I would really appreciate some guidance and assistance on this topic. My understanding of how WPMU manages its SQL database and tables for its subsites is not sufficient to be able to do this myself at the moment. I study fast, but am still new at multisite.
The task is simple, although to be repeated scores of times... (not that I intend or require to script this)
1) I have a fully working Wordpress website, basic install and the like, on a domain, on a hosting server, in the cloud.
2) I want to take this website, and then clone/copy it to my WPMU network as a subdomain site. I'm actually moving the site, and the old site/hosting will be deleted. (DNS records will be updated with registrar and DNS mapping plugin to sort that)
I'm sure this has been done, but researching it is difficult as search engines interpret that I want to upgrade my site to wordpress multisite, when I want to move a site to a separate multisite network as a new site on a subdomain and then remap the domain DNS to it.
Where I'm At:
I can backup the site, the files and the sql database. I can create the subsite on the WPMU installation and upload the sites files using FTP. Plugin issues are a thing, especially when they are critical to the sites functionality... but I rename the folders and tentatively integrate them into the site and possibly network if appropriate. If there's a cleaner way of actually getting the job done, I re-work that and use the array of plugins from wpmudev and my rolodex to improve the setup.
What I don't know how to do is import the SQL database of the site into the WPMU sites SQL database; well actually the tables for the networks subsite. This is important because obviously the SQL tables for the Wordpress site hold all its config data; especially for plugins and customized configs.
Regarding the wpmudev plugin Cloner, my understanding is that is a plugin that clones already existing multisite netwok sites back into the network. So that's not the tool to get the job done. What I need is Cloner but for external sites.
How do I clone standalone wordpress installations on different domains and hosting platforms into my multisite network as subdomain sites.
I've got some low-tech solutions:
- create new subsite in network, setup etc
- copy old sites theme into network theme repository, activate etc
- export old site using wordpress exporter
- import files
- handle plugins appropriately by transferring over
- handle any other bugs, notify client of changes in logins or whatever.
But this does not sufficiently handle more complex sites. For example, a site that has extensive masked 301 redirect links for affiliate marketing. The SQL table contains the config for that. Without pulling that across the redirects don't work. This is a problem for sites with 1000's of posts.
I've used a plugin called WPTwin "WP Twin - Clone & Backup WordPress Blogs In Seconds" but
a) it's sketchy depending on the hosting servers php version, memory availability and sql server setup (doesn't work with sql servers in clusters)
b) it only clones to a new installation of wordpress and therefore is just moving the site across which means the site isn't integrated into the multisite network, negating the administration and management benefits that are the whole purpose of the show.
I've looked at SnapShot Pro which saves the site but can it save a site and then restore it into a WPMU multisite network as a subdomain site? From what I can tell that's not its design intention.
So, any ideas?
Can I just export all the tables, rename them with the appropriate prefix eg wp_23_posts and suck them all up? How do the plugins in the multisite installation know/recognize their configs if they are network activated? Does importing the tables and then activating the plugin via the network override the tables? Is there a specific order I have to do this in?
Can you point me in the right direction? I know this should be as simple as export/import SQL, line up the id's, names, access, and BOOM it should just work.
Do you have an outright solution? Does one already exist that I have overlooked? [ this is the part where someone says 'yeah, there's a plugin that does that, here...' and my googling skills are shown to be very-not-1337 ]
I have to handle this to incorporate a range of existing clients websites as to avail to them the benefits of my new WPMU installation. This will be an ongoing activity occurring in my multisite network a technical solution is required.
As always, because of manual activity in the SQL database, backups, testbeds, and restores all have to be done too. >< :slight_frown: ><
Customer .htaccess configs are also presenting themselves as issues. Which is another fun part of the gig. Most of the time this is easily reworked though - that's half the reason why we're doing what we're doing; to improve the clients setup.
If there is no quick fix to this and requires a custom solution and dev I'd be happy to share/donate all documentation and processes to the community.
Sorry for the long post, but it says more detail the better. Plus I hope that this ends up helping someone in the future trying to do the same thing as I've been unable to find a complete resource covering this topic.
<edit> added 'Consolidate' to title to improve search engine visibility as this is essentially what the question is about. </edit>