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How to enable Multi-Site option in WordPress 3.0

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WordPress 3.0 is when the big merge happens. The core of WPMU is incorporated in WordPress which means that you can now run multiple blogs from one installation of WordPress. This new feature is being called Network or Multi-site option. By default this feature is disabled. If you want to use this option in your WordPress, then you would have to enable it.

To enable this feature, simply open your wp-config.php file located in your WordPress root folder. Then add the following line anywhere in the file:

define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);

Once you have done that, you should be able to access the network page from Tools » Network

WordPress Multi-site Option

Now, you no longer need to install multiple copies of WordPress because you can run multiple blogs from one installation. By default, you would only be allowed to run other blogs as a subdomain. To use other domains for blogs, you can use a Domain Mapping plugin.

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Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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93 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. mohadese esmaeeli says

    Hello! Is it better to have a WordPress network, or should we use the subdomains and subdirectories feature to launch side websites?
    In a WordPress network, the database is unified, and this may lead to crashes or database heaviness. What is your opinion? Which one is better?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would heavily depend on your specific use case for what would be best to use. If you are concerned about your database size then you would want to create individual sub-sites so each has their own database.


  3. Wayne Curran says

    Thanks for this info about enabling multi site.

    I have a problem though. I can’t install or upgrade anything. It keeps asking for ftp details. My wordpress is running on a synology NAS.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      @Wayne this problem usually occurs when WordPress is unable to write files on the server. It happens when PHP is running under mod_php or CGI as the user instead of the user that owns WordPress files. You can ask your hosting provider for support. Meanwhile you can also add your FTP credentials in wp-config.php file so that you don’t have to enter them each time.

      define( 'FTP_USER', 'username' );
      define( 'FTP_PASS', 'password' );
      define( 'FTP_HOST', '' );


      • Wayne Curran says

        Thanks for the reply.

        I think I need to add some more info.

        I installed wordpress on my Synology NAS via the package installer, so it’s installed locally on my NAS at home. The site isn’t hosted externally at all. Completely local. (it can be accessed from the web via a synology domain name)

        I’m currently only experimenting with building my sites. I need 3 sites hence why I need the multisite option. Without this option, I’m unable to experiment with all my sites. I can only play with one at a time.

        Anyhow, I should have also added initally that when I enter the ftp login details, they don’t work. I’ve racked my brains to try and work out what ftp details it could be after but none of them work.

        Are then specific login details for as you mentioned ‘mod_php or CGI’. I don’t even know what that means :-)

        • Wayne Curran says


          I’ve reinstalled from scratch. All working ok now.

          But, a new question.

          In the general settings, 2 fields are missing. WordPress address and site address.

          Any thoughts?

  4. Nimitz says

    Hi, it is possible that users has a blog on my wpmu then they can have their own domain name? same like on that any blog can upgrade to their own domain name?

  5. Alexander says

    Would you provide a step by step guide for creating a multi-site setup on local machine using Xampp on Windows 8.

  6. Yevgen says

    It seems that Domain Mapping plugin is unsupported anymore. Are there any alternatives? Is it possible to setup domains manually using functions.php?


  7. mattsfraser says

    Thanks for this tutorial as I was wondering how to install WP MS and your article greatly assisted me in doing so. Much appreciated.

  8. ggarvin says

    I love the guide but I have run into a problem. I used your code and see the network option but I get the following message. <blockquote>”Error: Your WordPress address must match your Site address before creating a Network. See General Settings.”</blockquote>

    Is this because my wordpress folder is in a folder?

  9. kvaud says

    good afternoon,

    I am setting up a wpms and am attempting to set up a subdirectory with Geo sites. When I attempt certain names – I get the rejected saying is an invalid name or path. Is there a limit on the number of characters in the secondary name?


  10. Aneeza Mubbashir says

    Thanks for a useful post – I take it we still have to edit the wp-config file to activate the MU features for WordPress 3.1 as well?

    Do all plugins that work on single WP installations also work for multisite?

  11. Mistry says

    Thanks for a useful post – I take it we still have to edit the wp-config file to activate the MU features for WordPress 3.1 as well?

    Do all plugins that work on single WP installations also work for multisite?

  12. Noor Mustafa says

    When I try to add this “define(‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true);”
    It create conflict with Google XML Sitemaps.. Getting this error msg”Google XML Sitemaps is not multisite compatible.”
    Any help really appreciates ….

  13. César Pérez says

    Hi everyone. First time in this site.
    I’m really interested in WP MS function but I’m not pretty sure if this is what I (we) need.

