How To Copy Someone Else’s WordPress Website Design? 

WordPress website design

Cloning or copying means making a duplicate of a WordPress website design and applying it to another site. Sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you need to make a duplicate a web design and tweak it to make it your own afterwards. 

Copying an entire WordPress theme is not easy. You may need to have knowledge of various programs including CSS, XHTML and programming. Your computer should have Firefox and a plugin known as Firebug.

To copy a WordPress website, you can use a duplicator. A duplicator enables you to create copies of WordPress websites and set them up on another WordPress site. Regardless of the type of plugin, you have chosen for your cloning, remember that the process is risky and the original site should have a backup.


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Here are steps to easily clone a WordPress website design:

First Step: Using the Duplicator Plugin to Clone WordPress

The WordPress duplicator plugin is a powerful plugin for WordPress migration and backup. It is designed for both professionals and beginners and is effective compared to other plugins. It is versatile, and you may not need to have a second WordPress installation to make things work.

First, you will install and activate the duplicator plugin, which works outside the box. You do not have to configure any settings to use the plugin.

Second Step: Using the Duplicator to Create a WordPress Backup

The duplicator will let you clone the WordPress site, create a backup, and unpack it on the new location.

This will be done by creating a WordPress backup package. To create the package, you will visit the packages page and create a new one.


A duplicator package contains a pair of files that will help you set up a copy of your website on new servers using a standalone installer. The plugin will allow you to create many packages by entering a name for each for purposes of identification. The duplicator package can be downloaded on your computer just like any other file.


Giving Your Package a Name

This is when the duplicator wizard will begin and give you steps as check the ‘next’ boxes until the end of the process. The duplicator will then scan the website to ascertain that everything is in order before running the plugin.

The plugin will inform you of any issues with your settings. It may give you one or two pop-up warnings depending on the size of your site and your web host. When this happens, check the Yes button and continue with the build process.

Building Your Duplicator Package

When everything is set up correctly,  go-ahead and click on the ‘Build’ button and continue with the process. The duplicator will back up your WordPress templates, database, images, plugins and every other file in one package which is downloadable.

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Every WordPress website design requires a corresponding database where it can store information, and so does your clone. If you are using a regular web host, your cPanel has options for several databases. Look for one that reads MySQL Databases. Here is a guide to help you out.

The MySQL Databases

The MySQL databases allow you to create a new database with a name. You can pick a name related to your new website.

Creating a Database

To create a new database, scroll down to the Add New User Section. Pick your user name and password and confirm your choices. Then head to ‘Add user to the Database’, find the user you have created and select your new database.

Adding the New User to your Database

The duplicator will ask you to confirm the privileges to accord your new user. Tick the ‘All privileges’ option to grant you full access then save your user information and the name of your database.

Third Step: Ready to Clone Your WordPress Site

After the backup process has ended, the duplicator will ask you to download the files. It will show a link for downloading the archive that contains an installer script and all the backup files.

To download the two files to your computer, you will click on the link button labelled ‘One-click Download’.


The two files are essential because they will help you clone your WordPress site correctly on your new location.

Fourth Step: Now you can Upload Your Archive and Installer to Your New Location

You already have a complete backup of the Duplicator installer file and the site; now you can upload them to the new location.

Your new location can be a site on your local server or a live website. It is easy to upload the files on a site on your local server. All you need is to copy-paste them in a subfolder under the www folder or htdocs. The www folder will read like this: C:\wamp\www\mynewsite\.


For a live site, you will have to upload the files to a root directory using an FTP client.

Wherever you choose to copy the files, make sure the folder is empty with no folders or other files except your backup zip file and the installer.php file.


Fifth Step: This Is When You Will Run Your Import Script

With your files perfectly in place, you can now run the Duplicator installer script.

Open your website in a new web browser and include the installer.php at the end of the URL like this:


Remember to replace with your localhost address of the new site or your domain name.

The duplicator installer script will then pop-up on your screen and automatically start looking for the basic configuration settings as well as the backup files. If it shows that everything is good, then you can go ahead and check the terms and conditions checkbox. Click on the next button to continue running the installer script.

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The next screen will show the duplicator asking you to enter the database details. This is the database you will be using for the new copied WordPress site.

Remember to verify the database information you entered by clicking on the ‘Test Database’ button.

After verifying, click the next button to allow the duplicator to run the importation.

The duplicator will import all your files and database. Then you will be asked to update the settings for your new site.

WordPress website design

The plugin will then detect the new changes automatically and fill in the URL, title fields and paths for you. All you will do is click on the next button to continue.

After completing the installation, a pop-up window will show up with an ‘Admin login’ button afterwards. Click on the button to go to your new copied site’s WordPress administration area.

Sixth Step: Testing of Your Copied Site

This is where you get to test your copied WordPress website design. It is recommended that you test both the front end and admin area of your website to ascertain that all the data is intact and the website is working properly as intended.

If you encounter any issues during the process, there are guides on how to fix the most common WordPress errors.

Seventh and Last Step: Remove all the Temporary Files

Once you have verified that everything has been imported correctly, you should delete all the installation files that were created by the Duplicator plugin as shown.

On your new WordPress site, head to the duplicator – Tools Page and click on remove installation files and they will be deleted successfully.


This will be the last process of successfully copying your WordPress site.


Copying someone else’s website is not difficult. There are several steps involved in cloning, but the duplicator seems to simplify the process. Copying WordPress website design requires knowledge in HTML and WordPress coding and the WordPress functions that are used in the original website’s theme.

Other ways can also be used to clone a WordPress site, such as doing it manually. This particular procedure does not require WordPress admin access, although it will not be beneficial unless you are handling a large website. The method above is easy and comprehensive.

Get in touch with us today for stellar website design services in Singapore. 

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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