WP Twin Review

After the nightmare that was being hacked we wanted to ensure that we did not face such a nightmare trying to sort it all out again. And I want to thank Darrel who recommended wp twin here. Wifey has been busy all week and I want to thank her for taking care of things and keeping our sites safe. She has not only made and tested backups of our sites but she has also moved a number to different hosting accounts so that one account never has too many sites to deal with if the worst happens.

Anyway, since she has used wp-twin and not I she has graciously written a review of the product and her thoughts on if it is worth buying and worth the money. Be kind to her, she was a little sad that no one liked it when she posted a recipe about spare ribs here a few months back!


Wifey’s Wp Twin Review

Since the hacking incident it has become apparent that this decidedly non-techie team need to do some serious work behind the scenes of our wordpress sites. Its all very well having back-up plugins, but not so great if you can’t work out how to actually deploy them. And when you do finally work it out it’s a bit disappointing that they don’t always work. Time to get serious, and actually buy something that can be used for backing up sites properly.

So last weekend I invested in WPTwin, a tool, the makers claim can clone your wordpress site in seconds, allowing you to save full back-ups of EVERYTHING, as well as allowing you to deploy those clones anywhere you like. So in theory we now have a way to move sites from one hosting account to another AND a way to create complete back-ups of all the sites we want. And, as a little Brucie bonus you can create a clone site of your favorite theme/plug-in combo and then use it to start new sites without having all the hassle of remembering all the customisations you did last time… And, if you’re so minded you can even sell your clones at the WP Twin Marketplace.

WP Twin – What Does It Do?

Well, its all in the name really. The program creates an exact copy of any wordpress blog you like (so long as you have access to the admin control panel). The only things not copied are the website name and description. So you keep the themes, customisations, content, plug-ins, comments… the lot!

Then you can install that clone wherever you have a wordpress installation. So you can use it to restore a previous version of a site, or use it to move a site from one domain hosting account to another. Or simply copy the site layout onto a new domain.

The idea is that all this can be done VERY quickly – in seconds if you will. More on that later.

The creators also have an add-on that allows you to auto-generate site back-ups in the same way. But since their site doesn’t show how much it costs it isn’t something I have bothered with.

WP Twin – Does It Work?

Thankfully yes it most definitely does! However, as with all back-ups it is really important to double check everything has worked as it should, before you go deleting the original files. So far, all my clones have been spot-on, but there is always a chance that something might not be “quite so”.

The “it works in seconds” claim, is only partially true. When you request a clone be created, it is extremely fast (too fast to seem like its actually worked really). But that clone creation is only part of the process. You need to be FTPing files (yey I can finally do this!) up to your hosting account, as well as downloading that clone to your own computer. If your internet speeds are slow, and your site is a big one, this can take an age (well many minutes anyway – even with our “slow mountain internet” the largest site has probably only taken half an hour to download, and less to upload back again). For those with faster internet connections the speed issue is unlikely to be cause for concern.

WP Twin – HOW Does it Work?

Not a clue – obviously – but I do know how to work WP Twin!

Right, I am categorically not a tech type person – I do wordpress okay? Anything more than inserting the odd affiliate link or minor customisation is pretty much beyond me. So for WPTwin to work it really needed to be extremely simple. I have to say, when I read the instructions and found that ftp file transfer was involved I did get a little scared. But, no worries in the end all was easily done. Here’s how I use WP Twin in a nutshell:

