Support » Networking WordPress » Moving Multisite to subfolders AND changing domain?

  • Resolved djzebbie


    Hi, I have a WordPress Multisite installation that I am looking to move FROM the root (/) TO a subfolder (/wp/) on the same server. I will also be changing my domain for this site, from a subdomain ( to my own domain ( I am aware that I will need a backup/export of my blog and database, which I intend to do — — before making any moves or performing other actions.

    My question involves the order of steps used to smoothly facilitate a move in this manner. My host uses a feature on the cPanel interface called “Parked Domains,” which I will be using to have my site display as rather than But as of right now, I already have content on the domain, and am wary of changing the URL to before I am sure of what to do.

    The other issue is moving from to or As of right now, there is only one blog on my Multisite install, but I intend to add more in the future. I want this blog to be a subdomain (or subdir) of, which will be the standard for future blogs —,, etc, or,, and so on. I am unsure of the sequence needed to make this possible, or if it even is with WP (and how involved it will be for a beginner with zero familiarity with things like SQL and databases — and no budget to hire someone to do this for me).

    Is it possible to relocate a Multisite install so that my blog(s) read as and FROM a Multisite URL at, and if so what should I do first? Should I change the URL in the Parked Domains section and wait for my server to update, THEN move the files, or should I move the files FIRST and THEN change my URL, replacing content as necessary, possibly with the popular Search & Replace Script, linked to below?

    I have read through the Codex article on moving a WordPress install — — and am not sure of what to do when both the location of a Multisite install on the server AND the domain URL are BOTH going to change. As I said, there is currently only one blog on my Multisite system, so there won’t be that many blogs to move, but this individual blog does have a decent amount of content already, and I want to ensure that it all changes smoothly so that I don’t have to start from scratch. Can anyone help?

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You should be able to search for the whole domain ( and replace that.

    Then go back through and look for /wp/ and see what comes up.

    Keep good backups, this may be a little trial and error 🙁

    Hi Ipstenu,

    I have been reading through your excellent tutorial on Moving WordPress Multisite, from “Half-Elf on Tech” (one of the very first blogs that comes up when searching “Move WordPress Multisite”). 🙂 I’m not sure if what I’m trying to do — make a physical move of the Multisite install to a subfolder to minimize “clutter” is possible at all due to the limitations and complexities of the Multisite system. 🙁 From what I understand, the Multisite functionality won’t work if WordPress is installed (or relocated) to a subfolder of the server. Multisite would have to be disabled and individual blogs given their own separate WordPress installs, or Multisite remain at the root of the server, else it won’t work. At least that’s what I understand — correct me if I’m wrong. 🙂 In that case, what I would rather do is to change the URL of this particular blog to a subdomain of my main URL.

    My site is on a free shared server (Helio Host), so the URL is in the format, and WordPress is installed at the root, so there is no as of this moment. I just purchased a domain (two in fact, a .com and .net to guard against “squatters”) 😉 and have mapped them to my original URL. So once the DNS has finished “propagating” (I believe is the term), I will be able to access my blog via or as well as But what I would like is for this “main” blog to have a URL of rather than just (at the root). I can’t login to my own WordPress network right now, because the DNS hasn’t updated yet and I don’t want to take a chance of “interrupting” anything (it’s supposed to take at least 48 hours to run its course, and I only did the mapping at quarter to midnight EDT Saturday).

    But I’ll use the image at your own site (borrowed from the same article) to illustrate what I mean. (It’s here as a link because it doesn’t seem that WordPress allows you to post images directly in forum threads.) 🙁

    In the example, (visually) replace with, so pretend that my blog is Eventually this “main” domain is going to read (or, say, rather than What I don’t want is for the main blog to be at but In my network settings, the blank with the domain URL is greyed out and not editable; the blank for “Path” is greyed out too and cannot be changed. Is this because right now there’s only one blog there, and/or because the URL is already a subdomain ( How can I have this “main” blog be at rather than Is it possible for your “main” blog (i.e. the one I first set up when installing Multisite) be at a subdomain and not “level 1”?

    Ah, okay.

    You can’t do what you want to do, because your host sucks.

    My site is on a free shared server (Helio Host), so the URL is in the format, and WordPress is installed at the root, so there is no as of this moment.

    If you cannot make your URL be (or whatever you want) from within HelioHost, then the best we can do is domain map

    We CANNOT map anything to – just doesn’t work.

    OK… I’m a little confused.

