Clone Live to Dev

In part six of our Quick Start guide, learn how to clone your content from Live to Dev.

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In this lesson, we’ll explore your Live site and add an article or post to simulate working on a real production site. Then we’ll clone your Live site “down” to your Dev site.

Create an Article on the Site

  1. Click the Site Admin button to open your Live site in a new tab. You’ll need to log in before being directed to the site administration dashboard.


    Your WordPress or Drupal username and password are the same set you created when you installed your Dev site for the first time.
  2. Create a new Drupal article or WordPress post. If you need help with this step, refer to the WordPress Codex or Drupal Documentation on how to add a post or article. When finished, visit the front page of your site and confirm that you can see the new content.

Pull the Content Down to Dev (Clone Live to Dev)

  1. Go back to your Site Dashboard, click the Dev tab, and open your Dev site by clicking Visit Development Site.

    Notice that the content you just created on your Live site doesn’t appear on your Dev site. This is because each environment is a stand-alone copy of your site, with its own codebase, database, and files.

    It’s important to develop on a recent copy of your site with the newest content, so let’s clone your Live site—with its new content—to your Dev environment.

  2. Consider creating a backup before proceeding. After the next step, you will not be able to recover Dev database and files without a backup:

  3. Navigate to your Site Dashboard, select the Dev tab, and then click Database / Files.

  4. Select Live from the From this Environment list to clone the database and files from the Live site.


    As intended, this action will overwrite your Dev database and files. If you skipped the backup task you will be unable to recover this data hereafter.

    The Clone operation only copies the files folder (wp-content/uploads or sites/default/files) and does not include core, theme, plugins or modules.

  5. Click Clone the Database & files from Live into the Development Environment.

  6. Click Visit Development Site when this is complete to confirm that the content you created on your Live site now appears on your Dev site.

Nice work! You added a page to your Live site, then cloned this environment "down" to Dev. Your Dev environment is a safe place for editing code, and now it's up-to-date with your latest content.