  • Open FileZilla which happily has worked like a dream, and upload the small wptwin file to my chosen site.
  • Visit in my web browser and follow the instructions which mostly involves clicking the “create clone” button. If I’m not logged into the wp-admin panel, I’ll be redirected to do so first.
  • Once the clone is created, click to download it to my laptop, and then click to delete the clone file from the site itself.
  • Now I simply need to install wordpress on my chosen domain.
  • Once that’s done, its back to FileZilla to ftp both the clone file, and a wptwindeploy file up to the domain where the clone site needs to be.
  • Wait a bit, grab a coffee and an online marketing bloke if the site is a big one (SWEEEEEEEET, Dave), or blink if its a small one and we’re nearly done!
  • Now visit and hit the “deploy” button.
  • In a few seconds I should see a message telling me the clone has been deployed, and would I like to visit my new site (for some of the larger sites I have worked on this message hasn’t appeared, instead I’ve faced a worrisome blank screen. But, visit the site and it is there anyway).
  • That’s all there is too it really. The new site will have the same wp-admin log in as the original, so I’ll want to change that, and check everything looks okay. The site name and description will default to the wordpress originals unless they were added when wordpress was installed so those might need changing too.

Being a particularly paranoid person of late I have created a test site subdomain where I deploy all clones first, to check they work before either saving them as back-up files, or using them to move a site from one hosting account to another.

If you’re moving a site from one host to another I would suggest creating a test site on the new host so you can double check the clone works (the file set ups could theoretically differ so its worth checking). And, make sure you delete everything including the wordpress install from the test site before using it to test a new clone (or things get very squiffy indeed).

WP Twin – Should You Buy It?

Well, it all depends on just how technically challenged you are AND how much you rely on wordpress blogs.

For us, it has been enlightening, and I just wish we’d known about it years ago. We’re not techie and do rely on wordpress, so the potential for hacking problems is not going away.

Knowing that I can now safely move a site from one host to another is liberating, and knowing I have working back-ups stored (and back-ups I know how to deploy) is reassuring enough to make the $97 price tag seem well worth it. The fact that the system is so simple to use has been a joy, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone making money out of wordpress blogs.

You too can buy WP Twin here, and create as many clones as you like!

Try not to be too disappointed with their site and its SELL SELL SELL image, oh and you might want to opt out of their newsletter as it seems they have new things to sell me daily! I forgive them their online marketing approach because they have produced a bloody good product that I can actually use!

Now I just need to teach him to use it too.

33 Responses to “Clones”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. JamestheJust says:

    Spot on – I just bought a cloning plugin I won’t mention here (because that would be a jerk move), there’s a lot to be said about the threat of hacking and potential loss of income.

    But even beyond that, if you have a set up/theme you like, it makes setting up new sites easy as using that template, uploading and then editing content/colors, etc.

    So it makes sense even if you’re not afraid of the (apparently) inevitable.

    Also this reminds me that I bought a PDF report on WP security that is collecting dust on my hard drive…I need to actually put it to use. I’m not a techie, either.

    I think we don’t take those steps until, like in your/Dave’s case, something happens – because there’s “no money in it.” Nobody’s going to pay me to secure my sites…

    But you lose money when you lose your sites/traffic/rankings or while you rebuild what was lost.

    I’m curious in your moving from 1 host to another, has there been a loss of rankings?

    • Dave says:


      Wifey is busy at the moment but so far the rankings have stayed the same. She did bottle it slightly and didn’t move the best earners but it seems like it would have been fine to do so.

      You are right about not taking the time to secure our sites as there is no active reward in it. But then when it does go pear shaped and you spend days or even a week sorting it out you realize just how much that costs you in lost earnings. Better to be a little pro-active and get the security up and running asap.

  2. Jessica says:

    WPTwin is a dream, isn’t it?! I bought it a few weeks ago when I sold a website to someone. Since then, I have feverishly backed up all of my sites and can’t get over how easy it is. Definitely one of my favorite purchases of 2011. 🙂

  3. Carrie says:

    I just bought a different one also and it is great. I feel better having a quick and easy option to move hosting whenever I’m feeling paranoid.

    Still have to go through and do backups on all my sites.

    • Wifey says:

      Yeah – that’s the problem now – which sites to back-up first. Makes you realise that less sites might be easier! Great to have something to use that I can actually understand though.

