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Duplicator - FAQs

On this page are some common FAQs for the WordPress Duplicator. Also included are brief sets of troubleshooting solutions to get you going.

Wordpress Duplicator ©lifeinthegrid.com   |  

Sections

1. Package Questions for creating the package in your WordPress Administrator
2. Installer Questions about re-deploying your site
3. Troubleshoot Troubleshooting issues for both the Package and Installer
4. Resources Additional links and information to help with smoother migrations

Please read and review the changelog as it has important update notes and security recommendations.

Duplicator is aimed at WordPress Professionals and uses very technical terminology and concepts. Since these topics are outside the scope of this FAQ and our ability to train and educate on, we ask that if you need a deeper explanation not found in the FAQ that you use the button below to connect with a WordPress Professional that can help fix, diagnose, and train on any concept found in this knowledgebase.

1. Package
 

  1. How does the Duplicator work & will it work with my site or Multi-Site (MU)?
    The plugin will backup all of your selected files and database tables (that you don't filter/exclude). The Duplicator puts all your selected WordPress files and a scripted copy of your database into a single zip file called an archive. This package which consists of the installer.php and archive file which are download-able to a different location where you can re-install your site.

    At install time the following actions happen:
    • Archive: Your archive file including all WordPress files are extracted along with the database script.
    • Database: Your database is then re-created based on the new configuration setup
    • Database: Every table in your database is scrubbed for a new URL update and server file path
    • Database: Every cell is validated for PHP serlized and Base64 set strings
    • Files: The wp-config.php is scrubbed for updates to WP defined variables
    • Files: The .htaccess file is reset for the new location
    Will the Duplicator work with all my themes and plugins?
    In 99% of most cases it will work with your theme and your plugins. However there can be issues at install type where data was not able to port correctly. This is where you will need to read the final report on step 3 of the installer and validate the options that the plugin could not update. If you run into any errors or warnings please read the section directly below.
    Does this plugin work with Multi-Site or MU?
    The plugin is currently experimental with MU (Multi-Site). You are definitely welcome to try the plug-in with your MU site and provide feedback for the necessary tweaks/updates you made in order to finalize your install. Because we have had little experience with working on MU sites we currently don't have allot of knowledge to offer at this point in time. In future version we do hope to get better support for MU, until then you might check out some other alternatives that may help get you more success with MU setups.
  2. Is my server compatible with the Duplicator?
    Before you create a new package a requirements check will show you the status of your system. The following are system checks that are performed before package creation can take place.

    • SYS-100: Permissions
      Paths that are listed in this section should have permissions of 755 for directories and 644 for files. On some hosts the permission set requires 777. Setting items to 777 is a security issue and should only be set temporarily. Please avoid any hosting company that requires this kind of setup. See the Duplicator Approved Hosts page for a list of approved hosting providers.

      Also be sure to check the Owner/Group settings and validate they are correct and match other successful directories/files that are accessible. For more details contact your host or visit their help pages for more information on how they implement permissions and group settings. Also see: 3. Troubleshoot - Permission and System Issues

    • SYS-101: Reserved Files
      If this check fails then a reserved file was found in the WordPress root directory. The following are reserved file names installer.php, installer-data.sql and installer-log.txt. In order to archive your data correctly please remove any of these files from your WordPress root directory. Then try creating your package again.

    • SYS-102: Zip Archive
      The ZipArchive extension for PHP is required for compression. Please contact your hosting provider if you're on a hosted server.
      Duplicator says that the Zip archive extension fails, however my host says it's enabled. What should I do?

      The Duplicator uses the following PHP ZipArchive class and if its not found then processing can't be performed. Be sure your host is looking at the same thing as there are several versions of doing Zip compression in PHP. Have your host visit the link above for instructions on how to enable the Zip Archive class. If this is something they won't perform on your behalf here is a list of excellent hosting provider that will enable or already have it enabled for you. Some users have seen successful ZipArchive detection when they asked their host to update to PHP 5.3 or better.

      Also see: 4. Resources - Working with PHP ZipArchive

    • SYS-103: Safe Mode
      Safe Mode needs to be disabled in order for the Duplicator to operate correctly. Please set safe_mode = Off in you php.ini file. If you're on a hosted server and don't have access to the php.ini file then you will need to request this setting be updated.

    • SYS-104: MySQL Support
      In order to complete an install the mysqli extension for PHP is required. If you are on a hosted server please contact your host and request that mysqli extension be enabled. For more information visit: http://php.net/manual/en/mysqli.installation.php

    • SYS-105: PHP Support
      The Duplicator requires PHP version 5.2.17+ or higher. Note that 5.2.9 or 5.2.8 is not higher than .17... Please contact your host and have them upgrade to a stable secure version.

    • SYS-106: Web Server
      The Duplicator currently works with these web servers: Apache, LiteSpeed, Nginx, Lighttpd, IIS, WebServerX. However the best success we have seen with Apache

  3. How do I exclude tables and folders from being archived?
    On the setup step of creating a package find the file filters and database filters. For file filters enter the full path of the directory(s) you want to exclude. You can separate additional exclusion paths with a semicolon. This process can be useful if you have large files such as images or videos that you don't want to package. However be careful which folders you exclude. Excluding the wrong folder or database table that has core WordPress or theme files will not allow your site to work at install time.

    Adding to many filters slows down the package creation process. The more filters you add the more validation checks need to be made. The inverse is also true of larger files. Larger files can take a long time to archive. So the best solution is to only create filters that you truly need. If you don't have any .mov filesin your application then don't add that filter. However if you have .mp3 files that are large then that filter should be added.
  4. Why is the user interface is not working correctly?
    This is usually caused by a plugin or your active theme. To find out quickly if its either of them:
    1. Disable all plugins temporarily except Duplicator and see if the error persists
    2. Change your theme temporarily and see if the issue persists

    Many times it is most likely a JavaScript error. If you know how to check for JavaScript errors in a browsers console like chrome you may be able to pin-point the issue that way. You can also install a javascript error notifier plugin.

