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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.

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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.

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Duplicator free has had thousands of hours of development and well over a million downloads. While we have tried our best to make the software easy to use there are many concepts and challenges when working with data migration. With millions of configuration scenarios, plugins, data formats and complex server eco-systems the complexities for migration get complex fast.

If you need additional help beyond the FAQ it is highly recommended that you connect with a WordPress Professional that can help, diagnose, and explain in more detail additional concepts for the plugin. While we would love to help each and every person, its just not feasible with a plugin this popular.

1. Package

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?
No. The free version of Duplicator does not officially support MU (Multi-Site). However 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 back to the community. We have received replies from users who have been able to get an MU site moved with additional steps. If you want to work with tools that are better designed to support MU check out some other alternatives that may help get you more success with MU setups.

Additional MU checks
DB Changes:
  • wp_site: update values for domain and path
  • wp_blogs: update values for domain and path for each sub-site/blog
  • wp_x_options (one for each sub-site/blog, where x is the blog-id): update values for option_name like 'siteurl', option_name like 'home', option_name like 'upload_url_path' and there'll be others if you've got things like woocommerce, etc. installed, you can also update these via the network admin > sites > SITE_NAME > edit > settings themselves..

wp-config.php Changes:

.htaccess Changes:
Validate the .htaccess file, so that might also need to be updated, see here:
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.

  • 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 of PHP Release. The plugin will also require a few addons that already come installed on most PHP installs.

    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

    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.

  • 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

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

    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:

  • 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.

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.
Why is the user interface 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.
Build Process
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.

If you receive a 'Warn' status on the [Archive > Files > 'Name Checks'] 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...

'Name Checks' warnings can also be triggered by file or folder paths that have unicode characters that your version of PHP or even OS is having issues interpreting when scanning the files and folders in your system. If you run into issues at install time or even creating a package it is recommend to filter out the paths to the folders where PHP on your system is having issues reading these files. It can be very common for a file/folder to work on one host and have an issue on another. This is an underlying issue with PHP and its lack of support for unicode across all operating systems and can be related to how PHP was configured on a host.
PHP on Windows operating systems tend to have significantly more problems with unicode characters such as ( é, è, Ó, 务, 网) than Linux systems. There may be limitations that the plugin is not going to be able to address on your specific operating system, when reading and storing files/folders with unicode characters.

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.
What if I see warnings or errors during the 'Build Process'?
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.
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.
Why can't I download files / get a corrupted installer / see a 404.3 message?
Disable .htaccess: On some systems the .htaccess file inside the wp-snapsnots can cause issues with downloads. To find out if this is the case on your system goto: Duplicator > Settings > Storage and check the box that says "Disable .htaccess File in Storage Directory". Then try to download the installer or archive file.
If you have issues when clicking on any of the following buttons; 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 .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. In some cases you may need to check with your server administrator to see how the web-server is sending down files. If you can not download the installer.php file then you will need to follow the directions below and get the file off of the server via FTP.

Download via FTP: You can always manually download any of the package files via FTP or cpanel by going to the 'wp-snapshots' directory which should be located in a path like this /your_site/wordpress_root/wp-snapshots on your web-server.
If you continue to have issues then you might want to check with your hosting provider or server admin to find out why the server is having issues downloading the specified files.
How to resolve '504 Gateway Timeout' on scan?
Most 500 web server errors can be diffcult to track-down as they are being thrown from the web server and not PHP. Below are several options you can try for 504 and 502 errors.

OPTION 1 - Config Update:
Add the following to your .htaccess file

<IfModule mod_dtimeout.c>
	<Files ~ ".php">
		SetEnvIf Request_URI "admin-ajax" DynamicTimeout=240

OPTION 2 - Cloudflare:
If your using Cloudflare.
1. Log in to Cloudflare
2. On the Overview page, click "Advanced"
3. Click "Pause"
4. Run installer deployment
5. Turn Cloudflare back on

OPTION 3 - Hosting Provider:
Connect with your hosting provider and let them know your getting a 500 error. Many times your host will have access to the web server logs which can help isolate what is triggering the error on their server configurations.

2. Installer

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.
  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.
I lost or cannot find the installer file where can I download another copy?
Every archive has a companion installer file that goes with it. If you ever misplace the original installer file then you can find another copy of the installer.php file inside the archive. The file is named installer-backup.php you will have to unzip the archive locally to get a copy of the installer.

