I want to clone TheFlooringNinja.com to have a copy of a client-owned, heavily duct-taped legacy original to have something that is properly under my control and doesn't need a hacked-up server to function. (I have a WP directory archive and a database dump, but it doesn't even display a coherent page if I try to install it without infesting the server with large amounts of duct tape from the original remote system.)

I am presently trying to approach WP Clone, by WP Academy as a way to copy the website and have something a little more coherent as a proper WP site. (Other tool suggestions would be helpful.)

I am running into difficulties because, while SFTP is enabled and in proper working order as far as the Jessie VPS goes, an out-of-the-box WP installation does not talk SFTP (question: do plugins like SSH SFTP Updater Support work on a per-VPS or per-WP-installation basis, and will any of them enable WP Clone to use SFTP to download a site's contents?), and a VSFTP installation HOWTO ran without reported error but does not appear to have resulted in Wordpress recognizing that it can connect to. From the development server at //flooring.ninja/wp-admin/admin.php?page=wp-clone&_wpnonce=[deleted]:

ERROR: There was an error connecting to the server, Please verify the settings are correct.
Connection Information

To perform the requested action, WordPress needs to access your web server. Please enter your FTP credentials to proceed. If you do not remember your credentials, you should contact your web host.

FTP Username 
FTP Password 
This password will not be stored on the server.
Connection Type
  FTP     FTPS (SSL)

I was trying to connect via FTPS, but I have not been able to get it to be recognized. I think that after the above VSFTP HOWTO (©2009) I do not have a working and enabled FTP installation, with VSFTP or otherwise. A trial telnet localhost ftp got a Connection refused error. More details on FTPS and VSFTP are on my ServerFault question.

Two questions, or aspects of the same question:

1: What, if anything, should I be doing differently as far as getting a sane copy of the website under Wordpress control, and my particular choice of tools?

2: What, if anything, should I be doing differently so that the tools I am using are working without plaintext transmission of any credentials?


  • Please note, third-party plugin support questions are generally off topic. The only reason your question can't be close voted for that reason is that you're having a active bounty on it. Good luck with solving your problem though. Dec 30, 2016 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


Forget the tools, as you're experiencing you don't gain much by using them. Especially because moving WordPress isn't really that hard to do, for starters take a look at the WordPress Codex article: »Moving WordPress«. Anything else or the details to that article you need to know are documented on here or on the net.

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