We've got a new Multisite plugin for ya… Cloner!

Heya Y’All,

New release time :slight_smile: We’ve got an awesome new plugin for you, Cloner:

https://premium.wpmudev.org/project/cloner/

Does what it says on the tin, allows you to clone sites on Multisite, giving you a staging / testing / deployment environment out of the box… yay!

Comes from lots of work and requests through CampusPress, we hope you like it!

Cheers, James

  • James Farmer
    • CEO (of WPMU DEV, honest)

    While I wouldn’t class myself as an expert on this I would say that yes, you could do that, here are some useful links:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/import-export-wordpress-sites-multisite/

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/migrating-multiple-blogs-into-wordpress-multisite/

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-multisite-guide/

    HOWEVER, if I was doing my own single site updates, if it was only for design I’d use theme tester:

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/theme-tester/

    And if it was for content and design (i.e. a complete workover) I’d probably recreate the site on another server or localhost, work on it by editing my hosts record http://www.bowerwebsolutions.com/wp/2012/how-to-edit-your-local-host-file-for-testing-web-sites/ and then replace the old site with the new one.

    Of course this isn’t really possible (well, it is, but it’s an almighty pain) for Multisite admins, especially at http://www.campuspress.com/, so this plugin solves it for them :slight_smile:

    So in short, possible, yes, desirable, probably not!

    Cheers, James

  • Karen
    • WordPress Warrior

    James

    Thanks for that.

    It isn’t for a design or a major makeover.

    It is for when I want to try a new plug in (eg the e-courses one I just bought that crashed my site for over a week and is slowly getting sorted).

    I want to avoid that pain by trialling things on my site – a copy of it – to see the impact so it isn’t happening to my live site.

    I am happy to convert to a Multi site (a) if that is possible (b) I still have the features of my current site eg Buddypress and (c) it allows me to clone my site and test the plugin uploads separately.

    Hope that clarifies.

    Karen

  • Ignacio
    • HummingBird

    Hi there @karen.

    The problem is that if you use Multisite I guess you’ll want your main site as your real website and a subsite as your test site. Well, that’s a little problem because Cloner has one limitation (at least for the moment): You cannot clone from/to the main site. I have worked in other plugins that make similar things to Cloner nad cloning to/from the main site is always a pain.

    However, Cloner code is different so I’m going to make some tests with the main site and see what could happen and what problems could we see.

    Regards.

    Ignacio.

  • Denis Lam
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Does this plugin essentially do what New Blog Templates do… the difference being you can clone an existing site when you want to, whereas New Blog Templates clones an existing site only during new site creation?

    Also, how would this plugin be different from Multisite Content Copier plugin?

  • Jouni Salo
    • Flash Drive

    Here’s a suggestion for further development: Clone sites across different multiste installations. I’ve needed to do this and made use of copying options, usermeta and such over xml-rpc. It seems workable as long as the themes and plugins are available on both multisites.

    It’d be great if I could just install Clone on both multisite installs, tap in a password for the remote access and browse a list of blogs on the source multisite, press a button and have those sites created on the target multisite :smiley:.

  • Eugene
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Hi all!

    Tell me pls what are the differences between Cloner, New Blog Templates and Multisite Content Copier??

    It seems to me that they all have same functions – so why 3 different plugins? What for?

    P.S.- Just want to understand better how to use :slight_smile:

  • Ignacio
    • HummingBird

    Hi all.

    NBT, Cloner and Multisite Content Copier, though they share many points in common, their purpose is different:

    – NBT: Allows user to select a template in the signup. It also includes more levels of granularity than Cloner. 3.0 version will bring some improvements, will be more extensible and will share parts of the Cloner code. But even with that, NBT has other purpose, it’s just to give the users something to start with, it should not be used to clone entire subsites.

    – Multisite Content Copier: Want to clone only one post? One page? Several pages? This is your plugin. It won’t mess up with settings, just posts, pages, Custom Post Types, plugins and Users. You can select just one, several or all of them.

