Import a single wordpress node with backupbuddy plugin export without unzip

September 4, 2014    backupbuddy node export wordpress backups wordpress multisite wordpress network

I recently tried to import a single node of a wordpress network (multisite) install via the experimental single node export with iThemes Backupbuddy plugin. The version the site had of the plugin was version 4.0.2.1. Now, I realise this is now not the most recent version of the plugin with it now being at 5.* but i'd imagine this could still be useful to a few.

Although perhaps not common, there may come a time when you want to export a single wordpress node and integrate it with another wordpress network install. Backupbuddy can help with this.

Backupbuddy can't unzip archive

I thought it would be dead easy until I got this message. For some reason despite the server having the correct extensions installed for ZipArchive, Backupbuddy would not use them.

The solution

Take a full backup from the originating site. Move the zip into the webroot of your target server/wordpress install. Look for the random string appended to the end of the zip. It should look something like this

export-h81wb4jupm.zip

You are interested in this h81wb4jupm

Next ensure the directory structure below exists

mkdir -p wp-content/uploads/backupbuddy_temp/import_h81wb4jupm

Again note the matching h81wb4jupm

Next we want to unzip the export-h81wb4jupm.zip which can now be found at the webroot (because you put it there)

A straight forward unzip will create the files in your root directory, which is less than desirable. So you should use something like below to unzip to destination.

unzip export-h81wb4jupm.zip -d wp-content/uploads/backupbuddy_temp/import_h81wb4jupm/

It's imperative the unzip is dumped into this location.

Now head to the wordpress network dashboard and click "MS Import Beta".

Select the zip with the h81wb4jupm.zip extension

Then from the advanced settings just below, tick on the "Skip zip file extraction". This will stop Backupbuddy attempting to use the un-archiving tools that it cannot find and instead attempt to look for your import which is already in wp-content/uploads/backupbuddy_temp/import_h81wb4jup/

At step 3 you should now see a line of output containing

"Skipping file extraction based on advanced settings."

Then you can follow the 8 steps to importing by just clicking through and reading the import outputs as usual. If your import has a particularly large amount of posts or database then backupbuddy will take a while to complete. If your backup is v.large backupbuddy is not the tool for you.


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