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How to Install and Setup WordPress Multisite Network

Do you want to set up and install WordPress multisite network? WordPress comes with a built-in capability to create multiple websites using the same WordPress installation.

A WordPress multisite network is used by blogs, schools, and businesses, who need to run separate websites but want to manage them under one dashboard.

In this article, we will show you how to properly install and setup a WordPress multisite network.

How to install and setup WordPress multisite network

Since this is a comprehensive article, we have added the table of contents for easier navigation:

WordPress Multisite Basics

  1. What is WordPress Multisite?
  2. Pros of using a WordPress multisite network
  3. Cons of using a WordPress multisite network
  4. Who needs a WordPress multisite network?

WordPress Multisite Installation and Set up

  1. Requirements for a WordPress multisite network
  2. Choosing a domain structure for your multisite network
  3. Setting up wildcard subdomains
  4. Setting up custom domain for WordPress multisite
  5. Enabling WordPress multisite network feature
  6. Setting up your WordPress multisite network

WordPress Multisite Configuration Settings

  1. Configuring network settings
  2. Opening your multisite network for registrations
  3. New site settings
  4. Upload settings for your multisite network
  5. Plugin menu settings

Setting up Default Content, Theme, and Plugins

  1. Adding new sites to your WordPress multisite network
  2. Adding themes and plugins to your multisite network
  3. Adding default Content to new sites

Troubleshooting and FAQs

  1. Troubleshooting WordPress multisite issues
  2. FAQs about WordPress multisite

What is WordPress Multisite Network?

A WordPress Multisite network allows you to run and manage multiple WordPress sites or blogs from a single WordPress installation.

It enables you to create new sites instantly and manage them using the same username and password. You can even allow other users to signup and create their own blogs on your domain.

The WordPress multisite network comes with advanced settings that you can use to customize each website / blog on your network.

Pros of Using a WordPress Multisite Network

In many situations, a WordPress multisite network can be more useful than managing multiple standalone WordPress sites. Here are some of the advantages of using a WordPress multisite network:

  1. As the network administrator, you can easily manage multiple sites from a single dashboard.
  2. Each site on the network can have its own admins. The site admins will have the capabilities to manage only their own website.
  3. You can install plugins / themes and activate them for multiple sites with one download.
  4. Multisite network also makes it easier for you to manage updates. You only need to update your WordPress, plugins, or themes on one “master” install.

Cons of Using a WordPress Multisite Network

Creating a WordPress multisite network is not always helpful in managing multiple sites. Here are some of the disadvantages that you should keep in mind before setting up a multisite network.

  1. All sites on the network share the same resources. This means that when your network is down, all other sites go down as well.
  2. It’s not easy to manage traffic and server resources for the beginner level users. In case, one of your websites gets unexpected traffic, then it will affect all other websites on the network.
  3. If one website gets hacked, then this means all sites on your network will get hacked.
  4. Some WordPress plugins may not work well on a multisite network.
  5. WordPress multisite network is not properly supported by all web hosting providers which limits your options. We will talk more about this later in the article.

Who needs a WordPress multisite network?

Just because you manage multiple WordPress websites does not mean you need to start using a multisite network.

There are third party tools to manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard. Tools like InfiniteWP or iThemes Sync make it easier to maintain multiple WordPress sites under one roof without switching back and forth from one site to another.

Here are some scenarios when creating a multisite network makes sense:

  1. A magazine website with different sections managed by different teams.
  2. A business website with sub-sites for different locations and branches.
  3. Government or non-profit websites can use WordPress multisite for different departments, locations, and regions.
  4. Your own network of blogs running on multiple subdomains.
  5. Schools and colleges allowing students to create their own blogs on school servers.

Requirements for a WordPress Multisite Network

All websites on a WordPress multisite network share the same server resources. This means that the most important thing you will need is a good WordPress hosting.

If you are planning on having just a couple of websites with low traffic, then you can probably get away with shared hosting.

However, due to the nature of multisite network, you’d need VPS hosting or a dedicated server as your sites grow.

