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BackupBuddy MS Released as a Beta

UPDATE: The new powerful BackupBuddy now includes full Multisite support (in beta) with the latest version. The separate BackupBuddy MS tool, mentioned in this article, is now outdated and fully replaced with the newest version of BackupBuddy.

BackupBuddy MS is a tool that allows you to migrate a self-hosted WordPress install into an existing WordPress Multisite installation.

A traditional WordPress export/import into Multisite won’t give you the site’s active plugins, themes, theme configuration, widgets, etc. With BackupBuddy MS, we’ve tried to make the process of migrating a self-hosted WordPress install into Multisite as painless as possible.

Demonstration Video

The following video demonstrates the migration process. You can also view our detailed Codex on how BackupBuddy MS functions.

Get BackupBuddy MS

BackupBuddy MS is an add-on for BackupBuddy, so if you’ve already purchased BackupBuddy, BackupBuddy MS should be in your Member’s area.

Feedback on BackupBuddy MS

Please use the BackupBuddy MS forum to post your feedback and feature requests.

Please note that this product is currently in Beta and is still undergoing lots of internal testing.

UPDATE: The new powerful BackupBuddy now includes full Multisite support (in beta) with the latest version. The separate BackupBuddy MS tool, mentioned in this article, is now outdated and fully replaced with the newest version of BackupBuddy.


  1. Very interesting tool. Is there any chance to get also the opposite option? In this way a developer can have a multi-site WordPress installation with all client projects so one central location for the development and the chance to migrate to a WordPress single site install.

  2. I’m not sure why someone would want to import a self hosted site into a WordPress multisite, but I would like the ability for individual WordPress multisite users to download a backup of of the user’s individual website to leave the WordPress multisite if they want to migrate to a self hosted site.

    • I can give you a really good reason! Well say you want to develop a site locally and then push it up to your huge network of sites? I think this tool saves probably about 3 hours of work in doing that. Taking a single site out of multi-site is much more difficult and it would take a lot of resources to code something like that up.

  3. @Roberto,

    I’ve seen the use-case of someone wanting to put a site into a network, but never the opposite. If you have a network of 1000 sites, you wouldn’t ideally want to develop a site on that network, you would want to do it somewhere else.

    As far as the reverse, pulling a site out of the network… Keep in mind that a single site in a network is not a full WordPress install. It’s only several database tables and shares the themes/plugins/global settings with the network of sites.

    Pulling this individual site out of a network and piece-mailing a WordPress installation out of it (along with appropriate wp-config and htaccess rules) would be a tremendous undertaking that we’re not prepared to take at this time.

  4. There is no question that your new multisite option will save someone a lot of time, if someone with a self hosted site would want to import the site to a multisite, but I would not want to do that if I could not reverse the process. Not being able to separate a single site from a multisite is the one reason not to set up a site as part of a multisite.

    Unfortunately, it’s more complicated but it would be nice.

  5. Phil,

    Yeah, based on my multisite experience, once a site’s in a network, it’s hard to separate.

    This is why creating a network of sites shouldn’t be taken likely and there should be a great deal of planning involved before the network is created.

  6. I thought I would add that only the database files with the pages, posts & comments need to be backed up and separated from the multisite. The theme would not need to be part of the backup and the user might not even have the right to use the theme elsewhere. Even the plug-ins would not have to be part of the backup and they can be easily installed later on a new self hosted site. However, a user creating content for a site on a multisite would want to be able to easily move the content elsewhere in the event the user no longer it wants to be part of the multisite.

  7. I have two multi-sites that I support, and they backup fine. I have only tested recovering my “x.network.com” structured site, so I have yet to test my “network.com/x” structured site. The one I’ve tested seems to recover perfectly back to the originating location, except that the prefix comes up as “wp_1_” and needs to be changed to “wp_”. It needs database tweaking if it goes to a new copy elsewhere (which I do for testing purposes). I hope to see PluginBuddy provide full multi-site support soon… this MS tool should be getting them closer!

  8. One reason for pulling a site out of a network is when you want to flip the site and the new owner wants it on their own domain.

    I can see that this would be a major undertaking though. Is it possible to create a version that just exports the site specific stuff that can then be imported into a WP install? Kind of like export/import but that picks up the themes, plugins and settings?

  9. I’m really glad you guys are working on multisite support, but I agree with Lonewolf and others that having the ability to export some specific sub-site data is what is really needed.

    We can set up WP and install themes and necessary plugins, but it would be nice to capture and migrate the site specific settings and databases.

    Also, what about sub-site backup & restore? Is that supported?

    Until these features are supported maybe the plugin should be named “migrate stand alone site to multisite”?

  10. @SiteSubscribe,

    Currently the self-hosted into Multisite is the only thing BackupBuddy currently does in regards to Multisite.

    We’d definitely like to tackle some of the other Multisite-related options (network migration, site to self-hosted, backing up of individual sites), but we don’t have the resources currently to tackle what will be a tremendous undertaking.

  11. I think this plugin is poorly named as it gives the impression of being BackupBuddy for multisite installs which as far as I can tell is not the case.

  12. Scot,

    True Multisite integration would have to be built into BackupBuddy. BackupBuddy MS is a BackupBuddy extension that allows self-hosted into Multisite.

    The name will remain.

  13. Anyone else getting 2 identical BB MS plugin entries? And 2 menus?

    Looks like there’s 2 files with plugin headers in the download…

    Also, why is the support forum for BB MS locked?

  14. Another optimistic hoper here :) If BackupBuddy MS ever evolves into having the ability to work in the reverse (taking sites out of MS), then I would probably use it. Right now I have no use for it if it only works one way.

  15. I wanted to clarify one aspect. I am using BackupBuddy on a multisite to back up the entire multisite including all of the subdomain sites.

    If I need to do a restore will BackupBuddy let me restore the entire installation with all of the subdomain sites and domain mapping?

  16. For all you guys hoping for BackupBuddy Multisite support, please check out this post explaining everything.

    Basically (keep in mind Multisite features are still in beta), you can:

    1. Restore a MS instance
    2. Migrate a MS instance
    3. Migrate a site from MS to MS
    4. Export a site from MS back to self-hosted
    5. Import a site from self-hosted into MS
    6. Duplicate a site from within a network

  17. Very encouraging and exciting developments with the new upcoming release! You guys rock.

    The migration features will come in very handy.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for some individual sub-site backup/restore functionality for near future… :)

  18. @SiteSubscribe,

    You can already do individual sub-site backup/restore using the latest version of BackupBuddy.

    Since it’s in a network, we changed some of the terms for Multisite.

    Instead of “Backing up a sub-site”, you “export” the site out.

    The export file is self-contained BackupBuddy file, which you can create a self-hosted install out of.

    If you want that site “inside” multisite, you “import” that file.



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