How to Setup Multiple Sub-domains on a Single WordPress Installation

Did you know that you can run as many WordPress sites as you want on a single WordPress installation? This is made possible by Multisite. Multisite is a feature of the WordPress 3.0 and later versions. A multisite network is not very different from a standard WordPress installation. The installation and update processes are almost the same. The only differences are in the database tables, the admin screens and the files in your WordPress installation.

Setting up Multisite

One of the requirements of running a WordPress multisite network is good WordPress hosting. The nature of a multisite demands a VPS or Dedicated server. You will also need basic knowledge on WordPress installation and editing files using FTP.

How you install a multisite depends on whether it is a brand new installation or an established WordPress installation and on your preferred domain structure.

Choice of domain structure for your Multisite Network

You can choose to use sub-domains or sub-directories.

– If you choose sub-domains, each site will have a URL like You will then have to configure wildcard sub-domains for your server if you are planning to let people create their own site on the network.

– If you choose sub-directories, each site URL will look like

Activating Multisite on a brand new WordPress installation

  1. Download WordPress and follow the instructions to install it on your machine or server
  2. In the folder where you’ve installed WordPress, find and open your wp-config.php file.
  3. In the file, locate the /* that’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging */line and immediately above it, add define (‘WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE’, true);ediately lop
  4. Save and upload your wp-config.phpfile

Setting up the network

  1. Go to Tools >Network Setup in the WordPress admin. You will be prompted to choose between sub-domain and sub-directory.
  2. Pick a title for your network and make sure that the email address of the network admin is correct
  3. Click the Install button

On the final step, WordPress will provide you with some code to copy to your wp-config.php and .htaccess files. Open the files and edit them with the text provided on the Network Install screen then save both files.

You’ll need to log in again to your WordPress Multisite where you can now start adding sites, themes, plugins and more on your dashboard.

On an established WordPress installation

The steps for activating a Multisite network on your already established WordPress installation are very similar to the ones above. One major difference is that you will not be prompted to choose a domain structure for your network. You will have to use sub-domains.

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