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 mysite.com/wptwin.php 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 mynewsite.com/wptwindeploy.php 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.