    – Cloner: This plugin is designed for Super Admins. It just clone entire sites and has a low level of granularity in options. It’s a very simple plugin but very powerful. Of course, many themes and plugins have their own particularities so sometimes will need some extra code, however we have put a big effort on making it VERY extensible, with a very well documented code and easy to read. Everything should be easy to clone with a few extra lines. I will be including those pieces of code in the plugin for the most famous themes/plugins.

    NBT and MCC will take some parts of the code from Cloner, as this is the most powerful “copier” plugin that we have right now and the code is almost totally based in WordPress native functions instead of queries. But even with that, all of them are different. It’s just that they will share the way things are copied.

    Regards.

    Ignacio.

  • James Farmer
    • CEO (of WPMU DEV, honest)

    Hey Jouni (and Ignacio),

    I think this is more the territory of Import / Export stuff… and probably pretty low on the list of most peoples requirements.

    However, if we see a lot of requests for this we’ll consider it… but I have other plans for Ignacio shortly [insert evil cackle here :wink:] so we’ll need to see demand.

  • wp.network
    • The Bug Hunter

    Thanks WPMUDev!

    This is a useful plugin to have in the family. I am looking forward to seeing how Cloner supports some of network quirks, have high hopes. :slight_smile:

    (I’m also really, really on the edge of my seat about fixing Domain Mapping/Multi-Domains support for using HTTPS for admin)

    Thanks again @james Farmer and all y’all @wpmudev for your work; Incsub indeed. The more I work with WPMS, the more I see the value you’re bringing to the table, and I’m thankful to be a part of this all.

    Kind Regards & Aloha,

    Max

  • be
    • WP Core Meltdown

    @eugene

    Just chiming in here, we use “snapshot” to move sites both single stand alone and multisite – or site in a multisite – move to and from domain names, transfer and test environments,,

    It is great. Has a few quirks at times with timeouts but you can work around..

    Cloner is for working “within” a particular multisite domain…

  • Tyler Postle
    • CGO

    @eugene,

    As @be kindly mentioned(thanks!), you shouldn’t have any issues going from single site to multisite with Snapshot :slight_smile:

    Any plugins that you don’t have on your multisite, you can simply deactivate/remove from the single site before taking the snapshot and uploading it.

    If you do run into any issues with plugins when you restore the snapshot onto your multisite then you can find out which one caused it and resolve the issue or remove the plugin, take another snapshot then restore it again.

    It’s a safe method because your single site will remain unaffected during the process in-case you need to re-do the snapshot :slight_smile:

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers,

    Tyler

  • Eugene
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Ok, thank you!

    But Snapshot seems to be for super-admins only. But what method can I offer my WP-net users (single sub-site admins) to migrate from single WP into my WP-net?

    May be you have some good article in your blog?

  • Jack Kitterhing
    • Code Norris

    Hi there @eugene,

    Hope you’re having a great weekend! :slight_smile:

    We have a couple of great guides here on moving a single site install of WordPress into a Multisite sub site.

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/migrating-multiple-blogs-into-wordpress-multisite/

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/import-export-wordpress-sites-multisite/

    And as that focuses on the standard WordPress exporter and importer, your sub site admin’s can do that themselves, without needing the super admin. :slight_smile:

    Thanks!

    Kind Regards

    Jack.

  • Dean Kaus
    • The Bug Hunter

    Would like to clarify a couple scenarios.

    Client A currently is on another hosting company. I need to move that clients existing site over to my hosting company. I need an exact copy as I will be making some changes and updates to content, logo and possibly color however the layout will remain mostly the same. I plan to leave the name servers pointed to the old hosting until I get his site on my server working properly and have the changes made.

    So in this case Snapshot would be the best way to go?

    Does Snapshot copy all of the file, installed plugins, Database etc… the the new location? Also does snapshot resolve the file paths correctly?

