Vidyut Joshi

Leader, Cloud Practitioner, Delivery & QA

Technology  |  WordPress

Effective Steps to Setup WordPress Multisite With An Ease


There are many users, who easily learn to manage multiple WordPress sites with ease while many of

  • us are getting irritated to open numerous tabs in your browser each with the separate dashboard.

On other side, people are managing separate site for their clients, family and friends as well. But, in long run, they are finding difficulty to manage it.

In order to solve their problem of accessing different site separately, we come with WordPress Multisite feature.

Now, users can easily access their entire WordPress site under one WP installation by entering single username and password.

Want to know how to set up WordPress multisite network? Read this post.

Before installing WordPress multisite network, get exactly idea about what actually it is.

A WordPress multisite network helps users to access and manage various WordPress sites with single installation. Users can build site and manage it by using same username and password. Additionally, it also allows you to sign up and create blogs on same domain. There are many advantages of using WordPress multisite network such as:

  • Easy to administer multiple sites from a single dashboard
  • Every site has its own admin with ability to manage site
  • Easy to manage updates
  • Requires update your WordPress, plugins, or themes on one install.
  • Allows installing plug-ins and themes on multiple sites with one-time download

Apart from advantages, there are many disadvantages as well such as

  • Managing server resources becomes difficult while unexpected traffic
  • If one site gets hacked, all sites will get hacked.
  • Some WordPress plug-ins may not work on a multisite network.
  • All the sites on the network have same resources, so when one site down, all sites on networks get down.

Who Requires a WordPress Multisite Network?

It doesn’t compulsory to have multi-site network, if you are multiple WordPress installation. Users have to use services like InfiniteWP or ManageWP for managing different sites. Developing a multisite network is must for:

  • A business site that has sub-sites for different locations and branches
  • Educational institutes that allows students to create their own blogs
  • A magazine site that has different sections managed by different teams
  • Network of blogs that run on multiple subdomains
  • Government or non-profit sites for various locations, departments, and regions

What You Need for a WordPress Multisite Network?

Those people, who are looking to run a WordPress multisite network, need a good WordPress hosting service. In addition to best hosting service, you need information about installing WordPress and editing files using FTP.

One can have to install their site subdomains or sub-directories on a WordPress multisite network.
For example:


In case, you are choosing sub-domain then you have to configure wildcard sub-domains on your server.

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Moreover, if you are choosing sub-directories or path based URLs for subsites on your network then you just have to enable pretty permalinks on your root site.

How to Set Up Wildcard Subdomains?

First of all, you have to log-in to your web hosting account and you will reach on your cPanel dashboard. Now, you have to scroll down to the domains section and have to click on Subdomains.

Set Up Wildcard Subdomains

After that you have to enter * sign in the subdomain field on the next screen and choose your main domain from the drop down menu.

The document root will be detected by Cpanel automatically and it will display in the field below. After that, you have to click on the create button in order to add your wildcard subdomain.

wildcard subdomain

How to Enable WordPress Multisite Network Feature?

One can find Multisite Network feature with each WordPress install. Just you have to install and setup WordPress exactly like you do before. For detailed information, check out WordPress installation guide.

One can also enable Multisite feature on an existing WordPress site. But, before enabling, you have to ensure that you have taken a full backup of your WordPress site.

It would be advisable to access your site by using an FTP client or cPanel file manager and open wp-config.php file for editing in order to enable Multisite.

For that, you just have to add these lines to wp-config.php file just before the.

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

Now, save and upload wp-config.php file back to the server and see your WordPress site is supporting multisite network.

It’s Time to set Up the Network

You have successfully enabled the Multisite Network feature on your WP site and now, you have to set up your network. Before proceeding, you have to deactivate all plugins on your site and have to go to Tools » Network Setup to configure your multisite network.

set Up the Network

Now, you will see a notice that shows Apache’s mod_rewrite module installed on your server for setting up multisite network on the network setup screen. You will find this module enabled and installed on the most reputable WordPress hosting providers.

In next step, you have to tell kind of domain structure you are using for sites in your network, i.e. Subdomains or Sub-directories and provide a title for your Network. Ensure to add correct Network Admin Email.

At last, hit on the install button to continue. Some rules now you will find on the next screen to add to your wp-config.php and .htaccess file. You have to use an FTP client in order to edit those two files and copy paste the code.

How to Configure Network Settings?