    If you cannot make your URL be (or whatever you want) from within HelioHost, then the best we can do is domain map

    I can, in a way, make the URL be, via the use of what’s called parked domains, so that “points to” the same content at According to their Wiki, I can add a parked domain (which I already have done — they do offer a cPanel login), so that has an “alias” of I can therefore access via, or will be able to once the DNS changes finish at about midnight tonight into Tuesday. The way I understand this is that it’s kind of like a shortcut in Windows opens up the .exe of a program, so that clicking on an icon that says “Best M$ Word Alternative.lnk” 😉 starts OpenOfficeWriter.exe. 🙂

    Within this system, I can then enter a subdomain for use with my parked domain, so that in cPanel I could enter Opening opens up the same content as, but the primary URLs are different, i.e. when writing posts and pages and linking to media, etc. Is it not possible to change my URL within WordPress to the parked domain (which still points to the same content) — do I have to change the main domain, which is Can domain mapping work with parked domains (or aliases) per the information in that Wiki post, so that I can use my individual blog on a subdomain

    I apologize if I sound confusing — I myself am a little puzzled on this. It’s sort of difficult with regards to understanding parked vs. primary domains. I get that subdomains are like the equivalent of middle names with people — with a person you can have and the subdomain (or middle name) is (Far as I know, his name is not my name too.) 😉

    What I want is for my blog right now to be at, and subsequent blogs to show up at,, etc., even though the current URL is “hardcoded” as I cannot afford an upgrade to paid hosting, and Helio is pretty good in terms of freehosts, comparable in features to some of the more expensive ones out there. It’s Multisite that’s got me confused a bit.

    I had a look at the Multisite Domain Mapping plugin for WordPress and have noticed that it is only compatible up to WordPress v3.3. I use WordPress 3.4.2 on my site. I don’t know if the plugin will actually work since it’s not marked as upgraded to the latest version.

    But in your opinion, would it be best to scrap Multisite for the time being and start over, i.e. do a clean install of WordPress without ANY content or blogs whatsoever (after a comprehensive backup, of course!), and BEFORE restoring any backups set up how I want my domains to be (i.e. create a few “dummy” blogs as placeholders for,, etc.), redoing the MU setup via WP-config.php AFTER installing WP itself and not via the initial install?

    If so, how would I best go about doing a backup of my blog — not just content but plugins and their settings — so that it can be restored as a “single” blog to a Multisite system? As in, I’d have all set as the “front page” and then restore this blog to with johnjoseph (etc.) and johnjimmy (etc.) still available for use at some future date? When doing backups, do the “serial data” problems mentioned in your blog occur when restoring?

    If not, is it possible to “map” to a parked domain as mentioned above? I’d be OK with having the “clutter” in the main folder if I could still have this blog which is at be located at the parked domain of As it stands right now, once my domains fully update, it will just be at

    In some of the images on this tutorial by Otto Press, I see that he too has a blog located at “/” and has mapped the other one, at /op/, to I wonder then, if I can’t physically “move” any of the files (without starting from scratch), if in that visual example one could map the blog at “/” to and not just

    I hope you’re kind of able to see what I’m saying. You’ve been very patient with a newbie thus far and I thank you for that. 🙂

    You can’t park (aka map) the main domain of a multisite.

    If you park a domain like you describe, then you can map it to sub sites, but never the primary one.

    Hi Ipstenu,

    I figured out a way to get what it was I wanted done. I’ve given up on Multisite as I am by no means a programmer and the setup was causing me headaches. Like you and others have said, Multisite isn’t for everyone.

    What I ended up doing was disabling multisite and just moving my blog (as a “normal” install) to (that’s the real domain), per the instructions on WP Codex: Moving WordPress.

    Furthermore, I installed this plugin: WP Move by Mert Yazicioglu which works very well with serial data. I didn’t have much left over after disabling Multisite, but it still worked pretty well. I don’t know if you’ve linked to it on your blog, but for a newbie like me I find it highly useful.

    I once more appreciate your patience in dealing with a newbie like me, and again want to say thank you for all your help. It just turned out Multisite wasn’t for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be the solution for other users. However, WP should consider themselves very grateful to have support staff such as yourself in helping people weed out the many difficulties of hosting a blog. Thanks for everything, and oh, by the way… I just love the hat! 🙂

    It’s not a problem 🙂 Multisite is awesome when it’s right, but it really isn’t for everything 🙂

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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