysite.zip and remove the mysite.zip file
FTP
  1. Login to an FTP Client
  2. Copy the files from the source site to your computer*
  3. Copy files from your computer up to the destination site*

*Website directories will likely be public_html, or public_html/sitename. If unsure about where site files are located talk to your host support.

PART 2: Copy the database with Duplicator

After you have all the files uploaded correctly to your new location you will then run all these steps to copy over the database.
1. Create DB Only Package
  1. Goto Duplicator ❯ Packages ❯ click "Create New" button
  2. On Step 1 Setup ❯ Archive ❯ check "Archive Only the Database"
  3. Build package and download package (installer.php and archive.zip/daf) files
2. Transfer Package to Target
  1. Login to target location via FTP, cPanel or your host's control panel tools.
  2. Transfer installer and archive to target location
  3. If a wp-config.php file exists in this location remove or rename it.
  4. Open web browser and browse to http://yoursite.com/installer.php
3. Run Installer
  1. Installer should have 'Database Only Mode' in upper right corner.
  2. On Step 1 ❯ Click the next button
  3. On Step 2 ❯ Enter database setup info ❯ test connection ❯ click next
  4. On Step 3 ❯ Click the next button
  5. On Step 4 ❯ Login remove installer files
  6. Only the database will be updated
After all steps are complete your site should be fully migrated. These two parts together allow you to move your WordPress site in a two stage process.
Also see:
Recommended hosting providers for Duplicator?

EXTRA RESOURCES:



* Feature only available in Duplicator Pro
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