This page covers the procedures for making a clone with the Duplicator Pro plugin. This assumes that the Duplicator Pro plugin has been installed in the standard way. The Duplicator Pro documentation is quite extensive, so on this page we will only cover a brief overview and some advice that we have gained from testing out different approaches using Duplicator Pro.
Our purpose in using Duplicator Pro is to provide a relatively simple approach to making a clone of our website. The Duplicator Pro plugin accomplishes this by creating one or more compressed files using the Zip format by default. The compressed file contains the files and the database that are used in the website. Duplicator Pro also creates an installer file to accompany each of the compressed files. We can then copy the compressed file(s) and installer file(s) to an appropriate location. When we run the appropriate installer file(s), then a clone of our original website is created at our new location. For our testing, this new location was a directory folder on another server that had already been set up to use a different domain. An example would be that we began with our website at https://mysite.com and we ended up with a clone of mysite.com at the new URL of https://mysite-cloned.com.
To create the compressed file(s) and the installer file(s), Duplicator Pro has a 3 step process. The first step lets you determine which files and which database table data will be included in the compressed file. The second step is a review step that shows the sizes of files and database tables. You can use that size information to refine whatever is put into the compressed file. The third step then creates the compressed files and installation files. An excellent feature of this plugin is that you can create multiple compressed file/installation file combinations, each with different content. You can then use those separate installations to build the clone site piece by piece. This is especially useful for relatively larger sites. It allows you to make the compressed files smaller and more manageable.
One approach that we tried was to separate the database installation step from the installation step for the files in the website. The size of all of the files in our case was 1.77 GB, which produced a compressed file size of 1.5 GB. The size of the database uncompressed was 298 MB which produced a compressed file size of 15.5 MB. Of course these values depend on which plugins you have installed, what types of files you are storing and how many of the files of each type that you have. This is just for illustration purposes. In this case, the content and website seemed to install correctly, but we lost the functionality of the soil sensing map. The soil sensing map was an output map of the Directories Pro plugin that shows all of the sample locations that have locations associate with them. That numbers currently over 1400 sample points.
As a point of reference, our site with about 1600 data points created a zip file from Duplicator Pro of about 215 MB.