Migrating and backing up WordPress in Multisite mode is a pain, but BackupBuddy from iThemes includes and experimental featured designed to facilitate migrating entire multisite installs as well as importing and exporting subsites.
According to iTheme’s own Codex:
Due to the nature of Multisite, iThemes says they cannot provide the same level of thoroughness in migrations as with standalone sites. You should NOT expect as smooth of an experience and we only recommend advanced users attempt to use Multisite functionality due to this. As WordPress Multisite functionality is much more technically complex, some BackupBuddy features available for standalone sites are NOT supported for Multisite environments.
Now that the CYA is out of the way, here’s how to install BackupBuddy on a Multisite install. The actual migration process is essentially the same as when doing it for a single site install. Details on there here.
Install BackupBuddy on Multisite
Installing BackupBuddy on Multisite is basically the same process as when you install any other plugin.
- Upload the plugin to your wp-content/plugins/ folder via FTP
- Go to Network Admin >> Plugins and click “Network Activate”
- If it doesn’t throw any Fatal Errors, move on.
Once installed and Network Activated, you’ll need to download a fresh copy of your wp-config.php file from the remote web server. Then, add the following line of code below the code that enables (and sets up) the multisite feature.
define( 'PB_BACKUPBUDDY_MULTISITE_EXPERIMENT', true );
That enables the awesome, but still experimental features of the plugin. It also allows you to control network-wide settings from Network Admin >> BackupBuddy >> Settings.
Configure BackupBuddy for Multisite
From Network Admin >> BackupBuddy >> Settings, configure the general password for imports and restorations and input an email for notifications.
Migrate the ENTIRE Multisite (with all subsites)
Migrations are completed in much the same way as for single sites. Instructions here.
A little more CYA
BackupBuddy Multisite is an EXPERIMENTAL product. As such, you may encounter issues using it and we cannot necessarily insure flawless functionality or that issues encountered will be resolved in as timely manner as non-experimental features. Usage of it in a production environment is at your own risk; Import/Export functionality is quite solid but Network migrations have some issues which require additional intervention to fully complete if the URL changes.
That’s nerd-speak for you may have to do some of the work manually. Details on doing this manually here (skip to step 4).