  4. Gerald says:

    I would like to recommend using Amazon S3 for backup purposes. You just have to make a few configurations settings to make your automated backups. Unlike the Twin Plugin, you are backing up every content of your site including those comments, tags and everything.

    • Wifey says:

      Gerald – wp twin DOES back up everything – comments, tags, everything apart from the name. Automation sounds good but I’m too paranoid for that anymore – I want to see that my back-ups are right and work every time.

  5. Det says:

    I have been using wptwin for a long time and I absolutely love it!!!!!!!! I also build sites so I build them out in a folder and then just move them over to the main domain when all is ready. Did I say I love this product and it is EASY too!

  6. Sunshine says:


    Make sure you stay on top of updates with wp twin.

    I had a close call where when I deleted a few of my blogs in error and with hostgator’s help, they tried to restore my wp twin clones, hostgator wasn’t able to do it successfully at first.

    When I contacted wp twin support, their tech informed me to make sure I’d had the latest wp twin update which I didn’t at the time.

    Ultimately, the blog restoration did work thankfully.

    Check in with wp twin’s download section from time to time to make sure you have the latest version.

    Hope I didn’t scare you but just want you to be aware.

    • Dave says:


      Thanks for the tip, I will try to keep on top of it.

      The perils of being a Webmaster eh, never seems to end 😉

  7. teatree says:

    Going off topic – anyone noticed how Amazon is aiming to get multiple spots in the SERPs using On some of the keywords I’m targeting, they hold about three spots as amazon, and then another spot as woot.

    I think this is their Christmas strategy. It’s going to be a proper war this year.

    • Dave says:


      Bring it on 😉 Can’t say they have been interfering with my niches, never even seen them listed for products really.

      • teatree says:

        The woot links arn’t there all the time. They show up as every time they have special deals.

        And in the lead up to black friday and x-mas, you can be sure they’ll have a ton of deals available, with backlinks to the deals from the mother site.

    • Dave says:


      I will tell you what I am annoyed at though. The bloody 3 adwords listings at the top of the serps and related junk which means only 1 organic listing shows above the fold. And then the bloody right sidebar filled with product image adverts too.



      It ain’t exactly a search engine if people don’t know that the results or not from sites that have not paid to be there. It is an advertising directory.

      And now I shall go and drink vino and have steak and chips for my tea 😉

      Um, actually I have already begun the vino bit.

      • Terry says:

        Agree 100%. What’s even more annoying is so many marketers are keeping quiet about this. It galls me that there are countless American marketers who have the power to make Google re-think that ad strategy through the courts but they are sticking their heads in the bloody sand.

        I make a noise about this wherever I go, but not being American and not living there, my voice goes mostly unheard. I mean, who cares what some guy in Spain thinks? Spain, that’s a little place near Mexico isn’t it? 😉

        I commented on Ben’s blog the other day about it and one dickhead actually had the stupidity to relpy that I should choose KWs where there are no ads on top of the SERPs!

        Jeez… WTF is that?

        You can bet that any KW that gets halfway decent traffic now attracts the ads a the top of the SERPs. That means having a #1 really means you really have a #4 site in terms of traffic.

        Some of my best earners have been decimated by having their traffic drop to a third of their previous levels thanks to these bloody ads that don’t look like bloody ads to most surfers. And that’s exactly what Google wants.

        You’re sooo right. Its not a search engine any more, its a paid advertising directory and it sucks that it has gone in that direction. Grrrrrrrr!

  8. Benjamin says:

    Hi Dave,

    Good to see we all have the same kind of problem / fear in mind.

    To be honest i’ve tried wp twin, and at that time it didn’t work with accentuated charsets (i.e. german, french, spanish probably…etc) After importing the page containing those chars where a bit messed up.

    At the present time I haven’t really find a solution…

    I have tried the crazzzy expensive backupbuddy and the first day of use I spotted a major bug in their software (The first configured backup sent you “success” messages whereas the backup didn’t succeed… how is that for a backup solution…).

