Cloning a wordpress site


Hi there,

I have a domain hosted at Dreamhost (say, on which I run a wordpress website, and I want to have a duplicated version of this site on a subdomain in order to host the same website, but in another language (say because the other site is in Japanese).

I already created the subdomain, installed wordpress there, now I would like to clone the original website on the sub-domain, and begin translating the content little by little. (i.e. the theme files would be unchanged, the content structure would be unchanged, I just want to translate the content).

Can someone explain me an easy way to do this? (I looked for the duplicator plugin on WP, but it requires enabling zip files in PHP and I don’t know how to go further).
Would copying all the theme files be enough? (Because anyway I have to change all the content)


If you copy over the theme files, it won’t bring over your plugin and widget settings, do you’d have to re-do all of that.

What is it that you want to duplicate between the two sites? If the site isn’t super complicated, it may be easiest to just copy the theme files over, and the plugins, rebuild it, and start there


I don’t have too many plug-ins and not too many widgets, so I should be able to get away with copying just the theme and rebuilding the site from there. (Less than 50 pages / blog entries so even if it is cumbersome I should be able to replicate everything manually)

On the other hand, I tried to copy the theme files and somehow I cannot figure out why it still doesn’t work…
Original site:
Duplicated site:

You can see that the menu (at the top of the screen in the original site) doesn’t appear properly in the Japanese site.
Could it be related with the user running the php scripts and/or file permissions? Or some PHP version different between the two sites?
I connected with ssh on the new site folder, and made sure the file permissions were readable for every user of the same group (and the owner) - but should I give read/write permission for all users for the theme file?


Hmmmm - looking closely at it it seems that the new site just cannot load the CSS files…
I manage to see the CSS files in the corresponding subfolder of “” when I use the “WebFTP” of Dreamhost, or when I use a ssh directly - but when I type the file address in my browser I just cannot reach the file…
(Whereas I can see the file in the original site).

Did I upload the theme files on the wrong server? Why are those CSS files impossible to get from a web browser?


All right - I got my issue sorted. (Perhaps I shouldn’t post the solution here, but who knows - it might help someone).

Somehow when I installed wordpress on the new website, the folders created didn’t have the proper authorization mode (only executable by the file owner) - so I needed to do some chmod in order to allow execution for all users.
The magic command is: “chmod -R a+rX .” (run this in a ssh shell at your domain root directory, i.e. inside folder)


Just wanted to mention for anyone coming across this thread in the future that there actually is a really good, easy way to do this without even having to install WordPress on the subdomain - all you have to do is point the subdomain to the same location as the main site and then follow these steps:

Step 1 is to enable “multisite” or “network” capability on your existing WordPress site. This is all built in to WordPress and fairly easy to set up following the WP documentation here: You’ll want to choose the “subdomain” option, not the “subdirectory” option.

Step 2 is to install the free plugin “NS Cloner” which we built for exactly this kind of scenario from

Step 3 is to go to the NS Cloner admin page. Following the instructions there, you’ll be able to really easily create an exact, perfect clone of your existing site at the subdomain URL with just one click. You’d then have be able to go to for example and and see the EXACT same thing - content, widgets, menus, etc.

Step 4 is go to - you can now customize it and change language, images etc exactly how you need to without affecting the main site.

Pretty cool, no? Hope it saves you some time!