Support » Networking WordPress » Migrating single site to Network instance – content from migrated site not there

  • I have a site that I am managing on my laptop at localhost, and am following instructions at

    I have gotten through importing renamed tables into the db I set up for a new, basically empty primary WP site for the new network.

    I have defined a new site, and it shows up in the WP “My Sites” interface, but when I visit that site, it does not seem to be linked to the tables I have imported and renamed.

    General question: Is there a current, authoritative page that lists steps to take to convert a single-site instance into a multi-site instance? I have researched for days to try to avoid wasting everyone’s time.

    Specific question: How do I arrange that, when I visit the site through the WP Admin interface, I see content based on the tables I have imported?


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  • Those instructions you referenced will work for somebody like me with years of WordPress networking experience and building one-off systems but you need something a little easier and hopefully more robust over time.

    Export your WordPress content via the Dashboard –> Tools –> Export system on the local box.

    Go to the Dashboard and import the resulting WXR files into the proper site on your multisite.

    You’ll need to copy over the theme files to the multisite’s theme directory and you’ll need to duplicate the plugins you used on the local box into the multisite’s plugins directory.

    Enable both the theme and the plugins for the proper subsite of your multisite.

    Check that your users in the subsite match or otherwise make sense and double-check the pages and posts for missing images and such.

    If you intend to continue doing your content creation work over on the local box then you might look into running a syndication plugin to push the newly ‘published’ content to the production multisite.

    Another option is to use a RSS importer or to manually export/import as needed. I usually use the RSS feed setup myself.

    You can reduce the plugins on the multisite to just the plugins needed to do the presentation tasks once you get all the bugs out of the setup and I highly recommend running the Broken Link Checker plugin throttled back to 480hrs from its default 72hr setting.

    @jnashhawkins Thanks for your response. I’ll try to follow your instructions, starting tomorrow.

    I appreciate your advice and time.

    My goal is to have two, unrelated websites managed by WordPress on my laptop, and use Simply Static or WP Static (or something else, if you know a good one) to
    – produce local, static copies of the two websites
    – push them to separate accounts, to be served via github’s functionality that serves requests to from static content stored in a repo (or another static server provider)
    – procure fancy domain names and have requests forwarded to those repos

    One of the two websites is my toy site at

    It is still visible, since I have not pushed since I started working on trying to migrate to Multisite.

    I do have all of /var/www/html/ backed up, so I should be able to revert to status quo ante if thinks slide further sideways.

    I will try to follow your instructions. they are not Greek to me, as I co-founded a content management software company some years ago, and remember the joys of URL’s, IP addresses, databases, tables, user accounts, and scripts.

    I have created a second installation of WP at /var/www/html/wwpp/ and created a second github account, with static output visible at

    I am actually not sure if Simply Static (plugin) will work correctly on multisite, so two instalces of WP on one laptop is a backup strategy. As you’ll see if you look at the baby thoriumnext site (or just take my word for it) I am having issues with getting the theme twentyseventeen working. I am tracking this issue on the forum.

    Anyway, thanks for your answer!

    Good grief, you sound like me! Are we kin?

    Anyway, I think you need to be using relative links from your Simply Static setup if it will do that for you. That might be what you need to fix the article links and the thematic issues.

    I run WP2Static on my multisite and I have a single production site I’m slowly working toward total static output via WP2Static but I’m not comfortable leaning on someone else’s ‘silo’ so I’m thinking an Nginx box serving up the static content instead of Git or Netlify.

    But my other interests are in the Fediverse so I’m looking at a non-static WordPress ‘something’ or a Mastodon/WordPress lashup. I’m being pulled in two different directions (Static and Dynamic Federated stuff) by my own interests.

    I also have a multisite multinetwork running out on the cloud.

    So, if I was you, I’d check out WP2Static (if you haven’t already) just for the tidbits there about Static WordPress. I’d also consider some kind of HTTrack on Unix lashup. You can make the HTTrack outputs public via a webserver. I like HTTrack for testing purposes so I just run it from my Windows-based machines.

    One other thing I really liked was running a single WP install in a subdirectory and using WP2Static to ‘deploy’ a static copy of the site into the root directory then serving that up publically from there. That worked very well from relative links in the static origin site.

    Funny thing was Leon (Leon Stafford the author of WP2Static) told me not to do that but it was already running.

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