    If you are receiving JavaScript errors from other plugin/theme you have two options. The first is to disable/deactivate/uninstall the plugin/theme that is creating the JavaScript error. If that is not an option then you will need to contact the theme/plugin author and let them know about the issue and have them fix it. The Duplicator authors will not be able to help with these issues as they are caused by another product that is out of our control.
  5. What if I see warnings or errors during the 'Scan Process'?
    Scan checks are not required to pass, however they could cause issues on some systems. If you see a 'Warn' status the package may still build on some system. All of the items on the scan page are simply warnings and you can still proceed to run the build. They are just placed there to give you a heads up should something go wrong when creating the package or installing it. You should always go ahead and try to build a package and see if it builds.

    INVALID NAMES:
    If you receive a 'Warn' status on the [Archive > Files > Invalid Names] line and the full path to the file is below 256 characters you should be good. A warning is shown at 250 characters to bring attention to the issue and warn users that their might be an issue if the path continues to grow.

    Basically is what happens with zip programs like winrar/winzip and even the PHP library used to extract the files is that they work fine to package up the files, however when they are extracted on some operating systems such as windows they run into a path limit. One way to validate if the zip file is corrupt or unusable when extracted to its new destination, is to try and extract it with a program like winrar/winzip and it will throw errors about file length issues if they are present...

    NO FILES FOUND:
    If you run a scan and the results show up with no files being found. In your server could be configured with "server separation". You will need to contact your hosting provider for more details however this can be an issue on some systems.
    Possible options in Domain Configuration window are:
    1. No forwarding
    2. Forward to subfolder without service separation
    3. Forward to subfolder with service separation
    4. Forward to IP/Host/URL
    Switching temporarily to #2 will allow the Duplicator to run without issues for both the package and installer.
    The Troubleshooting section below has many common issues that you may encounter when using the plugin on your server.
  6. What if I see warnings or errors during the 'Build Process'?
    GENERAL ERRORS:
    Open the log file associated with the package you tried to create and look for these items:
    1. Look for for warnings or errors, then check the Troubleshooting section below for the related issue
    2. Look for the text 'DONE PROCESSING' at the very end of the log file this indicates the package processed fully. If you do not see this text then you are probably experiencing a timeout issue. Please see the 'Timeout Issues' in the Troubleshoot section below
    Turn off all cache plugins: Many of the popular cache plugins have been known to create issues when you go to create a package and re-install your system. It is highly recommended that you turn off all caching plugins while creating your package and add the cache directory to the directory filter list.
    The Troubleshooting section below has many common issues that you may encounter when using the plugin on your server.
  7. What is the package size limit?
    There are physical file size limitation for zip files on some operating systems which are 2GB and 4GB, so the upper limit would be 4GB. The plugin itself doesn't have any limitation, however if your on a shared/budget host then you will be limited to how long a PHP or your Web Server process is allowed to run. This will totally depend on your servers configuration. The limits listed on the Scanner is more of a guide to warn people if they are at risk of creating a package that might not complete.

    The number one reason people have issues with a build is because the server automatically kills the Duplicators build process in the middle of building the package. For more details on timeout issues (build interrupt) see the Troubleshoot section below about timeouts.
  8. Why do I get a 404.3 message or have issues downloading files?
    If you have issues when clicking on any of the following buttons; Installer, Archive, SQL File or View Log then it is likely that your web server does not have the correct mime types setup. In order to download these files your web server will need to be able to deliver .php, .sql, .log, and .zip files. Check with your server administrator on how to make sure the correct MIME types are configured for download.

    A quick setting for Apache web servers is create or edit your .htaccess file following these instructions. Add the following text to your .htaccess
    AddType application/octet-stream .zip .log .sql
    This tells the Apache Web Server to treat .zip .log and .sql files as downloadable. Other web servers will have simular configurations.

2. Installer
 

    Pre-Install
  1. How do I launch the installer & what should I expect?
    1. Make sure your server has PHP, Apache (or a simular web server) and MySQL.
    2. Your site should not already have WordPress installed.
    3. Copy both the archive file and the installer.php files to an empty folder on your web server. Make sure the directory they are copied to have the correct permission. Then open a web browser and browse to the installer.php file. http://yoursite.com/installer.php
    4. Connect to your Database using the 'Test Connection' button. If your on a host then you will need to manually create the database using a tool like phpMyAdmin.
    5. Fill-in the installer fields and proceed with the installation.

    Restarting 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 torefresh the page to see any process updates to the log file.
  2. Why do I get plain/text or a download prompt when browsing to the installer?
    When you open a web browser and browse to the installer.php file such as http://yourserver/installer.php you are asking the web server to process the PHP file. If you see a bunch of text and code then the web server you placed the installer file on is not setup correctly or not setup at all. In order to run WordPress you will need a web server such as Apache, PHP and a database like MySQL. For instruction on how to setup your own WordPress server see this article. There may be others issues you run into. Below are various suggestions/fixes for this possible scenarios.

    PLAIN TEXT:
    If you just seeing plain text/code on the screen the simple fix most of the time is to open the httpd.conf or .htaccess file and add the following lines:
          AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .htm .html
          AddHandler x-httpd-php .php .htm .html

    It will be different on your setup so google whatever platform your using XAMPP/MAMP/SUSE etc. along with the term AddType php and there should be some posts that explain exactly how to set it up.

    NAVIGATION ISSUES:
    If the installer has other issues such as not being able to submit data then make sure you are not forcing specific php handlers. Some hosts will have a line in .htaccess file such as:
          AddHandler application/x-httpd-php5s .php
          Comment out this line by adding a # sign in front.

    If your seeing issues such as prompt to download the installer file then you may have a .htaccess file that is corrupt or not configured to work on/at the new location it was copied to. Sometimes removing your original .htaccess file that got packaged inside the package.zip file can resolve issues at install time. If you find your-self experiencing strange issues at install time try removing the .htaccess file that is in the same directory as the installer all together.

    PARSE ERRORS:
    If you see an error such as:
    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected $end, expecting T_VARIABLE or T_DOLLAR_OPEN_CURLY_BRACES or T_CURLY_OPEN in ... installer.php on line 1300

    Then the encoding on your file is not being accepted by your web server correctly. The fix for this is to open a program like Notepad++ and play around with the encoding from Ansi an UTF-8 try to convert from one format to the other and then save the file and then re-upload the installer file to the server to see which version works.