    Needless to say that I now understand why backupbuddy doesn’t offer any 30-60 days money back guarantee, everyone would take their money back…

    So my 2 cents to this :
    – if Wp Twin works with you charset then OK go one it’s a manual solution but it’s quite good
    – if it doesn’t make it a habit to do full backups from your cpanel every month (or more depending on what you are prepared to loose)
    – don’t trust crap plugin providers such as backupbuddy which tells you “we will backup everything don’t worry’ because THEY WON’T (or actually they will try with a poorly debbuged plugin).

    Honestly I prefer to know that I am in danger, instead of thinking I will be fine and at the end discover the plugin is buggy…

    Cheers !

  9. Mark says:

    Amazon s3 probably will cost less money and is just as easy. If you only have a few sites, it’s a good deal. You don’t store anything on your own computer and it’s pay as you go.

    • Dave says:


      Thanks for that. But we wanted something that could do backups and then we could check them and also move sites to different hosting accounts easily so we are good with wp twin for now I think.

      • Gerald says:

        The problem is, what happens when one of your site reaches a total size of 500 GB or more like Tera Bytes? It would take you forever to download on your computer for a local copy then re-upload it back again on your host. Amazon S3 features remote upload where you can do your back up from server to server which is very fast. However, it requires a few technical steps with SSH which you are trying to avoid. Anyway, if you don’t have such a large database or files then WP Twin is still best to use.

        • Ryan T says:

          is it easy to switch host using Amazon S3? I mean transfer from one wordpress blog to another wp blog in a diff host

  10. Sam says:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m thinking about purchasing a domain that is 4 years old, but it has been dropped two times. I want this domain because it’s perfect for what I want. Would I be able to launch an all out link building attack on this domain once I purchase it or does the fact that its been dropped a couple times have an effect on it? I purchased Automatic Authority through your post but I couldn’t find my answer.

    Thanks Dave!

    • Dave says:


      Lando does not really recommend dropped domains unless you “really” want them and the price is right. I would certainly be a little more cautious with the link building if it has been dropped a few times personally. As it will have totally dropped out the index I would say play it cautious with links.

    • JanisG says:

      Hi Sam,

      Dave might have different opinion, but here is my experience.

      I bought expired domain that has been dropped 2 times. According to backlink checkers it has 5 or so incoming links with PR2 or PR3. I added 10-15 posts, did some backlinking with BMR and high PR blog comments, and now the site is PR4 and many blog posts are PR2.


      • Lando says:

        Hi Sam,

        You mean, you want the domain because of its name? Or was there some other reason that you feel it’s perfect?

        If you like the name, then I’d say you should go for it. Sounds like Janis had a good result with his!

      • Dave says:


        lol, shows what I know 😉

      • Terry says:

        I have bought several domains that were dropped over the years, but I wanted them because they had weight loss related KWs in the domain and some age. They have made really good satellites for my niche. Some have gained PR of their own thanks to backlinking and some rank for some long tails too.

        Worth noting that I get them from the closeouts for $5-10 a pop. I wouldn’t bother getting into a dog fight in the auctions over a domain that has been dropped unless I really, really wanted it for its domain name or it had great age, lots of strong links and some PR too.

  11. Sam says:

    The price of the dropped domain I want is less than $10, so I want it because of the name. I just wanted to know if it’s okay to aggressively build links to it from the start?

  12. Anna says:

    Hi dave, i read all your post and i realize its very informative for me. i m waiting for more posts like this.

    thank you dave.


  13. JR says:

    If you get the this theme or script?Do you need a child theme for it.I mean, what if the WP have an update..So,will the site that been done will stay the same or not?

    • Dave says:

      JR whatever you clone is what you get. If you clone and then make changes then that will be lost. So you make sure you do it regular so you don’t lose anything you have done to the site.