We recommend Bluehost because they offer both shared hosting and VPS/Dedicated servers, and they are also one of the official WordPress hosting partners.

If you’re looking for an alternative, then SiteGround and WP Engine provide excellent service for WordPress multisite network.

Apart from web hosting, you will need the basic knowledge of how to install WordPress and editing files using FTP.

Choosing a Domain Structure for your Multisite Network

On a WordPress multisite network, you can add new sites using either subdomains or sub-directories.

Example of subdomain:
http://site1.example.com

Example of sub-directory:
http://example.com/site1/

If you choose subdomains, then you will have to configure wildcard subdomains on your server. We will show you how to do that in the next step.

On the other hand, if you choose sub-directories or path based URLs for sites on your network, then you can skip the next step.

Setting Up Wildcard Subdomains

If you decide to use subdomains for websites on your multisite network, then you will need to setup wildcard subdomains for your multisite network.

To do that, first you need to login to your WordPress hosting account’s cPanel dashboard. After that, you need to scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section and then click on ‘Subdomains’.

Setting up wild card subdomains

Note: Depending on your web hosting service, your cPanel dashboard may look slightly different than the screenshot above. This screenshot is from the cPanel on Bluehost.

On the next page, you need to enter the * sign in the subdomain field and select your main domain from the drop-down menu.

Adding wildcard subdomain

Cpanel will automatically detect the document root and will display it in the field below. Now click on the ‘Create’ button to add your wildcard subdomain.

Setting up Custom Domains for Each Site

WordPress multisite also allows you to set different domains for each website in your multisite network.

To set up custom domains, you’ll need to use the domain mapping feature and update nameserver records in your domain registrar account.

Custom domains for WordPress sites on a multisite network

We have created a detailed step by step guide on how to create WordPress multisite with different domains for the setup instructions.

Enabling WordPress Multisite Network Feature

Multisite Network feature comes built-in with each WordPress installation. All you need to do is install and setup WordPress like you normally would. After that, you just need to enable the multisite feature.

You can also enable the multisite feature on any existing WordPress site. Before you enable multisite, don’t forget to create a complete backup of your WordPress site.

To enable Multisite, connect to your site using a FTP client or cPanel file manager, and open the wp-config.php file for editing.

You need to add the following code to your wp-config.php file just before the /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ line.

/* Multisite */
define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );

Once you are done, you can save and upload your wp-config.php file back to the server.

This code simply enables the multisite feature on your WordPress site. Once enabled, you will still need to setup the multisite network.

Setting Up Your WordPress Multisite Network

Now that you have successfully enabled the Multisite Network feature on your WordPress site, it is time to set up your network.

If you are setting up a mutlisite network on an existing WordPress website, then you will need to deactivate all plugins on your site.

Simply visit the Plugins » Installed Plugins page and select all plugins. You need to select ‘Deactivate’ from the ‘Bulk Actions’ dropdown menu and then click on the ‘Apply’ button.

Deactivate plugins

You can now head over to Tools » Network Setup page to configure your multisite network.

WordPress multisite network setup

On the network setup screen, you will see a notice that you need Apache’s mod_rewrite module installed on your server. This module is installed and enabled on all the best WordPress hosting providers.

The next thing you need to do is to tell WordPress what kind of domain structure you will be using for sites in your network, e.g. Subdomains or Sub-directories.

After that, you would need to provide a title for your network and make sure that the email address in the Network admin email is correct.

Click on the install button to continue.

WordPress will now show you some code that you need to add to your wp-config.php and .htaccess file respectively.

Add code to wp-config and .htaccess files

You can use an FTP client or file manager in the cPanel to copy and paste the code in these two files.

After that you will need to re-login to your WordPress site to access the multisite network.

Configuring Network Settings

Now that you have setup the multisite network, it is time to configure network settings.

You need to switch to the ‘Network Dashboard’ to change network settings, add new sites, and configure other settings.

When you take your mouse over to the ‘My Sites’ menu in the admin toolbar, a flydown popup will appear. Click on the Network Admin » Dashboard.

