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How-to Guides

Technical References

Manually launch a subsite on a multisite

VIP’s subsite launch tool is the recommended method for launching subsites on a WordPress multisite.

Launching a subsite is also possible by completing the necessary VIP-CLI commands and updates to the WordPress Network Admin outlined below.


A WordPress Super Admin user role is required to update site settings in the Network Admin.

VIP-CLI is installed 

Subsites on a multisite cannot be self-launched until the root site (site ID 1) has been launched, as explained in the order of launching sites on a multisite.

Read through and complete the steps outlined in Prepare for launch.

1. Change the subsite URL#

  • Log in to the root site of the multisite.
  • Hover over the “My Sites” label in the upper left hand corner of the WordPress Admin dashboard to access the flyout menu and select:
    My Sites > Network Admin > Sites
  • On the “Sites” page of your multisite Network Admin, hover over the subsite you plan to launch and click “Edit.
  • Select the “Info” tab.
  • Update the Site Address (URL) to the final production URL, which is the domain that was mapped in the Prepare for launch steps.
In this screenshot example, the Site Address has been updated to the final production URL “”.
  • Select “Save Changes.”


Updating the Site Address (URL) will also update the home and siteurl values, as well as the entry in wp_blogs.

2. Dry-run search-replace from current URL to production URL#

The search-replace operation will update the URLs (including content and media URLs) that exist in the site’s database from the VIP convenience domain to the mapped production domain. Running the search-replace command with the --dry-run flag will report the qualifying changes without altering the database.

vip @mysite.production -- wp search-replace --all-tables-with-prefix --report-changed-only --dry-run


The above command performs a targeted search-replace within the subsite tables corresponding to the URL specified (to the value that was updated in the previous step). Verify that the output shows only the tables prefixed with the correct site ID, for example wp_2_posts.

If you wish to perform a search-replace across all tables of the multisite, adjust the command as follows:

vip @mysite.production -- wp search-replace --all-tables --report-changed-only --dry-run


Depending on the size of the database, a search-replace across the entire database may take a long time to complete and add extra load. Contact VIP support if you need to run a search-replace across the entire database and have further questions.

3. Run final search-replace#

Search-replace from current URL to production URL by removing the dry run argument:

vip @mysite.production -- wp search-replace --all-tables-with-prefix --report-changed-only

4. Flush object cache#

vip @mysite.production -- wp cache flush

5. Complete your launch#

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

Last updated: October 07, 2021