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Launches for site redesigns

The VIP Platform is built to support a “code moves up; content moves down” workflow. This means that any new content needs to be added to the production site and then synced down to non-production environments. New code should be tested on the non-production environment prior to introducing it to the production environment.

This workflow ensures that untested code is not added to the production environment where it could potentially cause adverse outcomes such as taking down a launched site or possibly opening it up to security issues.

In most cases, redesigning a site that is already launched on the VIP Platform can be accomplished by developing the new code on a non-production environment. If the redesign requires new content to be created, it can be created on the production environment and set to draft status. Sync the production database to the non-production environment where the content in draft status can be updated to publish status to support the redesign process. When the new code for the redesign is ready to be merged to the production branch and deployed, the draft content on production can be simultaneously bulk-published for the full release of the redesign.

Redesigns on a multisite

When redesigning a launched network site on a WordPress multisite, a new network site can be added to the production environment to support the redesign process. To add a network site that is already populated with the content and settings of the original site, some customers on VIP have leveraged MultilingualPress’s “Based on site” feature.

During the redesign process, the new network site can be hidden from public traffic by installing and activating the Maintenance Mode plugin for that site.

Perform a data sync from production to the non-production environment where code for the redesign can be developed and thoroughly tested. When the new code for the redesign is ready to be merged to the production branch, the Maintenance Mode plugin will allow the redesign to undergo one final review on the new network site before being publicly released.

To launch the redesigned site, the domain of the original launched site must be mapped to the new site. In most cases, this can be accomplished by performing network site launch processes in the Network Sites launch tool.

  1. Relaunch the original network site (e.g. with an updated Site Address URL that is a subdirectory of the main site (ID 1). For example, if the domain mapped to the main site is, the original network site can be relaunched with the site address The main site should be marked as “Launched” even though it might not receive public traffic.
  2. The redesigned network site is now ready to be launched with the domain that was previously assigned to the original site. Use the Network Sites launch tool to launch the redesigned site with the domain and mark the site as “Launched”.

During the time between Step 1 and the completion of Step 2, the page cache will serve content for requests to the launched domain for up to 30 minutes. Until the original site is archived or deleted from the network, it is recommended to activate the Maintenance Mode plugin on that site to hide it from public traffic.

Additional environment for a redesign

In some cases completing a site redesign on a separate network site within an existing environment is not possible (e.g., different team or agency access, security reasons, WordPress single sites). To request an additional environment to facilitate the redesign process, customers should reach out to their Relationship Manager.

In the absence of a Relationship Manager, customers can create a VIP Support request for an additional environment. The request should include:

  • An indication of the type of environment needed (e.g., WordPress single site, WordPress multisite, Node.js)
  • A list of any necessary non-production environments (e.g., preprod, develop) that should also be created.

Last updated: February 23, 2024

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  • WordPress