Network admin dashboard

This will take you to the multisite network dashboard. You will notice that there are new menu items to manage your multisite network. You will also see a “Right Now” dashboard widget that allows you to create a new site and add new users.

Network dashboard

To configure network settings, you need to click on the ‘Settings’ link in the admin sidebar.

The first option on network settings page is to set your site title and admin email address. These fields will be filled automatically with the network title and admin email you entered during setup.

Network settings

Opening Your Multisite Network for Registrations

The ‘Registration Settings’ section on the network settings page is probably the most important setting in your network setup.

By default, both user and site registrations are disabled on the network.

You can choose to open your site for user registration, or allow existing users to create new sites, or allow both user and site registration.

WordPress multisite registration settings

If you are opening your multisite network to registration, then you can check the box next to ‘Registration Notification’ option to receive email notifications every time a new user or site is registered.

If you want to allow individual site administrators to add new users on their sites, then you can check the box next to ‘Add New Users’ option.

Registration options

Limited Email Registration option allows you to limit site or user registration to email addresses from specific domains. This is particularly useful if you only want to allow people from your own organization to register and create users or sites.

Similarly, you can also ban certain domains from registration.

New Site Settings

The ‘New Site Settings’ section allows you to configure default options for new sites created on your multisite network.

You can modify the welcome emails and the contents of first default post, page, and comment in these settings.

New site settings

As a network administrator, you can change these settings anytime.

Upload Settings for Your Multisite Network

It is important for you to keep an eye on the usage of your server resources. Under the Upload Settings section, you can limit the total amount of space a site can use for uploads.

The default value is 100 MB which is probably good for at least 100 photo uploads. You can increase or decrease this space depending on how much disk space you have.

Upload settings

The default upload file types are images, audio, video, and pdf files. You can add additional file types if you want like doc, docx, odt, etc.

After that, you can choose a file size limit, so that users can’t upload insanely large files to the server.

Plugin Menu Settings

Next, you can jump to the menu settings. It will allow you to enable the administrative menu for the plugins section on your network sites.

Show or hide plugins menu to site admins

Enabling this will show plugins menu to respective site admins. They can activate or deactivate a plugin on their individual sites, but they cannot install new plugins.

Once you are satisfied with all the configuration settings, make sure to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button.

Adding New Sites to Your WordPress Multisite Network

To add a new site to your WordPress multisite network, simply click on ‘Sites’ under My Sites » Network Admin menu in the admin toolbar.

Adding new sites to your WordPress multisite network

This will show you a list of sites on your current multisite installation. By default, you have your primary site listed as the only site in your WordPress multisite network.

To add a new site, click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top.

Add new site

On the ‘Add New Site’ page, you need to provide the site’s address. You don’t need to type the full address, just the part you want to use as subdomain or sub-directory.

Next, you need to add a site title, and enter the site admin’s email address.

Adding new site details

You can add an admin email address other than the one that you are currently using to manage your multisite network.

If the email address is not currently in use by another user, then WordPress will create a new user and send the username and password to the email address you enter.

Once you are done, click on the ‘Add Site’ button.

A new site will be added to your WordPress multisite network. As the network admin, you will receive a new site registration email as well.

If you created a new user, then that user will receive an email with instructions to set a new password and login.

Adding Themes and Plugins to Your Multisite Network

By default, individual site administrators in a multisite network cannot install themes and plugins on their own.

As the network admin, you can install the respective plugins and themes, so it’s available for all sites on your network.

Installing themes for your multisite network

To add themes, go to My Sites » Network Admin » Themes page.

Installed themes on your WordPress multisite network

On this page, you will see a list of currently installed themes on your WordPress multisite.

You can make a theme available to other sites by clicking on ‘Network Enable’ option under that theme. You can also disable a theme by clicking on ‘Network Disable’ link under the theme. Note: Network Disable option will only appear when the theme is enabled.

To add a new theme, you need to click on the ‘Add New’ button at the top of your screen and then install a WordPress theme as you would normally do.

Once the new theme is installed, you will be able to make it available to other sites on your network with the ‘Network Enable’ option.

