One of our clients grew to a point that their company separated from their parent company. At issue was that the parent company was managing all of their subbrands via WordPress Multisite.
What is WordPress Multisite?
WordPress Multisite is a pretty unique feature built within WordPress that enables quite a bit of customization and permissions across a network of sites in a single database and hosting instance. We once built a series of apartment sites using Multisite where all marketing was centralized in a parent company. It was incredibly useful to have shared content, similar themes, and pages that were easily managed out of a single instance with a small team.
Multisite is a complex entity, though. From a database standpoint, each site comes with tables, themes, and plugins that may or may not be unique to the overall instance. So… how do you migrate one subsite out of a multisite instance? Simply put, it’s much easier to enable Multisite than it is to attempt to reverse it! You can read a lot of articles online that walk through exporting, importing, and updating to get a site where you need to be. It could take hours… or even days.
Thankfully, there’s a far easier solution and it’s from the folks at Delicious Brains, developers of the amazing Advanced Custom Fields. The plugin is called WP Migrate and it’s a site-to-site service that makes it simple to migrate entire WordPress sites or migrate one subsite of a WordPress Multisite instance.
Install the WP Migrate Plugin on two or more WordPress sites and simply push/pull the database, media, themes, and plugins between those sites. There’s no need for any other additional configurations, logins, or anything else. The WP Migrate plugin provides a unique URL on each site it’s hosted on… and you just reference the other unique URL from the source or destination site when you push or pull. It’s rather ingenious.
If you’re an agency that does a lot of migration work or just a business that needs a bulletproof backup and migration tool, WP Migrate is the perfect workflow tool for thousands of professional WordPress developers to:
- Pull a production site down to a local machine.
- Push a staging site to production.
- Push a local site to a staging server.
- Push or pull a site between two or more different hosting environments with WordPress.
- Backup or export your database as a SQL file.
- Perform sitewide find and replace instances of URLs, paths, text, or even regular expressions.
And, in this case, WP Migrate is the perfect solution for separating a single subsite from a Multisite instance easily. You can do the opposite as well, migrating multiple single instances of WordPress into a Multisite instance.
Best of all, I had no need to access the server administration, FTP/SFTP, or any special steps… just selected my subsite, themes, plugins, database tables… and pushed them to the new server. While our host at Flywheel has a migration plugin, it will only migrate all or nothing… so getting a license for WP Migrate was a must.
If you’re a WordPress professional, you also know that each instance of a database is serialized. WP Migrate detects serialized data and runs a special find and replace on it ensuring that the data is not corrupted.
Each job that you perform is saved within a profile so creating workflows that incorporate the push, pull, import, or export can be executed with the click of a mouse. I’ve updated our best WordPress plugins list with WP Migrate as the best backup and migration plugin.
Export WordPress For Free With WP Migrate DB
If you’d like to give a limited version of WP Migrate a try, you can use the light version that enables the ability to export or migrate the database. Just search for WP Migrate Lite in the WordPress repository.
Of course, I’d highly recommend purchasing the Pro version that enables seamless migration and backups from and to any server.
Disclosure: Martech Zone is using affiliate links in this article.