How to Setup WordPress Multisite in a Simple Way

In general term, multi-site refers to many sites. In WordPress, this term tends to give meaning to the network of sites. Meaning, using multisite feature, you can have as many sites in a single WordPress installation. Quite interesting right? Since WordPress 3.0 version, WordPress Team surprisingly introduced the new feature which you can create a network of sites in WordPress with single installation. It was like a subdomain. This feature adapted so quickly that many popular business sites today are using a multisite attribute on their website. In this article. we will be discussing on brief how to setup WordPress Multisite in 5 simple Steps.

Installing multisite is quite easy. However, if not installed properly there’s 90% chance that you’ll wreck the whole website. So it would be wise not to install such feature on the running website if you are doing it for the first time. As mentioned earlier, you can set up multiple sites on a single WordPress installation if you’re using the multisite feature on your website. Moreover, they share the same plugins and even themes accordance to your complete control.

Let’s Begin !!

Setup WordPress Multisite Step by Step

The very first thing you need to do is install WordPress. This is the basic step of course. After that do not forget to backup your database because installing multisite will create new tables in your running database and you can always backup if and unless you happen to damage the entire site. Also, do not forget to deactivate all the plugins. You can always activate them later. Check if your Permalink is working properly as well. You’ll know later yourself why I am asking you to take a backup of every core files.

Step 1: Allow Multisite

From your root directory, open the config.php file. Copy the following code right before the line /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging */ or right before the lines of code define(‘WP_DEBUG’, false); . You can see the screenshot below if it still confuses you.

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

WordPress Multisite

Now save your config.php file and refresh your website.

Step 2: Install a Network

If you log in to your Dashboard, you’ll now see a new item appearing on Tools Menu. Go to Tools ⇒ Network Setup. If you’re running on the local server, probably you’ll only see two fields to edit. In contrast, if your site is hosted on live, you’ll most probably see three fields to edit.

You will see Network Details where you can edit the fields. Though these details are automatically filled up once you open, you can change the network details as per your choice.

The Codex has explained in better way

  • Server Address: The domain of the URL you are using to access your WordPress installation.
  • Network Title: The title of your network as a whole.
  • Network Admin Email: Your email address as super admin of the network as a whole.

After editing the fields, hit the Install button to proceed into next configuration step.

WordPress Multisite

Step 3: Enable the Network

This is the step where you enable your website network. After you click the Install button from the previous step, you will now be redirected to the new page where you will have to customize your .htaccess and wo-config.php file. In addition, the screen will probably have two different codes appearing on the screen. One for for adidng on your .htaccess and another for wp-config.php file respectively. Follow this two simple steps:

  1. Adding code to the wp-config.php file: Copy all the code which requests you to add in your root directory’s wp-config right before /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */.
  2. Adding lines of code to the .htaccess file: If the .htaccess file is missing on your root directory create one. If your site already has one, edit and replace it with the code you see on the new screen.
Also Read:   How to Hide Featured Image in WordPress

WordPress Multisite

Note: Do not forget to backup .htaccess and wp-config.php files since you’re editing and replacing those files.

Now, log out and log in again to your site’s Dashboard and follow next step.

Step 4: Setting Up Network Admin

At the very top left of your WordPress Dashboard Toolbar, you’ll see two flying menus appearing. Network Menu appears right next to the My Site menu. From your dashboard, go to the Settings Screen to manage the network options, and the Sites Screen to configure your sites.

WordPress Multisite

Step 5: Advanced Administration Setting

Now, this step is the most complex and confusing step. I am not trying to freak you out here but it needs thorough and careful knowledge. You need to perform manual check and configuration to properly setup Administrating settings. Even if you know the operations and behavior of the WordPress, the perplex location and configurations of the Multisite Network Administration can be difficult. However, with the proper setup, your multisite will run just fine.
Read Here for detail Network Administration Setup.

Wrapping Up

Multisite is one of the many reasons why WordPress is a very powerful and popular CMS. However, WordPress Multisite Network has both advantages and disadvantages as well which we will be discussing later in our article. You can create multiple sites, multiple users, and even install themes and plugins on respective networks in multisite. As you can see, screens may look slightly different than the normal WordPress site, but once you get into it, you will be familiar with it. In fact, you will love working on  WordPress multisite.

Comment below if you have any question regarding setting up a multisite. If this article helped you, do not forget to share.

Happy WordPress Multisite !!


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Prabin Parajuli

Tech-Blogger, Web Enthusiast
Prabin Parajuli is a Web Developer, Blogger, freelance writer, and a pet lover. He also loves to travel a lot.

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