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Duplicator - User Guide

The Duplicator plugin gives Wordpress Administrators and Developers the ability to migrate/clone a site from one location to another location. First create a package, download it and install. No need to change your settings and re-run import/export scripts. The plugin also serves as a simple backup utility. The Duplicator also supports both serialized and base64 serialized string replacement.

Wordpress Duplicator ©


Please see the FAQ page and changelog for more in-depth diagnostics and troubleshooting.


Plugin Interface

Menu Options
Menu Name Description
Packages This is where all packages are created and viewed.
Settings Global plugin settings and diagnostics are set in this area.
Tools View package logs and system cleanup.
Support Access to online FAQs and overall support for the plugin.


Create a package by clicking the "Create New" tab, then follow the steps in the wizard. After a package is created you can click on the 'Installer' and 'Archive' buttons to download the package to your computer.

Creating a package on larger sites can take several minutes [but never hours]. To diagnose any issues that may come up you can click the package log link in step 3 of the wizard. This will open a new window with a log of everything that has happened during the package creation process.

Option Notes
Bulk Actions Actions across multiple packages.
Show Links Share links with other users. Please share with caution!
SQL File An export script of your database.
View Log The log transaction of this package
Duplicator Packages Main Screen The main screen for all package sets allows you to manage multiple packages.

Packages » Create New

Creating a package consists of three steps: Setup, Scan & Build

1. Setup

The setup step allows you to prepare the package to be built.
All requirements must pass to continue with the build process. If the Requirements section fails then click the failed item(s) and review each message. For details on each failure see the FAQ page
A package consist of an installer and archive file. The archives default format is of type zip. [Future formats will be available]
Option Notes
Name A package name is required and consist of alphanumeric characters with no spaces.
Notes Package notes are optional and describe your package.
The archive settings are optional. The archive file will consists of all your WordPress files and a copy of your database script minus any filters that have been set. In order for filters to take effect you must check the enable filters checkbox for both files and/or database tables.
Filter Notes
Directories The directories you do not want to be included in the archive. Use semicolon to separate and full paths.
Extensions A list of file extensions you do not want included in your package (i.e. mpg;mov;zip).
Tables Check each table that will not be in the database script.
The installer section is optional and used to pre-fill the installer screen so that it is setup at install time. This can help speed up your overall install process. All of the installer settings are optional and do not need to be prefilled.
Step 1: Setup
Duplicator Package Wizard Setup

2. Scan

A system scan helps to make sure the build process runs smoothly.
The scan step can help you determine potential issues during the build phase and even the install process. Scan checks are not required in order for you to attempt a build. However the more 'Warn' checks you get the more potential you will run into issues during the build and install phases.

The scan report covers server settings, archive files and database tables. Scan checks are not required to pass, however they can cause issues on some systems if they are not addressed. If you receive a 'Warn' status on any of the items then open the specific link and read the suggestions. If you are able to build a package with a Warn status then you should not be concerned about the warning.

The number one reason for most packages failing is related to server timeouts. If your current hosting provider will not increase your timeout limits we have a list of hosting providers that allow timeouts to be increased.
Step 2: Scan
Duplicator Package Wizard Scan

3. Build

The build step is the final step in the wizard. This step is where the package is built. If the build process encounters an error, then the error will be displayed on the screen. Please visit the FAQ page for additional details on dealing with build errors.
Option Notes
Installer Click to download the installer file.
Archive Click to download the Archive file.
Logs Open the log for this package.
If your server times out during the build process then you may need to filter down your content to only what is needed. You can then manually copy over the filtered data as needed.
Step 3: Build
Duplicator Package Wizard Build


The settings page consists of a the 'General Tab' which has all the settings global to the plugin and the 'Diagnostics Tab' which contains views to help evaluate and gauge the overall view of your system.

