How to Restore/ Migrate WordPress with Duplicator Plugin

Restoring a backup built with Duplicator Plugin is extremely fast. But there are some steps involved before the Backup is Restored which all take less than 5 minutes. We have a separate article on How to Backup WordPress with Duplicator Plugin. Before you start let me inform you that, restoring backup needs access to your hosting account. You may have to create a new database in case you don’t remember the credentials.

The beauty of the Duplicator Plugin is that it allows you to Restore Backup on a Completly Different Domain, it automagically changes all URLs in the process.

Here are all the steps involved. Duplicator is Free for sites under 500MB. If your site is larger than 500MB, you need to buy the Pro version or follow the method mentioned in the Previous Article.

This guide is only for Migration and Reinstallation on WordPress. Yan can also read our Guide on How to Backup WordPress with Duplicator Plugin.

Getting Files Ready

You should be able to Login to your Hosting Account, in order to upload backup files. Files can also be uploaded through FTP, however, you still need to login to your control panel for the second step.

If you already have backup files inside of WordPress, you need not upload files back again. That would be waste of time.

Warning: While Reinstalling, you will lose the old .htaccess file and the Rules you added inside it. Always have a Backup of the Rules you have added to .htaccess. After Migration/ Reinstallation you will be able to add them back to the new file.

Once you are in the File Manager, go to the corresponding account of the website folder (Home Directory) which needs to be restored. Open the ‘public_html‘ folder.

Now, I assume you can see the ‘wp-snapshots‘ folder. Except that folder, delete everything else.

If you can’t see the ‘wp-snapshots‘ folder, open the ‘wp-content‘ folder. You can see a folder named ‘backups-dup-lite‘. Now move that folder to the home directory and delete everything else. This will hardly take less than a minute.

Now inside the ‘wp-snapshots‘ folder, there will be multiple files. Sort the folder contents according to the date created. Decide which backup files you want to restore. There can be up to 4 files on the same date with extensions .daf, .php, .json and .sql. We just need two.

Move the files with extensions ‘.daf‘ and ‘.php‘ back to the public_html folder and delete everything else. There should only be 2 files inside the ‘public_html’ folder.

For some reason, you don’t have backup files inside of WP, maybe your old Hosting Account is not accessible or it might have been hacked. No worries, just upload the backup files to the home directory from your PC.

Creating New Database

This is not necessary if you already know the ‘Database Password’ and ‘Database UserName’ of your Previous WordPress Installation. What we recommend is to create a new database itself. Well, the plugin also creates a Database by itself, but we still recommend the manual procedure, which hardly takes less than 2 minutes depending on your experience to create a new database.

Once you create a new database, you will have 3 things ready. Database Name, Database Username, and Database Password. Keep it ready in a text file on your PC. Always keep the password strong. You need not remember it though.

Always remember that when you delete contents inside the ‘public_html’ folder, if people access your website, they can see the files that you uploaded. Anyone can download and utilize it for their benefit. Hence encrypt the Archive File with a password (We have mentioned it in the previous article). Even if the file is downloaded, in order to access it, they need to have the password.

There is a unique way to protect your backup files while restoring. If you have utilized Cloudflare for your domain, within 1 minute, you can completely hide your website from everyone else using a firewall rule. For information, read this article on Blocking your website for others except yourself.

Restoring Backup

Now open your website in the front end. You will see two files in the directory. Click on the PHP file. An installer will be executed. If you had entered a password while creating Backup (Which I recommend) you need to enter it in this step.

Encrypted Backup File in Duplicator WordPress

Once the Correct Password is entered, the Extraction process will start. The speed of the extraction process is purely dependant on your Hosting Performance. In cheaper hostings, extraction can take up to 10 minutes for a site size of 50MB. In cloud hosting, extraction for a 500MB site will complete in just 5 seconds. Note the difference.

Extracting Backup Files Duplicator

Once the Extraction has been completed, you are asked to connect to Database. You already have credentials ready as explained in the second step.

Entering Database Information while Migrating

Enter the right information, or else you cannot proceed. Then it will take you to the next screen where you are Free to change the Site URL. You can also add a new Admin account in case you have forgotten the previous credentials. If you forget this admin account step, no worries, you can change the password in the MySQL database tables by accessing the hosting control panel.

Changing URL and Site Name Duplicator Migration


The installer will then start processing data replacement, it will complete in 2 seconds. Now you will be prompted to login to your WordPress. Once you login you should see the below screen with a success message that the installer files have been removed.

Successful Migration in Duplicator Plugin

For some reason, maybe HTTPS issue or due to any installed Plugins, if you are not able to Admin Login to your WordPress dashboard, follow the basic troubleshooting steps.

Later when you login back, remove the installer files by visiting the Duplicator Panel. OR, you can manually delete them over FTP/ Hosting account.

If you face any problems, let us know in the comments. Replies may not be quick but will respond. If this tutorial was helpful, let us know to get ourselves motivated. Share and Support us.

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