If you need recommendations on which themes to make available to your network, take a look at our picks of the best WordPress themes that you can use.

Setting a default theme for your Multisite Network

After you have added a couple of themes, WordPress will still activate the default WordPress theme for each new site.

If you want to make another theme to be the default theme for new sites, then you need to add the following code to your wp-config.php file.

// Setting default theme for new sites
define( 'WP_DEFAULT_THEME', 'your-theme' );

Replace your-theme with the name of your theme. You will need to use the name of the theme’s folder, which you can find out by looking at the /wp-content/themes/ folder.

Installing plugins for your multisite network

Similarly, you can visit My Sites » Network Admin » Plugins page to install plugins and click on the ‘Network Activate’ link below each plugin to activate them on your multisite network.

Network activate plugins on a WordPress multisite

Following are a few essential WordPress plugins that we recommend for every website:

For more plugin recommendations, see our list of the essential WordPress plugins for all websites.

Note: If you have enabled the Plugins Menu option for site admins in the ‘Network Settings’ previously, then the site administrators can activate or deactivate installed plugins on their own. Site admins cannot delete or install a new plugin on their own.

Adding Default Content to Multisite Sites

By default, WordPress allows you to edit some default content for each site on your multisite network. You can go to Settings » Network Settings page and add them under the section ‘New site settings’.

New site defaults

You can edit the content for the default post, page, and comment. We recommend replacing the default content with something more useful for your site admins.

What if you wanted additional default content to be added to each new site?

By default, WordPress does not give you an option to create additional default content for new sites. If you want to do that, then you will need to add custom code to your WordPress multisite.

In this example, we are going to add a new default page to be created for each new site.

add_action('wpmu_new_blog', 'wpb_create_my_pages', 10, 2);
 
function wpb_create_my_pages($blog_id, $user_id){
  switch_to_blog($blog_id);
 
// create a new page
  $page_id = wp_insert_post(array(
    'post_title'     => 'About',
    'post_name'      => 'about',
    'post_content'   => 'This is an about page. You can use it to introduce yourself to your readers or you can simply delete it.',
    'post_status'    => 'publish',
    'post_author'    => $user_id, // or "1" (super-admin?)
    'post_type'      => 'page',
    'menu_order'     => 1,
    'comment_status' => 'closed',
    'ping_status'    => 'closed',
 ));
  
restore_current_blog();
}

You can use the same code with little modifications to create default posts for new sites. Check out the following code:

add_action('wpmu_new_blog', 'wpb_create_my_pages', 10, 2);
 
function wpb_create_my_pages($blog_id, $user_id){
  switch_to_blog($blog_id);
 
// create a new page
  $page_id = wp_insert_post(array(
    'post_title'     => 'A sample blog post',
    'post_name'      => 'sample-blog-post',
    'post_content'   => 'This is just another sample blog post. Feel free to delete it.',
    'post_status'    => 'publish',
    'post_author'    => $user_id, // or "1" (super-admin?)
    'post_type'      => 'post',
 ));
  
restore_current_blog();
}

Troubleshooting WordPress Multisite Issues

Most common issues with WordPress multisite network setup occur due to incorrect configuration of wildcard subdomains and domain mapping issues. Make sure that your web host supports wildcard subdomains before setting up multisite.

Following are some other common issues and their quick fixes.

Fixing login issues on multisite installs

Another common issue is that when using WordPress multisite with sub-directories, some users are unable to login to the admin area of their sites after they add the required code in wp-config.php file.

To fix this, try replacing

define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false);

line in wp-config.php file with

define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', 'false');

Find unconfirmed users

Another issue that you may come across is not being able to find users who registered on your network but didn’t get the activation email. To fix this issue, see our guide on how to find pending unconfirmed users in WordPress.

Exporting a site from multisite to its own WordPress install

Later at some point, you or another site owner may want to export a site from multisite to its own WordPress install. This can be easily done. For step by step instructions see our guide on how to move a site from WordPress multisite to single install.

