Part I on Free Guide to Update WordPress Safely

Step by Step Free Guide on How to Update WordPress Safely and Create a Cloned Copy of Your WordPress Site

This is the second post of Part I on free guide on how to update WordPress safely, I covered on my previous post just an introduction where I discussed when and why WordPress releases a new update and then I made a comparison between minor and major releases and finally how to upload your backup to Google drive using UpdraftPlus plugin

In my previous post, I covered the following topics

In this post, I will cover the following topics

And in the next post, I will cover the following topics

I will begin now with

Creating your WordPress backup using Duplicator plugin

Search for duplicator plugin, it should be the first one to show up on search results, click on Install Now button as shown below

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WordPress-step-1-install-duplicator-plugin

Then click on Activate button, it will take you to the Plugins screen.

WordPress step 2 activate duplicator plugin

On the plugins screen, under Duplicator click on Manage button.

WordPress step 3 click manage on duplicator plugin

Duplicator will show up the Packages screen with No Packages Found message in the middle of the screen, click on Create New button

WordPress step 4 create new package on duplicator plugin

Duplicator plugin will create the backup name as today’s date followed by underscore and your website name, on the first package you will create you want to make sure not to check Archive Only the Database option under Archive folder shown below as you want to backup files and database, on the next backup you can select this option assuming you did not update your WordPress (no new plugins or images uploaded)

WordPress-step-5-start-package-on-duplicator-plugin

On the scan screen, you just sit and wait, no action from your end.

WordPress-step-6-scan-package-on-duplicator-plugin
After the scan gets completed, click on the blue Build button.

WordPress step 7 build package on duplicator plugin

Building your package will start, again no action from your end.

WordPress step 8 finalize package on duplicator plugin

After your package gets completed, you should download 2 files, first file is called Installer (full filename is Installer.php) and the second file is a zip file which contains all the WordPress folder from your web hosting account.

You can also click on the One Click Download hyperlink but remember you have to first select Always allow pop-ups and redirects from your website as shown below, you have to click on the little icon with red dot on upper right corner.

Finally make sure to save your files under a known location as you will use it later.

WordPress-step-9-download-package-from-duplicator-plugin

Downloading and setting up DesktopServer

Now it is time to download an application on your PC or laptop called DesktopServer, just go to ServerPress website, this application will let you run WordPress on your local PC without internet connection, it comes as Premium version and a free one, I will use the free version here

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ServerPress step 1 download free version

Scroll down all the way to end of page and click on Free – Add to Cart button
ServerPress step 2 proceed to free version
This will take you to the checkout page as shown below, type your information as all fields marked with asterisks are mandatory, check the Agree to Terms checkbox and then click on the Free Download
ServerPress step 3 checkout free version
This will download a file called dsl-win-v391 as of writing this post (new versions may be released later)
ServerPress step 4 extracting dsl win v391

Double click on the Install DSL v391 to start the installation process
ServerPress step 5 running snstall dsl v391
Click on the Continue button to proceed, you may get a message like the one I got during my installation, it says something like port 80 is being used by another application or serviceServerPress step 6 continue to install

Anyway I opened Services and I suspected that the World Wide Web Publishing Service was causing this issue and I was right

Other solution is to download the cPorts application from ServerPress itself as a zip file, extract it to a folder and run the cPorts.exe, this will help you detect Port 80 used by which application
ServerPress step 7 stopping world wide web publishing service

After installation of DesktopServer gets completed, it will create a folder called C:xampplite, go to this folder to make sure that you got files there, I recommend to create an icon for DesktopServer application on your desktop.
ServerPress step 8 running desktopserver first time
Also I downloaded an add-on from ServerPress called Database-Archive, it creates files which contains all your databases and their configuration, in case you want to run it on multiple PCs or to restore it later in case of PC crash.
ServerPress step 9 extract database archive
When you extract the files, copy the inner folder which is called database-archive as it comes with MAC (_MACOSX) and Windows versions and paste it under C:\xampplite\ds-plugins, remember to make sure that the database-archive folder which you are going to copy does not contain sub-folders but only the required files only.
ServerPress step 10 copy database archive folder to xampplite ds plugins

Now run the DesktopServer exe from inside C:\xampplite or from your Desktop icon.
ServerPress step 11 click on desktopserver
DesktopServer starts with 2 options, by default Yes, Start Apache and MySQL services is selected by default, notice that the Database Archive is there, this is the one which we copied earlier to C:xamppliteds-plugins.

Note: when I did not find it for the first time I ran DesktopServer application and I realized that when I copied the folder, it was [database-archivedatabase-archiveall files] so I only copied [database-archiveall files], just pay attention to this.
ServerPress step 12 select database archive
Next step, it will notify you that Start web and database services are completed, click Next button as shown below.
ServerPress step 13 start web service done
By default, the Create a new development website is selected, click Next.
ServerPress step 14 create new development website
It will ask you for the site name, I always recommend to create the exact domain name without the extension as shown below.

Note: Blueprint is a drop down list which contains WordPress versions, you can download latest version and add it to Blueprint drop down list if you want to (DesktopServer has WordPress-4.9.6 at the time of writing this post, while WordPress was on 4.9.8 version)

Anyway to update the Blueprint, download your WordPress version (whatever, it can be before 4.9.6) and copy the zip folder to C:xamppliteblueprint, in this case you have to close DesktopServer and start it again to refresh the Blueprint drop down list
ServerPress step 15 type your sitename
When you click Create button as shown above, you will notice a list of steps taken to prepare your local copy of WordPress site then the word Done! right below, click Next button as shown below.
ServerPress step 16 preparing your website
After installation gets completed, you will see a URL as shown below, I always ignore it as I don’t want to setup my WordPress from scratch, I just want to copy my existing WordPress site to my local.
ServerPress step 17 website configuration completed
For now to verify that everything is in place, open any web browser and type localhost in the URL, you should see the page loads something similar to the screen below.

ServerPress step 18 testing localhost


To recap, I discussed above the following topics

On the next post, I will discuss Part II of the step by step free guide on how to update WordPress safely

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