Thursday’s WordPress Question – Calling All Ninjas!

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Today’s WordPress Question

This was submitted to us by Edgar, a WPMU reader and Multisite user:

I do a lot of development locally, and I have a WordPress Multisite installation which is already live.

What is the best method for moving a locally developed site into a subdomain of my Multisite installation? While keeping any downtime or technical issues to a bare minimum.


Edgar needs your help!

Who out there in the WPMU community can help Edgar with this? If you have any ideas or suggestions, please leave a comment below this article and let us know what you think. We’re looking for some creative thinking from you WP hotshots, and we’ll be publishing the best answers next week. Check out our reader-submitted questions from Tuesday and Wednesday too – the more answers we can get, the better.

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Thanks for the photo: Brunkford Braun.

8 Responses

  • New Recruit

    My method W/O a plugin is as follows:
    1.Export the DB out of phpMyadmin
    2.Copy all files from FTP to local machine
    3.Modify .sql file (2 lines only) with new URL
    4.Modify config.php file with new DB credentials if needed
    5.Import .sql file to new DB
    6.Upload all files from local source to new destination via FTP

    There are a few good plugins out there (including BackupBuddy) that will do all of this for you, and they are easier if you’re not familiar with a hands-on approach to your DB. However, this method is free, it forces you to have a copy of your files and DB locally (if you don’t already), and I just prefer getting my hands on my files rather than trusting a plugin to do it for me.

  • not sure if it applies to your case, but here’s what I did recently: i had about 19 wordpress installations that i integrated in one big multisite project. now those were already live so I had one advantage: i could let wordpress import the media library. if you find a way (there are many different ways) to have your locally developed wordpress accessed by the new one here’s how i did it:

    1. register a test-domain/test-subdomain
    2. set up wordpress, use domain mapping
    3. set up theme, widgets, categories, *EVERYTHING*
    4. import the content from wordpress, users will be automatically imported though you need to enter the passwords and user information again. be sure you create the same username again for convenience. i copy/pasted the password-hashkey directly from database to database to avoid that.
    5. test everything, don’t care about the wrong URL, we’re gonna fix that.
    6. get the “search & replace” wordpress plugin. search and replace the test-url with the live-url everywhere. use force (read: sql) if necessary
    7. replace wp-content/uploads with files/ so that any media that was referenced in your posts with the full link uses the new files that are saved in blogs.dir/$id
    8. update the blog settings as network admin, change the URL and also change all urls in the advanced settings tab (not just the first screen settings)
    9. update the domain mapping, remove the test-subdomain and make the real domain as the only live domain
    10. update your dns or server settings if necessary to point to the multisite installation

    this did the trick for me without any problems and i repeated these steps a few times. the advantage is that you can test everything out before going live and just change the urls later on. i had practically no downtime.

    i hope this information is of any use for your case :D

    cheerio from austria!

  • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    Backup Buddy is my go-to solution for moving sites from development areas to production. Even with a domain name change – it takes less than 10 minutes for the entire process.

    That said, your server settings need to be able to handle the backup of large files, and PHP settings need to be set appropriately to upload those large files and not time out when running. Those on inexpensive, shared hosting solutions are more likely to have issues with Backup Buddy.

  • New Recruit

    Chalk up another vote for Backup Buddy. As the other Steve noted, the process does involve unzipping large files (the only large upload occurs with the backup file, prior to restoring), and the php scripts can time out if settings are not right. But it’s worked for me even on godaddy (ick). Yes, I can export and import via MyPHPAdmin and FTP and edit manually, but why would I? Why should you?

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