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Launch a site

Begin a site launch on a multisite network

Launching a site on a WordPress multisite network can be completed with the site launch tool available in the VIP Dashboard.


Completing a site launch with the site launch tool will cause the following actions to occur:

  • A full backup of the network’s database.
  • A search-replace on the network’s database updates:
    • all corresponding site tables (wp_*_posts, etc.) from the old domain to the new domain
    • the URL values for siteurl and home in the corresponding wp_*_options table from the old domain to the new domain
    • the site’s domain and path values in the wp_blogs table from the old domain to the new domain
  • If the site being launched is the root site (site ID 1) of the multisite network, the new domain will become the Primary Domain for the environment.
  • WP object cache is flushed.

The site launch tool will only target the domain for the specified site selected in the site launch tool and its corresponding database values.

Adding and selecting a domain for the site launch

Navigate to the VIP Dashboard and select the “Domains” panel option at the left.

Domains can be added to the list of domains in the VIP Dashboard at any time, including at the time of a subsite launch.

To launch a site with a new domain

  1. Add the domain by selecting “Add Domain” in the upper right of the panel.
  2. Enter the domain and select “Add Domain“.

To launch a site with a previously added domain

  1. Select the “•••” button to the right of the domain for the site launch.
  2. Select “Launch a site using this domain” from the overflow menu.
Screenshot of the option to “Launch a site using this domain” which is available for previously added domains in the ViP Dashboard.

Configure and test your site

Screenshot of Step 2 in the site launch tool in the VIP Dashboard
  1. Select the dropdown bar below “Site To Configure” and select the site to be launched.
  2. Once a site is selected, an outline of the actions that will occur for backup and search-replace are displayed.
  3. Review the actions carefully to be sure that they describe the desired outcome.
  4. If needed, the launch process can be aborted by selecting “Skip” and no changes will be made to the database.
  5. To proceed with the launch select “Update Site“.
Screenshot of the outlined steps displayed by the site launch tool in Step 2 once a site is selected.

Possible error when updating a site

A screenshot of a displayed error in Step 2 of the launch tool reporting that the site could not be updated

If the error message There was an error updating your subsite domain is displayed after selecting “Update Site“, the launch was not completed successfully. Only one site launch can be performed at a time, and this error appears if a site launch is already in progress for this environment.

The amount of time required for a site launch depends on the size of the network’s database.

Complete your launch

Finish your site launch by following the detailed completing a site launch guide.

Last updated: April 22, 2022