We have found Duplicator plugin as the best WordPress migration plugin for beginners and advanced users alike.

We will discuss how to use Duplicator plugin and move your website or blog in just three easy steps. Let’s move forward to discuss each step in detail.

Here is the list of topics we will discuss:

  1. Creating Duplicator Package
  2. Deploying the Package

There are two methods to transfer your WordPress site, either transferring files manually or by using a plugin.

We have already covered the manual method and here we are using Duplicator Migration plugin for transferring WordPress files as it is an easy method and even beginners can do it.

The plugin can be used for moving files from localhost to live server or from one hosting provider to another hosting provider.

Before starting, it is highly recommended to take three steps as a precaution:

1. Update WordPress Core (if there is an update available, it is a good idea to update WordPress before using Duplicator (You will know why later in this tutorial)

2. Backup your site (here is a complete guide).

3. If you are using a cache plugin, delete all Cache files (it will make the whole transfer process fast and also save you a lot of disk space)

Once you are done, let’s start by installing Duplicator Plugin.

Creating Duplicator Package

1. From your admin dashboard, install and activate Duplicator Migration plugin.

wordpress migration plugin

2. Once installed, go to Duplicator > Packages. This is the place where we will clone our site.

duplicator settings

3. Click Create New in the top right corner to start the 3-step process to create a package.

duplicator package

4. Actually, you really don’t need to do anything in Step 1 if you want to go with default settings which are pretty fine in most cases. Let’s quickly see available options you can change on this screen.

Name:

The plugin automatically fills the Name field but you can change it if you want to write something specific.

Storage:

The path to the Storage is the location where the package will be saved. You will not be able to change it in Duplicator plugin free version.

Archive:

Archive is the heart and soul of this plugin. Here you can plan what to add or remove from the package.

For example, it is a good idea not to include big files in the package like media or video files. You can exclude them by first checking Enable File Filters checkbox and then filling File Extensions field with image or video file extensions.

You can also click the media link next to File extensions field for the same purpose.

duplicator archive settings

 

Use an FTP program to upload big files later on.

Woopoo's Tip

Installer:

Settings in Installer are related to the new server which will host your current website. There are all optional so let’s not fill them at this stage.

Once you are done, press Next.

5. In the second step, the plugin will do a system scan and will check for any possible errors. If something needs to fixed, it will show you the related error.

If all good, you will see Scan Complete with everything good and green. Press Build button at the bottom.

duplicator plugin steps

6. The package has been build in the third step, click Installer and Archive buttons to download the two files separately. The first file will a PHP file while the other will be a zip file holding all your website stuff.

We have successfully take a clone of your website files and database. Our next step is to use these files to transfer all this data to our new server.

Duplicator Error and Fix

Once you click the Build button, one possible error could be Zip Archive Enabled Fail. This happens if you are on a web hosting provider with tight security settings and any PHP scripts will not be able to create any files. You have to grant them access to create zip files using CPanel.

Here are the steps to enable the settings:

  • Log in to your web hosting CPanel.
  • Under software settings, click PHP PEAR Packages.

php pear packages

  • Look for Find a “PHP Extensions and Applications Package”, click Show Available Modules button.
  • Install the module with name Archive_Zip and description Zip file archiving management class۔

php module zip install

If you are facing any other errors, try to exclude big files under Archive settings as discussed above.

Once done, try to Build the package again.

Deploying the Package

This part assumes you already have two files in hand:

  • installer.php which will be used to start the actual migration process.
  • An archive zip file holding all your website data.

If you have created the package and didn’t download the files yet, you can do so by going to Duplicator > Packages and download the two files.

duplicator plugin installer

The archive already contained an updated copy of WordPress (because you updated WordPress before creating package). The only step required is to create a new database and user using CPanel.

See our detailed tutorial how to create a database and user in CPanel.

You don’t need to install a fresh copy of WordPress on your new server. Duplicator plugin will take care of it.

Woopoo's Caution

  • Once you are done with setting your new database, let’s start by uploading the two files to your new web hosting provider root directory. Mostly it will be public_html or www directory.

duplicator files

  • Once the files are uploaded, its time to access installer.php.
  • Type http://yourwebsite.com/installer.php using your web browser. It will start Duplicator deployment process.
  • Make sure Archive and Validation sections should be tagged as Pass. Click Next.
  • In the next step, feed in the Host, Database and User details. In most cases, leave the Host as localhost. Database name and user details should be the one which you created earlier in CPanel.

duplicator database setup

  • Optionally, click Test Database button to check if the Duplicator plugin can access the database without any problems.
  • Click Next to continue.
  • In the next step, you can optionally create a new admin account or stick to the one you were already using. Click Next.
  • If all goes well, you are finally done with your setup. To finalize the setup, click Site Login button.

duplicator site login

  • Once you log in, you will be greeted This site has been successfully migrated!
  • We are almost there. Click Remove Installation Files Now! to remove the Duplicator temporary files.

duplicator plugin delete files

  • Get yourself a coffee :). You have successfully migrated your site to a live server. Wow!

Additional Readings

Conclusion

We found using Duplicator plugin is the most simple method to transfer WordPress blog. Even it’s free version did an awesome job to migrate complete website including the database.

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