You may also want to bookmark our ultimate guide of common WordPress errors and how to fix them. It will save you a lot of time by quickly fixing the most common WordPress issues.

FAQs About WordPress Multisite Network

Many of our users have asked us plenty of questions about WordPress multisite network and how to use it more efficiently. Following are the most frequently asked questions that we have answered.

1. Would I be able to better manage my sites with a multisite network?

To be honest, the answer really depends on your usage scenario.

For example, if your websites are not related to each other, then you would be better off with a multiple site management tool, like InifiteWP.

If you manage multiple sites for a restaurant chain, university, or online magazine, then WordPress multisite will be more efficient.

2. Does WordPress multisite make my websites load faster?

Once again it depends on several factors. Better WordPress hosting with plenty of server resources will allow multisite to be faster but then again with these resources, individual WordPress sites will also run faster.

However, on a shared hosting account, traffic spikes will increase memory usage and slow down all websites on the multisite network at the same time. To improve multisite speed, see our guide on WordPress performance and speed optimization.

3. Can I add an online store to a WordPress Multisite Website?

Yes, you can add an online store in WordPress multisite network. Most likely, you will be using an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce for that, which is compatible with WordPress multisite.

4. Can I install ‘x plugin’ on my WordPress multisite?

Some WordPress plugins may not be compatible with WordPress multisite. Normally, plugin authors mention it on the plugin’s website and you can avoid installing a plugin that may not work on a multisite setup. However, if it is not mentioned, then it is safe to assume that it is multisite compatible.

4. How do I share user logins and roles across the multisite network?

By default, a user who is registered on one site cannot register or be added to another site on the same network. That’s because they are already registered in the shared WordPress database. However, they don’t have any user role privileges on other sites.

You can use third-party plugins like WP Multisite User Sync to sync users across the network. However, you need to be careful as you may end up giving someone admin privileges to a site.

We hope this article helped you learn how to install and setup WordPress multisite network. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress security guide to protect and keep your WordPress multisite secure.

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Reader Interactions

238 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thank you for this fantastic article, very easy to follow and saved a lot of time. Keep up the great work, team! :)

  2. I’m a newbie so please forgive me for the potentially stupid question.

    With the default post and page setting, where do I put the code which you have given above?

    • It would depend on which code you are talking about, if you mean the wp-config.php code then you would either use FTP or your hosting provider’s file manager to add the code.

      Admin

  3. Our multisite keeps giving

    The link you followed has expired.
    Please try again.

    We’ve updated upload sizes and expires times and it hasn’t resolved anything

    • You would want to reach out to your hosting company in case they are overriding your upload size from their end or if there is an error on their end.

      Admin

  4. Hi,
    Your post is really amazing, (also the rest of the posts)!
    I want to ask,
    For me it is set automatically on subdomain, not subdirectories
    How can I change that?
    Thanks

    • You would want to check with your hosting provider to see if they have something set up for that.

      Admin

  5. I’ve got as far as seeing the ‘my sites’ menu but no submenus appear and no option to create an additional site.

    • Just to be certain you may want to check your user role and that you are at the primary site for the multisite for the most common issues.

      Admin

    • Seems WordPress has changed some things. There’s no submenu when you hover over “My Sites” on the left menu. It’s now under the “My Sites” at the very top to the right of the WordPress icon.

  6. Hi, i have followed your guide and now i have main site which works well, but i have 2 problems;
    1. For each new site i need to create manual A record on DNS. Is there a way to automate this?
    2. Main site works well, I have downloaded a bunch of themes and enabled them for the network, but on any new site i create when i chose a theme, it doesn’t show the built-in images. Only text, and there are gray squares where images supposed to be.
    Maybe you can advise?

    Thank you

    • 1. You would need to look into the wildcard DNS we mention in our article, yours may not be set up correctly for your host.
      2. You would need to add the demo content to the sites manually for it to load properly unless the theme added has a workaround they would recommend.