General Tab
Option Notes
Version The current Duplicator version.
Uninstall When the plug-in is removed also remove all settings and all files from the wp-snapshots folder.
Archive Flush When the archive file is building, a random file flush of 256 blank characters will be flushed to the HTTP buffer in order to try and keep the connection alive. This setting only works if there is no timeout restriction and is usually needed on FCGI setups in order to allow the Web server to maintain an open connection. Try this option if you're running into connection timeouts.
Database Build This is the mode that the database SQL file is created in. There are two options, the first is PHP which is significantly slower for larger databases. The second option is mysqldump which is an external program that might reside on your server. The mysqldump is extremely fast and recommended for larger databases. Some hosted systems may not allow this feature and you will need to contact your hosting provider for instructions on how to enable it for your account.
Package Debug   This option is only needed by technical support or any IT professional.


Logging allows you to get a deeper rundown of all the processes that are being performed during the package creation process. This log file contains sensitive data please share this logging data only with trusted sources. Do not post this data on public forums like the ones found at

The logging interface only shows the most recent attempt at creating a package. So every time you click the create package button it will write out a new log file.

You can refresh the log by clicking the refresh button or set it up to auto refresh every 10 seconds. This is helpful when you are monitoring the results of a large package this is being created.

Options Dialog

Installer Interface

Step 1: Deploy

The installer interface is found by browsing to the installer.php file via a web browser. The installer file should have been downloaded to the location of your choice along with the archive file.  The installer interface consists of three steps. The first step extracts all your files and creates the new database. The second step performs the new updates to your database. The third steps asks to check your site and gives a report of the process.

To validate your database connection settings click on the 'Test Connection' button. After clicking the install button the installer will begin to perform an extraction of all the WordPress files and the creation of the database. Some hosting providers will not allow for the allow database creation option to work. Therefore you will have to manually create the database yourself.

Checking the 'Remove all Tables' will delete all tables in the database. Make sure you always have backups of all databases and files.

Options Dialog
Files & Database Options
Note: Currently only MySQL is supported.
Option Description
Log Level How much information will be logged to the install-log.txt file.
MySQL Database
Action Create a new database if it does not exist (does not work on all servers) or remove all tables from the database as the installer requires an empty database.
Host The server name where the new database will be created. For hosted servers see your hosts documentation.
User A database user with enough permissions to create and modify tables in the database.
Password The password of the MySQL server user.
Name The database name on the host this installation will use to create the new database.
Advanced Options
Manual Extraction This allows you to manually extract the zip archive on your own. This can be useful if your system does not have the ZipArchive support enabled or you are running into timeout issues. Checking this box requires that you have already manually extracted the package on your server.
Enforce SSL Will set the values in the wp-config.php for FORCE_SSL_ADMIN and FORCE_SSL_LOGIN
Cache Settings Will retain the values in the wp-config.php for WP_CACHE and WPCACHEHOME
Breaking spaces Removes utf8 characters represented as 'xC2' 'xA0' and replace with a uniform space. Use this option if you find strange question marks in you posts
MySQL Charset These values should default to 'utf8' and 'utf_general_ci' only modify these values if your familiar with what your character set should be. Additional research for your particular setup may be needed to convert your database successfully. See the FAQ page for more details.

Step 2: Update

The update phase of the installer will update all the tables in your database, based on all of the 'Scan Tables' that were selected. By default all of your tables will be selected as part of the update process. The update process takes the old settings and converts them to the new settings. Searching through every cell of every selected table.

At install time users are also given the option to activate or deactivate the current plug-ins that are associated with the created package. By default all of the plug-ins will be activated that were originally activated when the package was created.

Disabling plug-ins can sometimes help you avoid or locate install errors. If you have issues with an install try to deactivate your plugins at install time.

