Clone & Push WordPress Multisites

WP STAGING | PRO allows you to clone regular WordPress single sites, and it even allows you to clone an entire WordPress multisite network.

What Type of Multisite Can be Cloned?

WP STAGING supports the cloning of any site of a WordPress Multisite network, including the WordPress main site and all of its network sub-sites. The Multisite can exist in a subdomain or a subfolder.

Cloning the Main or Network Site Separately

WP STAGING can create a staging site for the active website. This can be either the main network site or one of its child network sites. While it clones one of these sites, it converts a specific network site to a single site. This allows you to work on the staging site and then later push back any changes made to the production parent network site.

It works that way:

​- You install WP STAGING plugin network-wide or on a per-site basis. Then you login to the specific network site wp-admin > WP Staging Pro > Staging Sites

​From there, you create a staging site as usual, which creates a clone of the current network site.

So the clone sites are totally independent and cannot affect each other, which is highly recommended for having a staging site for testing purposes.

Cloning the Entire WordPress Multisite Network

To clone the whole network, activate the plugin on the main network site, then go to WP STAGING | PRO > Staging Sites, and select the option “Clone Entire Network”:Clone wordpress multisites

Clone a WordPress Multisite on SiteGround Hosting

Siteground Hosting and a few other hosting providers may require a few extra steps to make the multisite clone work.

When cloning a multisite from example.com into a subdomain like staging.example.com, SiteGround hosting doesn’t give the option to change the subdomain root path. So once you clone your entire multisite, the network subsites in your multisite will not work.

You will need to create a subdomain for each of your subsites.

Let’s say you have a site structure like this:

  1. example.com
  2. site1.example.com
  3. site2.example.com
  4. site3.example.com

and you cloned your multisite to a subdomain staging.example.com, then your network structure on your staging domain will be

  1. staging.example.com
  2. site1.staging.example.com
  3. site2.staging.example.com
  4. site3.staging.example.com

To make this work, create for each of these subdomains a subdomain in the SiteGround hosting dashboard like this:

When you do this, Siteground (and other hosting providers) will create a folder named public_html for each of these subdomains.
Delete this folder, and instead of it, create a directory symbolic link and point it to the public_html in your staging site folder like this:

You can create a symbolic link with this command from the command line. (You will need SSH access to your server):
ln -s ~/www/staging.example.com/public_html ~/www/site1.staging.example.com/public_html

If you still face a problem, you also need to adjust the .htaccess file in the root directory of the staging site by making sure all paths to example.com are changed to staging.example.com

​What WP STAGING | PRO License Do I Need?

For multisite support, you need at least a Business or Developer license of WP STAGING | PRO.
To use the push and backup feature, you need a license that covers the number of network sites where you want to use the push feature at the same time.

For instance, if you have two network sites, you will need at least the Business plan. If you have four or more network sites, you will need the Developer plan.

Updated on October 7, 2022