Let’s say you’re moving web host or you are setting up an exact copy of your WordPress blog for someone else and you want to clone or copy your WordPress blog to a new location. How do you do it if you don’t have a plugin?

The answer is use phpMyAdmin to dump your database, download all the files, upload them back to the new site, setup WordPress, setup a database, import the database, and adjust your configuration file. Here’s what you want to do when you’re cloning or copying a WordPress blog. Manually back it up and manually restore it.

What does a WordPress blog actually consist of? It consists of files and a database. What you do is go into your cPanel’s phpMyAdmin area. If you go into your site.com/cpanel, you will be able to find a link to phpMyAdmin. Once you’re there, find the database where WordPress is stored and there should be a tab that says “Export.” What you can do is click on “Export” and then this will save a .sql file containing your site’s database.

An easy way to even get to phpMyAdmin is to install a plugin in WordPress called phpMyAdmin. It can run as plugin and you can still get to that entire database just in case your webhost does not have a cPanel area.

You download that .sql file but that contains just the database and that’s it. You need the files as well, so connect to your site using FTP and download all the files in that blogs folder. Yes, the config file, the WP-content folder, WP-includes – all those files and folders, you should download them right now using FTP. It might take a while but wait for it all to finish.

Now you have manually backed up your WordPress blog and it’s time to go somewhere new and restore it. FTP up to your new site and what you should do first is setup a new WordPress installation here. What we have to do is go into the cPanel of your new web host, setup a WordPress database user, and grant that user permissions to that database.

In cPanel, there is a link for a mySQL setup wizard that will guide you through this process. It will ask, “What’s the new database name?” Just call it blog. “What’s the new username?” Call it blog. “What’s the new password?” Make a password and write it down. Now you have a new WordPress database that will store your files.

What you want to do with then is then go back to phpMyAdmin in you cPanel and upload this .sql file. This will restore just the database but not the files yet. What you will then want to do is FTP up those files that you had downloaded. Now you are setting up your files as well as your database.

The final step is to edit what’s called the WP-config.php file. What you’ll notice is that in that file, it is pointing to the old WordPress username, password, and database and you will have to edit this to point to the new WordPress, the new blog database you setup with the blog user and the password you wrote down.

Finally, you will have to make one single setting in your WordPress config file and add the following line of code:

define(‘RELOCATE’, true);

Adding that one single line of code to your WP config file will tell WordPress that we’re moving it to a new location.

Now all you have to do is log into your WordPress site using the same username and password that you originally had in your old site. If all went well you have successfully cloned your WordPress site without using any plugins. You use phpMyAdmin to dump the database, you downloaded all the files, you setup a new database, imported the SQL file, uploaded all the files and made the one change to the config file to point to the new database and also to relocate to a new location.

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