Notes: Renaming and relocating directories in WordPress

This is not a guide (yet?). These are just notes for personal reference which may be expanded upon later.

Site owners/developers/administrators may find useful hints below, but please do not get mad at me if you break your site.


Methods were initially tested on a multisite-with-subdirectories installation, but are generally applicable to single and subdomain installations as well.

standard installation

familiar structure, e.g.

├── wp-config.php
└── wp-content/
    └── plugins/

nginx (subdirectory multisite)

if (!-e $request_filename) {
    rewrite ^(/[^/]+)?(/wp-.*)   $2                   last;
    rewrite ^(/[^/]+)?(/.*\.php) $2                   last;
}

rename wp-content

change structure, e.g.

├── wp-config.php
└── content/
    ├── plugins/

wp-config.php

define( 'WP_CONTENT_DIR', ABSPATH . 'content' );
define( 'WP_CONTENT_URL', '/content' );

rename plugins (style 1)

Keep plugins directory inside content

├── wp-config.php
└── content/
    └── modules/

wp-config.php

define( 'WP_CONTENT_DIR', ABSPATH . 'content' );
define( 'WP_CONTENT_URL', '/content' );

define( 'WP_PLUGIN_DIR', WP_CONTENT_DIR . '/modules' );
define( 'WP_PLUGIN_URL', WP_CONTENT_URL . '/modules' );

Note, WP_CONTENT_* values must be defined as well, even if you don’t wish to change that location

rename plugins (style 2)

Move plugins directory outside the content directory

├── wp-config.php
├── wp-content/
└── modules/

wp-config.php

define( 'WP_PLUGIN_DIR', ABSPATH . 'modules' );
define( 'WP_PLUGIN_URL', '/modules' );

rename mu-plugins

Same procedure as plugins, but use the constants WPMU_PLUGIN_DIR and WPMU_PLUGIN_URL

rename themes

Themes follow a different pattern. More info soon, maybe.

relocate core

├── wp-config.php
├── wp-content/
└── wproot/
    ├── wp-admin/
    └── wp-includes/

nginx

location /wproot/wp- {}
if (!-e $request_filename) {
    rewrite ^/wproot(/[^/]+)?(/wp-.*)   /wproot$2  last;
    rewrite ^/wproot(/[^/]+)?(/.*\.php) /wproot$2  last;
}
location / {
    try_files $uri /wproot$uri/ /wproot/index.php?$args;
}

wp-config.php

define( 'PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/wproot/' );
define( 'SITECOOKIEPATH', '/' );
define( 'COOKIEPATH', '/' );

plugin

add_filter( 'redirect_network_admin_request', '__return_false' );

database

wp_options: append wproot to siteurl

Subdirectory
Subsites will be located at example.com/wproot/subsite.

Subdomain
Subsites will be located at subsite.example.com/wproot. The “nub” can be removed by editing two database fields:

  1. wp_blogs: path
  2. wp_#_options: home

These can be edited through the UI by first changing the Site Address (URL) field on the Edit Site > Info screen (e.g. wp-admin/network/site-info.php?id=#). Second, go to Edit Site > Settings (wp-admin/network/site-settings.php?id=#) and restore the “nub” to the Siteurl field

^

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