I want to automatically clone mother website to subdirectory, which takes too much steps now and I think there would be easier way. Here's my steps I'm doing now

Make subdirectory site (add site) > install astro theme on subdirectory > delete sample pages and post > import mother site > change few things on cloned site (name etc..)

I think there would be easier way, Would be so nice to make it automatically. If you know any way please let me know! Thanks so much

1 Answer 1


I have done this exact thing so that I can test plugin updates. I wrote a shell script (bash) to create the sub directory and copy the files. Then, I leveraged WP-CLI commands to create wp-config file, export/import the database and search and replace the site name in DB. Here is my script with specifics changed to "yoursite"


shopt -s expand_aliases
alias wp=~/bin/wp-cli.phar

wp --version


### Delete existing files in $destDir
read -p "Deleting all files in $destDir ...Continue? (y/n): " -n 1 -r
if [[ $REPLY = [yY] ]]; then
    #rm -rf "$destDir/".[!.]* "$destDir/"*
    rm -rf "$destDir"
    mkdir "$destDir"
    if [[ -z $(ls -A "$destDir") ]]; then
        echo "Destination cleaned"
        echo "Error: destination not empty"
        exit 2
    echo "Script aborted by user"
    exit 0

### Clone source files
echo "Starting clone of source files"
cp "$sourceDir/"* "$destDir"
cp "$HOME/bin/.htaccess" "$destDir"
cp -R "$sourceDir/wp-"* "$destDir"
echo "Source files transfered"

### Create wp-config.php
cd "$destDir"
rm ./wp-config.php
wp config create \
    --dbname=test_yoursite --dbuser=test_user --dbpass='yoursitePass' --dbprefix=wp_ --extra-php <<EOL
@ini_set('display_errors', 'Off');
@ini_set('log_errors', 'On');
define('WP_DEBUG', true);
define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);
define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);
define('SAVEQUERIES', false);
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '1024M');
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 10);
define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '128M');
define('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', 'minor');

### Clone DB and update site name
echo "Starting clone of Database"
cd "$destDir"
wp db export prod.sql --path="$sourceDir"
wp db reset --yes
wp db import prod.sql && rm -f prod.sql

wp option update siteurl http://test.yoursite.com
wp option update home http://test.yoursite.com
wp option update blogname 'Yoursite TEST'

echo "Searching and replacing domain name. Please wait this takes several minutes"
wp search-replace 'yoursite.com' 'test.yoursite.com' 'wp_posts'
wp rewrite flush

### Disable plugins
wp plugin deactivate w3-total-cache
wp plugin deactivate wordfence

echo "Done"
exit 0

There are also free or paid plugins such as Duplicator which can clone your site in a semi-automated fashion...possibly like you're already using.

There are also web hosting companies that include site cloning features (staging site); such as WP Engine, SiteGround and others.

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