April 25, 2014

Website Backups and Cloning

You can clone or backup your site in many different ways.

I’ll break it down into 2 big parts:

  • For backing up
  • For use to deploy similar sites

Let’s start with the first one.

  1. As soon as I set up a new site, I back it up. It’s not entirely necessary, but it’s a good habit to get into. Then I go about getting my theme and plugins installed and configuring the settings (stuff that’s gone over in the videos).
  2. Once I’m happy with the site (remember, there’s no content–in fact, I delete the sample page and post that WP puts there by default), I back it up and save a copy on my hard drive (you can also store it anywhere in the cloud–just do not rely on the backup that’s on your server at your webhost–if your webhost crashes, you lose your backup, too).
  3. Then, depending on the frequency at which I add content, I make periodic backups. For example, if I post every day, I’ll make a backup every day. I don’t want to have t recreate that content in case something goes haywire.

Make sense?

Now on to cloning.

It’s very similar to backing up with a few twists. Here’s how I do it. I do the first two steps above. I have a few themes and quite a few plugins that I install on every site I build, so I include those in the “installation.” Meaning–I will wind up cloning 3 or 4 themes along with about 20 plugins.

If a particular website you are building does not need all of the plugins or you know exactly which theme you are going to build, then after deployment, you can simply deactivate and delete.

Once cloned, I can easily deploy a new clone in mere minutes, at the same webhost or elsewhere. When you clone using WP Twin, everything gets copied. When you deploy a clone, however, the site title and tagline don’t deploy.

So before you deploy a clone, you have to install WP. You do the normal Fantastico or Simple Scripts setup (give an administrator username and password and site name and description) and then you deploy the clone.

The username and password from the clone get deployed (meaning your username and password get overwritten with the ones from the clone). The site name and description for your new site remain.

Now, once you have everything the way you want it on your newly deployed site, back it up!

I hope that makes sense and clarifies a few things for you.