    Additional Search Links:
    Thread | Google | WordPress Forums
  3. How do I do a 'Manual Extraction'?
    In order to create a package your server must have PHPs ZipArchive. To install a package your server does not need this feature. Follow these steps to manually extract your package:
    1. Place the installer.php & package.zip in an empty directory on your web server
    2. Open a file browser or cpanel file browser and navigate to the package.zip file
    3. Extract the contents directly into the same directory as the package.zip file
    The manual extraction process must place the wp-config.php in the same directory as the installer.php file. Moving the wp-config.php to the same location as the installer will not resolve this issue, it must be extracted in context with all the other files and directories.
    4. Open a web browser and browse to the installer.php
    5. Check the box 'Manual Package Extraction' under 'Advanced Options' and click install
  4. I'm having some issues on my MAC what might be the problem?
    In MAC systems you can automatically unzip files when download is complete on some browsers. This will cause issues with the Duplicator because the installer looks for a zipped up package file. To turn this feature off in browsers like Safari please follow these steps: Go to: Preferences > General > Open Safe files after downloading -- leave this box unchecked.

  5. Post-Install
  6. Why do I get a 404, redirected, path errors or unable to login after installing?
    This is most likely being caused by a redirect somewhere on your server. Here are several places a redirect can be triggered from:
    - The number one issue is usually a misconfigured wp-config.php file
    - A misconfigured .htaccess or functions.php file
    - A redirect plugin you may have installed
    - Inside an html file via a meta refresh tag or a JavaScript redirect.
    - Some cpanels allow for redirects.
    - Follow these steps for fixing perma links.
    - See "View Install Report" on the final step of the installer for clues to items that may have not been processed completely
    - Try to remove your .htaccess file and start with a fresh one
    Double Pathing
    If you end up with a URL that looks like this:
    http://www.mysite.comwww.mysite.com/wp-admin
    The you will need to open the wp-config and look for something like this:
    define('WP_HOME', 'http://example.com' . $_SERVER['PATH']);
    define('WP_SITEURL', 'http://localhost'. $_SERVER['PATH']);
    And update the value...
    URL Trace
    There are a ton of tools online to test URL redirects, just Google for it. If your testing on a localhost you can find tools online that will help. Here is a simple spreadsheet tool that will do the trick.
    A MAC/MAMP solution
    1) open terminal
    2) type defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
    3) open the folder where the site is
    4) look for a hidden htaccess file and delete it
    5) check your site


    Also see: 3. Troubleshoot - Why do I get a blank/white screen on my site?
    Also see: 3. Troubleshoot - Common issues with WAMP, XAMPP, MAMP and CPanel
  7. What is my WordPress admin password?
    - Your password will be the same as the site you duplicated.
    - In step 2 under advanced options of the installer you can create a new Admin account
    - If you need to reset the password here are some instructions
  8. The WordPress installer keeps showing up after I install.
    This behavior should NOT happen and is usually caused by either corrupted database or data that was not transferred properly. Here are a few things you can perform if you see this issue
    - Run a repair and optimize on your database.
    - Try to run the installer again (see question above)
    - Check your wp_options table and make sure the data is correct
  9. Why are some of my plugins/images/links not updating?
    In some situations the quickest way to fix broken images/links/widgets sliders or parts of your site that are not functioning correctly is to re-save the settings for that theme/widget/plugin by going into the setting area in your WordPress Administrator and re-saving those particular settings.
    With over 50,000+ plugins available for Wordpress it is impossible to know what they all do and how they store data. Some minor modification may need to be made after your done with installation. If your using plugins like 'All in One SEO' or other plugins that internally update your site title then you will need to manually update those types of plugins.
    Pay Attention to your install URL
    On step two of the installer you are asked to enter a new URL. This step is very important as it will define the replace logic used to update all of your links. The old URL is replaced with the new URL. It is an exact match. If you find that a link did not get updated correctly, you will need to validate that the link was exactly the same as the old URL found in step two of the installer, if for any reason it was different then you will need to manually update that data for that link.
    After you are done installing and a plugin or theme does not seem to be working correctly its best to try and resave that plugins settings. Also pay close attention to the report in step 3 of the installer as it will help show you error or warnings in data that may have issues.

    • Check out the write up on permalinks at Wordpress.org.
    • Check to see that you don't have hot-linking enabled. For cpanel users here is a quick rundown.
    • Check your wp-config.php to make sure you don't have global parameters set which point to an old url
    • Validate you don't have any plugins installed that mess with how your URLs work.
    • Check the install report on step 3 of the installer and make sure no errors or warnings were found attention to the report in step 3 of the installer as it will help show you error or warnings in data that may have issues.

    If a theme or plugin is missing data you will be able to resolve your issue much faster by contacting the theme author or plugin author. Explain to them that you just migrated a website and the settings to their theme or plugin is not working correctly. They will be able to much better assist you with the issue and help you isolate how to fix their theme or plugin than we can.
  10. Why are some of the files from the package.zip not extracting correctly?
    This behavior should NOT happen and is usually caused by either a corrupted zip file or a zip file that was created with filenames that are too long. Below is a list of items/plugins that create file names that are too long.

    - WP-Minify Plugin
    • Path: plugins\bwp-minify\cache
    • Fix: Flush the cache in the plugin settings or remove all files from cache directory
    - WP-Super Cache Plugin
    - W3 Total Cache Plugin
    • Path: wp-content\cache
    • Fix 1: Exclude the directory with the "Exclusion Filter" in the options dialog.
    • Fix 2: Flush the cache in the plugin settings or remove all files from cache directory.
    • Fix 3: Temporarily remove and delete the plugin then create a new package set from the Duplicator

    To validate files are not correctly extracting. Download the package to your desktop and try to manually extract with a desktop program like winrar, winzip or any other zip extracting software. During extraction you will receive and error message.
  11. What if I get errors or warnings on the install report?
    The install report on step 3 of the installer is designed to show were there might be issues with the installation. Please note that in some cases you will receive errors however they may not effect the overall functionality of your site. Below is an overview of the error types.

    Step 1 - Deploy Errors

    Deploy errors are related to data that was written to the installer-data.sql data dump file, but for some reason had issues getting inserted into the new database. These error are generated during step 1 of the install phase. These errors you will want to pay closer attention to because you are basically going to be missing data that was in the previous database of the site you cloned.

