I’ve used WP Twin for years with no problems. But as client sites have grown and the server environment has changed, I started to experience incomplete backups and server issues. I think that WP Twin has reached the end of its usefulness and therefore can no longer recommend it. I’ve since moved client sites to UpdraftPlus and have purchased the Migrator Add-On (affiliate link) for cloning and deployment.
WP Twin is an easy and affordable way to backup a WordPress website. With one click of a button, the contents of your entire site will be cloned and stored into a downloadable file.
This blog post will show you how easy it is to backup a WordPress website using WP Twin.
We will also give you some troubleshooting tips for backing up larger sites.
After you’ve purchased WP Twin (affiliate link) and downloaded it to your PC, you will have the following files:
- wptwin.php: This is the program that you’ll use to backup your site.
- wptwindeploy.php: This is the program that you’ll use to deploy or restore your site. For the purpose of this post, we will only be concerned with wptwin.php.
How to Backup a WordPress Website Using WP Twin
- First, you will need to use FTP to upload wptwin.php to your website server using cpanel or FTP. If you aren’t sure how to access your server through cpanel, I recommend FileZilla. FileZilla is a free FTP solution that you can install on your PC. If you run into problems with FTP, check out our troubleshooting guide.
- Using FTP, upload wptwin.php to the home directory of the website you wish to backup.
- Next, make sure you are logged into the WordPress admin area for that website.
- Type the URL of your website into the browser address bar and append /wptwin.php like so:http://www.yourdomain.com/wptwin.php
- The following screen will display:
- Click the “Click to Clone” button. Your backup will start.
- Once done, you will have a download link of your backed up site. This backup includes everything: files, content, and database.
- Click on the download link to save the backup to your hard drive.
- Once the download is complete, make sure you delete the clone by clicking the “Delete This Clone” button.
I recommend you keep several versions of your backups just in case!
Troubleshooting WP-Twin Backups
I’ve used WP Twin for years, but have recently run into problems getting the backups to finish. As my site has grown, the environment has also changed. For example, I’ve added an SSL certificate and put my site under CloudFlare. I also moved to a Web Hosting Manager (WHM) account.
Since making the above changes, I’ve had trouble getting WP-Twin to run successfully. I’ve been in touch with Rapid Crush support, and they’ve sent me the following requirements to get WP-Twin to run:
- Must be on the Linux hosting environment (linux hosting account).
- system() and exec() PHP functions should be allowed to run on the server
- zip, unzip, mysql, mysqldump, grep, and sed have to be available commands on the server
- The UID that scripts run under must have rights to write files. (They have a test file that can confirm the UID and the commands above)
- The mySQL database user has to have FULL rights to the database
- Curl must be enabled
Still, even following the instructions above and disabling CloudFlare and caching I cannot get the backup to run. So I’ve recently started using UpdraftPlus for my site and larger sites that timeout on the server when using WP-Twin.
If your site is large, you may run into problems cloning your site. That’s because WP Twin may time out on the server before the backup is done. This usually happens when the WordPress UPLOADS folder has lots of images and media files.
In order to work around this problem, first try to increase the max_execution_time in php.ini to 300. Make a note of the original value so you can change it back when done with your troubleshooting.
The following procedure is an advanced method for cloning your large site and restoring it to a new domain.
Backup Your Website:
- Zip up “wp_content/upload”
- Put the site under maintenance
- Disable any security plugins as they can interfere with WP Twin functionality
- Optimize the database (not required, but can shrink the database considerably)
- Move the “wp-content/upload” to another non-WordPress folder (i.e.:”public_html/temp_upload”)
- Run WP Twin
- Move the images back from “public_html/temp_upload” to “wp-content/upload”
- Reactive any security plugin that was disabled in step 3
- Put the site back to live mode
- Put the max_execution_time back to what it was
Download the Files
In the following steps, you’ll be downloading two zip files instead of
- Now download zip file from Step 1
- Download the WP Twin file in step 6.
Restoring the Files
And now that you’ve got a backup procedure in place, learn how to use WP Twin to restore your backup.
Generally, in order to restore your website, all you need to do is deploy the WP Twin backup file to your domain as explained at the above link.
However, if you followed our advanced procedure above, you’ll also need to upload the images zip file to your domain and extract the files to “wp-content/upload.”
So now you know how to backup a website using WP Twin. You also learned how to troubleshoot a large site and were given a few additional steps to help you work around any server or WP Twin limitations.
Questions? Leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help you out!
Please note that you cannot use WP Twin on local installations of WordPress. I contacted Rapid Crush support and they confirmed that WP Twin isn’t supported on Windows servers, Mac OS X, WAMP, XAMPP (or other Local environments), WP-MU or MultiSite configs. The necessary programs aren’t there.
Please note: The links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”