“...Back up everything! You are not invulnerable. Catastrophic data loss can happen to you - one worm or Trojan is all it takes."
Kevin Mitnik is an American computer security consultant, author, and hacker, best known for his high-profile 1995 arrest and later five years in prison for various computer and communications-related crimes.
Clones Vs Backups
Imagine your website is a book. When you carry out a backup, you backup copies of the words on the page (as data files), you backup the images, but if the book is destroyed, you need to rebuild the structure that made the word files and images look pretty, appear in the right place, in the right order with all of the pages readable.
When you take a clone, you clone the complete book structure, words, images and any other functions that were built in. If the book is destroyed, the clone can be deployed and the book is back in it's original form and often in a matter of minutes.
You should take regular clones as part of your regular WordPress care and security measures, as well as before any significant changes such as moving the website to a new host.
It is possible to carry out the whole process manually but this is not for the novice, and why do all the heavy lifting when there are tools available to do it for you.
To help you we have listed some plugins here that can be used as both backup tools and to clone your website.
All-in-one WP Migration
With over 1 million installs, as some of the others do, this plugin is enjoyed by some as is evident in its 5/5 rating. As with most of the plugins on this list, besides migration, All-in-One WP Migration also offers simple site backups.
At the time of writing this plugin boasted a rating of 5/5 and over a million installs. It can be used to backup WordPress sites or to migrate, copy or clone them one location to another.
Lastly, there is the Duplicator / Cloner /Migrator plugin at the time of writing this plugin boasted a rating of 4/5 and over a 5 thousand plus installs. Like the others it can be used to backup WordPress sites or to migrate, copy or clone them one location to another.
We do not place these in any order of merit, and we do not make any recommendations for a particular one. They all have pro's and con's and you need to make a selection based on the circumstances of your WordPress website and the hosting that you have.
You need to look at the information that is available about them on the WordPress Plugin Repository, the reviews and the ratings and then make a judgement call based on those.
What we can say is that we have used them all, in different circumstances, and they have all worked as expected.
If you're not a very techie person, installing and configuring WordPress Plugins may not be your idea of a good use of your time. An easier solution is to get your site looked after by a host that includes cloning as part of their regular backup and security.
Firstly, give your existing hosting provider a call to see if they already offer cloning.
If they don't and you still want to sort it out yourself, the premium hosting service we use and recommend is WP Engine, and if you use the link we can get you a little discount off the personal plan and help you move over. If you telephone them, tell them we sent you to get our support in your migration.