Cloning A Website: Steps To Find Correct Installation Path

Cloning a website is a common practice for creating backups, staging environments, or moving a site to a new location. When undertaking this process, locating the correct installation path is crucial to ensure a seamless transition. Let’s explore the steps to find the correct installation path when cloning a website.

Identify the Root Directory

The root directory, often referred to as the public_html folder, is the main folder where your website’s files are stored. When cloning a website, identify the root directory of both the source (original) and destination (cloned) sites. This is typically where the core files like index.php and wp-config.php reside.

Check Subdirectory Structure

If your website is installed in a subdirectory rather than the root, make note of the subdirectory structure. For example, if your original site is “” and is installed in a subdirectory named “blog,” the path would be “”

Review Domain Configuration

If you’re cloning a website to a new domain, consider the domain configuration. Ensure that the cloned site is set up with the correct domain name in the WordPress settings. This can be adjusted in the WordPress dashboard under Settings > General.

Verify Database Connection Details

Database connection details are crucial for the proper functioning of your WordPress site. Check the wp-config.php file in both the source and cloned sites to confirm that the database name, username, password, and host are correctly configured for the cloned environment.

Read: Steps To Achieving Successful WordPress Website Development

Update Site URL in WordPress Settings

Within the WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings > General. Ensure that the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) reflect the correct path for the cloned website. If the site is moving from a subdirectory to the root or vice versa, update these URLs accordingly.

Adjust Permalinks Structure

If your original site uses a custom permalink structure, replicate the same structure in the cloned site. This is important for maintaining consistent URL formats and ensuring that links within your content remain functional.

Clear Cache and Refresh Permalinks

After making changes, clear any caching mechanisms on your website, including caching plugins and server-side caches. Additionally, navigate to Settings > Permalinks in the WordPress dashboard and click “Save Changes” to refresh the permalinks structure.

Update Media URLs in the Database

If your WordPress site includes media files (images, videos, etc.), you may need to update the media URLs in the database. Use a search-and-replace tool or a plugin to replace old URLs with the new ones, ensuring that media files display correctly on the cloned site.

Check for Hard-Coded Paths in Theme and Plugins

Inspect your theme and plugins for hard-coded paths that may reference the original installation path. If found, update these paths to match the new installation path. This is crucial for ensuring that theme styles, scripts, and plugin functionalities work seamlessly on the cloned site.

Test Functionality and Links

Thoroughly test the functionality of your cloned website. Check links, forms, navigation, and any interactive elements to ensure everything works as intended. Pay special attention to dynamic elements that may rely on specific paths.

Learn: WordPress Deployment Best Practices Guide

Conclusion: Smooth Sailing Through the Cloning Process

Cloning a website can be a complex task, but by diligently verifying and updating installation paths, you pave the way for a smooth transition. Whether you’re creating backups, staging environments, or migrating to a new location, attention to detail in identifying the correct installation path is key to a successful cloning process.

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