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Even though it's probably best that you determine exactly what type of installation that you are going to use with WordPress Multisite before you get started using it, It's good to know that you can always change the installation type at any time, and that'S what we are going to do here. We are going to change the installation type here inside of our WordPress Multisite installation. So in this case, I've got a Subdirectory Install created and I want to change that over to a sub-domain install. I am going to walk you through it step by step on how to change it from one to the other. So the first thing you have to do, and this is kind of the bad part and why you should always pick the right one before you start...
The first thing you have to do is delete all of your extra sites that you've created inside of WordPress Multisite. That's right, no matter what, you have to delete all those sites, because they won't transfer over. So, I'm going to go back into my Dashboard and I'm going to choose Network Admin > Sites. As you can see, in this WordPress Multisite installation, I have two extra sites, test and test2. I'm going to select both of those and under Bulk Actions I'm going to hit Delete, and then I'm going to click Apply. Once I click Apply, you're going to notice that all of my sites disappear except for the root site.
This means that I've deleted those sites permanently and they are no longer available to me. Now let's go back over into my code editing application. And I'm inside of the wp-config.php file and what you are going to do is scroll down to line 83 or 84, depending on how much space you gave yourself when you copy and pasted, and you are going to find where it says define SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL, and then it's going to say one of two things. If you're using a subdomain install, it will say true. If you're using a Subdirectory Install like I'm using here, it will say false.
Whichever one you want to switch to, just change the word to either true or false. So in this case mine is false, so I'm going to change it to true. I'll select it and then simply replace that with true. Once I click save, it re-uploads to my server and I will go back into WordPress Multisite. From here, I have to go into the site itself and visit the Dashboard. Once I'm inside the Dashboard, I'm going to go down to Settings and select Permalinks. Inside of the Permalinks section, I'm simply going to scroll down and click Save.
That updates my Permalinks structure and locks in the subdomain change. Now if I go back to My Sites > Network Admin > Sites, I can go down and create a new site by clicking Add New. As you can see, the options have updated, so that I can now do subdomain installs and I'll do test.mydomain. Then I'll simply click Add Site.
Once I do that, it has created my site for me. And if I go back to Sites, you will notice that I have test, and if I were to open that up it would take me to that particular site, allowing me to edit it and work with it, the same as I would with my Subdirectory Install. So as you can see, it's not that hard to change the installation type, but if you've already got a live site with multiple network sites underneath it and you want to change the installation type of that, you can see where that could be kind of a headache to do with. So just a word of advice, pick the Installation Type that you think that you are going to use and stick with it. Otherwise, you can cause yourself some serious headaches down the road.
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