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Duplicator - Create packages for staging / developing / support

This document will walk you through how to prepare a staging website of your website for support or development for DreamfoxMedia support or development team, using the Duplicator plugin as our example tool. Essentially though, regardless of where you are moving a site from and to, and which method you are using, the process will remain the same. Effectively, we are taking a backup of a site in one place, and restoring that backup in another place.

Read on for a step by step walkthrough of How To Migrate Your Website With Duplicator.

Installing The Plugin

Duplicator is available in the WordPress repository. This means it can be installed and activated directly from WordPress. Navigate to the Plugins > Add Plugin page and search for ‘Duplicator’. When it shows on the page, you just need to click Install, and then when that is finished, you will need to click Activate. The plugin is now installed, and can be accessed from the WordPress Main Menu.


It’s always a good idea to go through the Settings when having installed a new plugin.

For the Free version of Duplicator, only the General and Packages tab have any relevance. The default settings are going to be ok for almost everyone, but go through them to see what’s possible. Once you have done that, you’re ready for Stage 1, which is ‘Creating a Package’. This is essentially taking a backup of your entire site, and this step applies to both scenarios; i.e. moving a local install to a server and moving a site from one server to another.

If you are moving your site from a local production site to a web server, you may encounter the MySQL error below. This could occur if, for example, you are using  WAMP, and Duplicator cannot find the path to its preferred Build Mode, mysqldump. To fix this, you need to enter the path to the mysqldump.exe file in your WAMP installation. See the pictures below for more detail.

Creating A Package

The first step in the process is to ‘Create a Package’. This is the term Duplicator uses for making a full backup of your site. For this reason, Duplicator is also well known as a backup plugin. If you are not familiar with Duplicator, you may want to watch the Quick Overview Video below before continuing.

Creating a Package is a three step process of Setup, Scan & Build. Let’s step through that one at a time.


When you first click on Duplicator, you come to the screen below. Simply click on ‘Create New’ to being the package creation process.

Next, you come to the screen below. At this point, you can just click Next to continue, but there are options here for you to explore, if you wish. Let’s take a look at those.

The options in the Storage area can only be accessed with the Pro version. These allow you to control where the package is stored, and you can choose from a number of options, including Amazon, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and FTP/SFTP.

The options in the Archive area are split into two sections. The first section – Files, gives you a range of options to choose and filter the files you will backup. You can make a backup of the database only and you can also exclude certain files from the backup.

The second section – Database, allows you to exclude certain tables from the database backup. Use this with caution, as it might break your site if you exclude the wrong tables.

To understand these sections better, please refer to the Archive sub-section of the Packages >> New – Step 1: Setup section of the Duplicator docs.

Finally, the options in the Installer section are completely optional, and some are only available with the Pro Version. For more info on this section, please refer to the Installer sub-section of the Packages >> New – Step 1: Setup section of the Duplicator docs.


So, whether we have explored the options or not, the next step is the scanning process, in preparation for the build process. When you are finished with the Setup page, and you click Next, Duplicator immediately begins scanning the site for any potential issues. You will see the scanning window, and then you will get the scan results, both shown below. If the scan results are all good, you can continue to the Build stage. If there are warnings, you can address these and rescan, but many of these warnings will not interfere with the backup at all.

As they say in the Duplicator documentation; “It is OK to try and build a package even if you have a ‘Warn’ status. If you are able to build a package with a ‘Warn’ status then you can ignore the warning. However if you have issue during the build or install process you may want to work with your hosting provider to try and address the warning.”


When you are satisfied with the Scan results, click the blue ‘Build’ button under the Scan results to actually create the package. You will see a Build Screen for a time, while your package is being prepared, and when it is complete, you will see the second screen below. From this screen, you can download the Archive file, and the Installer separately, or together, from the ‘One Click Download’ button.

Once you have the package contents, you need to then upload them to the server you wish to migrate the website to. In the local production to web server scenario, it’s likely you have a brand new hosting account, or perhaps just a new folder on an existing server if you already have hosting. If you are moving your website from one server to another, you will be uploading the files to the new server.

The next section will show you how the second part of the migration takes place.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Note that clicking the ‘One Click Download’ link will open both the installer and archive download prompts at the same time. On some browsers you may have to disable pop-up warnings on this domain for this to work correctly.

Send to DreamfoxMedia

Most ot the times the time the 2 files are too big to send by email. You can send BOTH files the installer.php and the package by wetransfer at: Use as receiver the email address we gave you by the request.

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