I have a local development server with WordPress installed (my desktop Linux Mint 12 box). I'd like to use multi-site WordPress to manage my different client projects through one install, but I have a couple of important questions before I commit to this set-up.

1) Is it possible to import a database backup (created from the Admin Panel's backup tool) from a single WP site into a multi-site child site?

2) Vice versa -- Is it possible to export a multi-site child site's database and import it in to a single site? (for migrating from my dev box to the live server!)

3) Are there any other 'obvious' problems that I should worry about when using this kind of set-up for localhost development?

Community question: What method(s) do any other developers out there use for managing multiple WordPress projects?

All advice / help / guidance greatly appreciated!

2 Answers 2


I imported/exported between a single wordpress blog and a multisite wordpress without problems, many times.

Personally on a multi-site wordpress I have a parent generic theme and each website has it's own child theme with as few files as possible, mostly only html/css for custom post types. Security issues or big complicated options are most of the time in the parent theme anyway, which means I keep improving all my websites at the same time.

It's how I like doing, doesn't mean I would advice to do the same because a working website has something wonderful: it's working...

Anyway if you make a mistake with an update (plugins, themes or other) all the websites using the same help noticing earlier.

  • Thanks Chris, but after playing around with things for a while I decided to just go with a separate install (I had to get the project moving). I might try this again though as I can see the benefits. Thank you for the sage advice too. I guess every developer does 'find their own way' a lot of the time and can't always recommend those practices to someone else.
    – Bucky
    Sep 9, 2012 at 15:03

While I'm sure there are other tools for this, one specifically that lists importing in/out of Multisite setups is Backup Buddy. It's a great plugin - I'd suggest giving it a look!

  • 1
    Sorry Zach but I don't think I'll be paying $75+ for a backup plugin!
    – Bucky
    Aug 30, 2012 at 15:15
  • You should not expect every plugin/theme to be free. Is the only reason you're using this site is because you can get help for free? People need to make a living and most web developers are more than willing to support their efforts. BackupBuddy is an extremely popular plugin that for the money, does a great job. I'd rethink your last comment.
    – Zach
    Aug 30, 2012 at 19:26
  • Thanks Zach, I know a lot of plugins/themes aren't free, and if by "this site" you to mean S.O. then the answer in unashamedly YES. Help for free? Damn right I'll use that if I can. Why? Two reasons. 1) I can't afford to pay for help, if I could then I wouldn't have posted the question here in the first place. 2) This is one of the ways developers are 'more than willing' to support each other as you say. If you're lucky enough to be able to throw money at every problem that comes your way then good for you. Unfortunately for me it's not a case of I wont pay $75, but that I can't.
    – Bucky
    Sep 9, 2012 at 14:59
  • Fair enough - next time mention that you are looking for free solutions. I gave you a plugin that did exactly what you wanted - whether it was "free" or not should be irrelevant based on your original question.
    – Zach
    Sep 10, 2012 at 14:15

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