I am trying to retrieve search results from one multi-site site ("Staffsite" - id: 2) and display them alongside the search results on another site that's part of the multi-site setup ("Flagship" - id: 1). I currently have the following code in search.php on Flagship:

$args = array(
    'post_type' => 'staff',
    's'         => get_search_query(),

switch_to_blog( 2 ); // switch to Staffsite

$staffsite_query = new WP_Query( $args );

var_dump( $staffsite_query->post_count ); // 0

// Do something with post data

restore_current_blog(); // return to Flagship

The query works as expected when used in a template on Staffsite (replacing get_search_query() with an actual value), returning all the relevant posts, but does not work when used from a template on Flagship in combination with switch_to_blog().

For what reason does this not work?

  • It doesn't look like there's a switch_to_network() that's the equivalent of switch_to_blog(). You might find what you need in the WP Multi Network plugin. – Pat J Sep 3 '18 at 16:19
  • 1
    @PatJ apologies, wrong terminology on my part. The sites are part of a multisite setup, not a multi-network setup. – Sillzen Sep 4 '18 at 8:14
  • Is the staff post type defined in a plugin? If so, and the plugin is only activated on blog 2, then its code won't be loaded on a request for blog 1, even when you use switch_to_blog, so it won't recognize the post type in the query. – Corey McKrill Sep 5 '18 at 0:00

Alternative option could be using the Rest API:

Example (post):

Search for Jane Doe in posts:


Example (custom post types):

If the public and searchable custom post type (e.g. staff) has show_in_rest set to true then we can search for Jane Doe in staff posts:


ps: Somewhat related, if you want to create your own route, using data from multiple sites in the network: WP REST API - Multisite - get posts from all sites

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