Support » Networking WordPress » Multisite upload path and permissions

  • Resolved rsconsult


    I have a new install of 3.5 with multisite enablbed with subdomains. Everthing seems to be setup ok but I cannot upload a theme. When I do I get the following error:

    Unable to create directory uploads/2013/01. Is its parent directory writable by the server?

    I’ve searched here and elsewhere looking for possible solutions and ran across the fact that 3.5 does not do the upload path the same way as it was done previously via the blog.dir folder – which would explain why I do not have anything in that folder.

    I have tried changing the permissions and set the wp-content/uploads folder to 777 but it did not make a difference. Any thoughts?

    Another question – on the settings page of each site (Network Admin/Sites/) what should the upload path be? If they are all the same, how does it differentiate between what uploads are for what sites?

    Thanks in advance!

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    There is no blogs.dir on WP 3.5 installs of Multisite. If you started before 3.5, you keep blogs.dir, but new installs won’t have it. Yes, it’s confusing.

    If the uploads folder can’t create subfolders, it’s not a multisite issue, it’s a plain WordPress one. Is there a 2013 folder in there and, if so, what are its permissions?

    Thanks for replying!

    There are no folders under the uploads folder – it is completely empty. The permissions for uploads is 777. It was 755 but I had changed it to try and figure the issue out and have not put it back.

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    Can you install plugins and themes from inside the WP dashboard? It’s possible this is a server setup issue.

    Interesting… If I try and upload a theme or plugin, I get the error. If I search for either and choose to install it, it works fine.

    So if this is server-side, what is it that I need to tell my host to check on? Also, if I have a single-site setup with the same host, it should do the same thing if it is a server issue, right?

    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    🏳️‍🌈 Halfelf Rogue & Plugin Review Team Rep

    It’s server side. And you would have the same problem with a single install. Tell your host that PHP can’t write files to your web directories, and ask them what permissions/who needs to own the files to make that work?

    In case others run across the same issue…

    The problem was that the data had been moved to a new user on another hosting service. When this was done, the upload path in WordPress was not updated so it had the old path with the previous username. Since this was under a different user on a different host, there was an error.

    To fix, either change the upload path under Settings/Media for single site, Network Admin/Sites and edit the settings tab for each site and change the upload path, or change it in the database.

    Thanks Mika for pointing me in the right direction!


    I just saw this thread and another and it could be an issue for my site(s) going forward.

    I was trying to be a good citizen and look this change up on Version 3.5 and not bother the mods, but there is no mention of it.

    Can you point me to the way so I can learning more about this?


    I think I have a similar issue: an old WP MU install that was upgraded to 3.5 and moved to another server. Now I’m baffled at what the path options ought to be. Also, to add to the pain, I need to deal with Nginx instead of Apache, adding a further layer of confusion.

    So, if I understand things correctly, now there is no blogs.dir/XXX/files, but just a “common” wp-content/uploads/MMMM/YY/DD structure, like on single-site setups, is that right?

    Does this mean that all options (which we can change on the Network Admin panel > Sites > [select site name] > Options) should reflect the “new”, post 3.5 configuration? I. e. just get rid of wp-content/blogs.dir/3/files and change it to wp-content/uploads/?

    How does WP 3.5 keep track of which files belong to which blog?

    @gwyneth Llewelyn wp-content/uploads/sites/siteID



    Gwyneth Llewelyn, this fixed the problem for me.

    Edit the site (Network -> Sites -> Edit -> Settings ) and change the following parameters:

    Upload Path wp-content/uploads
    Fileupload Url

    P.S. Make sure the chmod is set for 777 on the uploads folder.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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