With the demand for WordPress sites accelerating every day, many developers have started managing multiple sites. As it is a hectic task to manage multiple sites, WordPress has come up with a unique solution wherein multiple sites can be handled easily. In this article, we have discussed WordPress multisite network and its installation process so that you can create a multisite network effectively.
WordPress Multisite Network
WordPress multisite network is a unique feature that permits you to create and handle more than one WordPress site from a single installation of WordPress. It is a technique wherein you can create and setup new sites in a few clicks and manage them through your existing login details. Furthermore, it is possible for you to let other users create their blogs on your domain through the multisite network.
The most attractive feature of a multisite network is the ease of management. You can administer multiple sites jointly and activate themes or plugins on multiple sites from your multisite dashboard. Also, you can update the core as well as themes, plugins or widgets on all your WordPress sites through a single source. Overall, it is an effective solution for a multi-national business site, magazine site, government offices and educational institutions.
How to Install WP Multisite Network
There are a couple of crucial things that you must know before installing a WordPress multisite network. Firstly, you should prefer a test website to create a multisite network if you are installing multisite for the first time. This is recommendable because you can get an idea about setting up a multisite without involving any risk of configuring your live website imperfectly.
Secondly, it is preferable and risk-free to activate multisite on a fresh WordPress installation. This is because you do not have anything to lose even if you make a mistake.
Lastly, if you are installing multisite network on a live website, you must create a backup of its information. Backups can be useful if you lose any data during the installation procedure.
The first steps in the installation of WordPress multisite network is to add the following code below the “That’s all, stop editing! Happy Blogging.” line of the wp-config.php file.
You can find new options named as “Network Setup” in the tools menu after you successfully enter the above-mentioned code and save the file. The installation process of multisite can be performed from the Network Setup page. However, before starting the installation, it is recommendable to deactivate all the WordPress plugins as they might cause conflicts during the procedure.
Proceeding to the installation page, you can find a warning message that suggests you to remove the “www” from your URL; i.e. if your URL is www.yourdomain.com, then you should change it to yourdomain.com. Although this step is followed just to avoid links with “www” prefix, you can still face no problem if the suggestive message is displayed. It is implemented just to remove the Warning message from the installation page.
Moving ahead, you can find another Warning box that highlights that the installation of My Test website is in a subdirectory. This, further, means that all the networks that is created can also be installed in the same directory. In a case that your website is older than one month, and WordPress is installed in your domain’s root, yet another Warning appears stating that sub-domains should be used by the network. However, you can get an option to choose from sub-domains and subdirectories if you are implementing the activation of multisite on a fresh WordPress installation.
Once you choose the structure of multisite activation, it is time to enter your network details that comprise of inserting your network’s name and email address of the admin. Click on Install button after entering the details to explore the next step.
Now, you can find that some multisite tables have been added to your WordPress database. Here, you need to add the code to the .htaccess file and wp-config.php file.
The above-mentioned code requires a slight change depending upon the existing structure of your website. The code should be placed right after the multisite code you have added in the same file earlier. It should be noted that you must have a backup of your WordPress data during the step so that you can revert to normal WordPress installation if required.
Next, you have to enter the following code into the .htaccess file after making necessary modification in respect to the name and details of your saved files.
After saving the wp-config.php file and .htaccess file, you should reload your WordPress website. A login page appears after the reload and provides login details that can take you to the network dashboard page. This step marks the completion of your WordPress multisite network, and you can now easily configure your network for using the multisite feature effectively.
How to Set Up WP Multisite Network
The following steps are required to be followed by a webmaster to setup multisite network.
Adding New WordPress Sites
Before executing this step, it is essential for the user to have access to cPanel because it can be required for further process. Websites can be added by primarily going to the Domains section from the control panel. Here, webmasters need to create a sub-domain that can bring up the home folder after the creation of various sub-domains. To do this, simply click Sub-domains icon, enter the sub-domain name, set the document root as public_html, and click the Create button.
Once done, the webmaster can move to the WordPress dashboard and create a new WordPress install by entering the sub-domain name, name of the website and the email address of the admin.
Multiple websites can be created and linked to the main site after the completion of this step. It is the last step in the installation of a multisite network of WordPress.
Installing Plugins and Themes
Last but never the least, the installation of plugins and themes become a tricky factor when a user manages various websites on a multisite network. Therefore, it is worth discussing that if the WordPress user wants to apply the plugins or templates to all of his sites, it is needed to install the options from the Network Admin dashboard and not from the main admin panel of the website.