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Using BackupBuddy And BackupBuddy Classic To Import A Live Website

Using BackupBuddy and BackupBuddy Classic to Import a Live Website

The latest version of DesktopServer version 3.2.8 for premium members includes the ability to import full backups from both iTheme’s BackupBuddy 2 and BackupBuddy Classic. BackupBuddy provides a convenient and clean method to easily backup your WordPress website and migrate it to another website or to your local desktop for development. Now DesktopServer makes local development even faster and easier with native support for BackupBuddy. In this article, I’ll show you how easy it is to use BackupBuddy to export your site and use DesktopServer to import and view a BackupBuddy archive.

While there are dozens of ways to import your live website into DesktopServer, there are some key differences to DesktopServer’s import abilities that you should be aware of: 1) DesktopServer uses different functionality from “import buddy” by leveraging native code for Intel and PowerPC processors (for both Mac & Windows) and in many cases is much faster then “import buddy”. 2) DesktopServer’s import routine has broader migration abilities that scrubs (search and replaces domain name definitions) in both WordPress tables and plugin generated tables, and WordPress theme files. Like BackupBuddy, you can adjust DesktopServer’s import process to omit scrubbing of select database tables in addition to files and folders.

Backup Your Website
Backing up your website with BackupBuddy is really easy. Simply go to the BackupBuddy menu in WordPress’ admin screen and select the sub menu “Backups” in BackupBuddy Classic or “Backup & Restore” in BackupBuddy 2. From there, you will be presented with a list of backup archives that you have created prior. You can download the backup by simply clicking the backup file title or create a new backup by clicking the “Full Backup” button.

Once you have the backup downloaded to your computer, you can use DesktopServer’s import feature to import either the BackupBuddy Classic or the newer BackupBuddy 2 website archive format.

Import int DesktopServer
Importing will allow you to create a new DesktopServer website from the BackupBuddy website archive.  To begin importing, launch DesktopServer Premium and select the last option titled “Export or import a website” followed by “Import an existing WordPress website archive”. You will see the import screen with a field for the import file.

Note for Macintosh users: The current version of DesktopServer opens as an Administrator with the default folder set to the currently logged in user. You can easily navigate files from the Macintosh HD:Users folder to locate your Downloads, Documents and Desktop folders which my differ from the Administrator’s Downloads and Desktop folder.

Clicking the import field will display the open dialog that will allow you to select the BackupBuddy zip file archive. Select the website archive you want to import. The remaining fields define the following options:

  • Site Name – Specify a site name to refer to your DesktopServer website. DesktopServer will replace the top-level domain name with the fictitious .dev (dot DEV) domain to ensure you are accessing a localhost website.
  • Site Root – This is a read-only field that indicates the location to place your WordPress website files for your newly imported website.
  • Browse – Use the browse button to specify a different Site Root to store your website files. Click the button to display a folder selection dialog window.
  • Customize scrubbing options – Use this check box to define custom scrubbing options or leave it unchecked to accept recommended settings.

You may change the domain name by altering the Site Name field. For security purposes DesktopServer will change the top-level domain to .dev (dot DEV). Clicking the next button will start the import process and your new website URL will be presented to you on the last screen.


With DesktopServer’s BackupBuddy compatible import feature, you can import your live website, complete with plugins, themes, configurations and settings. DesktopServer can empower you to redesign an existing site, or test out new designs and features in a safe offline copy for faster untethered development. You can learn more about BackupBuddy at the iThemes website.