3 Ways to Clone A Website

Have you ever needed to clone your website? You might be migrating, or wanting to transform your existing website into a WordPress theme. Either way, we've got the best solutions for you!

This article has been updated.

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

Duplicator Pro

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:

  1. You’ve created a website using a particular page builder and want to convert it to the WordPress block editor. 
  2. 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.

Original site in Beaver Builder
Original site in Beaver Builder
Generated site using Nelio Unlocker
The generated site using Nelio Unlocker

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

Here 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.

Toolset

Toolset

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.

Try Toolset

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.

20% Discount

Elementor

Elementor

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!

Get Elementor Pro

Check out whether Elementor can supercharge your layout creation!

Get the Plugin

Beaver Builder

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.

Conclusion

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!

4 months off
WP Engine
WP Engine
Get 4 months free on annual plans or 20% off your first month on monthly plans.
Get 4 months free on annual plans or 20% off your first month on monthly plans. Show Less

If you’re limited by budget, the alternative we recommend is Bluehost – another top host with more affordable pricing.

Gabriella Galea
Gabriella Galea
Gabriella is the Content Manager at WP Mayor. Architect by profession, designer by nature, she is dedicated to helping readers navigate the online world of WordPress. You can find her on Twitter @GabriellaGalea.

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23 Responses

  1. Wow ThemeMatcher looks great, i can see it being used for proof of concept sites, landing pages and turning simple HTML templates into WP themes, however when it comes to my main site i would still go with option #2 (or #3).

    1. keep away from http://importintoblog.com.
      These people are impostors. Not only their services do not work, but also they play stupid and NEVER REPLY when you ask for your money back, although they state that “All plans come with:
      A money-back guarantee
      If you are not thrilled with our service, we do not want your money. We will refund any payment made within the last thirty days if you are unsatisfied for any reason.” (https://importintoblog.com/sign-up)

  2. I’ve used ThemeMatcher. I think the simpler your original site is, the more likely the conversion will be smooth. However, that doesn’t mean don’t use it. I converted a site that was in Dreamweaver with extensive server-side-includes used as well as a fairly complex template. Using ThemeMatcher, it was much easier to open the resulting page from TM and delete the stuff no longer needed.

    Note that if you are scrapping most of the CSS from your old site, you will have clean-up to do there as well. But it is STILL easier than trying to do this all yourself. MHO, OC.

    1. Marcemile, your service seems amazing. ThemeMatcher was blocked on a site and your site was able to get it. But I would need help from you if possible. Is there a way I can contact you?

  3. You should state that the service is $47.00 before wasting my time.

    You should have mentioned that you are getting a affiliate fee from the theme.

    you have lost my respect for you article

  4. The service is $47.00.

    You should have mentioned that you are getting a affiliate fee from the theme.

    you have lost my respect for you article

  5. Wow ThemeMatcher looks great, i can see it being used for proof of concept sites, landing pages and turning simple HTML templates into WP themes, however when it comes to my main site i would still go with option #2 (or #3).

  6. hello admin i have develop a ecommerce site like amazon in wordpress
    but i want same header of amazon with search bar

  7. I think creating a theme by yourself is the best idea or hiring a professional. I prefer to use one-size-fits-all solution for many projects. This approach allows me to use custom website design and to reduce the cost of development at the same time. But if it is a big business site, it would be better to create a custom theme or use another web platform/frameworks instead of WP.

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