I have recently published a WordPress plugin and it works great on single sites. I was informed that the plugin is not working correctly on multi-site installations and I understand a few of the reasons why. I have updated the code and need a way to now test my updated code before going to a live customer's multi-site installation.

I have a single site installation of WordPress setup for testing purposes but need to test on a multi-site installation.

From what I can find the only way to do this would be to setup an entire multi-site installation with at least two sites on the network to test my plugin.

Is setting up an entire multi-site installation of WordPress the only/preferred way for plugin developers, or is there a quicker testing environment available.

  • 2
    Setting up a local multisite install shouldn't be that much more difficult than a single site, and a lot of times plugins that work on multisites work just fine on a single site
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Jun 4, 2017 at 21:32
  • @TomJNowell my current single site testing environment is on a subdomain. I will take your suggestion and just go ahead and go create a multi-site testing environment on a local server laying around my house. and use my hosts file to save the cost of a domain since it will be for local testing only.
    – amaster
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 2:58

1 Answer 1


I've used several popular plugins on my multisite without problems.

The only issue I had was when I found that a plugin wasn't working on a sub-site like I thought it should. Turns out that was my fault - the plugin wasn't activated/enabled on that sub-site. Doh!

But it all depends on how the plugin is written, and how it is expected to work on a site. Most plugins, as Tom J Nowell stated/implied, should work just fine on multisite and sub-sites.

  • Yes, that is the main problem I am facing. My plugin creates database tables which I was doing with ->prefex and am now doing instead with ->base_prefix since I need to share the tables between the network and if I duplicated the tables on each site then all of the data would be duplicate... I was just looking for a way to test without creating a local multisite installation. I was looking for a possible testing environment that resets itself or something similar to download.
    – amaster
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 3:02
  • Rather than a separate table for each prefix, why not one table with a field for the prefix. Then filter out only those records that match the prefix. Results in only one additional table no matter how many subsites you have. Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 18:16
  • I accepted your answer since it was the only answer. That is how I developed the plugin with all sites sharing the same tables, the problem I ran into is when I made my queries using prefix instead of base_prefix and the subsites were not accessing the data.
    – amaster
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 19:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.