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Begin a network site launch

Launch a network site on a WordPress multisite environment, or update a network site’s domain, in the Network Sites panel in the VIP Dashboard.

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Customers who add WordPress VIP Launch Day Services to their support package will have a Technical Account Manager (TAM) assigned to them to ensure a smooth launch for their site on the VIP Platform. VIP TAMs will draft and confirm a launch plan for the site, guide customers through the necessary steps leading up to and including the site launch, and advise customers on any last-minute issues that may arise.

The following actions to occur when when a site launch—or an update to a network site’s domain—is completed with the Network Sites launch tool:

  • A full backup of the environment’s database.
  • A search-replace operation on the network’s database will update:
    • All corresponding site tables (e.g., wp_*_posts) 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 main site (ID 1) of the network, the new domain will become the primary domain for the environment.
  • The WordPress object cache for that site will be flushed.
  • An automated Jetpack sync of the updated site’s content and settings.


Select a site for launch

  1. Navigate to the VIP Dashboard for an application.
  2. Select the environment for the site launch (e.g., Production, Develop) from the dropdown located at the upper left of the VIP Dashboard application view.
  3. Select “Network Sites” from the sidebar navigation at the left of the screen.
  4. Locate the site for launch in the list of the environment’s network sites. To be eligible for launch, a site must have a status of “Launch this site“, “Launched“, or “Update domain” in the Launch Status column.
  5. Select either the “Launch this site” button or the “Update domain” link for the site in the column labeled “Launch Status“.

Set your domain

To be available for launching a site, a domain must be added to the environment’s Domains & TLS panel and the domain must be verified prior to beginning the launch process.

  1. Select the URL structure for the site launch. Sites can be launched with a URL structure that includes only a custom domain (e.g.,,,, or a custom domain with a subdirectory structure (e.g.,
  2. Select domain. Select the field that appears below the Select domain label to display a list of up to 10 domains available for the site launch. If a large number of domains are associated with the environment, locate the desired domain by typing the first few characters of the domain into the search field.
  3. For a site that is launching with a subdirectory structure, enter the desired path value in the “Enter subdirectory path” field.
  4. Review the generated “Final site URL” value.
  5. If the final site URL value is correct, select the “Confirm” button.

Configure and test your site

Displayed in the panel is a list of the database value updates and actions that will occur based on the accepted final site URL value.

  1. Review the actions carefully to be sure that they describe the desired outcome.
  2. If needed, the launch process can be paused by selecting “Skip“. No changes will be made to the database.
    To complete this step of the launch process at a later time:
    1. From the Network Sites panel, select the “Continue with launch” button displayed for the site in the Launch Status column.
    2. Select the “Change” link at the right of the collapsed “Set your domain” panel. Complete the step to select the new site URL for the site launch and proceed with the step to “Configure and test your site“.
  3. Select “Update Site” to proceed with the search-replace operation to update database values. The amount of time required for completing the site update depends on the size of the network’s database.

The search-replace operation will update the URL values in the database with the new domain, but public traffic will not be able to access the site until DNS records are updated to point to VIP.

Before pointing a domain’s DNS to VIP, verify that the site loads and appears as expected from the front end. The site can be viewed in its current state by updating the local machine’s hosts file.

The browser might display a warning that the site at the new URL is not secure. This warning can be ignored and will not occur after the domain’s DNS is pointed and TLS is installation is complete.

After verifying that the site is loading as expected, be sure to remove the test lines that were added to the hosts file before updating the domain’s DNS.

Configure your DNS

For a site to be accessible at the new site URL, DNS for the domain must be updated with the DNS provider and pointed at VIP. To review options for DNS settings for the site’s new domain, select the linked text “DNS instructions for this domain“.

After updating a domain’s DNS settings with the DNS provider, the speed at which the updated DNS will complete global propagation is dependent on the domain’s Time To Live (TTL). A service like DNS Checker can be used to confirm that the DNS was pointed correctly and ensure that it is propagating successfully. 

  1. Review the status of a domain’s DNS propagation under “Current status“.
    • Domains with DNS that is not correctly pointing to VIP will display a recommended action to resolve the issue.
    • Sites with a reverse proxy configuration are likely to display DNS errors. These errors can be ignored, and separate instructions should be followed to configure domains and TLS for a reverse proxy. Proceed to the next step by selecting “Ignore and continue“.
  2. If action was taken to resolve a reported DNS error, request an updated status by selecting the “Recheck my DNS” button.
  3. Once the domain’s DNS is correctly pointing to VIP, a button labeled “Continue” will appear. Select this button to proceed to the next step.

Provision a TLS security certificate

Once a domain’s DNS is correctly pointing to VIP, a TLS certificate can be installed.

  1. Review the status of the new domain’s Let’s Encrypt or custom TLS certificate under “Current status“. If the error message “Certificate not found” is displayed for the current status, the user can either:
  2. Request an updated status of a domain’s TLS certificate by selecting the “Recheck status” button.
  3. Once a domain’s TLS certificate is installed, select the “Continue” button.

Set your site status

Monitoring and alerting used by VIP Support differs slightly for network sites marked as “Launched” based on the expectation that a launched site is publicly accessible. Sites on a non-production environment are not publicly accessible and marking their launch status will have no relevant effect.

Mark as launched

If the site has successfully completed site launch and is ready to receive public traffic, select “Mark as launched“.

If the site is updated with the new site URL, but is not yet ready to receive public traffic, this step can be completed at a later time. All site launch settings completed prior to this step will be saved.

To return to this step and mark the site as “Launched” at a later time:

  1. From the Network Sites panel, select the “Continue with launch” button displayed for the site in the Launch Status column.
  2. The user will be returned to the step “Configure your DNS” to confirm the domain’s DNS settings.
  3. Confirm the domain’s TLS settings in the “Provision a security certificate” step.
  4. In the “Set your site status” step, select the button labeled “Mark as launched“.

Mark as not launched

If a network site is no longer receiving public traffic, select “Mark as not launched” for the site. This action will only disable monitoring and alerting for the site.

A launched site can be marked as not launched by:

  1. From the Network Sites panel, select the “Update domain” link displayed for the site in the Launch Status column.
  2. Select the “Change” link displayed at the right of the “Set your site status” step.
  3. Select the button labeled “Mark as not launched“.


  • If the error message There was an error updating your site 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 may appear if a site launch is already in progress for this environment.
  • Sometimes Jetpack becomes disconnected during a site launch. To request a reconnection, contact VIP Support.
  • For resolutions to other common issues that may be discovered after a site launch, refer to the launch troubleshooting article.

Last updated: March 02, 2024

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