Support » Plugin: UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin » Using Clone/Migration to create duplicate site in subdomain

  • Resolved DGLauren


    Are there any instructions available for using the Clone feature of UpDraft+? I know when I click the “Backup Now” button, it starts a process immediately and I don’t want that to happen if I click “Clone/Migration”. I’d like to know in advance what to expect.

    I want to create a clone of my site to install on/in a subdomain so I can test certain plugins before I activate them on my main site. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Plugin Author David Anderson



    In fact, the Clone/Migrate button just pops up a dialogue window with some information. The actual process is:
    1) Create backup
    2) Copy the resulting backup files to the destination WordPress site
    3) Press “Restore” and use that backup set

    i.e. A clone/migrate operation is just the same as a restore, except using backup files that originated elsewhere. Here’s the full guide:

    Best wishes,

    Thank you so much for your rapid response, David! I read through the guide and wanted to double-check something with you. In Step 5, it says:

    Important: Since this is a migration, you will want to also check the “Search and replace site location in the database” option. This option is what will instruct UpdraftPlus to fix everything in your database for your new location (URL).

    I should not check that, right… if I’m cloning my site into the subdomain? Also, I have created a child theme of my main theme. Do I need to set the subdomain up in the same way prior to running this procedure, or does the UpDraft+ Migrator do that, too?

    I really appreciate your help. This is all new to me and I’m learning as I go.

    ~ Lauren

    Plugin Author David Anderson


    Hi Lauren,

    You would check the box if the URL of the destination is not the same as the URL of the source site. So, it would still be checked when cloning into a subdomain. (If in doubt, always check it – the only bad thing that happens if it was not needed is that the operation is slower than it would have been).

    Yes, you need too set up the destination website (i.e. an empty WordPress install) and UpdraftPlus first.

    UD will handle the child theme.


    Hello, again, David. I have to apologize for my lack of understanding many basics here, but I wondered if you would clarify something for me. The subdomain is on the same server as the main site and has an address like: That would be an example of the destination and source site having the same URL, right?

    Part of my confusion seems to lie in thinking of cloning as copying, and migrating as moving… two different actions. Since the “Important” note from your instructions which I pasted above stressed that the process was a migration, and migrating is not what I want to do, I thought I shouldn’t be checking that box.

    When you say the only bad thing that happens would be a slower operation, I was thinking a worse thing would be if it moved the database from my site to my subdomain. I’m just trying to be as careful as possible.

    Thanks again for your attention to my concerns. ~ Lauren
    [Edited to try and remove the active link in my fake URL, but I don’t know if it worked.]

    Plugin Author David Anderson


    Hi Lauren,

    In UD’s terminology, a “restore” is when a backup is being used in the *same* WordPress install as it was created in (and hence, is at the same URL, e.g.

    A “migration” or “clone” (in UD’s terminology these are synonyms, and this is the only other kind of operation) is when a backup is being used in a different WordPress install (and hence, at a different URL… and this includes when it is at the same domain, e.g., or e.g. or

    Does that make sense?


    Hi, David ~ Thanks again. It’s really embarrassing to be doing this publicly, since I still have some wariness about using the Migrator and still need info. But, as I said above, I’m trying to be as careful as possible. I don’t want to alter or change my website in any way. I just want to create a clone of it and place THAT in the subdomain.

    It seemed that clicking the “Search and replace site location in the database” option in Step 5, would be counter-intuitive.

    I appreciate your help.

    Hello. I just noticed my thread is marked as Resolved. I continued to have issues with UpDraft+ and removed the plugin from the website. I thought that needed to be added to this thread. I appreciate the Plugin Author’s willingness to interact with me, but ended up going with Duplicator, which handled my needs without issue. Nothing against UpDraft+… it might just have been beyond my skill level.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • The topic ‘Using Clone/Migration to create duplicate site in subdomain’ is closed to new replies.