      Admin

  7. Hi,

    I’m attempting this as a test on a new site that is in fact hosted a bluehost. I have done all the steps up to the point where I create a new site(subdomain). It appears to create it just fine under my ‘All Sites’, but when I attempt to visit the site itself, there is no installation. Do I need to do this manually, or should creating the subsite perform the installation of the subsite core as well?

    Note, the ‘alias’ configuration that points to ‘wildcard’, made the folder, but nothing is in it, so thats why I think I’m missing something here.

    • You would want to reach out to BlueHost to ensure the wildcard is set up properly

      Admin

  8. Hey, Multiside settled. I want to add a second domain i own. How can i add it. Do i need a new configuration?

    Thanks

    • You would need to use domain mapping plugins or similar for that which is beyond what we go into for this specific guide

      Admin

  9. After i added the new site, i click on the dashboard or visit, it prompt me the ip address not found error page.

    Do i need to create the subdomain on the server first? But i have try this also not working, please help thanks.

    • You would want to ensure you followed the wildcard subdomain section of this article and should you continue to run into this error, you may need to check with your hosting prover to ensure that there isn’t something on their end that would be preventing the subdomains.

      Admin

  10. Getting Error’ ” An existing WordPress network was detected. ” on the Network Setup Page.

    • You would want to ensure you placed the code in the correct location in the wp-config file.

      Admin

  11. This site can’t be reached

    The webpage at MYSITE.com/wp-admin/ might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.
    ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT

  12. What if I wanted to manage multiple sites with different domain names? For example, siteA.com, siteB.org, and siteC.gov. They would be completely separate sites. Could this be managed the same way?

  13. Hello. Install your method, set the default theme, no effect, WordPress still activate the theme of WordPress, there are other ways?

    • You may want to make sure you set the correct folder name for the theme as that is a common reason for it not working as expected

      Admin

  14. Would this approach work to set up multiple main domains, not sub-domain like “domain1.com, domain2.com, example.com, etc.”?

    So, my requirement is to set up multiple main domains on 1 WP instance

    • This would not work for multiple domains, for that you would want to check with your hosting provider about parked domains.

      Admin

  15. Ive tried almost 5 times following all the steps and im stuck in apache server error when the site1.mysite.com is created

    • It would depend on the specific error, you likely would want to reach out to your hosting provider and they should be able to help solve the problem.

      Admin

  16. Is there any way of setting up for each new site to start with a navigation menu that links to all the other sites in the network? I assume some similar method to the setting up a default starting page for each site, but it would be different enough that I cannot see how that would work, if at all possible.

    • At the moment we don’t have a recommended method but we will certainly keep a lookout for a method.

      Admin

  17. thank you for this informations
    I followed these instructions and I can’t log in my subdomain dashboard
    this error appears to me

    Not Found
    The requested URL /404.html was not found on this server.

    Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    can you help me?

  18. Hi,

    Unfortunately, the bad news is that I can not see the footer widgets, that contain Contact us, Terms and conditions etc…

    It also seems to me that the styling has slightly changed from the main domain to my subdomain… and only slightly, but definitely changed…

    Do you have information about how to migrate the footer form the main website to the subdomain

    • You would need to recreate the widgets on a subsite if you have not done so already. If you mean they are not displaying when recreated you would likely need to reach out to your theme’s support to ensure it is not a styling issue.

      Admin

  19. What happen if my site doesn’t have a .htaccess file? I use nginx server. Please help how to config these code.

    Thank you,
    Peter

  20. What I’m battling with is domain mapping and getting an SSL to cover that the new subsite with it’s own domain

    • If you reach out to your hosting provider they should be able to help you get your SSL to cover the subsites.

      Admin

  21. I installed WP multisite with subfolders. When I edit the main site the controll panel is on the well known adresse: domain-name.com/wp-admin/

    But when I try do edit the first of the extra sites it goes to domain-name.com/sitename2/wp-admin/

    And the next site is

    domain-name.com/sitename3/wp-admin/

    Should it not be possible to edit all sites from the root wp-admin?

    • While that could be an option, the current method allows the content to be limited to one site at a time rather than one dashboard with posts/pages from multiple sites that you could accidentally post on the wrong site.

