You will notice at various times throughout WeConnectWebsites videos the tech will make a duplicate of a file or folder as a “Just in case” backup. You may want to do the same process of duplicating files. No matter what your skill level an extra backup can save you from having to completely rebuild your website which can equate to weeks of work.
Duplicating Files On Your Computer
From most computers you should be able to right click on the file you would like to duplicate and select “Duplicate” or “Make Copy” to duplicate any file before editing an original. This ensures that even if you make a huge mistake you still have a copy to work with.
Duplicating Files Via FTP
This method works just as well when you are working via FTP. Typically any FTP program will allow you to duplicate a file on you shared hosting or VPS server. Currently WeConnectWebsites is using Transmit for Mac which has a feature to duplicate any file or folder by right clicking on what you would like to duplicate and making the selection from the pop up menu. You can then choose to edit the copy you have made or the original. We recommend using the copy for your edits and adding .original to the original file.
Duplicating Files For WordPress Child Themes
Duplicating files is also necessary when making a child theme. Files that you make edits to should always be duplicated in your child theme and not the developers original script.
If the theme developer releases an update it may over write your code thus breaking your website. Keep in mind this isn’t to say that an update will not break your child theme but it will be much easier to fix if you duplicate your files into a child theme. More information on making a child theme.