Also note that all copies of the installer files will be located inside the wp-snapshots folder (which reside in the WordPress root) and has a hash appended to the front that looks something like this "20150702_itsplugintime_55b249bb779eb6415150724142043_installer.php"
Why do I see plain/binary text, parse errors or download prompts when running 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.

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.

If you are just seeing binary text/code on the screen such as:

1f8b 0800 0000 0000 0003 ecfd 7b57 1bb9 d228 0eff 9dbd d6fe 0e8d 7706 ecd0 3636 09b9 d8e9 7813 7012 26dc 8221 2401 86a7...

Then the download logic may have some issues with streaming the file down to your computer. The easiest way to get a good copy of the installer is to FTP to the wp-snapshots folder (in your WP root) and use bring the installer file down to your computer and then try to open in an editor like Notepad++. The file at this point should be a normal PHP file.

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 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.

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 you may have ran into a few issues:

  1. The file may have not downloaded correctly from the server. Try to download the file again. The size of the file should be larger than 300K.
  2. If the installer.php is below 300K on the server (see wp-snapshots folder) then the file was not correctly built. Try to create a new package and if the problem continues then please submit a help ticket.
  3. Sometimes 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.
  4. The version of PHP is too old. Be sure the version is above 5.2.9

Additional Search Links:
Thread | Google | WordPress Forums
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 & in an empty directory on your web server
2. Open a file browser or cpanel file browser and navigate to the file
3. Extract the contents directly into the same directory as the 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
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.
The requirements fail on the installer what should I do?
When the installer first loads it check to see if the server is good enough to start an install. The number one reason for the requirements to fail is do to permission issues on either the folder or the files (installer and archive). If you run into an issues such as:
INSTALL ERROR! The packaged zip file was not found.
Then you most likely need to loose the permissions till the requirements pass.
Why does the installer not finish or error with a 403, 500?
While these issues are not common, they can occur on budget hosts or hosts that may not be properly configured for the installer to run. Below is a list of "QUICK OPTIONS" and "ERROR RESPONSES" and recommendations for each. For error codes please jump directly to that code number.


Timeout Issues
The web server is not configured to run long enough to extract the archive and install the database.
  • The quick & easy workaround is to perform a manual extraction.
  • Its also recommended to use mysqldump for larger databases and shell_exec (pro version only) for large archives if possible and your host supports them.

Disable Plugins
If you have security or caching plugins installed its recommended to temporarily disable them to avoid conflicts at install time. Some security plugins can research outside of a WordPress and monitor external folders, while others once enabled in a new environment need additional configuration.
  • This can be done by creating your package with all cache and security plugins temporarily disabled and add all cache paths to the directory filters list.
  • If your already too far into the install process and don't want to create a new package you can always perform a manual extraction and temporarily remove or rename the plugin folder of the plugin you suspect to be causing issues. Finish up the install process and then restore the plugin.

Wordfence Plugin
Wordfence is an excellent plugin, but moving a WP site with it enabled can cause issues when initially trying to get the site re-deployed.
  • Quick Fix:
    The quickest fix is to disable the plugins firewall temporarily until you get your site deployed.
  • Settings:
    Wordfence has a firewall feature that filters php code. So when running the installer.php, it could be blocked by Wordfence. This is more relevant for users with multiple WordPress installations. For example if your attempting to duplicate a WordPress install while another WordPress site existed in another directory, then you may get an "403 Access Denied" error since Wordfence works across multiple directories. Below are some the steps to whitelist the installer:
    1. Go to your Wordfence Live Traffic page.
    2. Look for a red highlighted section saying installer.php was blocked. Click the "Whitelist param from Firewall" button and see if the installer.php works.
    3. After installation if you remove the rule, but be sure to white list it again when you go to run the installer.
  • Errors:
    Fatal error: Unknown: Failed opening required '/some_path/wordfence-waf.php' (include_path='... in Unknown ... Check your .htaccess and comment out (Add a '#' to first character of line) the following lines or anything titled #Wordfence WAF such as:
    php_value auto_prepend_file "/path_to_file/wordfence-waf.php"
    Check your php.ini or user.ini and remove the following:
    auto_prepend_file = '/home/username/

Check .htaccess file
Improper web server configurations can cause issues such as:
  • Missing directory Index: To fix add DirectoryIndex index.html index.php to .htaccess
  • Check with your host for mod_security rules for example the following rule on Siteground hosting will lift a server security rule for the installer to properly:
    <IfModule mod_security.c> SecFilterRemove 001838 </IfModule>

  • 500 Internal Server Error
    If you get this error from any log or response please see question:
    I got an 500 server error message what should I do?
  • 403 Forbidden/Access Denied
    If you get this response it can be related to permissions, below are a few options:
    • Give your root WordPress folder permissions (such as 755)
    • Contact your host with the error and ask them about any firewall rules they enforce.
    • Check the .htaccess file see "Check .htaccess file" above...
    • Temporarily disable any firewall/security plugin see "Disable Plugins & Wordfence Plugin" above...