    Queries that error during the deploy process are logged to the install-log.txt file. To view the error result look under the section titled 'DATABASE RESULTS'. If errors are present they will be marked with '**ERROR**'.

    For errors titled 'Query size limit' you will need to manually post the values or update your mysql server with the max_allowed_packet setting to handle larger payloads. If your on a hosted server you will need to contact the server admin, for more details see: https://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/packet-too-large.html.


    Step 2 - Update Errors

    There are 3 types of update errors:

    1. Query Update Errors: These are basic query statements that have issues running on the new server. These can be caused by data integrity issues, incompatibilities between database engine versions and other possible issues. If you get an error in this portion then you will need to inspect the query and debug why it may have issues with migration.
    2. Table Key Errors: These issues are basically tables where the new URL value was found but can not be updated because their is no table key to update from. These values will need to be located manually and updated.
    3. Serialization Errors: PHP serialization can have issues when one of its internal values are update. When the update runs it will detect if the value is stored in a serialized format and if it has a new URL value to replace. If it does then it tries to perform the update and then repair the serialized value so that its length is correct. Serialization errors can happen for a number of reasons and can be looked at by running the provide query. See the section below for how to manually fix a serialized string.

    How to repair a serialized string:

    1. Locate the string that was unrepairable by using the provided install report query.
    2. Visit this page: http://unserialize.onlinephpfunctions.com/
    3. On URL above you should see this sample serialized string: a:1:{s:4:"Test";s:17:"unserialize here!";}. Take a piece of it-- s:4:"Test";. That means "string", 4 characters, then the actual string. Then change "Test" to "Tes", for example and press the Execute button. This will generate an error. This is basically what happens to most string values. The numeric character count to gets out of sync with the string.

      What you need to do it get those character counts to match your new strings count. This will fix the serialized string. This is pending it was not corrupted by any of other type encoding. If that is the case then encoding issues will need to be evaluated.

    Quick Check: If you do receive any errors on the install report follow these steps:

    1. Check your site for any possible issues. If your site is solid and stable and the error counts are low then in most cases you have nothing to worry about. You may have to just resave the settings for a particular theme/plugin/widget.
    2. If your still concerned about the error. Run the SQL queries provided by the install report and check the error log to evaluate the queries that had issues running. If you are not familiar with SQL or how to locate the issue then it is recommended that you enlist the help of an IT professional to either fix the items for you manually or guide you through the process. Also you can perform the checks yourself by using phpmyAdmin.

    Please note that why we would love to be able to help every single person diagnose these errors it's really not possible from a time perspective to service each and every issue since this is a free volunteer project still in beta. If the plugin is not working well with a particular setup, we ask that you check out the resource page for other possible work alternatives or work-arounds.

3. Troubleshoot
 

    Log files & System Access
  1. How do I read the Package Log?
    The Package log shows every step of the package creation process. Follow these steps to see a package log file:
    1. In the Packages Screen under the details column click the [View #] link, then click the 'View Log' button
    2. You can also view all of your logs by going to the Tools menu and clicking on the logging tab
    Help Tickets: If you're working with support on a problem copy the log results into the help ticket message. Be sure to copy the log for the package you had an error with by clicking on the 'View Log' button associated with each package set. Please do not post any of the log data on forums like WordPress.org as it contains sensitive data.
  2. How do I read the Installer Log?
    The Installer log (installer-log.txt) shows every step of the installation process. Follow these steps to properly see the log:
    1. On the installer.php file fill in the required inputs and click the install button and complete the install process.
    2. Click on the installer-log.txt link at the top of the final screen in the installer
    3. This file can also be found in the same directory as the installer.php and package.zip files after attempting an install
    Help Tickets: If you're working with support on a problem copy the log results into the help ticket message. Please do not post any of the log data on forums like WordPress.org as it contains sensitive data.
  3. How do I share system access?
    In order to help diagnose your issue quickly we will need access to your servers. Locate the problem area below that you're having and fill in the following bracketed fields and copy into your help ticket.
    Mistyped Credentials: Please test ALL usernames and passwords before sending. Make sure you can login to the specific system yourself. We ask that you please double check and make sure they work so thatyou don't have to resend.

    cPanel Notes: If you can’t create a temporary cpanel account then temporarily change the password while we diagnose your system. You can easily change your password back once we are complete.
    1. Problems Creating Package
    Copy & Paste Into Your Ticket I'm having issues with creating a package:

    WordPress Admin
    URL: [http://full-url-to-yoursite/wp-admin]
    User: [temporary admin account]
    Pass: [temporary admin password]

    Server FTP or Cpanel
    URL: [domain-or-ip-address.com]
    User: [temporary ftp/cpanel account]
    Pass: [temporary ftp/cpanel password]



    2. Problems Installing a Package
    Copy & Paste Into Your Ticket I'm having issues installing a package:

    Server FTP or Cpanel
    URL: [domain-or-ip-address.com]
    User: [temporary ftp/cpanel account]
    Pass: [temporary ftp/cpanel password]

    New Database Settings
    Host: [Normally this is localhost, however it can be different on your host]
    User: [The database user that has access to create tables]
    Pass: [The database user password]
    Database: [The database name]
    Validate: Yes I followed the <Install Preparations> below

    <Install Preparations>
    Please make sure these items are completed before sending your information
    1. The installer.php and package.zip file are in a web browsable directory with no other files or folders. If you have other files in the directory then the extraction process WILL overwrite those files/folders. Therefore we won’t diagnose your system unless the directory only contains the two files.
    2. Be sure you can connect to the database, by clicking the ‘Test Connection’ button, if you're unable to connect to the database see this section.

    Caution: The database settings that you give is what we will use to populate the database with. If this database already contains important information then it WILL beoverwritten with the new package data. Please double check the credentials you send us as we will not be responsible for lost data. We also strongly recommend that you have a backup of all databases and important files ahead of time.

  4. Common Issues
  5. What things can I do to validate my system is compatible with the Duplicator?
    • Check Disk Space
      If the package creation process stops and the error log does not provide additional details, then check that enough disk space is allocated to back up your site. On most hosted servers check your cpanel for disk allocation.