    I’m the webmaster of a university’s website and I wanted to install multiple WP in different sub-domains (like,, Now, thanks to you, I find it may be possible to make a single WP installation and part from there but I need to have the main account of the installs plus one more guy/girl to administrate each sub-domain on its own and separate from the others ones. I mean, I need to administrate everything on demand but each section must have it’s own administrator/theme/active-widgets.

    Would you recommend me to make a single WP MS installation or to keep one WP per sub-domain?

    I’m a little old in WP knowledge but brand new in the administration side of it. Thank you in advance.

    • Editorial Staff says

      The Multi-Site option is what you need. You can be the network admin, and you can have one guy or girl managing each specific subdomain. Each section will have it’s own admin panel.


  14. Philip Bateman says

    Greetings – please excuse my basic question but does multisite work using different themes and entire domains? eg a and a, accessed through the one administration section, where I can have a different look / theme for each domain?

    I’ve always used godaddy so far for 1-click wordpress setup and hosting but am at a point where I need to setup 3 sites that each have a different theme and domain but ideally share content amongst them.

    Would multi-site facilitate this or will I be recreating content / blog posts / pages in each ‘instance’ ? Thank you kindly for the information. I <3 WP :D

    • Editorial Staff says

      Yes Multi-Site allow you to use Domain Mapping (which lets you have two separate domains, two separate themes, two separate plugins etc). Godaddy is not the best host for this. Try using HostGator (coupon: wpbeginner).


      • Rick Nielsen says

        The staff here is right on. I have completed 3 Multisite installs on my HostGator hosting and it works great. GoDaddy is not the best place to host, in my opinion, much of anything. Have fun with Multisite!

  15. Jon says

    Drupal is worth a look too, maybe not a intuitive as WordPress, and not so well supported, but good all the same. WordPress does subdomains well though, if you can set up wildcards on your server (I think). I set up a WPMU once on a cpanel hosted site with no problems.

  16. Jon says

    Edward, if you are running WordPress on your own domain you are always in control. If you invest in WordPress, then the worse case scenario is that the WordPress community stop supporting it and you software stop being updated.

    But if it works for you now, it will work in the future. Ok, there may be potential security threats raised in the future, but all you need is a sound backup plan and maybe a php developer to work on WordPress for you. You site is independent of any core files on

    But in all honesty, WordPress is probably one of the most durable CMS’ out there. So many people use it, it will always be supported.

    • Edward says

      Thank you Jon, now i can assure you i will have good sleep today. Iam really wondering why i never discoverred wordpress before. php code has eaten almost all my brain cells for the last one year! and never never came 10% near what wordpress has done for me in three days! you guys out there keep up the good work.

  17. Edward says

    Thank again. one more thing. how would you rate the security and reliability of running hundreds of subdomains on wordpress platform. since it seems wordpress has quite control on the programme. could wordpress one day decide to call it a day and ground all networks including my personal domain running hundreds of subdomains? in other words how independent is my network from wordpress?

  18. sam says

    Thanks for Sharing this very important article for create WordPress Multisite.I followed all steps for WordPress Multisite and i created on my own domain name.

    Once again Thanks.

  19. Edward says

    Am thankful for this blog. is it legal to create say 1000 blogs using wp with this technology and charge a little for maintenace and administrative work? is it possible to run ads from the main installation and they appear in all the blogs? or post announcements that appear in all blogs on my network? for instance can i place adsence ads that run on all blogs from one installation

  20. todd says

    thanks so much for this …. really great tutorial.

    i do have one question – is it possible to set up the sites so they have different languages? It would be great if the user could login once and blog across sites in multiple languages. i’ve previously been using multiple wordpress installs to do this which is not ideal.

  21. Glenn says

    I did this to one of my new websites, and it worked wonderfully. However, I want to do this to my blog, and I want the (sub-directory) feature. But it says this when I try:

    “Because your install is not new, the sites in your WordPress network must use sub-domains. The main site in a sub-directory install will need to use a modified permalink structure, potentially breaking existing links.”

    Do you know how I would be able to do a “sub-directory” rather than a sub-domain?

  22. JJ says


    Many thanks for the tips. These proved very valuable.

    I had 3 websites and Worpress installed in each of the 3 folders. I have now enabled the multi-site and made 2 of the domains “hang under” the main domain.

    My question: what happens to the WP installation in those 2 subfolders?

    Will their version number hang at say 3.0 whilst the main folder gets updated to 3.1, 3.2 etc.

    Is there not a security risk and unnecessary use of webspace ?

    Many thanks for clarifying.

  23. Ckubs says

    It may be soud a little bit crazy but with Wp MS it is possible to show below an post comments from same post published on a different website? I want a mobile site but with only one category of it to be the normal site.

