Support » Networking WordPress » Subdirectories after converting existing Single-site to Multi-site?

  • Just trying to get confirmation because there is some conflicting info out there.

    If there is an existing and established single-site, is it still possible to have sub-directories after switching to a multi-site setup for other sub-sites? Or is it only possible to have sub-sites as subdomains?

    The single-site has been around for a while and has been built-up quite a bit, so if sub-directories won’t work or might break something, I’d rather know beforehand that a subdomain is the way to go.

    Thanks!

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  • The issue is with creating a subdirectory multisite using an existing site boils down to permalinks. When you attempt to install multisite, you’ll receive a warning:

    Warning: The main site in a sub-directory installation will need to use a modified permalink structure, potentially breaking existing links.

    The issue arises when you create a new site (within the multisite) that has the same path as a page in the original site. For example:

    Once the new site is created, that site will take precedence over the original page, and the original page will no longer be accessible. (The record for the original page is still in the database under the existing site, and still accessible via wp-admin, but it can no longer be visited on the front-end.)

    If you attempt to go through with converting the existing site WordPress will not stop you, it only gives you the warning before you proceed with the install.

    The Codex gives more info on it here: https://codex.wordpress.org/Multisite_Network_Administration#Switching_network_types

    It does say:

    This is in order to ensure you don’t have conflicts between pages (i.e. example.com/pagename ) and sites (i.e. example.com/sitename ). If you are confident you will not have this issue, then you can change this after you finish the initial setup.

    If you decide to try this, I strongly recommend backing up your site, creating a local copy, and testing the switch before you attempt the upgrade on your production server. I’d also test restoring your backup in the event things go awry.

    To remove all doubt, follow the recommendation of the Codex and use subdomains.

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