Step by Step Free Guide on How to Update WordPress Safely and Create a Cloned Copy of Your WordPress Site
This is the third and last post of Part II on free guide on how to update WordPress safely, I covered on my 2 previous posts on the introduction post WordPress releases and the difference between minor and major releases then how to upload your WordPress backup to Google drive with the help of UpdraftPlus plugin then on Part I I covered how to use Duplicator plugin to create a deployment package for your WordPress site and then downloading and installing DesktopServer
You can read again in my Introduction post the following topics
- Introduction to WordPress updates
- Minor release vs Major release
- Upload your backup to Google drive using UpdraftPlus plugin (optional, I always do it)
In Part I the following topics
And in this post, I will cover the following topics
- Cloning an exact copy of your WordPress website to your local PC
- Installing the new WordPress core, plugins and themes updates on your local PC
- Testing and applying the new WordPress core, plugins and themes updates on your WordPress site (assuming everything went well and no issues were found on your local cloned WordPress copy running on your PC)
Cloning an exact copy of your WordPress website to your local PC
Now before I start, I will delete all the files installed under my local WordPress site which was created by DesktopserverWe've had cloning in the South for years. It's called cousins. (Robin Williams) Click To Tweet
Why I am doing this, simply because the Duplicator plugin created a complete package of my WordPress website and it contains all the files required to get a cloned copy of my hosted WordPress so I don’t really care about the new blank WordPress site
So first, I will start by getting the local path of my new blank WordPress site, I searched under C:Usersmy_profileDocumentsWebsitename_of_website.dev.cc where my_profile is the name of the Windows’ user, in Mac OS I think it is under Documents folder, then I will delete all files under name_of_website.dev.cc, now I will copy the Installer.php and the zip file which I downloaded earlier from Duplicator plugin to my local WordPress site folder.
Now open any web browser and type the following URL name_of_website.dev.cc/Installer.php in my case, I went to DoYourBlogWithMe.dev.cc/Installer.php and press Enter (Return in Mac)
The screen above and below is one long screen listing all the prerequisites before you start the cloning process, click Next button as shown below.
Duplicator will start running the deployment process and it extracts the zip file into the local copy of your WordPress folder.
After extraction gets completed, Duplicator will display the local copy of database, it is not created yet as Duplicator is not responsible for creating databases, it has to exist to it can copy only your web hosted WordPress database to the local MySQL database.
In order to create a local copy of MySQL database, open any web browser and type localhost, it will load all the current DesktopServer websites (remember you are only allowed 3 websites with the Free copy of DesktopServer), click on Database button.
This will load a local copy of phpMyAdmin with Username = root and password is blank, click Go button.
Now phpMyAdmin starts with all local databases, I suggest to use the existing one which was created earlier by DesktopServer, select this database on the left by just clicking on it, click on Privileges menu as shown below then click on Add user account.
Type the new user name and select all privileges and then hit Go as shown below.
Now click on operations to rename database to something easy to remember and click on Go.
Now I will switch back to the Duplicator screen and type the database name, username and password then click on Test Database button, I can click on Yes button to start the update data process.
Duplicator on this step it will display the URL, Path and Title (I believe Title was picked up from Duplicator original database), click on Next button as shown below.
Duplicator will start updating the database by copying all records to the local MySQL database which I specified on the steps above.
Duplicator completes with a screen showing Site Login or Show Report, click on Site Login button as shown below
Congratulations, you now have an exact copy of your web hosted WordPress site for you to test and play around.
Installing the new WordPress core, plugins and themes updates on your local PC
Now you are running your WordPress site on your local but how can you update your local copy of WordPress with plugins, themes and cores (updates to WordPress itself)
First, you need to know that all plugins, themes and cores exist as a zip file although you install them from inside WordPress dashboard but you can still get a copy of the zip file and download it on your local PC
For plugins, click on More Details link under the plugin (Image 1) as it will load the plugin details with the location of the file on WordPress.org (Image 2) and you will be able to click on Download button (Image 3)
For themes, go to Appearance menu and click on themes, on the Themes page click on button, this will load the Add Themes screen, take a note of the theme name which you want to download then go to WordPress.org and type the theme name in the search section on top of the screen, this will display the link to this particular theme, click on the link (in my scenario, Viable Blog) and it will load the Viable blog theme page on WordPress.org with the Download button to the right.
For WordPress cores, go to https://wordpress.org/news/category/releases/ to find your WordPress release.
Testing and applying the new WordPress core, plugins and themes updates on your WordPress siteThe one size fits all approach of standardized testing is convenient but lazy. (James Dyson) Click To Tweet
This topic can be a separate post by itself, I am planning to do that but for now I want you to pick my brain on this
I will display below a simple concept which you can take it from there and work on that but If you are testing for minor releases then don’t put much effort.
Now for major releases, create an excel sheet as shown below with row A2 going all the way down to row An as list of items to test, you can add to this list going forward when new things pops up and column B to column n as list of different browsers.
To recap, this is the last post of series free guide on how to update WordPress safely as I covered
- Cloning an exact copy of your WordPress website to your local PC where I covered how to clone your WordPress site using the Installer.php and the zip file extracted by Duplicator plugin
- Installing the new WordPress, plugins and themes updates on your local PC and where to find the downloadable zip files for plugins, themes and WordPress updates (releases)
- Testing and applying the new WordPress, plugins and themes updates on your WordPress site here I scratched only the surface and you have to work seriously to gain experience on confirming that the new WordPress updates (assuming it is major release) passed your testing before taking the decision to update your live WordPress site.
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