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How to Create Multiple Websites With the Same Structure and Content

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In this session we discuss how to create multiple websites with the same design and structure in different domains. You can easily do that by using the BackupBuddy Plugin. This is related to a past live answer topic about how to create multiple websites very quickly: A Strategy for Creating Multiple Sites With Similar Structure . We also have a bunch of other tutorial videos on how to copy a site quickly: Copy Website Live Answers.

Video Transcript

Rick: Good morning, John.

John: Hey, good morning, Rick. I was curious about being able to design a bunch of sites that are almost identical, with about 5 or 6 different pages and be able to put them in place on different domains all at once, without having to format every single domain uniquely and then come back you know, and add appropriate content per the domain.

Rick: So what you want to do is clone the site?

John: Oh okay, is that the term?

Rick: Yeah, that’s what the term would be. You want to clone… so you create essentially a site template and then you clone it to create the new sites.

John: And then you just drop that clone into the new domain?

Rick: Right. And the tool that is the absolute easiest to use for that is Backup Buddy. Backup Buddy clones sites and manages the process of rewriting domain names and stuff like that. Very simple. However, if you look on my site, I’ve got videos on how to clone the site using WordPress… I mean, using Backup Buddy and I’ve got videos on how to clone the site using… I mean, manually. And so… I mean, manually is a bit more work but you certainly can clone the site manually as well. And…

John: I was thinking about getting Backup Buddy anyway.

Rick: Well, Backup Buddy makes it you know, a matter of minutes. That’s what I do with my lesson pages. When I’m teaching a lesson, I go from… for example, the Start Building Your Website Here series. We started off as BYWH.7.byobtutorial and then you know, then .8 then .9 then .10. And what happens is that we clone the previous lessons’ site and create it as the next lesson. So then each website or each lesson site shows only the work that was done in that one specific lesson but we don’t have to redo it for each one.

John: Yeah, that makes sense. I got it. That’s good.

Rick: It doesn’t take any time at all to do that too. I mean, it’s really… once you get the hang of that, it’s a couple of minutes of site.

John: Well, it sure will be a lot easier than having to come in and go through all the different checkboxes in Thesis to set things up because you know, right out of the box, you have to do a lot to Thesis to get it to even have kind of the basics of what you want or at least, in my experience. So I mean…

Rick: Well, an alternative to that though is… I mean, see, it would do this if you… it would clone the site if you wanted to clone plugins and settings and pages and all the rest of that stuff. But an alternative to that, if you didn’t really want to do that, if you just wanted to do is expedite the set up of Thesis, all you really need to do in Thesis is export the settings of a site that’s set up the way you want it and then start a new site and import the settings from that old site to the new site. That will… and you can import all of the settings. And so you know, there may be a little tweaking here and there but by on large, if you import the settings from Thesis into a base Thesis site, it’ll accept all those things and make that change essentially instantaneously.

John: Okay so there… you’ve given me 2 options. One is just for a piece of site that’s kind of blank onto itself or if I had a bunch of pages that I did want to move over, cloning is a better option for that.

Rick: Yeah. If you had a bunch of pages and maybe categories and posts and really, more specially, plugins and all the plugin settings and all the rest of that stuff. Plugins, plugin settings and… I mean, it can really be a time saver at that point. Importing…

John: And that’s also… you go ahead.

Rick: I mean, because the other thing you can do… I mean, this is… one of the things I do when I’m creating a little demonstration site, say I’ve got something I’m going to demonstrate for you know, a class. I will often create a quick little site for that and while I won’t change any Thesis settings, I’ll just let Thesis sit alone, I may want content. And so what I have is I have one site where I put a whole bunch of dummy content in it and then all I did was exported that content. And so that is you know, essentially just another tool that’s Thesis Tools Export and I exported al that content into an XML file. And then when I create a new site, the way I get the content in there is I’d just simply import it.

John: Okay.

Rick: So it could be that you know, it could be that the cloning is really, if you really want to clone. If you really want to clone then cloning is by far, the fastest. But if all you want to do is add Thesis, add a base set of Thesis options and import a base set of content then you know, maybe cloning isn’t necessary and then maybe just you know, importing the content from an XML file and importing your Thesis you know, Thesis Options under Manage Options, that could be a different way of getting something roughly similar.

John: Okay. I would’ve never done the import or export at all that I’m intrigued with you know, 2 different options for 2 different purposes. And I can imagine both of them being helpful. But cloning is, in fact, exactly what I need at the moment.

Rick: Yeah okay, great.

John: That’s great.

Rick: Well, have a lovely day.

John: Thank you very much.

Rick: You bet. Bye bye.

Let’s see, okay so Jared asks, what do I mean by import the settings? Well, what I would do is search the site for Manage Thesis Options because I have takled about this in a few different occasions. But Thesis has its Manage Options section where you can download your existing Thesis options, where you can restore the default Thesis options if there’s some reason why you want to do that and where you can upload the Thesis options that you’ve already downloaded. So if you have a set of Thesis options that you are… that you want to use as a base then you know, down load all options and then when you want to apply it, all you have to do is you know, choose that file and upload all options. But I do have videos around and about demonstrating how to use the Thesis Options Manager so you’d look there if you need a more thorough answer than that. Okay.

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