In this article, I’ll be showing you three ways to clone a WordPress website.
Cloning an existing website is the process of duplicating the content and format of posts and pages and applying them to another site. This can come in handy for many different reasons, a few of which we’ll discuss in this post.
We’ll then look at the tools and services that will help you clone your website and create a theme either automatically, or manually.
There are a few different ways to go about cloning an existing website. Each comes with varying costs and difficulties.
Read on to find out the best option for you!
Option 1: Clone any website for staging purposes, domain changes, or migration
If you’re thinking of migrating your existing website to another host or domain, you might want to consider cloning.
The initial step to doing this is to first and foremost backup your current site. It’s extremely important not to skip this step, just in case anything out of your control happens while you’re performing the migration.
Once you’ve got your backup done, you can go ahead and duplicate, or clone, your current website and transfer it to your new site easily.
This process will also come in handy for staging purposes. Say you’re developing a site in a local environment and want to move it to the live server. The opposite is also true. You might want to clone an existing website to a local server for testing and development.
This is where the Duplicator plugin comes in. This plugin will help back up, migrate, copy, move or clone a site from one location to another. What’s great is that it’s so easy to use that it’s suitable for beginners and professionals alike.
Duplicator creates a package that bundles all the site’s plugins, themes, content, database, and WordPress files into a simple zip file called a package. This package can then be used to easily migrate a WordPress site to any location you wish.
You can move your site on the same server, across servers and pretty much any location a WordPress site can be hosted. Keep in mind that WordPress is not required for installation since the package contains all the site files itself.
Duplicator comes in a free version that you can find on the WordPress plugin repository. Alternatively, you can upgrade to Pro starting at $69.
Option 2: Clone any web design to a WordPress theme
There are quite a few reasons to want to clone a web design and convert it to a WordPress theme. Let’s take a look at a few:
- You’ve created a website using a particular page builder and want to convert it to the WordPress block editor.
- You might have created your original website using a CMS platform, like Squarespace or Wix, and want to finally move your site to WordPress.
If you’re in any of these situations, you might feel like you’ve been locked into your original decision. To address this pain point, we’ve found Nelio Unlocker.
This plugin lets you input any post, page, or URL and convert it into the WordPress block editor (aka Gutenberg). The original website need not even be a WordPress website. Nelio Unlocker transforms any existing page on your website into a block-compatible format.
The generated page will contain the content and layout of the original. While it won’t be 100% accurate, it will certainly be close to 95% done. All you need to do then is tweak that remaining 5%!
We’ve actually tested it out for ourselves and documented the whole process in our Nelio Unlocker review.
This plugin uses pay-as-you-go pricing. The price will depend on the number of pages that you want to convert and is currently priced at $3 per page.
Option 3. Clone any website from scratch
If your site is complex or you have very specific requirements, hiring a freelancer is a good route to take. Our top recommendation would be Codeable but this could get quite expensive.
You’ll find thousands of freelance designers at various price points. However, expect to spend a significant amount of time selecting and talking to your designer before you hire someone for the job.
Alternatively, you can create a theme yourself. It might sound like a challenging proposition but creating a complete theme with customized features is easier than you think.
That’s because you can use page builders such as the native WordPress Block Editor, Toolset, Elementor, or Beaver Builder.
With Toolset, you can create all of the features an advanced theme will need including custom post types, dynamic image galleries and sliders, forms, and search.
WP Mayor readers can get an exclusive 20% discount when they purchase Toolset.
You can create themes for a number of different types of websites including directory, membership, and e-commerce sites.
We’ve teamed up with the team behind Toolset, the page builder which lets you build WordPress sites without coding, to offer you an exclusive 20% discount.
Elementor is one of the best page builders out there at the moment. With its easy-to-use interface, anyone can now create and design websites, regardless of their coding knowledge. With its shallow learning curve, you should be able to have your site up and running in no time.
If you want to jumpstart your designing process even further, Elementor provides pre-designed templates in both the free and PRO version!
We’ve personally used Elementor to create this very website!
Creating a website using Beaver Builder can help streamline your design process. With no coding required, Beaver Builder also lets you choose from pre-made templates and modules that you can use anywhere on your website.
We created a tutorial showing you how to create a WordPress landing page using Beaver Builder.
If you’re still unsure which one works best for you, check out our article comparing Elementor and Beaver Builder.
The best part about page builders is that you don’t need to use any PHP to design your website. What once might have taken days of coding can now be created in hours.
In this article, we’ve seen how to clone a website for three different purposes. Duplicating a website is not difficult at all, granted you have the right plugins.
Keep in mind that copying someone else’s WordPress site is illegal unless you have explicit written permission.
If you’re cloning your website for staging purposes, domain changes, or migration from one host to another, consider using Duplicator.
On the other hand, Nelio Unlocker is a sure-fire way to shifting your existing website to the WordPress block editor. It requires a bit more work from your end to perfect the look and format but it gives you a pretty solid base to work with.
If you have complex requirements, you may need to invest some more time and money to hire a freelancer to create something custom. Alternatively, have a go at it yourself using a page builder such as Toolset, Elementor, or Beaver Builder.
Should you just want to use a pre-made theme, there are plenty of options around. Run a quick search on WP Mayor for the type of theme you’re looking for, and I’m sure you’ll find something for your needs.
If you’re at that phase and you’re also looking for high-performing web hosting with an expert support team, we recommend working with WP Engine. We have worked with them for many years, hosting new sites and migrating existing ones, and they have always been a reliable partner to have.
For that reason, we’ve collaborated with WP Engine to get you 4 months off their annual plans!
If you’re limited by budget, the alternative we recommend is Bluehost – another top host with more affordable pricing.