- Wordfence documentation
- ModSecurity Site | ModSecurity Reference

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:
The you will need to open the wp-config and look for something like this:
define('WP_HOME', '' . $_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 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
I'm having password issues what can I do?
- 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
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
  • 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.
Why are some of the files from the 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.
Why does the WordPress installer show up after running the installer.php file?
This behavior should not happen. Causes can include a corrupted database or data that was not transferred properly. The issue can also be triggered if the database table character-set is changed, from one database server to another. Here are a few things you can perform to isolate this occurrence.

  1. Validate Character Sets and Collations:
    Pay attention to to any errors or warnings on the final step of the installer. Deploy or update errors can cause your site to be put into a state that is not complete. One common reason for deploy errors is because of a databases character sets. Please review the following section for issues with character sets:
    Question: What if I get errors or warnings on the install report?
    Section: Character set conversions
  2. Repair Database:
    If you are not running into character set issues you can also try these options to validate your database data.
    - Run a repair and optimize on your database.
    - Try to run the installer again
    - Check your wp_options table and make sure the data is correct
  3. 'Unknown collation' error
    If you do see this error please see Question "I'm getting a 'Unknown collation' error, what should I do?" under Database Issues
What if I get errors or warnings on the install report?
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 we would love to be able to help every single person diagnose these errors, however it's really not possible from a time perspective with a free volunteer project. If the plugin is not working well with a particular setup, check out the resource page for additional help.

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:

Character Set Conversions Issues:
If the versions of MySQL are too far apart on the servers you are working with then you can run into transfer problems. The quickest way to fix this problem is to find out the version of MySQL you are running on all servers and be sure they are very close, if possible the same version. Also be sure your host is using an up-to-date version of the database engine.

The server on which you run the installer.php has a greater chance of working with the SQL if it is newer than the location where you created the package. These updates can and should be made by your host. If your working with a budget host that won't help then consider getting a host that keeps the MySQL database engines up-to-date. If your working with WP 4.2 with the utf8mb4 upgrade your MySQL server is version should be 5.5.3 or higher (see related articles below).

- When creating a package. Look on the Database tab for the option "Compatibility Mode" this is an advanced option, so please read the details for a complete breakdown.
- This forum thread for workarounds if your host can't update your MySQL version.

Related Articles:
- Wordpress utf8mb4 Upgrade

A character set conversion error might look something like this
**ERROR** database error write 'Unknown collation: 'utf8mb4_unicode_ci'' - [sql=CREATE TABLE `wp_posts` (

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:
    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.

Step 3 - Warnings

If you see a general warnings alert it can prevent your site from working. One of the general warnings is:
WP-CONFIG WARNING: The wp-config.php has one or more of these values "WP_CONTENT_DIR, WP_CONTENT_URL, WPCACHEHOME, COOKIE_DOMAIN, WP_SITEURL, WP_HOME, WP_TEMP_DIR" which may cause issues please validate these values by opening the file.
If your having issues with the site after trying to test it then you will need to check the wp-config.php file. If your site is working as expected then you can ignore this warning.

To fix this issue you will need to open up and edit the wp-config.php file and make sure the values above are correct. You may need to search the WordPress codex for what some of the values should be set to based on your setup.

3. Troubleshoot

Log files & System Access
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 as it contains sensitive data.
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 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 as it contains sensitive data.
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: []
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: []
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 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.