  24. Tiffany says

    Hi! I got WP3 and multi user installed. Everything seems to be in working order. I’m a WP beginner and my objective for this new site is to have 3 blogs to go along with my Home, Shop, About and Contact pages. Blog #1 will be main blog, Blog #2 will be a wine diary, Blog #3 will be ideas on ideas to recycle wine bottles. I will have a menu to go to all 7 of these pages (all on the same website). I’m building the theme for this site in Artisteer. I’m trying to figure out how to actually use this Multi Site feature in order to make this happen. Will it even work for what I’m trying to do? If you have any links or tips on how to use it (multi-sites) once it’s installed that would be great too!! I appreciate your time and effort! Thank you!

  25. Valerie says

    Thought I was crazy because I couldn’t get it working and realized it was just my impatience… the sub-domain just needed to propagate.

  26. Warren Scott says

    I’m having the same problem as Rick Nieslen. I can create new sites but when I click on the link to activate it in the email I get page can’t be found.

    My host said they set my server up for wildcard domains but I’m not sure how to check that it actually is.

    Could you do a tutorial on how to enabel a network using sub-domains. Especially on step 2 setting up wildcard subdomains for apache servers.

    While searching for answers I did find a plugin that will perform steps 3 through 5 of

    The plugin can be downloaded from

  27. Jon says

    I have just upgraded to 3.0 and was looking forward to playing with the multi-blog options. A little bit surprised that a manual modification of wp-config.php is required – why did WordPress not put an option in the admin panel to turn it on?

  28. wizz says

    Please help me understand what is wrong.
    – firstly I create a subdomain using my CP hosting.
    – I create a website using the dashboard and it’s there under ‘my sites’. When check the subdomain folder with my ftp client, its empty.
    – I check /wp-content/blogs.dir/ and that’s also empty (I have 777 the folder)
    Are there files uploaded to the subdomain automatically or what happens?

      • wizz says

        Thanks for the quick reply.
        This is the problem. It doesn’t.
        Is it because of the server blocking this action or because of something I missed installing the programme?
        Thanks for your help.

  29. Michael says

    Thank you for this posting.

    I wonder why this information should be that hard to find.
    should the multisite function be possible to just activate / de-activate from within the user interface?

    I think so ;)

    Thank you once again; I got the information I was looking for


  30. Mike says

    I have followed all of the instructions as detailed above.
    I have inserted the code in the wp-config.php, where you recommend.
    I have also set up wild card subdomains in my DNS.
    ( I am running my sites on a Linux server through SEO hosting, which is part of Hostgator )
    I do not get the NETWORK menu option coming up in tools.
    Could this be because I have set up addon domains onto my primary ( account ) domain?
    I have enabled wildcard subdomains for all of the addons as well and they are all upgraded to WP 3.

    Any hints, tips or tricks are extremely welcome.

    Thanks in advance,


  31. RBD says

    Great! Thanks!
    I know (and have) installed wp in a aub-directory and run a site from there without interfering with the root domain site. But what if the people running the root domain decide to have the sub-directory wp site manage them in the future – how would that work?

  32. Vivek @ InfoEduTech says

    As you all know that wordpress 3.0 is out there and have to upgrade them. You can run multiple websites in wordpress 3.0 and this tutorial will clearly indicated that how you do it.
    My question is that could i need a new installation of wordpress will upgrading to wordpress 3.0 directly through dashboard will do the work or not and for integrating the other blogs on itcould mess up all the things or not. Need your opinion on this?
    It would be a pleasure if you guys come up with a tutorial on “how to merge your blogs into one blog” badly needed at this time.

  33. Rick Nieslen says

    Great website guys! You really know your WP stuff!

    Here is an issue I’m have with the new WP 3.0 and the multi-blog feature: I think I did everything as stated in all the instructions I have read when I set it up. But when I create a new site using the sub-domain setting, I get a page can’t be found. I can get to the wp-admin on the sites I create, but cant see the public side of the site. I’m using HostGator for my host. Now I remember seeing some requirements that the hosting company may need to configure to make the multi user worked, but I cant remember..du.

    Any insight with this issue would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks again for all you do.

  34. Garden Flowers says

    Just installed wordpress 3.0 release candidate for my new blog and followed your instructions to create multiple blogs in it. Pretty happy with the setup but one question.

    How to configure search on main blog, so that it searches posts in all the blogs.

  35. Dave says

    I’m running Windows Server 2008 with IIS and can’t seem to find the install instructions for IIS, only Apache for WP3.0 MU. What would replace .htaccess for Windows/IIS?



    • Editorial Staff says

      If you were using WPMU before, simply click upgrade and it will happen. If you have them on a separate database, then you need to export the backup file for your subdomain blog. Install WordPress 3.0 and enable multi site. Then you need to create a subdomain account in your network. Then import the posts and images using the export file that you had.


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