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How to configure a WordPress multi-site network

How to configure a WordPress multi-site network

Overview
This guide shows how to configure WordPress to function on multiple sites on your network.

Preparation

There are some differences between a standard single WordPress installation and a WordPress multisite network installation. You must decide if you want to use subdomains or subfolders and how to manage them. Also, installing themes and plugins on your domains requires special care. Individual sites on a network can activates themes, but cannot automatically install them.  

Step 1: Prepare your WordPress instance

  1. Your existing WordPress site will change during network creation. We advise you to back up your database and files before proceeding.
  2. Deactivate any active plug-ins. You can reactivate them again after installing and enabling the network.

Step 2: Enable the multisite menu

  1. You must first alter your wp-config.php file. In your preferred text editor, open wp-config.php. After the line, "/* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */," add the line shown below. If you are unable to locate that line, add your new line above the first line that begins with "require" or "include."

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

  2. Refresh your browser to continue.

Step 3: Install a network

     1.  Log in to WordPress, and from the Dashboard menu, select Tools > Network Setup as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. WordPress dashboard.

    2.  You now may choose between sub-domains or sub-directories, unless existing settings restrict your choice.

  • A sub-domains is a domain-based network in which on-demand sites use subdomains.
  • A Sub-directories is a path-based network in which on-demand sites use paths.

    3.  You may choose a name for your network and your network administrator email address.

    4.  Click Install.

Network details

The fields shown in Figure 2 are filled automatically, but you may change them as necessary. 

Figure 2. Network details for WordPress multi-site network configuration.

Step 4: Enable the network

  1. Back up your existing wp-config.php and .htaccess files.
  2. Edit your wp-config.php and .htaccessfiles to enable the network. The installer will inform you exactly how to edit these files. Figure 3 shows an example of the instructions, but they will differ from your custom installation. 

    Figure 3. Sample instructions.

  3. Log out of WordPress and log back in. You may have to clear your browser's cache and cookies in order to log in.

Step 5: Configure network administrator settings

"My Sites" should now appear as the second term in your WordPress toolbar. Under Network Admin, the Dashboard option will guide you through configuring your network. The Sites option will allow you to manage your sites. Refer to Figure 4.

Figure 4. WordPress toolbar.

Step 6: administration

As shown in Figure 5, click Add New to create a new site for your network.

Figure 5. Creating a new WordPress site.

 
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