Options Dialog
Update Data Options
Option Description
Old Settings
URL The URL this package was originally archived with. This is the 'WordPress address (URL)' found in the WordPress administrator (value is read-only). This value can be changed however it could possible cause your install to have issues.
Path The server path this package was originally archived with. This value can be changed however it could possible cause your install to have issues.
New Settings
URL This will be the new WordPress URL. This should be the same location where this installer.php file is located. Example http://myserver/path_to_wordpress_root
Path This will be the new server path. This should be the same location where this installer.php file is located on the server. Example /home/html/path_to_wordpress_root
Title This will be the new title of the Wordpress site. The value defaults to what the package was created with.
New Admin Account
Username The new username to create. This will create a new WordPress administrator account. Please note that usernames are not changeable from the within the UI. This feature is optional. If the username already exists the account will NOT be created or updated.
Password The new password for the user.
Advanced Options
Site URL For details see WordPress Site URL & Alternate Directory. If you're not sure about this value then leave it the same as the new settings URL.
Scan Tables Select the tables to be updated. This process will update all of the 'Old Settings' with the 'New Settings'. Hold down the 'ctrl key' to select/deselect multiple.
Activate Plugins These plug-ins are the plug-ins that were activated when the package was created and represent the plug-ins that will be activated after the install.
Post GUID If your moving a site keep this value checked. For more details see the notes on GUIDS.Changing values in the posts table GUID column can change RSS readers to evaluate that the posts are new and may show them in feeds again.
Full Search The search and replace engine by default skips some column types in your database such as int, double, bit, and other non text based column types. By enabling Full Search every single column in the database will be searched. This may come in handy if for some reason you full a specific column in the database may not be getting detected correctly. Running in this mode is very slow.

Step 3: Test

Once the installation is complete follow the final steps and your WordPress site should be ready to go. Be sure to validate all pages of your site and make changes as necessary. The duplicator tries to perform the best updates and replaces that it can however sometimes certain items can be missed.

Its very important to remove the following files when you're done with an installation:
  • installer.php
  • installer-log.txt
  • installer-data.sql
Leaving these files on your server could pose a potential security risk and will also cause issues if you try to re-deloy.

Click the 'File Cleanup' link to remove the install files, which requires admin login.
Options Dialog
Final Steps
Option Description
1. Read Install Report The install report is designed to give you a synopsis of the possible errors and warnings that may exist after the installation is completed.
2. Resave Permalinks Re-saving your perma-links will reconfigure your .htaccess file to match the correct path on your server. This step requires logging back into the WordPress administrator.
3. Test Entire Site After the install is complete run through your entire site and test all pages and posts.
4. File Cleanup When you're completed with the installation please delete all installer files. Leaving these files on your server can impose a security risk!

Video Tutorials

» Duplicator Walk-through Series

  1. Complete End to End Overview
    Version 1.1.8 | Time: 1:01:00 | By: Timothy Meyers
  2. Working with Subfolders
    Version 0.5.4 | Time: 8:55 | By: Paal Joachim
  3. Moving to New Domain
    Version 0.5.0 | Time: 15:00 | By: Paal Joachim
  4. From Hosted Server to MAMP
    Version 0.4.6 | Time: 7:20 | By: Paal Joachim
  5. From MAMP to Hosted Server
    Version 0.4.2 | Time: 9:30 | By: Paal Joachim
  6. Duplicator Walkthrough
    Version 0.4.2 | Time: 12:30 | By: Mike Simmons
  7. Quick Duplicator Guide
    Version 0.4.1 | Time: 6:44 | By: Daniel Archer Mocial Sedia
  8. Working with Cpanel
    Version 0.4.0 | Time: 10:08 | By: Cory Lamle
  9. Windows to Linux & Permissions
    Version 0.3.0 | Time: 7:33 | By: Cory Lamle

» Online Article Tutorials

  1. How to Move/Backup Your Website with the WordPress Duplicator Plugin by:Rachel Adnyana
  2. How to Move a Live WordPress Site to Local Server by:
  3. A series of videos and overviews for how to Duplicate a WordPress Site by: Paal Joachim
  4. 3 Plugins For Easily Migrating A WordPress Site, Tried & Tested by: James Bruce
  5. Transferring WordPress to a new Host with Duplicator Plugin by: Justin Barsketis
  6. How To Move WordPress From Localhost To Live Host Server by:
Article details
Article ID: 3
Category: WordPress Duplicator
Views: 311142

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