Cloner & permalinks, and other questions

Just cloned my first site, and while most everything appears to have gone really smoothly, I have a couple of questions:

1. Cloner appears to change the permalink structure on both the original and duplicate sites. I'm not sure why it does this. As I'm hoping to use Cloner to push from staging to production, it's going to be a pain if I have to reset permalink every time I make a migration. (I'm pretty sure I saw this discussed somewhere in the forums, but I can't find it again by searching.)

2. Is there a setting somewhere (or a table I need to protect) to keep the names of each blog separate? I can already see some confusion between the production & staging sites in the My Sites menu, just because the name was copied.

3. A lot of images reported an "invalid size" when cloning. What does that mean?

4. It appears you can't update WP or a theme on a non-primary site, which makes MultiSite not an ideal place for staging. Am I wrong about that? (Please tell me I am!)


  • Michelle Shull

    Hiya, Adam!

    First, I want to point you towards this great post, here: It's a great overview of what Cloner can do really well, and what can be better accomplished by Snapshot.

    To your questions!

    1. I am not able to replicate this on my own network, each new site has the same permalink structure of the parent site. Are you by chance using a custom permalink structure?

    2. Site titles, however, need to be entered manually. The cloned site will have a different name (what you enter when you create the clone, and then see in the eventual URL for the site) but all the other settings, including the site title and tagline, will match the parent site exactly until you change them.

    3. I'm not sure, I've not seen that error, and I can't find it mentioned in the forum. Does the error give you the name of the image? Did you check the file size? I'd bet it has something to do with the image file size. If you can, take a look at the images that cause that error on your parent site and see if you can find a connection between them.

    4. You are correct, you've got to push upgrades from Network Admin. It makes it a little tricky to use multisite for staging, but not unpossible. I manage by taking a snapshot (with our Snapshot plugin) before an upgrade, then restoring the Snapshot after I push upgrades across the network. It's a little clumsy, but it gets the job done if I need to test with a previous version.

    Hope this helps!

  • Michelle Shull

    Hey there, Adam!

    On number four, that's not actually our design, it's the design of Multisite. You've got to push updates regardless of if your sites are created through the dashboard or through Cloner. You could do what I do with Snapshot with Cloner, it's just my personal preference is to use Snapshot. (It's done the job, it's more of a isn't broke, don't fix it issue than one of capabilities.)

    Thanks for contacting us!

    • Adam

      Hm… It seems to me if there are features fundamental to MultiSite that prevent it from creating a safe environment to update themes and plugins before the live site, it's simply not capable of staging—regardless of which plugin you use.

      That being said, Cloner is being billed as a one-click staging solution. What I'm hearing from WPMU, and members, is that it's not that simple.

      I'll continue staging on MAMP for the timebeing, and keep an eye on Cloner, to see where it goes.

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