Backing Up Your Production WordPress Site to a Local Copy

Creating a Local Copy for Peace of Mind

I’ve been there myself. You spin up a WordPress site on a WordPress managed host and let it run. Great up until something just stops working and you can’t access your admin section. You wish that you had a local working copy of the website, and even better, a backup running elsewhere to quickly point your DNS to.

There are many ways that you can do this but I’ll show you a simple approach that gets you setup quickly. This article assumes that you have a WordPress site running somewhere and Docker running on your machine.

Setting up your Local Environment

Create a folder on your machine and cd into it with your terminal. I called it my app name. Execute the following command from within your newly created folder:

docker run -i -t -p "80:80" -v ${PWD}/app:/app -v ${PWD}/mysql:/var/lib/mysql mattrayner/lamp:latest

This sets up the Docker environment for ApacheMySqlPHP, and phpMyAdminRead more about the Docker environment here.

The command also creates the app and mysql folders. The app folder is where your WordPress is going to go into and the mysql folder keeps your database data persistent. Otherwise, each time that you close a docker connection, your data will be gone too.

Open your Docker dashboard and you’ll see your container running. Click on it and then click on the CLI button to get into your container. Just type in mysql to access your mysql server and then create your wordpress database.

# mysql
mysql> create database wordpress;

That’s it. Local Environment Setup.

Backing Up Your WordPress

My favorite tool for this is the Duplicator plugin. Install Duplicator by going to your Plugins and search for Duplicator. Activate the plugin once it’s installed.

Click on the Duplicator button in the sidebar and then click on the Create New button.

Go through the prompts to generate an Installer and an Archive. You’ll see a couple of status messages: Good and Notice. Click Yes. Continue to the Build Process if everything looks good and then click on the Build button.

Download both files.

Installing Locally

Copy the downloaded files into your app folder that was generated earlier: this includes both the installer.php file and the archived zip.

Visit . It might be or localhost/install.php on your machine. You’ll see the Duplicator installer.

The database will be your wordpress database that we created earlier. The User is root and the Password is blank. Click Validate and you’ll see that everything should pass.

Action: Empty Database
Host: localhost
Database: wordpress
User: root

Accept the terms and notices and click Next.

Wait for everything to extract.

Click on Admin Login and use your same Username and Password that you used on your Production Environment. You should see the following message.

Type in in your browser and see that your website was successfully installed locally.


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