    • Disable Cache Plugins
      Be sure you have disabled all cache plug-ins. This will ensure that you don't archive any cached content. It is also recommended to exclude any cache folders, which can be set in the "Directory Filter" input box found on the options dialog package tab.

    • Clear Browser Cache
      Be sure to clear out your browser cache and refresh the plug-in page.   You can clear your browser's cache by hitting control + F5.  Sometimes you will manually need to go into the browsers settings and clear it manually.

    • Check logs
      Review logs by clicking on the 'Show Create Log' button in the toolbar. When submitting a ticket please always include the log file.

    • Contact Hosting Provider
      Many issues that arise while using the plugin tend to be related to how a server is configured. It's impossible to know all the various configurations a system might be in. Many issues with the plugin reside around permission issues or disk quotas. Please also work with you hosting provider if you run into issues, as they will be able to more promptly help you address your issues.
  6. Common issues with WAMP, XAMPP, MAMP and CPanel
    While we would love to teach everyone how to setup and configure a local web server, we just don't have the bandwidth for this type of free help. Basic support does not include help with setting/configuring a web server or development environment. Because these types of issues have consumed so much time in the past we can no longer provide the time and resources. We do apologize for this, but its just not feasible at this point in time.

    Below are some resources that will get you started. If you’re having trouble getting your local environment setups please use the general WordPress forums to ask your question(s). If you receive errors from the Duplicator on your local development box please feel free to submit a ticket here and we will try to help or at least steer you in the right direction.

    Below are some very helpful links that will help you get going with custom development environments. You can also hire very affordable technical staff from the Duplicator Resource page. These IT pros can help you isolate and pin-point your issues very quickly and very affordable.

    XAMPP Resources
    - View the Website
    - Ask a question on the Forums
    - Review this WordPress item Install Basic XAMPP
    - Watch this video localhost your wordpress
    WAMP Resources
    - View the Website
    - Ask a question on the Forums
    MAMP Resources
    - View the Website
    - Ask a question on the Forums
    - Ask Paal
    Paal is a contributor to the WordPress Duplicator and a very experienced MAC user.
    CPANEL Resources
    - View the Website
    - Ask a question on the Forums
    - Resolving Permalink Problems
    - If all else fails consider trying to Google for the issue your having.
  7. I got an "Internal Server 500" message what should I do?
    500 errors are generic in nature and difficult to isolate. Typically these errors are related to file permissions, ownership rights or a server that is not configured correctly. Here are a couple of actions you can take:

    1. Call Your Host Let them know you are getting “Internal Server Errors”. A good hosting provider will help you diagnose the problem or at least point you in the right direction.
    2. Check Duplicator Logs: Both the Package and Installer phases have logs specific to each process.
    3. Check Server Logs: Open your control panel (cpanel) at your hosting providers website. Look for a link to something like "Error Logs" and open it. Be sure to match up the correct time stamp in the error log with the time for which you were attempting to use the Duplicator. Sometimes the error messages can be vague so you might have to Google for the actual error message and see what the work around was for that particular message. Remember there can be many different possibilities so look for a question that closely represents yours. Here is a great article for how to read your server logs.

    Most of the time these issues will need to be worked-out by your hosting provider. Make sure they are helping you to pin-point the issue. Giving the support staff access to your system to reproduce the problem goes a long way. You are paying them for a service so don’t let them give you the run-around. If one technician can't help you then ask to speak to another.

    If your host can't help give you a work-around or they give you a canned response such as "We don't support 3rd Party Plugins" and you need immediate attention then we suggest to check-out some very affordable highly technical freelances from the Resources Page.They should be able to help you get your problems solved very quickly.
  8. Why do I get a blank/white screen on my site?
    With millions of possible configurations it's impossible for the Duplicator to catch every setup during a migration. If you see a blank screen it can be related to some of the issues below. Also it's important to isolate the area that you're seeing the blank screen on and do a bit of research on the web to see what might be causing the issue. For example if your wp-admin (WordPress administrator) comes up blank then it will be best to do a quick Google of the issue. Searching for something like “wp-admin comes up blank” will help point you in the right direction and get you an answer much quicker.

    If the procedures directly below are too technical and you want a quick answer without waiting for days to get answers in the forums we suggest you checkout the Duplicator Resource page where you can get an answer very easily within 12-24hrs.

    Please consider trying these options:
    1. WP-CONFIG: Check to make sure your wp-config.php file is correct. See the wp-config.php codex for a complete rundown.
    2. UPDATE: Be sure your using the latest version of the plugin and WordPress.
    3. WP TROUBLESHOOT: Check the WordPress Troublshoot Codex
    4. CHECK THEME: Change to a new theme really quick to make sure the theme and plugin are not having a conflict. This usually isn't the case but it is a good sanity check.
    5. VALIDATE PLUGINS: Try to disable all other plugins temporarily and see if the issue persists. If it gets fixed then you will have to manually enable each plugin till you see where the plugin conflict may be occurring.
    6. CHECK BROWSER: Open another web browser and see if the white screen still shows. If not then it may be a browser cache issue. You can usually fix this by holding down ctrl+F5 or manually deleting your browser cache.
    7. LOGIN/LOGOUT: Try to login or out of your admin to check and see if your session maybe got messed up.
    8. CACHE PLUGINS: Clear all your cache plugins. Sometimes they can cause issues.
    9. PERMISSIONS: Check the permissions on plugins files. Directories should be 755 and files should be 644. Also validate the group/owner is the same as other plugins that work.
    10. LOGS: Check the php error logs and javascript error logs and see if there are any clues there and then google those...

    Wordpress JQuery Issues: This actually is an isolated issue on some wordpress installs and it deals with how load-scripts.php (a core wordpress file) is working. If you check your browsers debug window it will show if this is the issue. In Chrome you can isolate this issue by doing the following:

    1. Right Click anywhere in your wp-admin when the Duplicator dashboard is loaded. Go down to 'inspect element' this will open Chromes developer tools. Click on the 'Console' button at the very top.
    2. Now refresh the blank duplicator page, and you will see a 404 error on the load-scripts.php page. If you see the 404 error then it means your wordpress update was effected. If so there are several causes for the error.

