How to Convert a WordPress Multisite Network Sub-site to a Single Site

With WordPress Multisite installations, you enjoy the advantages of managing multiple WordPress sites from one dashboard. Unfortunately, multisite systems are not only quite manageable but can also often seriously jeopardize your WordPress setup.

If that’s the case, you should consider converting your WordPress Multisite to a single site to avoid programmatic conflicts, security holes, and the eventual downfall of your entire network.

Fortunately, WP STAGING enables you to convert a multisite network sub-site WordPress installation into an independent website with a few clicks.

NOTE: We assume you have created a backup to avoid data loss.

Why Convert a Multisite to a Single Site?

Programmatic Conflicts: Each plugin or theme is devoted to a single site and may conflict with the other in the multisite network. Similarly, any plugin or theme update implemented on all network sites can create compatibility issues.

Lack of Administration Control: Other admins of network sub-sites can’t deal with plugins and themes.

Risk of Network Downfall: Because all sub-sites are managed through the same dashboard, any hacker attack, data breach, server outage, or slow speed can eventually shut all of your websites down.

No Testing: It’s difficult for a single administrator to test new plugins or themes because of not having the privilege.

Difficult to Manage: Multisites are much more complex and challenging to maintain in the long run if you run a lot of custom plugins. Not all plugins work very well in multisite environments.

Multisite is a feasible solution if you need to control a lot of different network sub-sites. If you need hundreds or thousands of sites, go with a multisite network, but if you require only a handful of sites, better choose a WordPress single site installation.

How to Convert a WP Multisite into an Independent Single Site?

Step 1: Install WP STAGING | PRO (on the Multisite Main Site)

Login to your WordPress multisite and install WP STAGING | PRO.
Activate the WP STAGING | PRO plugin on the network sites you want to convert to a single site. You can even activate it on the main multisite to convert that site to a single site.

  • Go to WP Staging Pro > License.
  • Add your license key and click on ACTIVATE LICENSE to validate.

Step 2: Create a Staging Site of a Network sub-site

  • Go to WP Staging Pro > Staging Sites.
  • Click on CREATE NEW STAGING SITE.

create staging site

  • Click on Start Cloning.

start cloning

staging process

NOTE: If your site is hosted on the same server as your live website, you can stage it in a subfolder (https://domain.com/staging), a subdomain or a new domain (https://staging.domain.com, https://domain.com).

During this process, WP STAGING will already convert the multisite to a network site.

Now, you can either replace your multisite with this cloned network site or replace the existing multisite with the converted single site by following the steps below.

Step 3: Backup & Download the Staging Site

When you have created the staging site, open it and log in to its admin dashboard with the same credentials you used for the multisite network site.

  • Go to WP Staging Pro > Backup & Migration

backup and migration

  • Select Create New Backup, name it, and click Start Backup.

If the backup process is done, click the Actions button and Download the backup file to your local computer.

download backup

IMPORTANT: Deactivate the license key for WP STAGING | PRO on the staging site before you are going to delete the staging site.
Then activate the license key again on your production site.

If you forgot to deactivate the license key on the staging site before deleting the site, you can still switch the license key on your account page.

With that said, let’s get to our final step.

Step 4: Build the Single Site by Restoring the Cloned Site Backup

You can either import the backup file into a new default WordPress site on another domain or use the existing domain. To use the current domain,  delete the available multisite network first and install a default WordPress single site from scratch.

You might need to access your hosting cPanel to add the domain.

  • Login to cPanel > Domains > Add New Domain.

Add New Domain

  • Go to the Software Category in cPanel and install WordPress on the newly added domain.

NOTE: You can either install via ‘Softaculous’ or use any other feature your hosting provider provides.

  • Once the default WordPress installation is done, log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  • Next, follow the same procedure in ‘step 1’ to install and validate the WP STAGING | PRO plugin (you can use the same license key).

Upload the backup file we’ve just downloaded in step 3.

upload backup

Locate the backup file on your computer and upload it.

select file

A new window with the actions button will appear after the backup has been uploaded successfully.

  • Click Actions > Restore

The process will take some time to complete.

All done! Once it’s done, check if your live site is working fine as expected.

Support

We hope that your conversion went well with WP STAGING. Please open a support ticket for prompt assistance if you encounter any problems.

Updated on December 27, 2021