Import Multisite

I have a zipped back up of a wp multisite (subdomain) using BackWPup
What do I need to know about the procedure for creating in local please?

Hey there @paulcobb!

Unfortunately Local doesn’t yet support importing a multisite, however we do have a workaround to the normal import process. Can you try the following?

  1. Create a new site in Local by clicking the big green plus button
  2. On step 3 “Setup WordPress” hit that drop down for “Advanced Options” and choose the subdirectory or subdomain option depending on what you need
  3. After the site is created in Local, use the installer in your backup plugin to import the zip to the newly created site


Hey Keegan,

I am having the same issue. Could please expand step number 3. I already have the zip file exported from Flywheel, it is no very clear to me how to import that zip file into the new multisite project created on Local.
Thank you!

1 Like

Bump. Why has no one answered this very important issue regarding multisite?

If you are looking for importing WP Multisite from any host contact me!
Thank you!
Bela Grundmann

Respectfully, if you’ve figured out how to do that please share the solution here or at least share the link to a blog post. This should not only be much easier to accomplish, it should be a public solution for the community.


1 Like

Thanks for bumping this question!

Part of the reason is that working with Multisites is very tricky and there are lots of nuances to migrating a site between environments. This sort of complexity is the primary reason that Local doesn’t have any sort of automated way of doing it currently.

I totally agree. Do the steps in this post give you enough to go on? Either way, I’ll put some time on my calendar to write up a more formal thing and publish it as a help doc.

Thanks, Ben. Please don’t mistake my passion for anger, but I’m going to explain why this is important to me, and probably a lot of other users:

A few months ago, I was equally excited and skeptical about moving my local dev environemt over completely from Laravel Valet to Local WP. It had taken me years to even get to the point where I was comfortable with Valet, starting with OSX’s native Apache server -> MAMP -> homestead -> VVV -> Valet. Things were ALWAYS breaking, mostly some unseen dependency that would take me offline for days until I could find the right blog post to guide me out of my frustration, or frequently fighting resource drain would grind my machine to a halt and I’d have to scramble to figure out how to manage that.

When I discovered that the migration process to Local WP was super straightforward, I spent an entire day feverishly moving everything over to Local. Now I feel like I’ve been lied to. You all really need to call out the fact that the software can only build new Multisite installs, and not import them locally or downsync them from production sites, so other people don’t fall prey to the same magical thinking that I did.

In all honesty, the main reason I use multisite now is to keep a running network of all the Genesis themes I use, to be able to have my own demo sites on hand, to access and dissect. I will probably opt to just rebuild that site from scratch, because at the MySQL level, Local WP’s interaction with Sequel Pro is also broken (which is another HUGE issue). However, this topic scratches at a sore spot of mine, from years of running a university Multisite, where I found that Multisite is the bastard child of the WordPress community. I do understand very well, and firsthand, that managing local environments for Multisite installs is precarious in almost any scenario, because I spent 3 years scouring the internet for hacks & workarounds to edge cases that shouldn’t have existed in the first place, in order to protect my income.

We’ve always got to keep in mind that there is a DEEP story behind why humans feel a certain way, especially when we’re talking about nascent users of a widely-used CMS. Somehow I managed to miss the post you linked me to, but as far as I can tell, Local has had 3+ years of folks asking for better Multisite support. If that’s not reason enough to surface an official manual solution, or solve for the complexity via software, maybe WPEngine/Flyweel/Local as a company needs to start contributing to Core in such a way that helps makes Multisite less of a cluster to deal with. It’s time to stop deprioritizing things simply because Multisite users aren’t numerically dominant — we’re some of the more experienced and devoted WordPress users out there.

Again, thank you for your time, patience, and assistance. I hope Local is able to remedy the Multisite importing sooner than later.

No worries, it’s when we’re passionate that things get done!

I’m sorry that the perception is that we’ve in some way lied – that’s not our intention. Local definitely has made the process for spinning up WordPress sites easier, and when those sites aren’t Multisites, the workflow is pretty amazing!

From a pure complexity point of view, it’s harder to get the WordPress Multisite workflow to “just work.” The Local team is taking steps to improve things, and as you can see, spinning up a new Multisite does work, which is some of the initial complexity – how do you create the various server configuration settings to allow WordPress Multisite to work?

Ohh man, if you’ve been running a University Multisite, then you probably can teach me (and the forums) some interesting things! I understand that feeling of not having the focus of the WordPress community, and again, I think this boils down to the fact that many of us don’t get opportunities to work on Multisites and in the interest of reducing complexity, we focus on single site installations.

You’re not wrong here. People have been asking for better Multisite support for a long time. Again though each Multisite network and even every Multisite user has different needs and it’s hard to solve for everyone.

You know your network the best, with all of the subdomains, addon domains, whitelisted plugins/themes. In many cases, Local has no way of knowing how you want the site to be transformed when changing between environments, so creating an automated way of doing this for everyone isn’t an easy thing to solve for.

I know that many of my answers have boiled down to basically saying that there are not enough Multisite users for Local to “solve the Multisite” problem, but to the second part of this sentence – it’s precisely the fact many of these more experienced users are working on snowflake installations that there isn’t an easy way to automate this.

As you mention, solving issues and making Multisite better in upstream WordPress core is probably the best first thing to do, and the people that are best able to do that are users like yourself who do have intimate backgrounds and experiences in using and maintaining Multisites.

The Local team would love to make developing Multisites easier and we are chipping away at things, but there’s always more to do! : D

Having users like yourself continue to advocate and improve Multisite only makes everyone’s dev experience better, so thanks for continuing to engage!

Dear @ben.turner and @tomfinley

You really made me read a lot :slight_smile:

Keep it simple:
" official manual solution, …, maybe WPEngine/Flyweel/Local as a company needs to start contributing to"

Writing a software is complex! Keep it running even more complex :slight_smile:

Thank you!
Bela Grundmann
ps: @tomfinley you can reach me here

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.