    Here are some workarounds that people have told me works:
    [Work Around 1]   [Work Around 2]   [Work Around 3]   [Work Around 4]  

    Others have just updated following these instructions: Try re-uploading all files & folders - except the wp-content folder - from a fresh download of WordPress. Make sure that you delete the old copies of files & folder before uploading the new ones.

    Also if you google "load-scripts.php 3.5 'jQuery is not defined'" then you will find several solutions.
  9. What should I do when I see a warning in the log about " disk quota issues"?
    - Check your disk quota on some of these popular systems
    [GoDaddy] [cPanel Systems]

    If your not sure about your Disk Quota contact your host. Typically they will give you a canned response like you have "unlimited space" which is typically just marketing chatter used to get people to purchase accounts and get off the phone with you quickly. The truth is a quota is placed on every account according the the Terms and Conditions of the account.

    Many cPanel accounts give you an unlimited number (again marketing chatter) of domains you can setup. With each domain they create a new directory and cPanel silo for that domain which usually has a quota on how much space you can allocate to that directory see the link above.

    Most web hosts control panels will have a progress bar on the main dashboard that shows how much space you have for the specified domain. If your not using a cPanel setup ask your host where you can find out your disk quota, don't settle for your account is unlimited response

    So in short try to get a real answer from your host and if they still give you a canned response then try to upload a file which should be 5 times the size of your 'Pre-Scanned' site size. So if the pre-scan shows 50MB then try to upload a file that 250MB add see if it allows the file to upload. If it does not then you definitely have a disk quota issue.

  10. How can I fix international characters issues?
    Support for international character sets is currently in an experimental state. The process of converting/retaining a character set when moving across different operating systems or even different servers has many complexities. Many of the issues that arise when working with international character sets actually deal with the differences in your database set up when moving to a new database. Below are a few threads of some workarounds for international character sets.

    [WordPress Forum 1] | [WordPress Forum 2]
  11. How can I fix strange characters?
    If you see strange characters such as " Â " then you may be experiencing encoding issues. Here are some items you can try:

    Update wp-config:
    By default, the WordPress config files set your character encoding to UTF-8. Open up wp-config.php file and located these lines:
    define(’DB_CHARSET’, ‘utf8');
    define(’DB_COLLATE’, ”);
    
    and either remove the “utf8? string so the first line becomes:
    
    define(’DB_CHARSET’,'');
    define(’DB_COLLATE’, ”);
    
    or you can just comment the lines out completely by prefixing each line with “//”:
    
    //define(’DB_CHARSET’, ‘utf8');
    //define(’DB_COLLATE’, ”);
    
    Update Meta Tag:
    This is usually something you can do in your header.php file.The server is not sending the charset in the Content-Type header and the HTML meta fallback is broken:
    <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8?>

    Note the invalid curly quotes instead of straight quotes. That means there's no valid declaration for what encoding the page is in and hence the browser takes a guess. Some browsers guess wrong.

    Fix Database:
    Encoding issues can get complex and if the above solutions don't work then you may need to perform a deeper dive into fixing the issue.

    Character encoding issues are sometimes and easy fix while other time they can get more involved. From the plugins perspective there is not much that can be done so if you feel these procedures are a bit to complex or you just want an IT Pro to evaluate your system we suggest you checkout the Duplicator Resource Page where we have partnered with other IT professionals that can diagnose your issues in more detail.

  12. Timeout Issues
  13. What can I try for Timeout Issues?
    Timeouts are spotted by Duplicator log files (package or installer) that do not finish. All log files that finish completely with have text saying 'DONE PROCESSING' or 'COMPLETE'. If your log file just suddenly stops and does not complete; then in most cases your hosting provider or server has a restriction for how long a process can run. If you need a list of approved hosting providers please check out the Duplicator approved hosting resources page.

    If you run into timeout issues its always worth trying these options first:

    1. In the Settings menu check the 'Archive Flush' option. This will try and keep your connection open via a flush response.
    2. If you have a database above 10MB you can try the 'Use mysqldump' option which is much faster than the PHP method.
    3. Always try more than once with the 'Try Again' button. The first pass on a build request is very slow as it has to cache the IO scan. The second pass is much faster as on some servers the IO seek is cached.

    If the above options don't work then you may have to try some of these options. Basically timeouts can be controlled at three different layers so you will need to visit each one and work with your server administrator to validate them.

    1. PHP TIMEOUTS:
      The PHP processor will time your script and then kill the connection after a specific time (normally 30 seconds). This value can be changed if your hosting provider allows it. The Duplicator will try to adjust this value if it has privileges to do so, if not then you will need to work with your host to resolve the issue. We would love to help but this level of control is outside of our control.
      The quickest way to resolve a possible PHP timeout on your server is to contact your hosting provider and see if they offer a way for the PHP processes to run longer than the default timeout of 30-120 seconds. Many hosts offer a way to make this happen and you will need to consult their documentation. On some hosts you can place the following inside a .htaccess file in your web sites root folder or inside the plugins/duplicator folder.

      php_value max_execution_time 0  
      0 means no limit

      Because every hosting provider is different, you must contact your hosting provider to find out how to adjust this value properly on their systems. Please do not submit a request for help on the forums for all the different solutions you have tried. The proper settings must be provided directly from your hosting provider or server administrator. Simply guessing and trying different options will not always work.

      If they do not provide you with a solution then in most cases you will not be able to fix timeout issues on that server. In this case you have to upgrade to a dedicated VPS system which gives you full control of your server and its setup, or try working with filters as described below.

      Also note that if your hosting provider tells you that there is no PHP timeout limits set or they have adjusted it to a very high number, yet you continue to experience timeout issues (your log file continues to still get cut off) then the hosting provider may have timeouts set at the web server level. Please see the section Web Server below...


    2. WEB SERVER:
      The web server can also place a timer on your script and then kill the connection based on a specific time. This value can only be changed by your hosting provider or server administrator. Please contact your host to find out if this is true for their setup. Please do not email or submit a request for this issue as there is nothing we can do to fix the restriction.

      Some web servers allow timeouts to be updated by the end user without the help of a server administrator.

