• WORDPRESS THEMES | Local and Small Business Website Templates

  • If you own multiple WP websites it could be a good choice to host them on the same server within the same WordPress instance. This allows you to install a WordPress theme or plugin once and use it for multiple sites. This helps reducing the maintenance on your site. By default the WordPress multisite (MU) allows you to choose to use subfolders or subdomains for the blogs in your system. The subdomains would make your blogs looks like so http://blog1.yourdomain.com and http://blog2.yourdomain.com. The subfolders would make your blogs look like http://yourdomain.com/blog1 and http://yourdomain.com/blog2. Both options are nice, but not very practical for each situation. Quite often you have sites that have their own domain. In that case, you would want your sites to be accessible by their specific domain names. So http://blog1.com and http://blog2.com. In this article I will present a tutorial on how to setup your server to support multiple external domains within the same WordPress server.

  • Step 1: setup WordPress in normal way

    Just setup WordPress as a single site instance first like you do normally. This step comes down to downloading WordPress from WordPress.org, FTP-ing it to your server and following the wizard until WP is setup correctly.

  • Step 2: enabling multisite

    Perform the following tasks:

    • Before doing anything ensure you make a backup of all your files, data, personal belongings and your wp-config.php file. We won't take any responsiblity if things go wrong if you follow the steps below.
    • Adjust the wp-config.php by adding the following line

    define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

    • Login to the admin section of your site (http://yoursite.com/wp-login.php)
    • Click on Network setup in the Tools section
    • Follow up the advise to first disabled the plugins
    • Repeat the step to go to the "network" in the "Tools" section. This time the warning to de-activate the plugins should no longer show up.
    • Select "sub-directories", and enter the name for your network, and hit "Install"
    • Follow up the instructions on your screen (that is: edit the wp-config.php in your wp-content folder and edit the .htaccess file and create a "blogs.dir" folder in your "wp-content" folder).
    • Ensure you are logged off, and login again in the admin section of your WordPress site.
  • Step 3 - WordPress custom domain for each blog on Multisite

    Follow up these instructions:

    • Download the "domain mapping" plugin zip file from the website from here
    • Create a mu-plugins folder in wp-content
    • Copy the "domain_mapping.php" file from the zip file to the "mu-plugins" folder you just created.
    • Copy the "sunrise.php" file from the zip file in de "wp-content" folder
    • Edit the "wp-config.php" file and add the line

    define( 'SUNRISE', 'on' );

    • Logout from WordPress
    • Re-login in the admin part of WordPress
    • Go to the Network Admin
    • In the left secion choose "Settings" -> "Domain mapping"
    • Enter the IP address of your server
    • Tweak the settings like so:

    Remote login: OFF

    Permanent redirect: ON

    User domain mapping page: ON

    Redirect admin pages: OFF

    Disable primary domain: OFF

    Enter the IP of your server

  • Step 4 - Add another new site within WordPress and map its domain

    Follow up these steps:

    • Login to the WP backend
    • Go to the Network Admin in WordPress
    • From the left menu select Sites -> Add site
    • Enter the name of your site (this is not the domain, but the sub-directory; the domain mapping occurs later on).
    • Go to the admin section of the page you just created (so exit the Network Admin)
    • From the left menu select Tools -> Domain mapping
    • Enter your domainname, and mark that domain as the primary domain (after you ofcourse ensure the domainname resolves to the IP of your server :)
  • Comments

  • 2 comments

    Thank you for your nice tutorial!! Maybe you can help me out..... I idd all the above and it looks just fine, untill....I do the last step with the domain mapping. I get the following error: The requested URL /wp-admin/tools.php was not found on this server. Did I do something wrong with the CNAME records? My host can not help me out. Or do I have to do a WordPress installation on the 'second domain'? Thank you! Monique

    Reply

    Hi Monique, difficult to tell ... The thing I do know is that I don't use CNAME records at all, just A records. The A record should point to the IP of your WordPress instance. Hope that helps!

    Reply