How to Set Up WordPress Multisites

Setting up WordPress Multisites Tutorial

Multisites allow you run multiple websites from just one WordPress installation. Each website can have different users, different themes and different plugins.

This is possible because the old WPMU (WordPress Multi-User) project was merged into the main WordPress system. This is the same codebase that allows to run millions of sites, so you can be sure it works well.

In order to set this up, you will need access to your files so that you can edit them. This tutorial will show you how. When you’ve finished, click here to read Part 2 of this tutorial: Managing WordPress Multisites

Step #1. Change wp-config.php

  • In your site files, browse to wp-config.php and open that file.
  • Scroll right to the bottom until you find this line: /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */
  • Just ABOVE that line, enter this line: define('WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true);
  • Save that file.
    • Login to your WordPress admin panel. Hopefully, you’ll be able to click on Tools and see a Network Setup tab has been activated:
Network menu item in tools

Step #2. Configure the Multisite Network

      • Click Tools > Network Setup. You’ll see a screen like the one below.

Network setup screen

  • Give a title to your multisite network.
  • Set an admin e-mail address.
  • Click Install.

You’ll see a screen like the one below. It’s going to ask you to complete two more steps to set up your network:

Create a network of WordPress sites screen

Before you proceed with those two steps, a good practice would be to backup some important files.

  • Backup your wp-config.php

Backup your wp-config.php file

  • Backup your .htaccess file:

Backup your .htaccess file

WordPress is asking you to go back to the same place in your wp-config.php as before and cut-and-paste the code it gives you.

  • Open up your wp-config.php file.
  • Copy the code displayed in your dashboard in this section.
  • Add the code above the /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ line:
Add this code to wp config php

Step 3: Create or Edit an .htaccess File

Finally, you’ll need to either create or edit .htaccess file.

  • Open the file and paste the code, displayed in section 2 of the Enable the Network screen:

Edit htaccess

  • Once finished, log out and log in back to your site dashboard. You should now see that the My Blog link has been replaced by My Sites.

Dashboard before multisite network installation

Dashboard with multisite administration

  • Point your mouse on My Sites. You will notice the Network Admin drop-down menu.

Woohoo! You’ve successfully set up WordPress multisites. Now, click here to read Part 2 of this tutorial: Managing WordPress Multisites.

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  • Robbie Adair

    Robbie started her career in corporate training until starting her own custom training and media company almost seventeen years ago. In 2010, she began doing classroom training for OSTraining while running Media A-Team. She is often presenting about various tech topics such as Joomla, Fabrik, Web Development, Social Media, and Augmented Reality. She loves seeing that "ah-ha" moment in peoples eyes in her sessions and workshops. She lives in Houston, Texas, but enjoys all the travel for client work and speaking gigs.

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