Clone a WordPress Blog? – at last the answer!

When reporting on innovations in the WordPress (self-hosted naturally!) Blogosphere every now and then something comes along that makes me go, “Wooh HOO!“…

…and write a post with way too many exclamation marks in it!!!

Clone a WordPress BlogIt doesn’t happen often because, let’s face it, cool WordPress stuff comes along all the time, it’s easy to take it for granted.

The guys that create great plugins and themes – free or paid for – and WordPress itself, constantly evolving, and we upgrade (for free folks don’t forget!) and I think to myself, “What a Wonderful WordPress” (sorry Satchmo!)

BUT in this instance it’s an application that has solved ALL my backup issues…

I’m talking about an application here that is something I’ve been praying for for years! I’ve had sites hacked in the past and while that was a total disaster when it happened ( more than once and here’s a post about that nightmare) it became even worse when a CLIENT’S site was hacked, brought down or just plain scuppered!

Having to explain to a client that,

“Sorry, I can’t  fix your blog – I have the database backup so we can cobble together something for you. Did you keep a copy of your logo image by the way? It was on my old laptop that blew up so I don’t have it now.

Did you save the photos you included in your old posts? I know it’s a drag, as you have over 300 posts with lots of images,  but you’ll need to go to each post and upload those images again. I didn’t, obviously, keep copies of your imagery.

Those special code tweaks I made to your theme I’m afraid will no longer be in place as we’ve resorted to the default theme. Ditto re plugins – can you remember what plugins we used?”

OK it never got that bad, but it could have, and I worried about it constantly – so much so that I instigated the ‘alternative’ procedures listed further below.

and then, AND THEN? Came…


So here’s a video run through by Jason Fladlien ( the guy with the MOST annoying laugh on the WWW :-) which shows just how simple this is:

I mean WOW! This is so bloody cool and I’m having serious issues stringing superlatives together because it has solved so many of my online issues in one go and I’m getting very worked up and excited and need to go lie down for a while!

….back and rested


  • Sure back up your database, with a good plugin, every time you post BUT backup everything, media uploads, themes, plugins, theme tweaks EVERYTHING with WP Twin!
  • I now do this for all my clients sites because I know that if their site is hacked, blows up ( suicide blogger?) or the hosting company goes bankrupt I can simply import the saved file into a brand new WordPress install on another hosting company! DONE! CLONED SITE IN SITU! Sorry about the excess of exclamations marks but !!!
  • So that leads us to something else: Knowing that I can now easily move a BIG, complicated, edited and tweaked, WordPress blog with loads of posts, pages, categories, images, plugins and media uploads from one hosting company to another in literally minutes is just a dream come true for me, a guy who creates, sells and flips blogs every day and has a client base to whom I like to offer state of the art backup services. Mega Exclamation Mark $ :-)

I simply cannot recommend WP TWIN highly enough!


  • Using your database backup plugin of choice save your database in a Zip File to somewhere safe ( external hard drive wherever).
  • Using FTP ( Filezilla, whatever) download your wp.config.php file + Theme folder, Plugin Folder, Media ‘Uploads’ folder and maybe your ‘Audio’ or ‘Slideshow’ folders – NONE of this stuff is in your database folks! It HAS to be done over and above your database backups.
  • Create a new blog, maybe on a new host – work out how to import the old database.
  • Then upload all the media folders and wp-config file
  • I’ve probably forgotten something so..
  • Pay for a WP programmer to do all this for you.

Or use WP Twin

eerm, that’s it :-)

NO IT’S NOT! Check THIS out…

Let’s say you have a favorite WordPress theme and plugins PLUS you’ve tweaked your blog to just the way you like it – maybe with security techniques like those used in WordPress Defender ( great tutorials on securing a site from hackers) maybe Privacy Policy pages etc. all that stuff that’s boring to do over and over?

Create a template (without any posts or real content) and, when you want to create a NEW blog with all your favorite themes, plugins and settings already sorted and embedded just use WP TWIN this is great and a massive time saver in my world I have to say!


I’ve just been on, and recorded, a Webinar with Jason where he goes into more detail about why we all need this funky software and you can see some online, real time usage of the software – also some ideas as to how to make money with it. That’s personally of little interest to me – I’m simply sold on the security/backup issues

SO if the post above has got you interested and you want some more info and access to the manic laughter I mentioned earlier :-) feel free! But, as I say it’s a trifle long – 40 minutes, even with my editing – so download it if you want to view later ( see download link in the video toolbar).

Stop Press! Here’s another thought: if you use the WordPress Defender security tips, tweaks and plugins on a site I see no reason why you could not do the same on a template site for all your new blog installs – so security would be built in.

I believe standard fee for instigating all of the WP-Defender video tutorials is around $100! So big saving there if you build new blogs regularly!

About the Author

Clive McGonigal is a full time Web Developer, Marketer, WordPress Evangelist and all round Decent Chap. He lives between London and France ( on a tiny rowing boat with an internet connection) and spends his offline time wining, dining and conversing with his dogs. He loves WordPress ( themes, plugins and tweaks) and blogs about them whenever he can.

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Clive says:

    One thing I’ve been doing with a view to the future and using WP-Twin:

    I’ve set up a template blog ( all my favorite themes and plugins included ESSENTIALLY EVERY BLOOMING PLUGIN OR THEME I’VE EVER USED OR MIGHT WANT TO AGAIN) – added Privacy Policy, SiteMap pages and all that other boring stuff + prepped (with no content) About Us and Contact pages.

    Plus my Associate-O-Matic Amazon shopping cart app. software – just in case I want to include a very nice looking Amazon store within a new site.

    Tweaked the template for SEO etc. and set all the plugin options where necessary.

    All in all about 2-3 hours work right? Well it is for me. Not next time! Next time I’ll just deploy this template into a new WordPress ‘virgin’ set up, choose my theme from those I’ve put in the template delete the plugins I won’t need for that particular site and Bingo! 5 minutes tops!

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

31 queries. 0.129 seconds.