      The following might work on your Apache or Litespeed server.
      The key for this is workaround is RewriteRule ^$ - [E=noabort:1]
      # Example .htaccess file Inserted By Customer Control Panel
      SetENV PHPRC /home/username/public_html
      # BEGIN WordPress
      <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
      RewriteEngine On
      RewriteBase /
      RewriteRule ^$ - [E=noabort:1]
      ...
      </IfModule>
      # END WordPress
      <IfModule litespeed>
      RewriteRule .* – [E=noabort:1]
      </IfModule>
      
      But I need help with my personal server...
      While we would love to help you, it just consumes too much time for yourself and us to try and transfer walk through all the possible scenarios that go with configurating a web server. If you manage your own server then you will need to do the necessary research to find out exactly how your server environment should be set up. With thousands of different permutations it's much too difficult to try and debug/diagnose your server set up over a forum/e-mail/ticket system and those requests are outside the scope of this free plugin and free basic service.

      If you need help setting this up correctly on your own system than we suggest you hire a professional server administrator to help. If your working on a managed VPS server then the support team for that host will be able to help you get any of these issues setup quickly. In most cases they will do it for you...

    3. DATABASE TIMEOUTS
      If you are trying to create a package and the package log suddenly stops on a table and you see something like:
      ...
      02:55:06 done: wp_posts
      02:55:06 start: wp_stats (1435897)
      followed by no additional logging, then the SQL generation has failed.

      There are few things you can try:

      Database Workarounds

      Option 1: Run a repair and optimize on the table, from a tool like phpmyadmin.

      Option 2: If your hosting provider supports 'mysqldump'; then this option will improve the overall package creation time and installer time for the database. Under the settings menu look for the 'Database Build' option and check the box that says 'Use mysqldump' this option works great for larger databases.

      Option 3: Most tables that we see fail are logging and statistical data with records into the millions. We strongly recommend to use free tools like Google Analytics vs. a stats plugin. Custom plugins tend to slow your site down with additional requests and don't offer the same reporting capabilities of tools like Analytics which has almost no performance impact on your site.

      Option 4: Temporarily backup the table and remove it for the process to continue. Then manually re-import the table.

      Option 5: Work with your host to increase the timeout or script processing for Apache, PHP and MySQL. We highly recommend these approved hosts which will allow your scripts to finish running in most cases.

      Also be aware that you can also run out of disk space on your server, which can also show itself as a timeout issue.

    Timeouts Workarounds

    Package Timeouts
    If the log indicates that you made it past the database script process then you may experience timeouts with backing up all your files. Below are a few items you try to if you run into issues with backing up all your files:
    • Try to exclude large files such as movies, large images or other backup files (like .zips or .tar files) from the file filters section
    • Exclude your wp-content/uploads folder by adding it to the directory filters option. Then after the install is complete at the new location you can manually copy/FTP those files back over.

    Installer Timeouts
    • If your running into timeout issues on the installer.php file then consider "Manual Extraction" and 'mysqldump' modes. See the User Guide.

    Also see: How do I do a Manual Extraction?
    Also see: Alternative Backup Solutions to the Duplicator?
    Also see: What should I do when I see a warning in the log about " disk quota issues"?
  14. What if I get a "Allowed memory exhausted" message?
    This issue will occur when your server or hosting provider limits PHPs ability to use additional memory. You can try the editing the .htaccess, php.ini or wp-config.php files. If none of these options work then you will need to contact your hosting provider and see if they provide another option.

    Edit your .htaccess file in your WordPress root
    <IfModule mod_php5.c>
        php_value memory_limit 2000M
    </IfModule>

    Edit the php.ini setting to this:
    memory_limit = 2000MB

    Edit your wp-config.php file and add this:
    define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '2000M');
    This option would apply only to creating a package

    For the first two options on some system the web server will have to be restarted. Please contact your host for details.

  15. Permission & System Issues
  16. I get an error/warning about permissions what should I do?
    Because there are so many different permutations on how a server can be set up we don't teach end users how permissions work. It can be difficult to understand how a particular hosting company or personal web server might need to be configured. The best way to alleviate permission issues is to have a general grasp of how permissions work. Check out this article for a full rundown on how permissions can be set up in WordPress and then consult your hosting company or personal web servers documentation.

    Permission Tips:
    - Temporarily set your permissions to 777 on the areas where you are seeing errors to see if you can get past the issue.
    - Check the owner/group (chown command) of the PHP process your system runs under to make sure it has the correct permissions.
    Please contact your hosting provider more details on this issue if your not familiar with the concepts.
    - Some hosts don't let you change permissions of the root directory consider trying /public_html
    Check with your host to find out where you can update the permissions for PHP to read/write files

    There is no additional code we can add or change to get permission to work in your environment should you receive a permission error. The plugin uses standard PHP calls for accessing the file system. If the PHP process that runs under your web server is unable to access a file or folder it’s because PHP does not have enough privileges. You will need to modify your permission setting to get the plugin to work. Because there are so many different possible configurations, web-servers and operating systems you will need to consult the documentation of your hosting provider or your personal web server you’re using. One of the most helpful places to check is the forums for these particular services and software as permission issues is what they are used to dealing with.

    Popular Hosting Docs: [HostGator] [GoDaddy] [HostMonster] [BlueHost]
    Also see: User Guide Videos: Windows to Linux & Permission Modifications
  17. Working with PHP ZipArchive
    For creating Packages the Duplicator currently requires the ZipArchive class to be installed and working. For installing a package it is not required. Below are instructions for getting the ZipArchive working in your environment if it is not already setup.
    You can easily validate the installation of ZipArchive by checking with phpinfo. These settings can be viewed by going to Duplicator > Settings > Diagnostics > PHPinfo. Within the phpinfo output search for "Configure Command" within the results of this command look for "--enable-zip". If that is not present then talk with your hosting provider.
    ON HOSTED SERVERS
    Just contact your hosting provider and tell them you want PHP with Zip support so that the "ZipArchive Class" will work. This is a very common feature and is available on almost all shared hosting environments. Please view the following link for a list of approved hosting companies that we personally recommend for working with the Duplicator.

