Support » Developing with WordPress » Downloading a site that already exists to local computer

  • Resolved maheenie


    I’m working on a website for a client. I’ve done some web development before, but only from my own local computer, which was then uploaded to a domain.

    My problem is, I have no idea how to download a client’s website, which already exists, and then work on that website from my computer.

    At first, I logged into WordPress through their host login, and worked on the website from there. But seeing as developing with plugins like Elementor have many paywalls (like if you wanted to use custom CSS) I decided to develop from my computer to allow for more freedom and to actually give the client things they want.

    I want to be able to either:
    1. download what I already have on there onto my computer that I created with Elementor so far, so that that work does not go to waste, work on that on my computer, and then upload it to their domain.
    2. develop it from scratch all over again if that first option isn’t possible from my computer, and then upload that to their domain.

    I’ve been trying to figure this out for like an hour but I’m a beginner at WordPress and just don’t understand what to do.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You can use a migration plugin like :
    Just export the file remotely, and import the file locally.

    Or you can download the all the files in wp-content, and the database to your local machine. The in the database, update the site_url and home_url in the _options table.
    You may also have to check the settings your local wp-config.php file

    Moving WordPress

    You can use duplicator to make a copy and install it into apache.

    Moderator bcworkz


    A site’s DB has many more domain references besides the site and home URL settings. Migration plugins will update all of these, but if you manually clone the site you have some choices to make. Leave all but site and home URLs as they are, so images etc. will be still served from the original site. Or search/replace all references so everything is served from localhost. You must use the right tool to do this, don’t just make a global update query.

    When you move the localhost site back to the production server, unless using a migration plugin, any localhost references need to be changed to the proper domain. If you never changed references from the proper domain to start with, then there’s nothing to do. But if you’ve added things like new images to the localhost site, those URLs need to be changed.

    This can all get messy if you don’t keep things straight, making a strong argument for migration plugins. However, such plugins IME are not always 100% reliable. I prefer to manually clone sites. To avoid the domain/localhost mess, I add the proper domain to my computer’s hosts file (then restart the computer). Then I can access my local copy using the proper domain name. no need to change anything in the DB, both coming and going. The drawback is the original production site becomes inaccessible from that computer. Since I have a local clone, I’ve not found this to be a hindrance.

    And to add ……. if you choose to move manually, make sure you use a strong search and replace tool that can manage serialized data – I like this one :

    Thread Starter maheenie


    Ok SO… just to clarify, I am a beginner at this and most of my experience with web development was with CSS, HTML, and Javascript.

    however although I’m a beginner I attempted to understand what you guys are saying to the best of my ability… what you guys are saying is basically that I should download the site with a plugin, work in it from my computer, and then reupload that back onto wordpress, while making sure i’m using the same domain name, correct?

    what about if I just worked on the site from a local server to begin with, from scratch. and then migrated that to the domain using a plug in? would that be possible? I feel like I’d rather just do everything from scratch because that would make it a lot less complicated. I do have FlyWheel so maybe I can use that?

    also thank you for your responses!!

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by maheenie.

    You have FlyWheel ?? I don’t know, but surely you can deploy from their tools ?

    If not, yes – develop locally.
    Then install this plugin to download the site to a single file :

    The install the same plugin on the remote site, and import the file.
    There’s nothing else to do.

    Thread Starter maheenie


    waaaait wait no sorry i was mistaken, i don’t have flywheel (or hosting from them anyways), I thought that’s what the app was called, but its’ actually called Local ???

    but i do get what you’re saying i think, develop it locally, and then use all in one plugin to import the file, correct?

    > and then use all in one plugin to import the file, correct?

    To *export*, then *import*.


    Thread Starter maheenie


    got it, thanks so much for the help!!

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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