Common Issues
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.
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.
I got an 500 server error 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. Contact Host Let them know you are getting “Internal Server Errors” or an error with a 500 code. A good hosting provider will help you diagnose the problem or at least point you in the right direction.
  2. Duplicator Logs: Both the package and installer logs can sometimes provide clues about the issue.
  3. Security Plugins: Security plugins tend to write large amounts of data to your .htaccess file. When this file is moved to a new server this can cause many issues. Its best to temporarily disable all security plugins on the site when you create the package if your seeing 500 errors building or installing the package.
  4. 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 can be worked-out by a good hosting provider. If your host can't or won'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. If your willing to wait, we can help take a look at your issue as well through the help ticket system. Please know that this is a free service and wait times can vary. If you do contact our help ticket center be sure to mention that you have already tried these FAQ checkpoints.
Why do I get a blank/white screen on my site?
A blank/white screen can stem from multiple issues. Below is a quick check-list of things to review:

  1. LOGIN PLUGIN: Login plugins that change the default admin URL from "wp-admin" to something else can lead to a blank page.
  2. DEFAULT PAGE: Be sure the default page to the root folder is index.php and not index.html.
  3. WP-CONFIG: Make sure your wp-config.php file is correct and view the wp-config.php codex
  4. UPDATE: Be sure your using the latest version of the plugin and WordPress.
  5. TROUBLESHOOT: Check the WordPress Troublshoot Codex
  6. CHECK THEME: Change to a new theme temporarily to validate a conflict may be theme specific.
  7. VALIDATE PLUGINS: Temporarily disable all plugins. Then enable each plugin to see where the conflict occurs.
  8. CHECK BROWSER: Open another web browser and check for the white screen. If it works in the new browser then it may be a browser cache issue. You can usually fix this by holding down ctrl+F5 or manually deleting your browser cache.
  9. LOGIN/LOGOUT: Try to login or out of your admin to check and see if your session maybe got messed up.
  10. CACHE PLUGINS: Clear all your cache plugins. Sometimes they can cause issues.
  11. PERMISSIONS: Directories are normally set to 755 and files to 644. Validate the group/owner is the same as other plugins that work.
  12. LOGS: Check the php error logs and javascript error logs for clues.

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 (admin vs main site) 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 blank” will help point you in the right direction.
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.
Also see: 2. Installer - Why do I get a 404, redirected, path errors or unable to login after installing?
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] [BlueHost] [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". 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 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. 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.
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, different web & database 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. If you run into character conversion/encoding issues below is a list of things you can try:

  • Check wp-config.php
    Look for the DB_CHARSET and DB_COLLATE constants, these values can affect how WordPress handles your character encoding. If DB_COLLATE and DB_CHARSET do not exist in your wp-config.php file, DO NOT add either definition to your wp-config.php file unless you read and understand Converting Database Character Sets.

  • Advanced Options
    In step one of the installer under advanced options there are two character values that you can try to enable which are "MySQL Charset" and "MySQL Collation" indirectly these values work with mysqli_set_charset. These values may not work on all systems.

  • Operating System File Names
    On some operating systems and version of PHP there are known issues with working with files with international characters. This is currently a limitation with the underlying PHP ZipArchive and json_encode logic used in free. A common work-a-round at this point is to filter the international files and then manually move them later. The scanner process will help you to spot these files. In Duplicator Professional there is a new process option called shell_exec which is supported by most hosts. This process can on most systems better handle international characters in file names.

  • Online Forums
    Below are a few threads of some workarounds for international character sets.
    [WordPress Forum 1] | [WordPress Forum 2]

Also see: What if I get errors or warnings on the install report?
Also see: How can I fix strange characters?
Please note these concepts are advanced and outside the range of the free support we provide for the plugin. If you need assistance from a developer to help research and diagnose your particular issue we suggest you checkout the Duplicator Resource Page.
How can I fix strange characters?
Strange characters such as " Â " are a sign of encoding issues. Here are some items you can try:

Update wp-config:
By default WordPress sets your character encoding to UTF-8. You can try and adjust this by editing your 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_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.
Timeout Issues
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.

    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...

    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]
    # END WordPress
    <IfModule litespeed>
    RewriteRule .* – [E=noabort:1]
    But I need help with my personal server...
    While we would love to help you, debugging and troubleshoot systems is outside the scope of this free plugin. With thousands of different permutations it's too difficult to try and debug/diagnose a server via email since this is a free product.

    If you need help setting this up correctly 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...

    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.

If all of the items above still have no effect on your server and your hosts is unable to work with you, then you might want to give Duplicator Professional a try as it has been engineered to work better with larger packages and budget hosts.

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"?
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. This issue tends to be more common on low-end budget hosts.

You can try editing the .htaccess, php.ini or wp-config.php files. If none of these options work then contact your hosting provider and see if they can provide another option.

