New WPMU DEV user wants to know the best way to upgrade/ migrate my WP MU sites

Hi, Im a new WPMU DEV premium user.

I have an existing WP install hosted on my own hosting package (with NetRegistry).

My WP install is a MU (multi network) installation and I currently use a plug in to create a network of networks - each network is 'tied' to a separate domain and I use is an Addon domain in my hosting package.

Currently my WP version is 3.6.1 and when I try to upgrade to 3.7x most of my sites on the network get archived.

I joined WPMU DEV so I could use better and supported multi network plugins and get support from the experts.

Just looking for your best advice on how to migrate my current installation to WP 3.8 and start to use some of the WPMU plugins and themes.

  • PC

    Hello there Glenn,

    Greetings and thanks for your email and welcome to the club of WordPress Goodness

    Can you tell me more about your setup please ?

    My WP install is a MU (multi network) installation and I currently use a plug in to create a network of networks - each network is 'tied' to a separate domain and I use is an Addon domain in my hosting package.

    Which plugin are you using for the multi network setup ? How are you trying to upgrade WordPress. Manually or Automatic upgrade ?

    Do you have any plugins which are not compatible with the latest WordPress version ?

    First of all, I will suggest you to take a full backup and then make sure that you do not have any plugins which are not compatible with latest WordPress release. If there are, disable them before trying to upgrade.

    Please advise.

    Cheers, PC

  • Glenn

    Hi PC,

    thanks for your reply

    sure, happy to tell you more about my WP MU installation

    1. Plug in for MU - WP Multi-Network (version 1.4) - update to 1.5 available but have not installed it yet

    2. How am I upgrading WP? - I am clicking on update via the WP admin panel (it was telling me 3.7x was available, now its telling me 3.8x is available)

    3. Any plugins that are not compatible with 3.7+? - there were when 3.7x first came out, now I see a few plug ins have updates waiting: Jetpack (I am running 2.6), WP Multi-Network (1.4), Wordpress SEO (1.4.19), and Contact Form 7 (3.5.4)

    I have not tried disabling my plugins yet and trying a re-install.

    Is there a site in the MU network I should try the upgrade from? does it need to be the 'first' site in the network? the one I created when I set up WP the first time?

    I hope this is the info you need. If you need anything else, just ask

    Regards,

    Glenn Cogar

  • PC

    Hey Glenn,

    Sorry for missing your last response.

    Is there a site in the MU network I should try the upgrade from? does it need to be the 'first' site in the network? the one I created when I set up WP the first time?

    The updates are generally done from the main site on your network. The first site you create and then convert in to MU. Its done via Network Dashboard.

    I'd suggest to take a full backup (http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups) and then upgrade WordPress.

    Before you do, disable the plugins so that they can be upgraded to the latest versions when WordPress is updated and then they can be activated.

    Cheers, PC

  • Glenn

    No problem PC, it was Xmas after all

    I will do as you suggest, take a backup and disable all of the plugins before upgrading WP to 3.8 from the main site on the WP MU.

    Just a question, re disabling plugins, am I likely to lose any settings they have? or are the settings kept and 'restored' when I activate the plugin again? (just a general question as to how things should work, I know it may not be true of all plugins).

    The main plugin I have activated is WooCommerce, I am just worried about losing the Products and their settings I have already set up.

  • faydra_deon

    @Glenn:

    I know PC is helping you out with this, so forgive me if this is an intrusion.

    It's my experience that as long as you don't delete a plugin, and only deactivate it, all the plugin's settings will be maintained.

    As for WooCommerce, I just tested this on a site that I'm currently creating to see if the products would come back after I deactivated and reactivated WooCommerce.

    All the products came back without issue.

    Faydra...

  • PC

    Thanks for chiming in and adding your vote of confidence Faydra

    As for WooCommerce, I just tested this on a site that I'm currently creating to see if the products would come back after I deactivated and reactivated WooCommerce.

    All the products came back without issue.

    Absolutely true. Not all the plugins lose their settings after deactivation and reactivation. Its just a few whose values are deleted from the database tables as soon as they are deactivated but they generally warn you before disabling.

    The reason I asked you to take a backup is that in case you face any issues, we can roll back anytime

    Cheers, PC

  • Glenn

    Thanks to you both Faydra and PC

    I created a local copy of my WP MU site on my local server, backed it up, disabled plugins and ran the updates to WP 3.8. They seemed to go better than when I first tried to update to 3.7... all my MU sites were still visible, unlike when I upgraded to 3.7 when most of the sites were archived.

    I think I will try to do the same updates today on my live self hosted site (cross fingers).

    I will also add the WPMU DEV Dashboard plug in and start looking at the WPMU DEV plug ins I can use.

    What I would still like some help on is change my site over to the WPMU DEV domain mapping plug in from the one I am using (WP Multi-Network) and just need to work out how to do this. As I mentioned in my first post I have a network of networks at the moment (overkill I know) --- I thought that was the only way I could map different domain names to each site but now know I could have done this with 1 network and multiple sites.

    Ideally, I would like to set up a new WP MU install with 1 network and copy my sites across but I understand that this is harder than it sounds.

    Any tips?

  • faydra_deon

    @Glenn:

    Definitely check out the Snapshot plugin for backup and restore. It's awesome. I had to move about 50 sites from one host to another, and I used Snapshot.

    I took the Snapshot on the site to be moved, and then I simply created the new WordPress install on the hosting I was moving to. I then repointed the nameservers and waited for them to propagate.

    Once the repointing was complete, I then configured the new WordPress site. I then activated the WPMU DEV Dashboard and the Snapshot plugin and imported the Snapshot and restored it.

    It restores everything: the theme you are using and the themes settings; the plugins you're using and their settings, the permalink structure, everything. I didn't have to do anything else.

    This is good is you're concerned about losing settings when deactivating plugins to update.

    On a network, you can take a snapshot of the root site and each sub-site and restore them one at a time.

    Faydra...

  • PC

    Hey there Glenn,

    Thanks for posting back

    I see that Faydra has been all over it. Well earned points !

    p.s. I am a Dropbox user but Im curious as to how to make my local Mac an FTP destination so I can store my snapshot's locally, any tips?

    Hmmm, that is something I am not sure if possible out of the box.

    Let me call our lead developer @Paul to chime in here and advise on this question

    Happy new year 2014 to all

    Cheers, PC

  • Paul

    @Glenn

    p.s. I am a Dropbox user but Im curious as to how to make my local Mac an FTP destination so I can store my snapshot's locally, any tips?

    Should be doable be that is really beyond the scope of Snasphot support. Technically, any system which which connects to the internet is given an IP address. So from your remote system you should be able to target your local mac system's IP address. But you also need to consider your mac setup to allow inbound FTP traffic. By default I think tis is disabled. Also if your local system is behind a firewall you will need to allow inbound FTP traffic.

    The better solution really is to utilize Dropbox. How that works is your remote site(s) just push their snapshot archives to the dropbox system. Then on your local mac you install the Dropbox client which makes the files on Dropbox show in Finder like normal files.