How to copy posts in WordPress

Learning how to copy posts in WordPress is a really handy thing to learn how to do. When you want to make some substantial edits to a page or blog making a copy will mean you can do this stress-free because you’ll be able to easily revert back to the original.

Copying post is also really useful for when you install a new theme and want to fill out the blog page to see how it looks and how pagination works.

While you can copy and paste your text, images and metadata manually it is much quicker to use a plugin to instantly copy everything and create a new post. 

Speed up your design process

The option to copy a post or page is not a native feature of WordPress so we’re going to have to add this ourselves. The easiest way to do this is with a plugin. There a few good plugins on the market that have this capability but the one I prefer to use is Duplicate Posts. It does everything you need it to do and has enough options for you to tailor the duplication process to your needs. With over 3 million downloads it’s the most popular plugin of its type and it’s free!

As with other plugins that make changes to the admin section of WordPress this won’t affect your websites load time by adding extra files to load, it only loads in the admin section. 

For those who have a real aversion to using plugins, you’ll be pleased to hear it’s also possible to duplicate posts without a plugin. I’ll share a link to how to duplicate posts without a plugin. For now let’s take a look at the quicker option of using a plugin.

How to copy posts and pages

To get started you need to go to add new plugins in your WordPress admin area and install Duplicate Posts.

Clone posts option on posts page

Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin you can go to your posts or pages section and you’ll see an additional option to ‘clone’ your post. Click this and your post will be copied and duplicated. The default settings create the copy in draft so you’ll need to go to quick edit and publish the post before it shows up on your live site.

Duplicate Post settings

If you want to change the default behaviour of copying posts you can go to the Settings > Duplicate Post. Here you can select what you want to be copied. So you might want to copy the date and the author or you might not…

Duplicate post options section screenshot

To stop posts being copied to draft you can select the posts status to be copied. So next time you copy a published post the duplicate will also be published.

There are also settings for user roles, these can be found under ‘Permissions’. This is useful for larger sites with multiple users. For instance, you might want to not allow contributors the power to copy posts. 

How to duplicate posts and pages without a plugin

If you feel like nerding out with some code or have a particular aversion to plugins you can do your duplicating without a plugin.

I only recently found this out and thinking about it it could be pretty great. If you add this code to a Must-Use plugins file (mu-plugin) then you would save the time of having to add and remove a plugin. Then you could port your Must-Use plugin over to your next project as a nice little starter.

I’ve always felt it a shame that you can’t somehow set a group of plugins that would install at the start of a new WordPress site. This sort of code moves further in the right direction. However, it’s so quick and easy to copy posts using Duplicate Posts that this will probably be the preferred option for many.

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