      Admin

  22. Hi, I managed to set up the multisite online. The main site site works perfectly and is live. When I add a subsite for my blog I can see it in network dashboard.When i click on dashboard for that subsite i get this error.
    “Not Found The requested URL /index.php was not found on this server..”
    When I click on “visit” I get only this on a blank page.
    What have i not done. Any help is appreciated.
    Regards
    Eddie

  23. Hi,
    I’m having trouble with the multiset setup.
    I’ve followed the steps, and created network with the subdomains and sites. I’ve confirmed with my hosting company that they support wildcard subdomains and multisite wordpress site. And they keep referring me to my developer to ask for assistance. Sooooo, I’m stuck.
    SOMEHOW the site is not pointing towards the subdomain I’ve created. What did I do wrong and how can I fix it?

    • It would depend on what error message you are receiving for the possible reason but you could also be running into a caching issue for the subdomains due to your DNS not seeing the change.

      Admin

      • Hi there, I managed to fix it. When I created the subdomain in the cpanel, it automatically generated a document root that was the exact same as the subdomain name, (meaning it created an additional folder in the public_html, so all I did was to change the root back to public_html and it worked.

        But now, I have a different problem. I need to create 15 subdomains (sites part of the network) that represent regions. So all the sites needs to look the same, but with varying products etc. Is there a way that I can replicate the primary site in the network?

        • Glad you were able to resolve the issue, using multisite you should have the same themes and plugins available to let you manually recreate the design on your other sites.

  24. Worked like a charm..
    I had been struggling to do this and everyone was looking forward with “how does it benefit me| attitude.

    No cost, simple steps, really wonderful.
    Thanks a ton for saving my money, effort and time

    Dhaundiyal

  25. Hi,
    I wanted to implement multisite on my customers’ website, but noticed that “tools” section is missing from dashboard. I research the problem in Google, but so far no luck. I have no idea why tools are missing….
    Any idea what is wrong?
    Thanks!

    • Multisite should not change your storage for your site, it is for grouping the sites together rather than reducing storage

      Admin

  26. Hi. I want to set up a multisite network for an online store and I want each city to have its site which will be on my multisite network. Now after setting up all the sites on my network, how can I create a landing page that will list all the sites using city names as anchor text so that users can click on the link for their respective city stores. Cecommerce has a plugin that does that. It’s called multisite store viewer. Only problem is that it hasn’t been updated for 3 recent versions of WordPress. I’d like to have an alternative, in case their plugin doesn’t work. Thank you and keep up the good work

    • While we don’t have a recommendation at the moment, we’ll certainly keep an eye out.

      Admin

  27. i have multi wordpress site and when i active a plugin the site give me error 500
    how i can fix it please

  28. Hi can I host multiple websites if I buy the 25 per month plan
    How many websites I can host is there any number or space I need to host 50 website they all are small websites 4 pages 6-7 pictures
    Thanks

    • That would depend on your specific hosting provider. If you reach out to them with your requirements they should be able to point you toward what you need.

      Admin

  29. THIS IS THE ANSWER!

    Wow! So many people having problem setting up multisite.
    IT DEPENDS ON YOUR HOST IF IT IS POSSIBLE.
    For example bluehost doesnt support multisite with any plan.
    So ask your host whether they support multisite or not.

    • This article was created using BlueHost, you can create a multisite setup for this with them but you will need their plus or prime plans normally.

      Admin

  30. Hi, do you know if there’s a way to create a default instance of the multisite installs?

    For example, I want to create a single install (let’s say default.multsite.com), and then configure the plugins and content. Then, when a new multisite site is created, have that version I’ve created be the default installation.

    Any knowledge on this?

    Thanks!

  31. Hi there!

    Might be an idiot question but hey, ill try. If i want sites linked between two different hosts, lets say one.com and another, would that be possible? If so, would it be an easy process?

    Thanks,

  32. You gave very good information. I have seen many such websites but they do not understand their technology. Your article has cleared the whole story as water. In fact, the solution comes on your website.

