Moving WordPress Multi-Site Between Servers

Posted (Updated ) in Database, Linux, PHP

Tonight I had to move my WPMU install from my local development machine to the live server – this meant a change in installation path which is always a hassle with WordPress. Below I’ll detail my issues and the corresponding fixes in the hopes it will make life easier for others experiencing the same problems.

Redirection to wp-signup.php

First thing I noticed was that when loading the site on a live domain, I’d get instantly redirected to mydomain.com/wp-signup.php?new=mydomain.com. With a bit of Googling I came across this forum thread which recommended adding the following to my wp-config.php:

define( 'NOBLOGREDIRECT', '' );
define( 'SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false );

Don’t do this! It will get the site closer to working order but it’s not going to help you in the long run – especially when you need the other domains working too. Instead here’s what you should be doing:

#Dump your DB
mysqldump - u<username> -p<password> -h<host> <dbname> > test.sql
#Update folder path to that of the new servers
sed -i "s/path\/to\/install/new\/path\/to\/install/g" test.sql 
#If you installed into localhost/foo/bar/mysite, change that to your live servers domain
sed -i "s/url\/path\/to\/site/www\.domain\.com/g" test.sql

This is pretty standard behavior for moving WordPress sites, however if you load the above dump up on your live domain you’ll probably be greeted with the dreaded Error establishing a database connection.

Error establishing a database connection

Heading to www.domain.com/wp-admin will shed a little more light on the situation – you need to update your wp_blogs table for the main site. WPMU is currently using your development servers URL from this table and ignoring what’s in wp-config.php. To play things safe we’ll update any occurrances of our test servers domain in test.sql:

#Update your live servers subdomain in wp_blogs to your live servers domain
sed -i  "s/yoursite\.localhost\.com/www\.yourdomain\.com/g" test.sql

This should do the trick. Load that bad boy into your live server and you should be good to go!