Edit your .htaccess file in your WordPress root
<IfModule mod_php5.c>
    php_value memory_limit 500M

Edit the php.ini setting to this:
memory_limit = 500MB

Edit your wp-config.php file and add this:
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '500M');
This option would apply only to creating a package

Have your host increase the option for you or recommend an alternate approach.

After updating any of the options above be sure to make check that the setting works. You can do this by going to:
Duplicator ❯ Tools ❯ Diagnostics ❯ Server Settigns ❯ PHP Section ❯ "Memory Limit" and make sure the value matches the value in one of the above options.
For the first two options on some system the web server will have to be restarted. The example values above are not required just a general guideline. Its recommend to set the value 20-30MB above the allocated warning. For example if see Fatal error: Out of memory (allocated 65839452) then your recommend settings would be 85-95MB and so on until the cap is removed.

Permission & System Issues
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 for 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
- 403 Forbidden error message: "Access to this resource on the server is denied!"
This can be related to Modsec security rules that are in place on shared servers. Some rules check for POST commands to install.php scripts. These rules are in place as people sometimes leave the scripts in place on the server once their sites are configured which is presents a security risk. Contact your host to make sure this is not the underlying issue.

Root Folders:
Some hosts prevent PHP from writing to the root folder of public_html directory. In this case you have a few options:
  1. Contact your host and see if this is a restriction for PHP to write to your web servers root and if they allow a work-a-round. Some hosts will provide you with a custom directive specific to their environments. Some will allow you to change owner (chown) on the root via ssh. Check with your host to be sure.
  2. If the root is off-limits then you will need to create sub-directory off of your root directory and place the installer and archive file in the sub-directory and run them from there.

Windows Permissions:
  1. Open Windows Explorer and locate the root folder that Wordpress is installed in.
  2. Right click this folder, select Properties and click the Security tab.
  3. Choose Edit then Add. The following users must be added and given FULL ACCESS permissions: IUSR & IIS_IUSRS.
  4. After completion change FULLACCESS back to standard configuration of IUSR & IIS_IUSRS for security

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
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.
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 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:
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?
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: | Stackoverflow Thread
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. Many virus scanners can report a false positive detection. Be sure that the algorithm to determine the threat reports the reason for the threat or potential virus.

The Duplicator currently includes several large minimized JavaScript libraries that have been detected as a false positives on 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.

Database Issues
I'm having Database issues 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. Also 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.

Access Denied: 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.

UTF8 Inputs: If non ASCII characters are detected as part of the database connection string and MySQL server is not configured correctly then you will not be able to connect. This issue can be resolved by updating the MySQL my.ini configuration. Add the setting 'character_set_server=utf8' under [mysqld] and restart the database server. This value may just need to be uncommented.

Creation Failure: If your error message contains the text "Unable to create database..." this means your host does not support creating databases through PHP code. In this case you will need to create a database through the tools they provide. On most hosts you can do this through the cpanel. Please contact your host for how to create a new database.

Database Errors: If the Duplicator log shows errors such as: **ERROR** database error write '...' Then its possible you may have issues with the engine that mysql server is using. If this is the case you can try the following:

1. Open this file in notepad: C:\wamp64\bin\mysql\mysql5.7.9\my.ini
2. Add the final line to the file:
port = 3306

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 or Sometimes it may even have a port number like "" If you ask your hosting provider they can point you in the right direction. Please see this site for other various combinations.

When the installer tries to connect to the database it does so with a very simple PHP function mysqli_connect. If you believe all the parameters your entering in the installer are correct, you can validate them by creating a simple file in the same directory as the installer called dbtest.php. Then place the following code in the file and fill out the parameters. This will help isolate if your params are in-deed correct:
$link = mysqli_connect("", "my_user", "my_password", "my_db");

if (!$link) {
    echo "Error: Unable to connect to MySQL." . PHP_EOL;
    echo "Debugging errno: " . mysqli_connect_errno() . PHP_EOL;
    echo "Debugging error: " . mysqli_connect_error() . PHP_EOL;

echo "Success: A proper connection to MySQL was made! The my_db database is great." . PHP_EOL;
echo "Host information: " . mysqli_get_host_info($link) . PHP_EOL;

Here are the help files to some of the major providers:
I'm getting a 'Unknown collation' error, what should I do?
Unknown Collation:
If you receive a 'Unknown collation' error this is because the MySQL server being installed on (target server) is older than the MySQL engine you created the package on. An error message such as:

**ERROR** database error write 'Unknown collation: 'utf8mb4_unicode_ci'

Will be triggered because the MySQL version being used does not support this table format. You can view the MySQL server version comparison by clicking on the 'Test Connection' button in the installer or by viewing the installer-log.txt file. The output will look something like:

MYSQL VERSION: This Server: 5.4.22 -- Build Server: 5.7.10

Duplicator does not change the Database collation, because in some cases there is a risk of possible data corruption. However we do provide several work-arounds with OPTION 1 below being the most recommend and safest way to ensure you do not end up with collation errors.