It’s time to the Network Dashboard after setting up the Multisite Network successfully for configuring network settings, adding new sites, and for many other things.

You have to take your mouse over to My Sites menu in the admin toolbar and see a flydown popup. Now, click on Network Admin » Dashboard.

Configure Network Settings

You will see the new menu item for managing your multisite network. Along with, you will also find a dashboard widget that allows creating new site and adding new users.

dashboard widget

In next step, you have click on the Settings link in the admin sidebar to configure Network Settings. After visiting the network settings screen, you will find the first option to set your site title and admin email address.

You will find the field with the network title and admin email that you have entered while network setup.

Opening Your Multisite Network for Registrations

One of the most essential settings in your network setup, the Registration Settings section is by default, both user and site registrations will be disabled on the network.

It is up to you to choose option for opening your site for user registration, or you are allowing existing users to develop new sites, or allowing both user and site registration.

Configure Network Settings

Now, you have to check the box next to Registration Notification to get email notifications every time a new user or site is registered.

One can also check the box next to Add New Users, if you want to add the administrators the ability to add new users on their sites. You will also find Limited Email Registration options that allow you to limit site or users registration for email address from specific domains to add those domains here.

This option is must for those people, who have their own organization to register and create users or sites. On other side, you can also restrict some domains from registration.

organization to register

How To Set New Site?

If you want to configure default options for the new sites created on your network, then you have to visit New Site Settings section on the network settings screen. Moreover, users can also change the welcome emails and the contents of first default page, post, and comment.

Set New Site

How to Upload Settings for Your Multisite Network?

It is must for admin to check the usage of the server resources. It would be great to limit the total amount of space a site can use for uploads that option is available under the Upload Settings section.

User will find 100 MB as default value that can be easily good for at least 100 photos upload. Users are free to increase or decrease this space according to disk space.


Images, audio/video, and pdfs are default file types. One can simply add extra files of different types, including doc docx odt. At last, you have to choose a file size limit, so users can’t able to upload files with bigger size.

Menu Settings

Menu settings have options of enabling administrative menu for the Plugins section on the network sites. One can see plugins menu to site admin by enabling this. Users can activate or deactivate a plugin on particular site, but don’t install new plug-ins.

Menu Settings

How to Add New Sites to Your WordPress Multisite Network?

Click on Sites under My Sites >> Network Admin menu in the admin toolbar to add a new site to your WordPress multisite.


Now, you will see the list of sites on your current Multisite installation. Users can see their primary site listed by default as the only site in your WordPress Multisite network. Simply click on the Add New button available at the top for adding a new site.


In next step, you have to provide the site’s address on the Add New Site screen. For adding, you just have to use part of subdomain or sub-directory and provide a site title, and add the site’s admin email address.


Users can able to add an admin email address other than that one that they are using right now for managing multisite. If you are not using email address, then WordPress will create a new user and send username and password to a mail address that you have entered.

Once, you have done with this task then click on the Add Site button and your work is done. A new multisite network is added. Now, users will get a new site registration email as the network admin.

In case, you have created a new user, then users will get their User ID and Password along with instructions to login on the email address you provided.

How to Add Themes and Plugins to Your Multisite Network?

As the network admin, users have to install Plugins and themes by their own as individual site administrators cannot install themes and Plugins. In order to install plug-in and theme, users just have to login to their primary site and go to My Sites » Network Admin » Themes.


Now, you will see a list of currently installed theme on your WordPress multisite on the Network Admin’s themes screen. In next step, you have to activate theme to other sites by clicking on Enable Network that available under that theme. In addition, you can also disable a theme by clicking on Disable Network link under the theme.


The same way you can activate or deactivate a plug-in for the entire network from My Sites >> Network Admin >> Plugins screen.

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Note: Site administrators can activate or deactivate installed plug-ins on their own, if you have checked the Plugins Menu as available to site admin in the Network Settings.


Some Troubleshooter for WordPress Multisite Issues

There are many issues raised because of incorrect configuration of Wildcard Subdomains. However, you have to ensure that your wildcard subdomains is supported by your web host.

One more issue you will find when you are using WordPress Multisite with sub-directories. There are users unable to login to the admin area of their sites after they are adding needed code in wp-config.php file. In order to fix this, you have to replace

define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', false);
line in wp-config.php file with
define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', 'false');

For more information or any query about wordpress setup in Multisite, then contact us

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