Adding a Second WordPress Installation

in WordPress Tutorials

Have you ever wanted to add second WordPress blog to the same server or hosting account? Whether you want a second WordPress installation for a whole new site, testing code or for checking out a new web developer, the methods described in this tutorial will show you how to install a clone of your WordPress blog or website. It is always nice to have a clone of your WordPress installation to turn a new coder lose on just in case they do harm to your site and are not as good as you had hoped. It can be a great security measure. Of course it can also be a great way to put up a whole new WordPress blog as well. No matter what the reason for wanting multiple installations of WordPress on a single server, this tutorial will help you understand how to do just that.

Manually Copying Content

One way to make a copy of some WordPress blogs is to simply install a fresh copy of WordPress and copy content from one blog to the other. This can be done by going to each post or page one at a time and using the edit feature. Go to the HTML view and copy the HTML code then paste it into the HTML view of the other blog while creating a new post or page. Easy as pie! However, this method is only practical if you only have half a dozen posts or less. Also, if you have a customized blog with many plugins and custom theme work, this method is probably out of the questions. I only mentioned this option for cases where someone might have a simple theme and installation of WordPress with only a few posts or pages in it. If your needs are greater, read on and I will describe some much more practical ways to clone a WordPress blog or website.

Another more advanced way to clone your WordPress installation manually is to follow the following eight steps which I have done several times when there was a need to clone a WordPress site exactly as it was.

  1. The first thing you want to do is create a new database for the new WordPress installation. Each WordPress installation requires its own database. Simply go to your hosting account or server and log in to your PHPMyAdmin and create the new database naming it whatever you like. We named ours “WPS”.
  2. Download a fresh WordPress installation to your desktop.
  3. Unzip the installation and place just the files in a new folder and name is something different than your other WordPress installation uses. We have decided to use WPS for our new WordPress folder on our server because our other WordPress installation was in a folder named “wordpress”.
  4. Upload your new folder, WPS in our case, to your server via your favorite FTP client. Put it in the same parent folder as your other installation if you like. Just make sure both installation of WordPress are completely independent of one another and no two installations share folders with one another other than the same parent folder.
  5. Open your favorite web browser, we used Firefox. Then go to Replace with your URL of course. When the web address resolves, it should take you to a page that says simply:
    “There doesn’t seem to be a wp-config.php file. I need this before we can get started.
    Need more help? We got it.
    You can create a wp-config.php file through a web interface, but this doesn’t work for all server setups. The safest way is to manually create the file.”
  6. After the above statement, there will be a button that says “Create a configuration file”. Click on that button. You will need to have the following information ready:
    • Database host
    • Database name
    • Database username
    • Database password
  7. Click the button to proceed and enter your database information then click the button at the bottom of that page. It will take you to a new page with a button that says to begin the installation. Go ahead and click on that button after you enter your database details.
  8. Fill out your site name, username, password and other basic info then click on the “Install WordPress” button to proceed.
  9. That’s it! You should now have a second working WordPress installation. If it worked, it should have taken you to a page saying “Success….” If not, you will get an error or something else. If it doesn’t work, try manually editing your config.php file. It will be in the main WordPress installation file and is called “wp-config-sample.php”. When you are done changing the database details in the configuration file manually, rename the file “config.php” and try it again. It should work. Now you can copy your content from another site or create a new theme or whatever it is you created your second installation for. Good luck and have fun blogging with WordPress.

    Using the BackupBuddy Plugin to Clone a WordPress Blog

    The second and perhaps simpler option to clone an entire WordPress site or blog is to use the BackupBuddy plugin. This method allows you to clone a WordPress installation exactly as it was. It actually duplicates all the files including the core files and any custom themes, templates, plugins and widgets you may have added to your WordPress blog or website. To learn more about the Backup Buddy plugin, see my review of it HERE where you can learn how to install and download it as well.


    Whether you choose a manual method or a plugin to clone or install a second WordPress installation on your server, we hope you learned how to do the job with this tutorial. You may have more advanced needs and if so, the Backup Buddy method is probably more for you. If you just want a second empty WordPress installation, do it from scratch or use the first method described above. No matter what your needs, be sure to travel light and keep it fun.