Converting two standalone WP sites into a MultiSite configuration

My client has an existing site which needs to be completely rebuilt ( and also wants another site built using the content from a page ( currently within the existing site that allows users to register and speak to each other either as a community or privately. I'm going to use the Spirit theme to create both. On the new website, I'll be using the BuddyPress and Membership plug-ins.

I'll be creating them using Instant WP which is a standalone application that will allow me to show the work to my client, test, and make modifications prior to publication. Unfortunately Instant WP does not support MultiSite. So my question is this....Once I create both sites individually and obtain approval to place them into production can I create a MultiSite and upload the files? The client's host is Hostgator.

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Kimberly,

    Hope you're having a great weekend and welcome to the WPMU DEV Community!

    So my question is this....Once I create both sites individually and obtain approval to place them into production can I create a MultiSite and upload the files?

    So you want to create each site as a single install then when approved import them both into the same multisite on your clients host?

    Most of the changes here would be in the database, so uploading the files wouldn't bring over the database changes - that's where the customized Spirit design you create will be.

    An easier way to do this I think would be using this plugin:

    This will allow you to easily migrate over 1 of the locally developed sites to your clients server. Once it's on your clients server then you can make it a multisite.

    For the next site, it won't be quite as easily imported as you need to import the tables into an existing database while still maintaining the data that is already in there. You can try our snapshot plugin:

    You will want snapshot active on both your clients new multisite and your local site:

    1. create a snapshot on the local site
    2. Upload it to your clients site: /wp-content/uploads/snapshots
    3. On your clients site go to: snapshots > import. then click "scan/import" and it will import that snapshot you just uploaded
    4. Restore the snapshot to a new subsite on the network

    Keep in mind that the Snapshot migration logic is still in beta. It was originally only meant for backups but we have been working on it's migration logic so you can do exactly this :slight_smile: if it doesn't work then you simply just delete that subsite and create a new one. So no harm done.

    Hopefully this is what you're asking. If you're importing both sites into separate installs then you can use the wp sync db for both.

    If I'm missing anything here just let me know and I can have another look :slight_smile:

    All the best,

  • Tyler Postle

    Hey Kimberly,

    Something else I forgot to mention in my last post. In regards to our membership plugin, I'm not sure which one you were referring to but I would recommend you use Protected Content:

    It's a re-written version of Membership Pro and has several more features. It does have an Importer as well so you can import members/subscriptions and the relationship between them from Membership Pro over to Protected Content in-case you have already started using Membership.

    Just wanted to make that clear :slight_smile:

    Hope that helps! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


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