How to Convert a WordPress Blog into WordPress MU

WordPress is one of the best and very popular blogging platforms which is not only free but also released as a open source project.
On the other hand, WPMU (wordpress mu or multi-user) is another version of WordPress which uses the core wp with some modifications and convert any single user WordPress blog into a multi user blogging platform.


It is most famously used for where it serves tens of millions of hits on millions of blogs each day. Many bloggers interested in using WordPress MU already have a WordPress blog. Unfortunately, I think it is not possible to turn WordPress installs into WordPress MU installs directly uploading new files and upgrading. There is only one way to convert WordPress blog to WordPress MU is to export (Hope you know how to export, for quick reference “choose ToolsExport in the WordPress Admin”) WordPress Blog and then import it into a new and different WordPress MU installation.

If you really want to convert your WordPress blog into WordPress MU, Then you must follow these steps:

1. Disable comments on your WordPress installed Blog. So no data arrives during migration process.

2. In admin panel, Under Tools, Select Export and save Your xml file which contains all your WordPress blog data

3. Create new folder, directory and install fresh WordPress MU with New database or install it on a different blog. Keep in mind all installation should be on same server so that file could move quickly.

4. Adjust PHP setting according to your file size and sure it allow file upload, or in case If your file is too large, break it into smaller pieces. Now start to import you saved file as go to Tools in admin panel and Click Import, select option WordPress. Don’t forget to select the Check box to import attachments as well.

5. Confirm that your data and Photos has been migrated properly, All the images will be stored in folders under wp-content/blogs.dir/. In this directory the numbers represent the blog ID so the first blog installed will be the main blog and its ID’s number will be 1.

6. Confirm your Permalink structure as your requirement, for detail info check out Using Permalinks. This setting is very importent in WordPress MU.
To change Permalink Structure, in Admin Panel Under Setting Select Permalinks , never forget to change the permission of .htaccess file to 777.

7. Now most important part, before downloading your “wp-content” folder, backup up your WordPress blog’s files and database so in case of any emergency you can roll back. Download wp-content folder.

8. Delete all files from your WordPress blog and Move or copy all WordPress MU files and folder from Temporary location to your domain space.

9. Upload your theme to wp-content/themes folder and plugins to wp-content/plugins.

10. Correct your Current URLs for WordPress MU under MySQL and you can do that via MySQL command line over SSH or via phpMyAdmin as follow:

a. Do Execute query: UPDATE wp_site SET domain=’muqadar.comWHERE id=1;

(where you own domain name)

b. Do Execute query: UPDATE wp_blogs SET domain=’’ WHERE


c. Do Execute query: UPDATE wp_1_options SET option_value=’’
WHERE option_name in(‘siteurl’,’home’);

11. Check your w-config.php and update the defined constant DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE if this is not set according to for your current domain.

12. Login to admin panel using same User Name and Password as you were used for WordPress blog.

13. Regenerate your Permalinks for WordPress MU. Go to Permalinks under Settings and change your structure as you did in Step# 6. Before pressing the Update button, never forget to change the permission of .htaccess file to 777.

14. To make themes available in “Appearance”, First you have to enable installed, Under Site Admin select “Themes” and enable the theme which you want to apply on your WordPress MU.

15. Now enabled themes would be available under “Appearance”, Activate the theme for your blog as you would normally do to activate themes in WordPress.

16. You have to activate all required plugins, Go to “Installed” under “Plugins” and activate your plugins.
Only the Admin has the right to access Plugins menu. Plugins Menu can be activated for a single blog and users under Options in Site Admin.

17. To reflect your Preference you have to update all options throughout WordPress MU.

Now your WordPress blog is transfered to WordPress MU, When you get login you will see resemblance as you see in WordPress Admin but it has key differences.
One of the major difference you can see the “Site Admin” on top of the left side navigation pane.

The Site Admin panel has 6 main  additional Admin Panels  and few more panels according to your installed plugins as follow:


1. Admin panel

You can search by users or by blogs as well as create a new blog or a new user.

2. Blogs panel

It contains a list of all blogs in WordPress MU, also you can create a new blog. This panel shows useful information about existing blogs, such as Blog ID, Assigned users and when blog was updated.
When you take you cursor on the blog, you will see following options:
Edit | Backend | Deactivate | Archive | Spam | Delete | Visit

3. Users panel

This Users panel is not same as Users of “Authors & Users” under Users. This Users Panel is used for modifying and assigning users in the entire WordPress MU system to specific blogs.
Keep in mind that spaces between user name are not allowed here.

4. Themes panel

This panel is used for making WordPress themes available to individual blogs and to your main Blog. Themes that are not enabled in this panel are not available, even to administrators under Appearance.

5. Options panel

The most important site configuration panel in all of WordPress MU. For tweaking and configuration follow the following table.

Your WordPress MU Configuration Options



Site Name What you would like to call this website. You select it during setup phase
Site Admin E-mail

All administrative e-mail messages will be set to and from. It should be valid email.
Allow New Registrations
Allows new users to register blogs, just usernames, and so on.
Note: Neer forget to disable spam accounts that will inevitably sign up.
Registration  Notification

This will notify Admin’s E-mail when any new registrations occur.
Add New Users

Allows blog administrators to create new user accounts for their blogs.
Dashboard Blog

Blog name (subdomain or folder) or blog ID that will be default blog for new user registrations. If you left it blank, the main blog is used.
Dashboard User Default Role

The default role for new users on the Dashboard blog. This should probably be ‘Subscriber’ or maybe ‘Contributor’.


Users are not allowed to register these blogs. Separate names by spaces. You can banned following names: www web root admin main invite administrator members register activate search blog blogs forums groups activity.
Limited E-mail Registration

If you want to limit blog registrations to certain domains. One domain per line.
Banned E-mail Domains

If you want to ban certain email domains from blog registrations. One domain per line.
Welcome E-mail

The welcome email template sent to new blog owners.
First Post

First post on a new blog Creration.
First Page

First page on a new blog.
First Comment

First comment on a new blog.
First Comment Author

Author of first comment on a new blog.
First Comment URL

URL on first comment on a new blog.
Upload Media Button

The media upload buttons to display on the “Write Post” page. Make sure you update the “Upload File Types” below as well.
Blog upload space check

By default there is a limit on the total size of files uploaded but it can be disabled here. (By default, this is 10MB.)
Upload File Types

List of extensions that WordPress MU will allow to be uploaded.
Max upload file

Default 1500 KB
Admin Notices Feed

Display the latest post from this RSS or Atom feed on all blog dashboards. Leave blank to disable.
A good one to use would be the feed from your main blog:
Site Admins

These users may login to the main blog and administer the site. Space separated list of usernames.

Places check marks next to the menu items you want blog administrators to have access to.

Places check marks next to the Plugins menu if you want blog administrators to have access to.

6. Upgrade panel

You can upgrade all the blogs on your site through this page. It works by calling the upgrade script of each blog automatically. Hit the link below to upgrade.

More Resources About WordPress MU:

1. Free WPMUWordPress MU and BuddyPress Plugins and Themes

2. WordPress MU and BuddyPress plugins, themes, support, tips and how to..

3. All about WordPress Multi-user WordPress MU Plugin

4. WordPress And WordPress MU Will Merge: Good Or Bad?

5. WordPress in Your Language

6. Converting a Site To WPMU

7. Importing a single WP blog to a WPMu Installation

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  • Nur

    I am a WordPress, Website Developer and Designer, creator @ WP Arena, Provide Free WordPress consultation and can help to install WordPress in a secure way to small businesses and bloggers.