  33. In tools I do not have -> Network Setup page to confugure my multisite network. I would like to have subdomains.
    site1/example.com
    But now I have example.com/site1

    How can I change sub directories to subdomains.

    In file wp-config.php I added both code for multisites:

    Thanks.

  34. Hello, I need help, I feel like an idiot asking this.

    In case I dont want to run multiple sites under the same wordpress installation then what should i do?? Do I upgrade my current basic plan with bluehost, or do I purchase a new plan?

    thanks

  35. I did everything you said to do, but when I go to the subdomain’s dashboard, it comes up that the server’s IP address can’t be found. Help!

  36. Of all the articles and blog posts on how to setup WordPress Multisite, this tutorial worked for me. It’s just important to do the install step by step.

  37. Problem at Bluehost: When I created the wildcard subdomain *.mymaindomain.com Bluehost came up with /public_html/wildcard as the default suggested Home folder. This didn’t work for a multisite WP.
    Solution: I changed the Home folder to /public_html/ and everything is working :-)

  38. What about multisites as in TLDs? Not subdomains nor virtual directories, can a single setup support different personalities that way?

  39. Thanks so much, wpbeginner for the insightful tutorial, you guys are the best

    I Have some issues that I need clarification on though, which are:
    Will deactivating my site plugins during multisite set up affect my SEO and can I enable those plugins immediately the multisite setup is completed?

  40. Well, what can I say – this guide only went and worked brilliantly!! Thanks

    I’m in the process of setting up a little website for the football (soccer) club that my 7 year old lad plays for – all the teams from under 6s through to the under 15s said it would be nice to have a page each for news etc.

    I thought I could only ‘do’ one WP blog thingy on my provider’s webspace, unless we were going to hand over a several pounds a month per age group for individual WP blogs.

    So I did what any savvy person would do – I googled. Up popped your tutorials, thank goodness!

    I’m a complete noob when it comes to WP… followed your guides and have gone from one WP blog for our entire team to a database with a minimum of 11 team pages on it.

    Still setting up the stuff like themes etc, but your tutorial has saved our club probably about 20 pounds a month ongoing – quite a lot for a small juniors club – money that can be spent on equipment and stuff that the kids need and use rather than on the ‘admin’ side of the club.

    Again – many thanks for brilliant easy to follow tutorials!

  41. Hi there,
    Thanks for all your work.
    I followed you instructions to check if I had an issue on my installation which was not working for the creation additional sites.
    I found in the comments that some other peaple had this issue.

    Not Found

    The requested URL /wp-admin/ was not found on this server.

    Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    The creation of the page does not really work. The directory only contains a cgi-bin folder.
    Do you have any idea what went wrong?

    Thanks
    Maggie Soukup

  42. I’m following the this step by step but I’m not getting that “Network Setup” under my tools. Any help or ideas why? (I completly deactivated my plugins already)

  43. Thanks for this. Very helpful! I have 2 domains from 2 different host providers. Now I want to create 2 websites for these 2 domains, and manage them from the same wordpress account. Is that possible? The article looks like the wp multisite installation only works for sub-domains and sub-directories for domains that are managed within 1 single host provider. What should I do in my case?

  44. This was very helpful to ensure I was on the right path for installing the multisite. But I hit a snag with my child theme. It returns the following message:

    Broken Theme: Template is missing. Standalone themes need to have a index.php template file. Child themes need to have a Template header in the style.css stylesheet.

    By Anonymous

    — End

    And funnily enough, I already have the Template: themename in my style.css (T_T)

  45. Is it possible to apply this to a Multi-Domain Multi-Site with one WordPress installation for domain1.com, domain2.com and domain3.com? The tutorial only mentions subdomains and sub-directories.

    If not, are there any ways to achieve this?

  46. Hi. I have people purchase my products on a domain but then I manually give them access to it from a subdomain. Is there a way to skip this step and give them immediate access once they purchase the products, maybe by using their purchase contact information to create their account information on the subdomain, automatically? Thanks

  47. Is it possible to use different domains as opposed to sub-domains/sub-folders when setting up multisite?

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