    Another client is thinking of multisite so he can have off shoots from his main company. In this case for example if he sets up a basic main page so his potential clients can register or sign up for newsletter etc… Then while he is designing the updated main site as a subsite (not yet made public) then the Cloner would be the better option when he is ready to go live with the entire site (designed in a subsite for development) to copy the Subsite and replace the main site with this subsite?

    I hope I’m being clear with my questions.

    Thanks in Advance

  • Jack Kitterhing
    • Code Norris

    Hi there @dean Kaus,

    Hope you’re well today and thanks for your questions! :slight_smile:

    Client A currently is on another hosting company. I need to move that clients existing site over to my hosting company. I need an exact copy as I will be making some changes and updates to content, logo and possibly color however the layout will remain mostly the same. I plan to leave the name servers pointed to the old hosting until I get his site on my server working properly and have the changes made.

    So in this case Snapshot would be the best way to go?

    Does Snapshot copy all of the file, installed plugins, Database etc… the the new location? Also does snapshot resolve the file paths correctly?

    Snapshot would be the best way to go, to migrate a site from one server/domain to another, it will backup, all media, plugins, themes and database tables.

    One thing that’s worth noting is, WordPress must already be setup and configured on the site you are migrating to. :slight_smile:

    Another client is thinking of multisite so he can have off shoots from his main company. In this case for example if he sets up a basic main page so his potential clients can register or sign up for newsletter etc… Then while he is designing the updated main site as a subsite (not yet made public) then the Cloner would be the better option when he is ready to go live with the entire site (designed in a subsite for development) to copy the Subsite and replace the main site with this subsite?

    I don’t believe Cloner would work for you there, as you can’t clone a main site and you can’t replace a main site using cloner, it must be a sub site.

    This is because if the blog ID is 1, we could be copying not only the blog tables, but also network tables, if we do that, because the prefix for the network tables are the same as the main blog, which is why this wasn’t included, as it could cause issues.

    So you could make a sub site and clone that sub site and replace the sub sites, just not the main site. :slight_smile:

    If you have any further questions, or if we can be of any assistance please don’t hesitate to ask!

    Kind Regards

    Jack.

  • Fullworks
    • The Bug Hunter

    Client A currently is on another hosting company. I need to move that clients existing site over to my hosting company. I need an exact copy as I will be making some changes and updates to content, logo and possibly color however the layout will remain mostly the same. I plan to leave the name servers pointed to the old hosting until I get his site on my server working properly and have the changes made.

    WordPress to WordPress without multisite? I wouldn’t use SnapShot, I would either just use a Cpanel backup / restore if on a decent host with access or use the XCloner plugin if not. I would therefore clone exactly everything, then I woudl set the local host file on my PC to point to the new host whilst tidying up.

    But WordPress multi-site to single site or vica versa I would use snapshot

    Another client is thinking of multisite so he can have off shoots from his main company. In this case for example if he sets up a basic main page so his potential clients can register or sign up for newsletter etc… Then while he is designing the updated main site as a subsite (not yet made public) then the Cloner would be the better option when he is ready to go live with the entire site (designed in a subsite for development) to copy the Subsite and replace the main site with this subsite?

    For the reasons stated above, and the benefit of hindsight having decided to change my main site domain name. I wouldn’t ever put a ‘live’ site as the main site.

    I would create the Multisite on some fictitious domain name, e.g. myrandomsite1234.com and stick the IP in my local hosts, then I create a subsite (as the main site) and would domain map that (e.g. myrealsite.com), and then I would never have to access myrandomsite1234.com as I can log in as super user via myrealsite.com/wp-admin

    Then you are free to change the domain mapping, clone and do other ‘stuff’ like delete and re-add to myrealsite.com (hope that make sense)

  • antKat
    • HummingBird

    I just tried the Cloner plugin on multisite. Although I had all items selected to copy in settings – I am using a custom post type plugin called custom post widget that did not copy over. Note, I also use NBT for creating sites and the custom post types are copying over with it – just not in Cloner

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