    ON YOUR COMPUTER
    On your own computer you will to to make sure the Zip extensions are enabled for PHP. Check your php.ini file for the following:
    On Windows: extension=php_zip.dll
    On MAC and Linux: extension=zip.so
    PC (XAMPP, WampServer, ect...) resources:
    PHP manual | XAMPP Forums | WampServer Forums | Google

    MAC (MAMP) resources:
    PHP manual | MAMP Forums | Article | Article | Thread

    Also see: 1. Package - SYS-102: Zip Archive
    Also see: 2. Installer - How do I do a Manual Extraction?
  18. What is an Open Base Dir error or "open_basedir restriction in effect"?
    This problem happens mostly on shared networks. In short it limits file access for PHP scripts to a designated directory. Your hosting provider will have to disable ‘open_basedir’ on your server or for you directory.
    In this case either of the following solutions would work.
    1. The host should disable the restriction
    2. Or the host can add the ‘concerned folder path’ to the list of allowed folders.
    The package process may still work if this check fails, however because this setting tends to introduce other possible side effects its desired to have it disabled.

    Here are some additional resources for this topic:
    PHP.net | Stackoverflow Thread
  19. A scanner says that a security issue/malware/threat was detected is this valid?
    Just a warning by a Malware scanner will not provide you with the details needed to pin-point a possible threat. The scanner should report why it thinks the file is a risk and what it thinks the issue might be. Be sure your scanner does more than just say XYZ file is a threat. It needs to give details and say exactly what lines of code are an issue and why.

    The Duplicator currently includes several large minimized JavaScript libraries that have been detected as a false positiveson some system scanners. In most cases these notices can be ignored, however if other plugins or portions of your site also show positive readings for Malware then you should probe deeper into the issue.

    The base install of the Duplicator is known to be safe and continually scanned by third party security companies. You can be assured that the original install of the plugin is safe and if any items are reported that a patch will be applied promptly. However because WordPress systems can and do become compromised it is your responsibly to evaluate any type of possible compromise to your system.

    While we would love to help out in these issues, it is in ours and your best interest to hire a third party to double check and evaluate your system should you be unable to determine if the there is a possible threat. Because this is a free basic help system we believe you should have someone take the time to do a deeper analysis of your system should you be unable to identify the issues yourself. You can easily grab an experienced programmer to check the files in question or get a deeper answer from the scanner and possibly some help from your hosting provider.

    Please do not post code snippets to the fourms, the free ticket system or email us the issue. Simply looking at a single file is not a good anylsis of your system. Other items need to be evaluated such as file permissions, owners and access write times. Because this process can take time andrequires detail, you will need to hire a professional to evaluate your system if your unable to evaluate it yourself.

  20. Database Issues
  21. I can't connect to my Database what should I do?

    Quick Check List
    • The database or database user has not been created
    • The database user has not been assigned to the database
    • The database user does not have the correct permission levels
    • The password does not match the user
    • Contact your hosting provider for the exact required parameters

    Double check your username and password...then triple check them. This is one people often overlook, or check so quickly they don't even notice their mistake. Not only do you need to check that they are correct, you should make sure they have the correct permissions for what your script requires. For example, a read only user can't add data to the database... they would also need write privileges.

    If your error message contains the text "Access Denied" this means you don't have your Database users setup correctly. Please review this article for a detailed rundown on how to setup your database user accounts.

    If your error message contains something such as "Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock' (2)" then it is most likely that you don't have the hostname correct. Please see this forum thread for a run-down of one users experience.

    If your on a hosted server you will need to contact your hosting provider to make sure your using the exact credentials they provide. Many hosting providers have different ways for how to connect to their databases. You will need to validate what rules they use on their servers. For the fastest response just connect with them via a chat channel or give them a call and ask them.

    Localhost will work in most cases however it does not always work which is why you will need to check with your hosting provider for the exact settings. Often it's something like mysql.yourname.com or mysql.hostingcompanyname.com. Sometimes it may even have a port number like "mysql.hostingcompanyname.com:1400" If you ask your hosting provider they can point you in the right direction. Please see this site for other various combinations.

    Here are the help files to some of the major providers:
  22. The answers above are not what I'm looking for any other ideas?
    Consider searching through the MySQL forums or doing a general search at wordpress.org. If your not used to working with or around databases we suggest you hire a experienced programmer to help you quickly resolve your issue.

    Also see: I can't connect to my Database what should I do?
    Also see: What if the log stops during the table creation process?

4. Resources
 

  1. How can I help contribute to the plugin?
    PARTNER:
    Check out our partner page as it has several things you can do to help out!

    HELP TEST:
    Every time a release is pushed, it's beneficial to have additional testers. If you would like to help test the plug-in before it's pushed the global WordPress community. Submit a help ticket and well get you added to the pre-launch list.

    PROGRAMMERS:
    Because the plug-in is quite sophisticated we would like a little bit of background to know where you stand as a programmer. Send us a quick profile page or your resume and we'll get back with you as soon as possible. Please note that we take a lot of pride in making a solid product, and before giving anyone access to the source control we like to get a feel of whether you're a good fitfor the Duplicator team.
  2. Are there other alternative to the Duplicator?
    If your unable to get the Duplicator to work on your current server we apologize! We are continually working to get the plugin to support morehosts and environments every month. With thousands of different server setups it takes time to get the plugin to work everywhere. Because we know its important for you to succeed with your migration and back-up solutions we have listed some other options that might help in your particular situation.
  3. How can I get additional help or resources?
    While we would love to help you work through any struggles your having, we have physically reached a point were we have to keep our basic help at a bare minimum. With the popularity of the plugin it just consumes way too much time for yourself and us to try and transfer knowledge and walk through all the thousands of possible scenarios that go with configurating and using the plugin in a complex system of databases, web servers and post processing languages like PHP.

    Because this is a free plugin with free basic support we have to out-source a good portion of help requests. However we have also tried our very best to put together materials to help you through the process. We are also continually working on and improving the plugin itself and all of our video tutorials so please check them all out. If your still at a point where you need some extra guidance or you need a programmer to validate some data for you please use the button below to grab some help. Most of the rates for this help is very affordable and can save you hours of searching and testing. Even as an experienced IT/WordPress professional it's a good idea to get a second look from someone else, I use these same services myself and they have saved me enormous amounts of time.


    Additional Training
    Knowledge Base | Quick Start Guide | User Guide | Videos | WordPress Codex



Article details
Article ID: 12
Category: WordPress Duplicator
Date added: 2011-06-14 07:39:05
Views: 147248

 
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