Update Software

The cleanest and safest way to fix 'Unknown Collation' issue is to update your target MySQL server to the same or newer version than where the package was built. For issues with just 'utf8mb4_unicode_ci' collations then version 5.5.3 or better should work. For more advanced version such as 'utf8mb4_unicode_520_ci' and others you will need to match or go higher than where the build was created.

Quickest Fix: The easiest way to solve this issue is to ask you're host to upgrade the MySQL server. If your running any version lower than 5.5.3 then your using a very outdated version of MySQL server. 5.5.3 was released in 2010 which means the version of MySQL server you're using is even older We strongly encourage users to work with their hosts to use up-to-date software for improved security and performance and to stay in compliance with updates from WordPress core.
Additional Resources:

Compatibility Mode

Mysqldump Compatibility mode helps produce a database sql script output that is more compatible with other database systems or with older MySQL servers. The Duplicator supports several compatibility modes all of which are only available when mysqldump mode is enabled in the plugin. Compatibility mode can be enabled when building a package using the mysqldump option.

The Duplicator will only allow compatibility mode during the creation process. It is not allowed when creating templates or with schedules. The reason for this setup is to discourage using these settings and fix the real issue which is to update your database server.

Database Upgrades: Compatibility Mode should only be used as an absolute last resort. The recommended approach to fixing database issues is to make sure that both database servers are up-to date and very close in version numbers (see OPTION 1). For example if the database server where you create the package (database) is 5.7.5 then the database server where you install the package should be at least in the 5.7.N range. Ask your host or server admin to upgrade the mysql server to a newer version if possible. If your host will not upgrade to a recent upgrade ask them to upgrade to as high of a version as possible.

Data Preservation: While there are several work-a-rounds on the internet (Option 3) explaining how you can modify the current SQL file or use mysql dump compatibility mode, the main underlying issue is that you stored data in one format and are now going to convert it. These techniques can lead to data loss and incompatibility issues later down the road. The correct approach is to upgrade the MySQL software.

Manual Configurations

These options are for advanced users and should be performed with caution. The options require updating the database.sql script or updating the source database table collation types. Below are three different approaches but only one option is required to address the issue.

Update database.sql:
For 'unknown collation' issues you can try the follow the steps below:
  1. Extract the archive zip file manually
  2. Open the database.sql file with notepad and Search & Replace 'utf8mb4' with 'utf8'
  3. Then browse to the installer.php file on the server and choose Advanced & check 'Manual Extract'
  4. This can also be attempted with other collations i.e. replace 'collation_type_1' with 'collation_type_2'

Update Source Database with Code:
This options requires that you really understand your system and have made backups ahead of time. The script will allow you to alter the collation on the build server so that it can be supported by the target server. The full script can be seen on stackoverflow at:

Update Source Database with IDE:
If you don't feel comfortable running the code above you can also use an IDE or GUI tool that will allow you to manually change the tables collation either with SQL statements or through and interface. Again these options requires that you really understand your system and have made backups ahead of time. Below are some easy to follow step by step for updating the collations via an IDE such as phpmyadmin:

Note: We do not officially support Database table collation changes, however we do provide work-a-rounds for emergency situations. If you do use OPTION 3 we will not be able to assist or help with any issues after migration. However we do have partners who will help with collation changes and all the steps needed to properly move your site to an older server. Please visit our partner page for more details.
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 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

How can I help contribute to the plugin?
Partners: Send a donation our way via the partner page.

Developers: Help fix/improve things by checking out the plugin on github.
Does Duplicator work with other Software?
Yes! Duplicator work very well with the popular ServerPress software. The pro version of the software allows you to easily import Duplicator packages.
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.
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 minimum. With the popularity of the plugin it just consumes too much time for all parties 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 we have to out-source some of the more complex 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